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Meet the Team

Geoffrey Dominy - Founder / CEO - World Gem Foundation

Geoffrey Dominy is an author, independent gemmologist and jewellery appraiser who appeared on the Canadian Antiques Roadshow for four seasons. He received his F.G.A through the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) in 1987 passing the diploma examinations with distinction.Throughout the 1990’s, Geoff developed and taught the ‘Gemmology’ program at Red River Community College and The University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, worked for the Canadian Institute of Gemmology, was President and Founder of the Jewellery Appraisers Association of Canada and was a contributing author for the 5th & 6th Editions of Robert Webster’s ‘Gems’ which even today is considered one of the most authoritative textbooks in Gemmology.He is also the author and creator of the digital e-book 'The Handbook of Gemmology'. First released in 2013, the handbook has now been sold or downloaded in forty-three countries, is used by fourteen schools, colleges, universities and gemmological organizations as their recommended textbook and features the award winning photography of the Tino Hammid and Jeff Scovil. In 2016, Geoff created 'Gemmology Today', a quarterly gemmological publication that now has a readership of over 20,000 and has been viewed and downloaded in over 50 countries. In 2019, Geoff published 'Gemología Para Todos', a Spanish translation of the first fourteen chapters of the Handbook of Gemmology.

Leone Langeslag - CEO - Dutch Gem Academy

Leone Langeslag is a graduate of the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG) (2006), an independent gemmological consultant and a dedicated teacher. Her desire to provide accessible gemmological training in the Netherlands led to the formation of the Dutch Gem Academy as part of her company Sole Leone in Naarden, only 20 minutes from Amsterdam. In addition to the theoretical and practical courses and programs offered through the Dutch Gem Academy and the World Gem Foundation. Leone also offers lectures, workshops and webinars, providing solutions for individuals and small groups who wish to become professional gemmologists. She is actively involved with the Gemma Association in Holland and a frequent visitor to international symposiums, exhibitions and trade shows where she continues her own gemmological education and passion for collecting gemstones and minerals. She also serves on the World Gem Foundation Executive Committee.

Deborah Mazza - Director of Education - British Gem Academy

Deborah Mazza is half Italian and half British, and started her journey through the world of gemstones in Germany in 1984, where she studied at the Deutsche Gemmologische Gesellschaft attaining her gemmology and diamond diploma; she subsequently gained her FGA in 1986. Deborah then went to work for the trade in Idar-Oberstein, buying and selling wholesale gems and diamonds, working as a gemmologist and teaching gemmology at the DGemG, this lead on to carrying out jewellery valuations for an insurance company in Germany. She later got a Bachelor in Business in Germany, and returned to the UK in 2010, where she became a tutor for the Gem-A’s online courses. Deborah, keen to add to her knowledge, started to study again and passed the NAJ/IRV’s CAT jewellery valuation diploma, and is now studying History of Art at Goldsmiths University. Deborah has her own valuation business and works part-time for an online auction house. She contributed several written pieces for Yavorskyy’s new book, Terra Connoisseur: Gemstones.

Gérard Raphaël Quintin - CEO & Director of Education - South American Gem Academy

Gérard Raphaël Quintin is born in Paris France where he studied Art and Design and graduated from Ecole Boulle. His taste for the diamond world may have been inherited from an uncle who worked in the diamond business. In 1978 he took the gemology colored stone and diamond course with GIA while he was mining diamonds in the Sewa River in Sierra Leone and where he started the first diamond cutting center in West Africa. In Abidjan Côte d’Ivoire in 1992 Gérard founded the diamond cutting formation center with a gemological laboratory 'Hardy’s', followed by the installation of the colored stone and diamond cutting facilities in the jewelry school EIBMA. Continuing his tour in the world of gemstones, Gérard went to Madagascar as an expert for a French Government project to develop the organization and skill of the gems sector. Professor of Gemology in the Jean Guehenno Jewelry School in Saint-Amand-Montrond France, he then moved to Bolivia to fund and manage the ‘Instituto Gemologico Boliviano’ where students learn gemology and the art of gem cutting. Since 1997 Gérard has been a member of the Organisation Internationale des Experts based in Geneva, Switzerland.

