Scottish Gemmological Association
SPEAKERS AND WORKSHOP LEADERS
chris smith - Keynote Speaker
Chris is President and owner of American Gemological Laboratories and a 25 year veteran of the gem and jewelry industry with a distinguished international career. He began his interest in gemology in 1986, when he joined the GIA Laboratory, then in Los Angeles, CA, after graduating from their graduate gemologist and graduate jeweler's programs.
Chris went on to work for the Gübelin Laboratory of Luzern, Switzerland, where he eventually became Director of the Laboratory. At that time, he was the first gemologist ever to have worked for both the GIA and Gübelin laboratories.
Along with his identification and research work, Chris has published and lectured extensively on various gemological topics.
John Benjamin FIRV FGA DGA started work in 1972 as a junior shop assistant at Cameo Corner, the celebrated Bloomsbury Antique Jewellers. In 1976 he qualified as an FGA and joined Phillips International Fine Art Auctioneers where he stayed for 23 years, ultimately becoming Director of Jewellery with responsibility for the sale programme in London and Geneva. In 1999 he left Phillips to set up as an Independent Jewellery Historian specialising in valuations, lectures and events.
He is author of Starting to Collect Antique Jewellery, which has just been published in Chinese, and is co-author with Paul Atterbury of a book examining the life and work of H G Murphy.
John is a regular contributor to BBC TV’s ever popular Antiques Roadshow, he is a Freeman of the Goldsmiths’ Company and is a Founder Liveryman of The Worshipful Company of Arts Scholars.
Alex Grizenko is the founder and C.E.O of Lucent Diamonds, an industry pioneer and leader in producing sustainable technology lab grown and color enhanced diamonds.
Alex Grizenko studied at McGill University (B.Sc.) and Duke University (M.H.A.) and owned two computer companies before starting an import/sales company in 1990 for semi-precious gemstones and lab grown emerald and alexandrite. His next ventures formed Lucent Diamonds through extensive partnerships with brilliant physicists and engineers who were the first to create commercially viable gem-quality diamond growers.
Alex has been featured on programs such as: PBS-NOVA (The Diamond Deception); BBC–Science & Nature – Horizon (The Diamond Makers and The Diamond Labs), ZDF- Germany- Science (Laboratory Diamonds). He has been a frequent lecturer at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) and the Canadian Gemmological Association (CGA) on topics ranging from new diamond technologies and identification techniques, disclosure requirements and future trends in lab versus earth mined diamonds.
John is Curator for the highly regarded Pearson Silver Collection, which is devoted to Post War British Silver - i.e vintage silver from 1945, together with contemporary pieces, from the end of World War II to the present day. Today, the Collection is widely regarded as the largest of its kind in private hands.
John believes that British silver from the 1950s to the present day is one of the world’s best kept secrets.
Stuart Robertson GIA GG., is an award-winning gemologist and appraiser. He is currently vice president of Gemworld International, Inc., and serves as research director for the company’s publication GemGuide.
Stuart is also president of the Accredited Gemologists Association. He has published numerous reports regarding various aspects of the gem trade, typically focusing on price and market trends.
Stuart is a recipient of the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, (2011). He also received the AIJV Valuer of the Year Award in 2014.
Dr. Lüle is a research gemmologist, mineralogist and educator. She is the owner of Kybele LLC consulting firm based in Illinois, USA. As an independent researcher, she has dedicated a large part of her career to archaeogemmology; the identification of gem findings from archaeological sites, with an emphasis on origin investigation. Her consultation services also incorporate developing tailored education for the gem professionals, valuers, gemmologists and gemmology students. Her clients for consultation includes Gemworld International and ColorCodex LLC in the USA. She is a contributing editor to the GemGuide and the technical advisor to the World of Color communication system.
CIgdem’s professional education includes BSc. in Geo Engineering and MSc. in Mineralogy from Ankara University, Turkey; PhD. in Mineralogy from Hacettepe University, Turkey; Diploma in Gemmology and Diamond Diploma from Gem-A and Graduate Gemologist diploma from GIA.
In 2016, she was awarded the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Excellence in Gemology Award.
Sylvia Gumpesberger, hailing from Toronto, Canada, is an experienced and innovative teacher and workshop facilitator with a specialization in gemmology and a keen interest in developing and creating educational programs focused on Earth Science. Skilled at addressing the needs of a diverse student population including internationally-trained professionals, she has developed innovative approaches to gem characterization through "playful experimentation". Sylvia has presented research at the Gemological Institute of America's Research Symposia and has published articles in the Canadian Gemmologist.
Dedicated to bringing knowledge and awareness of gem and mineral resources to all ages of students and the general public in an accessible way, Sylvia has worked in remote northern First Nation communities, including several around Canada's James Bay and the "Ring of Fire", delivering Aboriginal Education Program Outreach with PDAC Mining Matters, a not for profit educational organization based in Toronto, Canada.
Sylvia also taught Gemmology in the Jewellery Department of George Brown College in Toronto for many years, and is a Sessional Lecturer of Special Topics Gemmology in the Earth Science Department of University of Toronto. Seasonally, Sylvia also captains commercial passenger carrying vessels in and around Toronto Harbour, including private members' ferries for various yacht clubs around Toronto Islands.
Jack Ogden is a British historian whose academic research over some 45 years has focused on the historical use, technology and trading of gems and other jewellery materials. He has written several books and numerous articles on these subjects and lectured worldwide. Most recently he has published Diamonds; an early history of the king of gems (Yale University Press 2018).
