The Sinkankas Symposium – Pearl

  •  Pearls by Elisabeth Stack 

    Elisabeth Strack

    An indispensable scientifically grounded reference work about pearls that resembles an exciting novel. The book covers the characteristics of pearls and cultured pearls. All pearl treatments and modern analysis methods are explained like microscopes, UV lamps, X-ray devices and others. This standard book offers a fantastic insight into five millennia of pearl history. Elisabeth Strack visited many pearls farms. She gives unique detailed information and explains how to assess pearls for purchasing.

    Hardcover, 696 pages, size: 7.68" x 9.84", 600+ color photos, 77 illustrations. Ruehle-Diebener-Verlag Publishing.

    US $129.

    GIA Store »

  •  Splendour and Science of Pearls by Dona Dirlam and Robert Weldon 

    Dona Dirlam and Robert Weldon, eds.
    Splendour & Science of Pearls

    Decades of research, compelling photography and historical anecdotes have culminated in the lavishly illustrated book that covers pearl history, natural and cultured pearl sources, pearls in fashion, GIA's 7 Pearl Value Factors™ (size, shape, color, luster, surface quality, nacre quality and matching) for evaluating pearl quality and the future of pearls.

    Hardcover, 149 pages. 1st edition.

    US $49.

    GIA Store »

  •  Pearls by Fred Ward 

    Fred Ward

    This volume is part of a series of gem books written and photographed by Fred Ward. Each book is the result of a 14-year global search into the history, geology, lore and sources of these priceless treasures.

    Paperback, 65 pages. Revised edition.

    US $19.95

    GIA Store »

  •  Pearl Buying Guide by Renee Newman 

    Renée Newman
    Pearl Buying Guide: How to Identify and Evaluate Pearls and Pearl Jewelry

    Initially published in 1991, the expanded Pearl Buying Guide shows how to evaluate pearls, spot fakes and detect dyed pearls. Included in this full-color guide are tips on pearl care, clasps, and creative ways to wear pearls, and a chapter on antique pearl jewelry. All types of exotic pearls are discussed—akoya, black, abalone, South Sea, freshwater, mabe, keshi, conch, natural, imitation, cultured, and more.

    Paperback, 154 pages. Fifth edition.

    US $19.95

    GIA Store »




Black pearl, 13.40 cts. Photo: Mia Dixon. Courtesy of Pala International Inc

Registration: NOW OPEN »

Named for one of the most distinguished and influential figures in gemology and mineralogy, the Sinkankas Symposium is an annual one-day event featuring presentations by noted specialists working in diverse gem-related disciplines.  The theme of the Sixteenth Annual Sinkankas Symposium is Pearl.

The Sinkankas Symposium has been described as the most important gemological conference in North America by respected authorities on gemstones.  Organized by Roger Merk for 13 years (2003–2015), the annual event is co-sponsored by the Gemological Society of San Diego (GSSD) and the GIA (Gemological Institute of America), which has provided the Symposium venue every year.  Bill Larson has been a generous supporter and speaker at the event since its inception. 



The program for the Sixteenth Annual Sinkankas Symposium will feature eight speaker presentations. After the last speaker's presentation concludes Jeremy Shepherd will present a documentary film, "Power of Pearl," by Ahbra Perry and Taylor Higgins. The film concludes at 5PM. View a preview of the film »



Saturday, April 27, 2019

GIA (Gemological Institute of America)
World Headquarters and The Robert Mouawad Campus
5345 Armada Drive
Carlsbad, CA 92008



Interest in the Sinkankas Symposium and attendance has grown every year.  Space is limited and is available on a first-come, first-served basis.  Registration will open on Tuesday, February 12.  Registration for the one-day event includes refreshments, lunch and a copy of the 2019 Sinkankas Symposium volume, which features selected papers on Pearl.

Registration: NOW OPEN »

Cost: $110.00 per person through April 1, 2019 (early-bird registration); $125.00 from April 2 through April 19, 2019.

Each registrant must appear on the GIA parking list under his/her own name (no group registration under one name). Bring valid government ID with picture. You must be on the parking reservation list to access the event.




Recognized specialists will make presentations on Pearl. There will be morning and afternoon coffee breaks and a lunch break.

Robert Weldon – Introduction · 8:50 – 9:00 AM

Douglas McLaurin-Moreno – Baja Pearls · 9:00 – 9:30 AM

Blaire Beavers – The History of Pearls · 9:35 – 10:05 AM

Betty Sue King – Evolution of the Pearl Goddess · 10:10 – 10:40 AM

Elisabeth Strack – An Update on Pearl Localities · 11:00 – 11:30 AM

Bill Larson – Collecting Rare and Unusual Pearls · 11:35 AM – 12:05 PM

Chunhui Zhou – A Brief History of Pearl Testing Through Gems & Gemology · 1:15 – 1:45 PM

Stuart Robertson – Pearls: Their Market and Price Trends · 1:50 – 2:20 PM

Hisano Shepherd, Reinventing the Pearl · 2:25 – 2:55 PM

Movie: "Power of Pearl" · 3:30 – 5:00 PM

* Program subject to change



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