Roskin Gem News Report

2024 AGTA GemFair Tucson ELEVATED Seminar Series

Sponsored by the American Gem Society

A Conversation on the State of the Gemstone Industry and the Challenges Facing the Industry

Wednesday, January 31
Meeting Room 201-203
9:00 – 9:55

A discussion on the current state of the gemstone industry exploring such topics as the increased demand for natural-colored gemstones and pearls, market conditions, and regulatory issues affecting both the wholesale and retail industry sectors.

Presented by Martin Rapaport, Chairman, Rapaport, and John W. Ford Sr., CEO, American Gem Trade Association


Redefining Responsible Sourcing

Wednesday, January 31
Meeting Room 201-203
10:00 – 10:55

The J.Fava Project is a Sapphire & Jewelry startup company with mining interests in Sri Lanka founded on the principles of complete transparency and giving back to the community of Artisanal miners directly located in the region of origin. The founders will present inspirational ideas on how to inspire affective and homegrown responsible sourcing methods for niche supply chains.

Presented by Jason Marchiafava, CEO & Founder, Kevin Croos Lambert, Co-Founder & President, JFAVA High Jewelry / The J.Fava Project / Peacock Gems


A Canary in the Ruby Mine: Low-Temperature Heat Treatment Experiments on Burmese Ruby

Wednesday, January 31
Meeting Room 201-203
11:00 – 11:55

One of the challenges facing gemologists today is the rise of low temperature heat treatment in ruby and sapphire. Lotus Gemology’s Billie Hughes and GIA’s Wim Vertriest have conducted heat treatment experiments on Burmese ruby to record changes that can aid gemologists in treatment detection. In this talk, they will share the data from these experiments, including before-and-after photomicrographs, spectroscopy, and fluorescence results.

Presented by Billie Hughes, Gemologist, Lotus Gemology, Bangkok, and Wim Vertriest, Manager, Field Gemology, GIA Bangkok


Wednesday, January 31
Meeting Room 201-203
1:00 – 1:55

Hayley Henning is the former CCO of Greenland Ruby, and Executive Director of the Tanzanite Foundation. Her career has taken her from the depths of the deepest mine shafts in Africa, to the icy mountainous landscape in remote Greenland, where she’s worked closely with the gemstones that come exclusively from these locations. ‘Colored Gemstones Link People with Places’ will be fun and informative, and an insight into how colored gems are such great storytelling opportunities, driving desirability and business growth. Hayley will also talk about current trends and changes that are shaping the way our treasured gems find their way into the marketplace.

Presented by Hayley Henning, Hayley Loves Color, Inc


The Innovation of CAD in the Jewelry Industry

Wednesday, January 31
Meeting Room 201-203
2:00 – 2:55

CAD software such as Matrix Gold and ZBrush has had a significant impact on creativity, innovation, and productivity for the jewelry industry. Explore the newest trends that allow designers to push the boundaries of what is possible allowing for more stunning designs with improved productivity.

Presented by Christopher Mendola, New Approach School for Jewelers


Thursday, February 1
Meeting Room 201-203
9:00 – 9:55

This presentation will examine current strengths and weaknesses in the colored stone market. We will explore supply levels and how marketing of supply chain practices is changing the price structure of gem materials in the international market. Attention will also be given to the economic and geopolitical conditions influencing spending in the luxury markets. The talk will conclude with our forecast of the gem varieties attracting smart money in 2024.

Presented by Stuart Robertson President, Gemworld International, Inc. and Brecken Branstrator, Editor in Chief, GemGuide


Sticky Business! The Growing Challenge of Oiled Gemstones and How to Detect

Thursday, February 1
Meeting Room 201-203
10:00 – 10:55

The colored stone business today is awash in oiled gems, but few are aware of the widespread proliferation of this treatment and, most importantly, the remarkable transformation in appearance it may produce. In this program, Richard will demonstrate how the oiling of gemstones other than emerald is now extremely common and how it flies under the radar of many gem labs around the world. He will also detail simple techniques that can be used by any gemologist to detect this fraud.

Presented by Richard Hughes, Founder, Lotus Gemology Co. Ltd.


Gemological Applications of Basic Spectroscopy Techniques in Everyday Laboratory Practice

Thursday, February 1
Meeting Room 201-203
11:00 – 11:55

Technological progress in every field has impacted our industry, new synthetics and treatments are posing serious challenges for us as gemological professionals and an update of knowledge and instrumentation is needed to prevent expensive and liable mistakes. Unfortunately, the standard techniques and instrumentation we have used in the past are no longer enough.

Today, UV-Vis-NIR, FTIR, Raman/PL, and Fluorescence spectroscopy are considered standard equipment in gem laboratories, and in certain cases, even other more advanced instrumentations like EDXRF, LIBS, and LA-ICP-MS are required. Of course, the instruments themselves are only 50% of the equation, and reliable databases play a more-than-critical role in validating the results obtained. An integral part of updating the knowledge that we require involves learning and becoming acquainted with various instruments and their gemological applications. This seminar will primarily concentrate on the profound impact these techniques have had on the day-to-day tasks of gemologists, as well as the challenges that can be effectively addressed through their utilization.

