Scottish Gemmological Association



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

 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

Alex is C.E.O of Lucent Diamonds, an industry pioneer and leader in producing sustainable technology lab grown and color enhanced diamonds.

 John Andrew

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.

 Stuart Robertson

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.

Sylvia Gumpesburger

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

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

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 

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.

Andrew Fellows

Andrew Fellows FGA DGA has had a varied career within the world of gemmology. Starting as a production planner in 1992, within the UK's largest jewellery manufacturer, Gallery Jewellers, based in Birmingham's Jewellery Quarter, he quickly developed an interest in gemstones that saw him start on a succession of gemmological courses. Over a decade later, Andrew moved from a manufacturing environment to the retail sector, taking a role as in-house gemmologist and diamond grader for J.E.Marlow & Sons. During this time, Andrew started teaching as a correspondence tutor for the Gem-A, first on a part-time basis, then in 2011, taking on a full-time role as the IT Implementation Manager in Gem-A's London headquarters. Overseeing and developing the online aspect of the Foundation, Diploma and Gem Diamond courses, Andrew was also an evening tutor, covering the Diamond and Foundation years. Whilst there, he also travelled extensively to trade shows, promoting Gem-A courses, and Gem Instruments, and providing talks, seminars and workshops.

In 2016 Andrew left Gem-A to accept a lecturing position at Birmingham City university, on the BSc in Gemmology and Jewellery Studies course, where he is now expanding the knowledge of the next generation of gemmologists.

Outside of work, Andrew has also authored a series of articles on gemstones, in the "Jeweller" magazine, and has written numerous articles and reviews for "Gems and Jewellery", a publication on which he also served as a member of the Advisory Board. Working with the Smithsonian, he also acted as consultant for the recent Dorling-Kindersley "Gem" and "Jewel" books, published in October 2016.

Andrew is also a committee member for the Gem-A Midlands Branch, for which he has provided seminars and workshops, and is included in the JTV panel of experts for gems and diamonds, as well as being a member of SGA, FGAHK.