Marie-Hélène Corbin, CEO - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

Marie-Hélène is an FGA gemmologist and accredited Senior Gemmologist through the AGA. Following a busy career in real estate, she wanted to change her professional path and became interested in gemmology. This discovery of gemstones turned into a passion. Marie-Hélène studied at the EGM and successfully passed her Gemmology Diploma. Guided by the desire to pass on her love for gems, she became the new Director of EGM in 2016, with a strong desire to modernize the school. As a teacher, she instills in her students the desire to learn more about the world of gemstones. This passion for gems does not stop there, and Marie-Hélène created Quebec’s first independent gem identification laboratory, Lelièvre Laboratoire de Gemmologie (LLG) in 2018. In order to offer the most complete service to her clients, she created the Gems and Jewelry Appraisal Center in 2019, also in Montreal. These two centres allow a synergy with the EGM, with the starting of professional traineeships for students (starting in 2020), so as to facilitate their access into the job market.

Jack Ghazalian - Director of Corporate & Career Development USA - American Gem Academy

Jack Ghazalian started in the jewelry industry in 1980. He is a graduate gemologist through the Gemological Institute of America (1992), was an instructor for GIA (1993) and was officially Certified-by-the-State of California Education Code 94311(a) to teach Gemology & Jewelry Manufacturing-Arts (1993). He is currently the owner of Isometric Gemological Appraisal Services in Southern California: IsometricGems.com, speaks five languages and is passionate about education. His list of achievements include 1. Honored by the International Distinguished Scholars, Academic Honor Society (2015). 2. Honored & Certified by the Honor Society based in Washington D.C.(2016). 3. Officially granted membership on July 27th of 2017 to the ‘Kappa Delta Pi’ and was awarded 'TEACHER OF HONOR'. 4. Honored by the San Diego Chamber of Commerce (2013) (Given a Certificate of Recognition). 5. An official member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. 6. An official member of the National Space Society, which is affiliated with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). 7. An official member of the Planetary Society. 8. An official member of the Geological Society of America. 9. Certified Online Instructor (Online Teaching Certification).

Dr. Laurent Massi - Co-Founder - French-Swiss Gem Academy

Dr. Laurent Massi completed his PhD studies on ‘Atomic-scale Defects in Brown and Hydrogen-rich Diamonds’ at the Department of Physics at Nantes University in France under the direction of Professor Emmanuel Fritsch. During his studies he also taught gemology in Paris at the French National Gemological Institute. Dr. Massi subsequently taught gemology and gave presentations at conferences in numerous countries all around the world. During his career he has also had the opportunity to publish a variety of scientific and educational articles on color-change corundum, hydrogen- and CO2-related optical centers in diamond, chameleon diamonds, clinohumite, color-change bastnäsite and on a new gem mineral: hibonite, one of the rarest gems on Earth. Dr. Massi was the Director of the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences (AIGS) Gem Laboratory and Gem School based in Bangkok - Thailand. He subsequently completed his Graduate Gemologist (GG) studies at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) headquarters in Carlsbad, USA and then became the Director of the new GIA Thailand Campus located in Bangkok - Thailand. With more than 20 years of experience in the Gems & Jewelry industry, Dr. Massi is now the head of both the new international gem academy AGAT (for ‘Academy of Applied & Technical Gemology’) as well as the co-founder of the French-Swiss Gem Academy (from the World Gem Foundation), both housed in the Majestic building - a former palace from the Belle Epoque - located on the French Riviera, in Nice - France.

Ludovic Durand Oro - Co-Founder - French-Swiss Gem Academy

Ludovic Durand Oro graduated from the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG) in 2012, has taught at the French Gemological Institute in Paris (France), was the Director of Education of a gem school based in Monaco and in 2019 co-founded the Academy of Applied & Technical Gemology (AGAT gem school) as well as the French-Swiss Gem Academy (FSGA), both based on the French Riviera in Nice, in the south of France. A true gem enthusiast, he loves to organize gem field trips for his students to gem producing areas around the world while also acquiring top quality gemstones for his private clients.

