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AIGS Names New President

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She’s leaving the Natural Color Diamond Association.

(Press Release) The Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences has appointed Barbara Wheat as its president.

She will assume her role this month.

Barbara Wheat has a long history with AIGS and the Ho Group, founders of AIGS. Beginning in 1993, she served as managing director of the Ho Group’s publishing company, Jewelry Trade Publications. Among its well-known titles was JewelSiam magazine, an industry favorite for many years.

AIGS was established in 1978 as an accredited gemological training institute with the Education Ministry of Thailand. In 2018 AIGS will celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Wheat, who lived in Bangkok for 15 years, graduated from the AIGS Accredited Gemologist program in 2003 and has a master’s degree in sustainability management from Columbia University in New York.

Kennedy Ho, chairman of AIGS, said, “We are looking forward to having Barbara join us as president; her experience and knowledge of the industry worldwide will be a great asset to AIGS.”

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Wheat is leaving her post as executive vice president of the Natural Color Diamond Association in New York.

“It has been a pleasure and an honor to work with the NCDIA Board and members, however, I am thrilled at the opportunity to return to Bangkok to head up my alma mater, AIGS,” Wheat said.

In addition to working with the NCDIA, she is a member of the organizing committee of the Jewelry Industry Summit, the former executive director of the International Colored Gemstone Association, and an adjunct instructor for the State University of New York’s sustainability program. Wheat has been a regular contributor to industry publications such as CIJ Trends & Colours, The New Jeweller, TNJ Colors, Jewelry Showcase and The Jewelry Book. In 2016 she contributed to research on Ethiopian opal for a report to The World Bank in cooperation with Estelle Levin Ltd.

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