International law enforcement attends GIA to improve jewelry knowledge

In March, law enforcement agents from various agencies and countries attended the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in order to boost their jewelry knowledge in an effort to more effectively solve crimes related to the precious items. 

The law enforcement officials attended a two-week training course, which was originally started in 2007 as collaboration between the FBI’s Major Theft Program and the GIA became a partnership, according to The National Jeweler.

The brief course was originally designed to help these government employees gain greater insight into gemology so that they could investigate more effectively, the media outlet reports. The designers of the curriculum also wanted to make it clear to these law enforcement workers that GIA resources can be utilized when investigating these cases.

In comments related to the training course, FBI Supervisory Special Agent Eric Ives referred to jewelry theft as a "gateway crime," according to the news source.

"These crimes are often associated with very sophisticated and sometimes violent international criminal enterprises involved in other criminal violations, including money laundering," Ives stated, the media outlet reports.

The National Jeweler reports that platinum has recently been in the favor of precious metals buyers, which could make jewelry containing the metal more appealing to thieves.