Gary Roskin on the Colored Stone Business Circa 2023
By Victoria Gomelsky | July 20, 2023
Even though he’s held numerous roles in the gem and jewelry trade (including senior gem editor at JCK from 1997 to 2009!), Gary Roskin, founder of the Roskin Gem News Report, has always considered himself first and foremost a teacher.
“I started teaching at GIA when the diamond investment boom went bust in ’83-84, and I loved it,” Roskin tells JCK. “When I went to work for Tom Tashey at the EGL L.A. lab as an assistant director, I ended up writing a book on diamond grading. And when I took the job at JCK, I was back to teaching again, only through journalistic form. It was a natural thing to start the Roskin Gem News Report to continue the teaching thing.”
Every week, with the occasional holiday break, Roskin, who is based in Downingtown, Pa. (about 30 miles west of Philadelphia), publishes a newsletter highlighting gem news of interest to retailers, consumers, and even laboratory staff.
“I try not to be a Gems & Gemology or a Journal of Gemmology, but I have a number of retailers and consumers who want to see what’s on the red carpet,” Roskin says. “I try to make it fun and appealing for everybody.”
Roskin does his research the old-fashioned way: by traveling to events, trade shows, and conferences where the gem industry’s nitty-gritty issues often rise to the fore. His travel docket for the second half of 2023 includes stops in Providence, R.I., for the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers’ summer conference; England for the JVA Conference, Denver, for the third annual HardRock Summit; and Vancouver, for the Canadian Gemmological Association’s 65th anniversary conference.
“I just came back from Harvard, where I attended the State of the Art Jewelry Summit,” says Roskin. “That was a mind-full. A full day of discussions with associations and businesses that have ideas on how the jewelry industry should move forward with responsible sourcing. The essence was wrapped up in the final presentation by one of the professors: The industry knows what it needs to do, but—how do I put this gently?—it needs to be more coordinated. I’m writing about that right now. It’s not gemology, but it’s something gem dealers in the industry need to know about.”