Carlsbad, Ca is the world headquarters for the Gem Institute of America and offers free tours to see up close fascinating stones and precious jewelry not seen anywhere else.  Known as GIA, the building has a commanding view of the ocean with an openness that is inviting and pleasant. Docents guide you through two floors of the building on 90 minute tours explaining many colorful and faceted gems and pearls as well as their history and country of origin.  Some of the jewelry pieces are unusual and not the typical diamond or emerald we are used to seeing and wearing. The vibrant red/mauve spinel stones are gorgeous and now on my wish list.

The institute also conducts various classes about gem recognition, how to grade stones and the art of jewelry design. This is the place where professional gem standards are taught worldwide.  One tour is not enough to take it all in!

Gem Institute of America-GIA

5345 Armada Dr

Carlsbad, Ca 92008