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Online Retailer Helps Launch Gemology Degree Program at Major University

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Undergraduate and graduate programs will be offered.

SAN FRANCISCO — The RealReal, a luxury consignment company, announced a collaboration with the University of Arizona to create a degree program for gemology.

The RealReal is funding an endowed chair in the UA College of Science, according to a press release from the company. An undergraduate program will be offered, along with a graduate program for master’s and PhD students emphasizing gemological research and skills.

A dollar amount for the support was not released.

The Gemological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) is also partnering with the UA and The RealReal to allow students in the program to obtain individual gemology certification.

The program will be located in Tucson, AZ. Students will learn on campus and in labs located in the university’s new Gem and Mineral Museum in downtown Tucson.

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“As the market leader in the jewelry resale market, we have always invested heavily in gemologists, research, and technology,” said The RealReal CEO Julie Wainwright. “Collaborating with University of Arizona on this new degree program will enhance our efforts and the entire industry. We have had great success working with University of Arizona gemologists in the past and are extremely impressed with their expertise. We are excited to share their knowledge with the world.”

Joaquin Ruiz, dean of the UA College of Science, added: “The RealReal is clearly an innovator in the luxury space. The University of Arizona is a known innovator in many aspects of retail, forensic sciences, and development of novel programs. I am thrilled that these two entities who are currently leading in their respective fields are now working together to build this gemology program. These partnerships are how transformative changes happen.”

San Francisco-based The RealReal touts itself as being “the leader in authenticated luxury consignment with a certified expert inspecting every single item.”

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