ABOUT THE WORLD GEM FOUNDATION
The World Gem Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that was formed in 2015 with the mandate to provide quality and affordable gemmological training to students, jewellers and professional gemmologists.
Currently consisting of fifteen national and regional gem academies in the United Kingdom, Holland, the U.S, Canada, Spain, Belgium, France/Monaco/Switzerland, Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Iceland), East Africa (Burundi, Comoros, Djibouti, Eritrea, Ethiopia, French Southern and Antarctic Lands, Kenya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mayotte, Mozambique, Réunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Somaliland, Southern Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe), South Central Africa (Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Republic of the Congo, Sao Tome and Principe, Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia, South Africa), West Africa (Ascension, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Liberia, Mali, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Saint Helena, Senegal, Sierra Leone, The Gambia, Togo, Tristan da Cunha), Central America (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Costa Rica; Belize and Panama), South America (Brazil, Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname), the Caribbean (Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Cayman Islands (U.K.), Cuba, Puerto Rico, Curaçao (Netherlands), Dominican Republic, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Sint Maarten, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago and Turks and Caicos) and India. We plan to establish more academies around the world before the end of 2021.
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.