Presented by Alberto Scaraini, GG IGI, MAGILABS. 


Pioneering the American Faceting Movement

Thursday, February 1
Meeting Room 201-203
1:00 – 1:55

In this presentation, lapidary history chronicler and author Justin K Prim will take us on a journey through time. Using archival photos and documents, Justin will reveal the roots of gemstone cutting in America. Beginning in the 1890’s, we will see rare photos of America’s early faceting pioneers and their experimental machines. We will follow the rise of the lapidary community on both the East and West coasts and try to discover who invented the first mast machines that went on to inspire today’s modern faceting technology.

Justin will lead us through the Great Depression and two World Wars in order to witness the community develop from a dozen interested hobbyists sharing handwritten letters to several thousand people organized into lapidary clubs all over North America. This is a previously untold story that will give new insights into the unique early origins of today’s lapidary clubs and the community of American faceters that it birthed.

Presented by Justin Prim, Magus Gems


Burger King or Burger Duke? – The fascination of Crowns, Coronets and Tiaras

Thursday, February 1
Meeting Room 201-203
2:00 – 2:55

Should it be Burger King or Burger Duke? Kerry Gregory will explain the difference between a Crown, a Coronet and Tiara, so you know!

Presented by Lady Kerry Gregory, Gemmology Rocks


Gemology as an Evolving Science

Friday, February 2
9:00 – 9:55
Meeting Room 201-203

Readers of gemological journals will recognize that gemology is becoming a more technical science in terms of the methods and techniques used to study gems. This presentation will be a brief look back on gemological research, and will then consider where that research is today and where it might be heading in the future to address challenges in characterizing gem materials to support the jewelry trade.

Presented by James Shigley, Distinguished Research Fellow, Gemological Institute of America, Carlsbad, California


Challenges and Opportunities in Responsible Gemstone Supply Chains

Friday, February 2
10:00 – 11:55
Meeting Room 201-203

In this session, we will discuss challenges and opportunities in creating and ensuring responsible gemstone supply chains. The first portion of the session will report on field data collected over the past several months from select gemstone mining sites. During the second portion of the session, we will hear from gemstone miners themselves and learn from their experiences in the field.

Presented by Nicole Smith, Associate Professor in Mining Engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, Jenna White, Research Scientist, Kimberly Collins, President/Owner, Kimberly Collins Colored Gems, President, AGTA, John Ferry, Founder, Prosperity Earth, Bruce Bridges, President, Bridges Tsavorite, 1st Vice President, AGTA, John W. Ford Sr., CEO, AGTA.


Colored Exclusive Dazzling Dialogues: Colorful Tales and Trade Secrets from Gemstone Aficionados

Friday, February 2
1:00 – 2:25
Meeting Room 201-203

Discover the art of infusing luxury and legacy into your retail space with the allure of colored gemstones. Join an exclusive panel of esteemed gemstone connoisseurs and jewelry artisans who have carved their niche in the vibrant world of colored stones. Our distinguished panelists bring a treasure trove of experience, from the heart of the mines to the pinnacle of red-carpet glamour.

In a marketplace where originality and quality reign supreme, our conversation will focus on empowering retail jewelers with knowledge and strategies to captivate clients, foster enduring relationships, and maximize sales. Engage with stories of passion, dedication, and innovation that have shaped their journeys and prepared them to inspire and mentor the next generation of jewelers and gem enthusiasts.

Don’t miss this opportunity to enrich your understanding and spark a renaissance of passion and profitability in your business with the enchanting world of colored gemstones. Get ready to be enthralled and equipped to turn each client encounter into a narrative of romance, strength, and exclusivity.

Panel Discussion Moderator: Shelly Sergent, Curator, Somewhere In The Rainbow

Panelist: Erica Courtney, The Courtney Collection, Kimberly Collins, President/Owner, Kimberly Collins Colored Gems, President, AGTA, Cynthia Renee Marcusson, Cynthia Renee., Inc.


Pearl Power: The Historical Gem that Modern Collectors Covet

Friday, February 2
2:30 – 3:55
Meeting Room 201-203

Key members of the pearl industry come together to talk about the organic gem’s history, current marketing conditions, and ongoing popularity.

Panel Discussion Moderator: Jennifer Heebner, Editor in Chief, AGTA, Executive Director & EIC, CPAA, Contributer to Rapaprot, GemGuide, and INSTORE, Project Manager, INSTORE Design Awards

Panelist: Gina Latendresse, President, American Pearl Company, Inc., Carlos Chanu, Owner, PCD Pearls, Fran Mastoloni, Mastoloni Pearl ,Mark Schneider, Mark Schneider Design

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