Kyalo Kiilu - Director of Education - East African Gem Academy

Kyalo Kiilu is a fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) and an Alumnus of Birmingham City University where he obtained his BSc with honours in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies in 2017. His passion for gemstones can be traced back forty years to his late grandmother’s village in rural Kenya and the prospecting trench dug by the first British gemstone explorers in the early part of the 20th Century. While he was unsure what the bluish stones were, they fascinated and captivated him. While pursuing his pharmaceutical studies, his interest in gemstones never diminished and while the stones he took to the gem dealers in Nairobi did not captivate them, he still knew that one day he would work with gemstones. Unfortunately in 2003 in Kenya, there were no colleges offering gemmology courses so he decided to relocate to England and enrolled in Gem-A’s Diamond Diploma program in 2004; the start of his gemmological journey. Today, Kyalo is a licenced gemstone prospector in Kenya and in 2015 made a discovery of a very unique sapphire, resembling another Kenyan sapphire marketed as ‘Goldsheen Sapphire’ that he will hopefully share with the gemmological community very soon. He acknowledges the encouragement he received from his mother, wife, son, his late daughter and his siblings and their unwavering support that has enabled him to pursue his interest in gemstones and gemmology. He comes to the World Gem Foundation and specifically the East African Gem Academy with a strong desire and ambition to share his knowledge of gemstones with his fellow East Africans, particularly those involved in the production of gemstones, gemstone lovers and aspiring gemmologists, to provide support and encouragement that was so lacking in the industry when he was growing up in Kenya. The World Gem Foundation is delighted to have Kyalo as part of our team, to make a difference in a country that is rich in gemstones and gemmological history and will undoubtedly be a major player in the years to come.

Salomon Lutumba - Director of Education - South Central African Gem Academy

Salomon Lutumba is an alumnus of Birmingham City University where he graduated with a Bachelor in Science with honours in Gemmology and Jewellery studies in 2016. He also holds a Diamond Diploma and Gemmology certificate from Gem-A. He is originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, where in fact, the subsoil is one of the richest in the world in terms of geology and mineralogy. Since the country has gold in respectable quantities, he joined his uncle, a jeweller in 1995, as a business partner in buying and selling jewelleries, scrap and rough gold at the big city market of Kinshasa. Sometimes the pieces would be set with fascinating and attractive coloured stones. Unfortunately, since their priority was gold and they lacked knowledge regarding gemstones, they could not deal with them. However Salomon was fascinated and captivated by the beauty and mystery of those mounted stones. As a consequence, he developed a passion for gemstones and in the process discovered that his own country contained a wide variety of mineral species with many having a high aesthetic and monetary value. Sadly there were no colleges or training centres offering a gemmology program in the Democratic Republic of Congo that allowed him to pursue his interest, only abroad. In 2002 he relocated to England where, ten years later, he found the opportunity to fulfil his dream of studying gemmology at the Birmingham City University. In 2012, he started his High National Diploma in Gemmology combined with Gem-A’s Diamond and Gemmology program which led to a degree program, introduced for the first time in 2015, at the BCU. Today, by embracing the World Gem Foundation’s concept and philosophy of gemmological education, and through the Gem Academy of DRC, he would like to share his passion and knowledge of gems with his fellow Congolese; particularly jewellers, aspiring gemmologist and gemstone lovers. His personal ambitious goal is to promote the science of gemmology in his country, by providing information and support to empower people in the jewellery business and those trading in stones.

Barickeh Charles Kholifa Koroma - Director of Education - West African Gem Academy

