my experience at GIA

Earlier this month, I was featured by GIA's Alumni Collective on the @giagrams Instagram

While still living in LA in early 2021 (or maybe even in 2020?!) I applied for a Diamonds Do Good scholarship to attend GIA. At the time, I did not know that by July 2021 I would move to Brooklyn. Months passed and I honestly forgot I even applied, I must have just assumed I did not get the scholarship. But then I got an email! I had been awarded a scholarship for GIA's Graduate Diamonds program. Already being in NY meant that I didn't have to worry about the week long required in-person lab! I was stoked. 

And excitedly I powered through the online course work. Within a few months, I was ready for to schedule a time to take the in-person lab. 

I greatly enjoyed waking up each morning and arriving with a large Dunkin Donuts matcha in hand to the International Gem Tower. The GIA campus security, like I'd learned from other trips to the other floors of the highly secured building, was impressive. Each morning I swiped in and out with a plastic badge with a smudged picture of me. 

In short, I loved my experience at GIA. The education is useful to me on a daily basis! I recommend it to anyone in the industry looking to refine their expertise on diamonds and diamond education. I was awarded my Graduate Diamonds diploma in May 2022.

Here is the excerpt from @giagrams post:

Meet San Francisco native (and current Brooklynite) Sara Bautista a.k.a. Peggy Portals, a GIA alum and custom "grillz" designer who also specializes in fine jewelry. A student of history and American Studies, she's always been fascinated by the human compulsion to put gold in their mouths for both dental and aesthetic reasons—a practice she contributes to as the founder of Common Rite Supply jewelry.

Sara received a 2021 @DiamondsDoGood scholarship to study at GIA and complete the Graduate Diamonds program. She followed this experience by premiering a collection that features gold and diamond "grillz" and several rings at the 2022 COUTURE show, as part of a mentorship program sponsored by De Beers. Her novel reinterpretation of jewelry through the lens of history shines through in every design