Upcoming meetings and events


We are continuing to hold our Monthly Meetings at the Eric Liddell Centre, located on the southside of Edinburgh at: 

Map:  15 Morningside Rd, Edinburgh EH10 4DP. 

It is just past the junction of Bruntsfield Place, Colinton Road and Morningside Road.  Evening parking in this area usually presents no problems and the Centre is served by Lothian buses services 5, 11, 16, 23, 45.

Generally we are in the South Wing which is on the Ground Floor, just to the right of Reception.



27th September:  Richard Taylor speaking on Colour Perception Testing

How well do colour communication systems work within the context of the gem and jewellery industries?

A recurring challenge within the jewellery and gem industries is how to reliably communicate colour and the development of a methodology to measure and/or quantify colour in a reliable and reproducible manner that has meaning and relevance to the human condition. Historically colour communication has relied upon the use of descriptive names but over time the meanings can change and if value and profit becomes involved the temptation to expand or alter a ‘colours’ boundaries for personal gain is created.

Colour communication therefore creates an interesting challenge and a moral dilemma for the gem and jewellery industries, with many failed attempts attesting to the challenging nature of the problem. The difficulty some may find strange is not our ability to measure colour accurately, this is easily achieved using modern scientific instruments, it’s the fact the way humans ‘see’ colour is fundamentally different to scientific measurements therefore the value measured frequently does not relate or correspond to the colour we ‘see’. This complexity is further expanded when considering that the ‘colour’ of a gemstone can be a complex combination of varying hues tones and saturations,  from which the ‘apparent’ endeavour in colour communication is to select a single colour to best represent this perceived complex image.

Professor Taylor as part of this interactive presentation will enable you to compare and test your own colour perception ability in comparison to the rest of the audience, in part addressing the question “do you see the same colours as everybody else?” He will also give a preview of new research on colour communication systems and how reliable they are.

This talk will allow active participation if wished.

To do so, please download the app before our meeting on Wednesday, September 27, 2017.

1. Download Meetoo from the iOS or Android app store or visit the link: http://get.meetoo.io

2. Open Meetoo and enter the meeting ID: 193-712-296

If you do not have an iOS or Android device, you can still join using the Meetoo web app:  https://web.meetoo.com/m#/193712296

The Eric Liddell Centre Cafe does have free Internet Access which should be available in the meeting room.

Following on from this talk, Richard is looking for some assistance with his ongoing research and would be happy to discuss it further with anyone interested.  Richard's research is based on gemstones, however it has a much wider relevance and could be of interest to anyone involved in the Arts and Design disciplines.

 We have also booked a table at Cafe Grande for those who want to come along after the talk.

18th October:     Marcus McCallum on Included Quartz and other Gemmological Curiousities

Marcus is well known to us as a highly reputable Hatton Garden gem dealer and also as a staunch supporter of our Annual Conference.  Established in Hatton Garden in 1984, Marcus specialises in supplying rare and unusual stones to the trade. He also has a constantly-changing stock of pearls and beads.

One of his personal favourites, and something he usually carries a goodly supply of, is Included Quartz and that will feature strongly in his talk.  However, Marcus is a walking, talking mine of gem information, so who knows where our discussion might lead!

As there will be various specimens to view, if at all possible, please bring a loupe, tweezers or tongs and torchlight.

8th November:    Maria Maclennan  on Forensic Jewellery

Historically, jewellery is an artefact inherently intertwined with the subjects of death and identity; from the Ancient Egyptians to the Victorians. Increasingly, jewellery also contributes to practices surrounding identification in a number of forensic fields, assisting with the identification of human remains recovered after crime, death or disaster. Jewellery has personal, religious and cultural significance, with connection to both place and geographic region. Marks or characteristics such as inscriptions, hallmarks, engravings and serial numbers in addition to gemmological markings, can all prove useful in tracing an item’s origins or in narrowing the potential identity of a victim. This presentation will discuss some of the potential techniques for tracing and identifying jewellery recovered with human remains that may have relevance to forensic identification.  

Maria Maclennan

Maria Maclennan is an award-winning designer, researcher, facilitator and educator currently based in Dundee - the United Nation’s first and only City of Design. Graduating from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design (DJCAD) at The University in Dundee with a Bachelor of Design (with Honours) in Jewellery and Metal Design in 2010, a Master of Design (with Distinction) in 2011, and a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching in Higher Education (PGCERTHE) in 2015, her current PhD research explores the interdisciplinary area of Forensic Jewellery - the first and currently only research of its kind in the world.

Maria has previously worked alongside a number of high-profile organisations within government, law enforcement and education; deploying across the globe to assist with identifying the jewellery recovered after mass-disasters, and delivering talks worldwide to audiences that include the National Crime Agency, Library of Congress, College of Policing, European Academy of Forensic Science, Harrogate international Festivals, and TEDx Inverness. She has appeared on live television and radio broadcasts internationally discussing her development of the field of Forensic Jewellery, including BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow, BBC’s Radio 4 Live, STV’s News at 6, and Scotland Tonight.


29th November:  Stuart Pool on Responsibly-sourced Gemstones

This talk will be about the mine-to-market journey of the gemstones of Sri Lanka, highlighting the artisanal mining and will also cover the range of stones that are found there.

Stuart Pool

Stuart Pool is a specialist in responsibly-mined and fully-traceable coloured gemstones, mainly sourced directly from mines in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. He runs gem trading companies Nineteen48 (www.nineteen48.com), Rubyfair (www.rubyfair.com) and Crown Gems, as well as being a co-founder of Fair Luxury (www.fairlux.co.uk), a group focused on positive change in the jewellery industry.

Stuart works very closely with local mine owners to provide a "mine-to- market" service, from extracting the rough gem material and the cutting and polishing of gemstones, right up to the sale of gems to the end customer, both wholesale and retail.

Stuart's companies support charitable projects in both Sri Lanka and the UK and he is also committed to educating the widest possible audience about the issues within the jewellery sector. He is supportive of many initiatives and programmes within the industry which are trying to improve conditions and benefits for those involved in all stages of the supply chains for diamonds, precious metals and coloured gems.


In December we have no meeting scheduled, instead we will be gathering at the Salisbury Arms in Edinburgh on Tuesday the 12th for a pre-Christmas dinner celebration