Sandra Dougherty is a Graduate Gemologist GG of the Gemological Institute of America. GIA. A highly respected professional qualification with worldwide recognition. Sandra attended the GIA Santa Monica campus in residence in 1982.
Sandra has experience in all facets of the jewelry industry with extensive retail experience with American Gem Society stores across the United States. She has successfully completed the prescribed courses in gemology and jewelry appraisal methodology of the American Gem Society, earning the title of Certified Gemologist Appraiser, CGA, which she actively held from 2003 through 2008. Sandra has also completed the requirements to earn the title of Certified Insurance Appraiser, CIA.
Ms. Dougherty has been employed in the Jewelry Industry for over 40 years. Originally from Dublin Ireland, her career began with Kilkenny jewelry designer Rudolf Heltzel.
Her enchantment with the world of diamonds and gemstones began in early childhood while researching a school project on the Venetian merchant and explorer Marco Polo and his adventures while traveling the Silk Road, an ancient trade route linking China and Rome.
On a trip to India in the summer of 1979, Sandra embarked on her own adventure traveling a similar route overland from Europe to the Far East. While visiting the Taj Mahal in Agra and the surrounding area of Rajasthan, she visited the many gem dealers in Jaipur and the surrounding areas and arrived back in Europe several months later with a pocketful of rare and beautiful gems... and so began a lifelong passion for Gemology.
Realizing her limited knowledge of gems, and knowing that it was her calling, she left Ireland to attend GIA in Los Angeles. At that time the foremost world authority in education on gems and jewelry.
Sandra's passion for gemstones drives her to continue to seek out new knowledge.
She attends Gem and Jewelry trade shows and regularly attends educational
As a result of her travels abroad, in particular her travels to India and the mines and trading centers of Sri Lanka and Thailand. Sandra has gained hands-on experience about gemstone grading, their origins and various enhancement techniques at the source.
Sandra believes it is not where she has learned what she knows, rather what she knows she can do with what she has learned. That education is a continuous process and does not come solely from an Institution or another individual, but from all experiences.