Barickeh Charles Kholifa Koroma is a freelance gemmologist, diamond grader/valuer, a member of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and a member of the Scottish Gemmological Association. He was born in Liberia to Sierra Leonean parents and raised in the mineral rich country of Sierra Leone where he survived a devastating brutal civil war which lasted for almost 12 years, where he suffered a series of traumatic events. He relocated to the United Kingdom in 2004 and received help on how to cope with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), this proves pivotal in his approach to life. His educational background was in Information Technology (IT), he attained some diplomas in computer science and network engineering between 2004-2007 at Hackney Community College, London. In 2013, while working at Gagosian Art Gallery, he heard about a 125ct diamond which was discovered in Kono in the east of Sierra Leone that was taken abroad for grading and valuation. He had an epiphany then to become a diamond grader and valuer so that he would be in a position to help his beloved homeland whenever the need arose to eradicate any foul play. He attended the coveted School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University (BCU) where he studied a diploma in diamonds (Gem-A) and a BSc (Hons) in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies. He graduated with a first-class degree in 2018 and was awarded the prestigious Scottish Gemmological Association Prize for Gemmology, he then moved back to Sierra Leone to pursue his dreams. His greatest achievement so far is working as a student mentor during his time at the university, he was able to give advice and guidance to some students that were struggling to cope with the demands of higher education and being away from home. His ambition and innate desire to help his homeland and spread the knowledge he has gained to his fellow countrymen especially those involved in the production of gemstones, gemstones enthusiasts and those that want to make a career out of it is what brought him to the World Gem Foundation which helps to create a platform where that knowledge can be easily accessible through the establishment of The West African Gem Academy. He is extremely appreciative and grateful to his family for their encouragement, support, undying belief and the sacrifices they have made throughout this chapter of his journey and the subsequent chapters to come. In his leisure time, Barickeh likes to keep fit; he plays tennis, go for a run and practice a Korean martial art known as Tae Kwon Do. He enjoys spending time with family and friends, while watching football is at the top of his list.

Nina Zolotukhina - Director of Corporate & Career Development for Russia and Eastern Europe

Nina Zolotukhina (aka Nina Gold) graduated as an Expert Gemmologist through the Moscow State University, is an independent gemmologist, now based in Bulgaria, founder of Gemlab Europe Project, researcher, gem expert and author of reviews and articles about gemstones, research methods and gemmological equipment. She is an avid mineral and gemstone collector and photographer of minerals and inclusions (photomicrography). She has become a regular contributor to Gemmology Today and is currently translating all the World Gem Foundation courses into Russian.

Lucille Daver - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

After a Master’s degree in Volcanology, Lucille has continued to deepen her knowledge in the field of gemstones and the earth: a Gem-A Gemmology degree, her WGF diplomas and a Master’s degree in Economic Geology have enriched her career. Lucille continues her doctoral studies (in Geochemistry and Mineralogy) at UQAM, and she generously and rigously shares her passion for minerals with EGM students.

Guillaume Benard - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

After obtaining his professional Master’s degree in Mineral Resources, Guillaume worked as a geologist for mineral exploration. Since 2010, he has been a gemmologist appraiser and supplier of stones for artisans all around the world. A double graduate WGF and Gem-A, he gives the EGM students the benefit of his scientific background and of his beautiful and rich experience in the gemstone markets.

Dorian Fitchko - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

As WGF gemmologist and gemmologist certified by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, Dorian is a former student of the school who knows how to effectively prepare students for their WGF exams. He provides valuable support for the logistics of all EGM courses and ensures their optimal organization. He also teaches introductory courses in gemmology and assists participants in the pearl and diamond workshops.

Alisson Lemaire - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

After launching her jewellery line at the age of 15, Alisson stayed in the gem world. She travelled extensively to gem-rich sites. Thanks to this precious field experience, she takes pleasure in augmenting her lessons with real-life stories. Teaching and sharing the knowledge of gems is a vocation for her.

Amélie Lebrun - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

Throughout her travels, Amélie has visited the De Beers’ Premier mine, various gold mines and cutting centres in South Africa. Subsequently, she obtained her diplomas in gemmology and a degree in Mandarin Chinese, and went on to work in the gem and jewellery industry in Paris, Antwerp, New York, Vancouver and Montreal. Amélie brings her experiences and passion for gems in general and jade in particular to the World Gem Foundation and to her students.

Caroline Gagnaire - Gem Academy of Canada / Gem Academy of Belgium

After nine years of management in retail in France, and then six years dedicated to the well-being of everyone as a naturopath, Caroline joined EGM. Organised and dynamic, in a constant search for improvement, she puts her good humour and efficiency at the service of students and teachers. Her experience in terms of project management and change management is invaluable in supporting the EGM in its dynamic evolution and development.