He has been awarded a Doctorate from Durham University, the Gem-A Gemmology Diploma (with distinction) and the Diploma in Art Profession Law and Ethics (with distinction) from the Institute of Art and Law.
He is an elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and president of the Society of Jewellery Historians. He was CEO of Gem-A from 2004 - 2012.
Clare Blatherwick is an independent jewellery consultant based in Edinburgh. With over twenty years experience in the jewellery business, she has worked in the worlds of gemstone dealers, luxury retailers, antique jewellery dealers and most recently as Head of Jewellery for Bonhams in Scotland, a role that saw her travel internationally as a jewellery specialist.
A year ago she took the leap into self employment and now consults for companies in the jewellery business as well as helping her private clients with their jewellery needs. She was recently interviewed for a TV documentary on the wedding of Prince Harry to Meghan Markle as a tiara expert.
David Callaghan joined the West End firm of jewellers, Hancocks, as an apprentice in 1955 and continued his career there until his retirement in 1997. Appointed to the Board of Directors in 1964 he eventually became the firm’s senior Director.
He was admitted to the Freedom of the City of London in 1964 and was admitted into the “Freedom and Mystery of the Goldsmiths of the City of London” in1975. He was “clothed with the Livery” of the Company in 1983.
During his career, the jewellery of the Art Nouveau, the Arts & Crafts and Art Deco eras became a specialty of Hancocks, and his illustrated talks on these periods of design and manufacture are regularly given. Hancocks, uniquely, are the sole suppliers of the Victoria Cross since the inception of the award in 1856 and David has made a particular study of this unique award for over 40 years.
David is the immediate Past President of the Society of Jewellery Historians.
Kerry Gregory is a gemmologist who is difficult to define. Whilst she specialises in practical gem testing focusing on efficiency and simplicity, she is also a teacher, a writer and a dealer at heart. She entered the jewellery industry 20 years ago and has since has a varied career encompassing retail, manufacture, appraisal, pawnbroking, education and dealing in pre-owned gemstones and jewellery. Kerry now has her own business, Gemmology Rocks, the main mission of which is to deliver affordable, accessible and commercially relevant gemmology education and support to individuals and small businesses outside London and Birmingham.
Kerry has delivered workshops and seminars at a number of conferences including the Scottish Gemmological Association, the Institute of Registered Valuers’, and Gemworld International, and has had her articles published in a number of trade magazines, including Gem-A’s Gems & Jewellery, NAJ’s The Jeweller magazine as well as the Gemworld publication.
She currently teaches the Diploma in Gemmology and the Diamonds Diploma for Gem-A, and workshops out of her 14th century office in Maidstone. Already an Alumni of GIA, Kerry is a student herself again in the final stages of earning the Graduate Gemology Diploma.
Pat Daly FGA is a senior gemmology instructor at Gem-A and has been an independent valuer since 1984. He started his trade career with James Walker Ltd (a multiple retail jeweller), and took the N.A.G. and Gem-A courses during this time.
He began his gemmological studies under the tutelage of renowned gemmologist Basil Anderson. He then worked for David Harris Ltd (a manufacturer/second-hand jewellery dealer) in Hatton Garden, eventually joining Gem-A as a gemmology instructor in 1993.
Almod Diamonds - Tammy Cohen and and Tatiana Conte
Tammy Cohen serves as Director of Crown of Light Education and Marketing.
She first joined Almod Diamonds Limited Group in 2007 as a consultant to launch the Pink Desire Collection, an ancillary mid-tier jewelry line for the Pink Panther motion picture franchise, marketed jointly with MGM and Sony Films.
In 2013 she returned to Almod Diamonds Limited Group spear-heading a multi–phase Crown of Light brand relaunch which included an education initiative and marketing campaign; broadening brand awareness and liaising with the trade and consumers for all Crown of Light brand products along with the development of Crown of Light brand strategy.
Prior to Almod Diamonds, Tammy opened Tammy Cohen Marketing & Consulting; lauded for its results oriented and affordable corporate marketing strategies. TCMC serves US and global firms to develop traditional and social media marketing campaigns.
Tammy earned her MBA from Baruch College in New York City in 1992. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and three grown sons.
Tatiana Conte serves as Director of Strategic Business Development
Tatiana journey into the world of gemology has been focused throughout her career. She began designing and creating jewelry in her youth while nurturing her interest in gemstones. Self-initiating her jewelry studies, Tatiana studied bench jewelry arts for four years. She followed her love of creating jewelry through interning and working for various New York City-based jewelry designers.
In 2013 Tatiana joined Almod Diamonds LTD serving in key capacities at the main diamond department where she eventually become Director of Gemology and Head of Design. Working side by side with the Almod’s CEO, she has expanded her role to Strategic Business Development and overseas all special projects undertaken for the Crown of Light brand. Taking pride in the product from inception to completion is Tatiana’s highest priority,
Tatiana earned a Bachelor of Arts in Art History at SUNY-Binghamton along with studies in metal sculpture created a strong foundation for developing the aesthetics needed to thrive in the jewelry trade. In 2012, Tatiana earned her Graduate Gemologist certificate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) New York campus; and was recognized as top of her class. Tatiana is a regular guest speaker at GIA student graduations. Tatiana resides in New York City.