the Scottish Gemmological Association
2017 GemSet Competition
This year's competition drew a very interesting and varied selection of entries from across all the Scottish colleges.
We believe our eventual choice of prizewinners reflects the high standards being achieved by our students and would like to thank all who took part.
The judging panel have made the following awards:
Monika Nemanyte, Glasgow City College
Paula Sloan, Glasgow School of Art
Wojciech Krocikowski, Glasgow Kelvin College
(listed in no particular order)
Nicola Fabian, Edinburgh College of Art
Cai Yang Yun,`Edinburgh College of Art
Annabel Hood, Edinburgh College of Art
Vivien Lam, Glasgow Kelvin College
Nadia Tahir, Glasgow Kelvin College
Martina Ellerstrand, Glasgow Kelvin College
Barbara Shearer, Glasgow City College
Samantha Readova, Fife College
OUR most recent mEETING
was on the 22nd March when Godfrey Fitton was talking about The Natural History of Blue John.
Godfrey Fitton FRSE is Professor of Igneous Petrology in the University of Edinburgh. He obtained his PhD at the University of Durham for work on the Borrowdale Volcanics in the Lake District, and has since worked on volcanic rocks in many parts of the world.
Blue John is a banded variety of the mineral fluorite that is found only near Castleton in Derbyshire. It has been worked into a wide range of objects such as tazzas, vases, urns, and bowls since the late 18th Century.
Most veins of Blue John have now been worked out and the mineral is in very short supply. Consequently Blue John artefacts are very valuable and highly collectable, and imitations, mostly using Chinese fluorite, abound. This lecture showed how Blue John formed and acquired its remarkable and unique purple colour.
For a PDF of presentation, click here - (Note: This presentation has been screen optimised but is quite large.)
general info on Meetings
The location for meetings will be the Eric Liddell Centre South Wing, 15 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4DP. The Eric Liddell Centre is located in south central Edinburgh and is situated on bus route no's: 5, 11, 16, 23, 45. Map -
Refreshments and nibbles will be provided before the meeting.
Non-members will be welcome at meetings but only as guests brought along by a member or if known to us already.
or just fill in the form on the web page accessed by clicking Contact here.
Please note that members get in for free, but we charge non-members £5. However we do include refreshments before the meeting, and an invitation to join us at a nearby hostelry after the meeting!
New BookS and reviews
Jewelry by Suzanne Belperron: 'My Style is My Signature' Hardcover – published 11 Jan 2016
Authored by Patricia Corbett, Ward Landrigan and Nico Landrigan
The definitive illustrated biography of one of the most influential and important jewelry designers of the 20th century.
To read Elizabeth Passmore review of this excellent book, please click here
Our sincere thanks to Elizabeth!
Gem Testing Techniques
The SGA is also delighted to announce that the unofficial launch of Alan Hodgkinson's new book took place at the Conference. For those interested in acquiring a copy, Alan has produced the following:
" I really am so delighted by your interest in my new book ‘Gem Testing Techniques’. It has been a long time coming, urged on by various gemmological friends of all backgrounds. It is aimed at both the new and aspiring gemmologist, to quicken their interest in and appreciation of gems and spur their studies, and to provide nourishment for and re-dedication in the experienced gemmologist, to roll up their sleeves and look at the next gemstone with a new determination to push further and actually enjoy the behaviour of the gem.
The book stops short of high tech laboratory equipment, as my platform has always been with the standard equipment and the unorthodox – How do we know we have recorded the correct refractive index range of an anisotropic gemstone, which means we have succeeded in establishing its birefringence (the maximum limit of double refraction)? If the moon is out at night, check out the round high zircon with its three pairs of primaries – Visual Optics fashion. Why not use clear tape or plastic to resolve an interference figure as positive or negative, or look up at the sky to see dichroism?
The 552 pages are full of colourful practical steps to develop a wider approach to the identification of gemstones and my wish to share my own enthusiasm with you the reader.”
It costs £128 in the UK including postage and packaging. The cost to destinations outwith the UK are detailed on the book website, address as follows:
Matthew Forster Heddle: Mineralogist and Mountaineer
Matthew Forster Heddle: Mineralogist and Mountaineer' is is now available to buy.
Orkney-born Professor Matthew Heddle (1828-97) was a larger-than-life character, a renowned academic and one of Scotland's most famous mineralogists.
This account of Heddle's life is written by his great-great-grandson and provides a much fuller picture of him than anything that has appeared before. He has waived his royalties so they can be ploughed back to the Museum which holds the great man's mineral collection.
Priced at £14.99, you can order it from your local bookshop, or online from the NMS website -
Crystal Mountains – Minerals of the Cairngorms
Many SGA members attended Roy Starkey’s recent book launch on the Minerals and Gems of the Cairngorms. Those members who could not attend may be interested to know that his eagerly awaited book is now available.
Crystal Mountains tells the story of the early crystal hunters who roamed the mountains and glens of the Cairngorms during the 18th and 19th centuries in search of Scotland’s famous gem – the smoky quartz or cairngorm.
Roy’s website shows some pages from the book and a copy can be ordered online, priced at £25.00