Scottish Gemmological Association



elise skalwold - Keynote Speaker

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Elise A. Skalwold is an AGA Accredited Senior Gemologist, independent researcher, educator and author. She serves as Consulting Gemological Curator at her alma mater, Cornell University (B.Sc. 1982), and is Contributing Editor and author for the quarterly column G&G Micro-World featured in Gems & Gemology, the peer-reviewed scientific journal of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Ms. Skalwold is a Graduate Gemologist (G.G.) trained in residence at the Gemological Institute of America Robert Mouawad Campus located in Carlsbad, CA. While living in Thailand she worked in the famous gem markets of both Chanthaburi and Bangkok and pursued studies at the Gem & Jewelry Institute of Thailand for which she was subsequently elected a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (F.G.A.). She is an active member of the Society of Mineral Museum Professionals (SMMP), a world-wide network linking curators from large and small institutions from which members draw on combined expertise.

As well as having co-authored the 415 page book The Edward Arthur Metzger Gem Collection and presently working on a companion volume to it, Ms. Skalwold is an author/co-author of gemology and mineralogy papers featured in InColor, Gems & Gemology, The Journal of Gemmology and Rocks & Minerals Magazine. Passionate about gemology, she is actively involved in bringing this science into a university setting for the benefit of students and non-students alike – this is the quintessential theme of her paper "Scholarly Treasure: The Role of Gems in a University Setting" presented at the 2013 GIA-sponsored first-ever Gemological Session of the Geological Society of America (GSA) 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting. For her review of the Gemological Session please see: "Gemology bears triumphant tidings: a review of the historic 125th Anniversary Annual Meeting of the Geological Society of America (GSA)." Her speaking engagements have recently included the Manhattan Gemological Institute of America Alumni Association Chapter, the New York Mineralogical Club (co-founded by George F. Kunz in 1886), the Rochester Mineralogical Symposium and the 11th Annual Sinkankas Symposium [Ruby] held at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, CA



Leo and Ginnie de Vroomen


Leo was born 1941 in Warmond, the Netherlands and, after an apprenticeship in The Hague and National Service in the Dutch army, he qualified as a Master Goldsmith in Switzerland in 1961.

In 1965 on coming to England, Leo worked for the goldsmith David Thomas and started teaching at the Central School of Art and design in London. (Today; Central St Martins).

Ginnie was born 1947 in Chiswick, London.  She studied fashion design at Kingston School of Art in 1965 - 66, going on to study jewellery design from 1966 - 69,  at the Central School, where she met Leo.

In 1970 Leo and Ginnie married. Leo continued teaching part-time at the Central School, whilst opening his first workshop, gradually building up their jewellery collection and Ginnie taught art metalwork in London schools and designed their jewellery.

In 1974 They won their first De Beers Diamonds International Award and then went on to establish the company De Vroomen Design in 1976.  Some of the subsequent company milestones include:

1977 First participation in the Basel Fair

1986 Second De Beers Diamond International Award

1991 First retrospective Exhibition at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, London

2002 Opening of the De Vroomen gallery in Elizabeth Street, Belgravia, London

2017 Second retrospective at the Goldsmiths’ Hall, an exhibition of jewellery and paintings, celebrating a 50 year creative partnership.

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Dr. Hanco Zwaan



Hanco Zwaan, FGA joined the National Museum of Natural History Naturalis, Leiden, the Netherlands, in 1995, as curator of minerals and gems and became head of the Netherlands Gemmological Laboratory soon thereafter. Issuing gem and pearl identification reports, diamond grading reports, and teaching gemmology, is part of his daily work, as well as studying processes in the Earth’s crust that have lead to the formation of gemstones.

Dr. Zwaan has a PhD from Free University of Amsterdam on Geology, specializing on the formation of emeralds, with the publication ‘the Gemmology, geology and origin of the Sandawana emerald deposits, Zimbabwe’.

Apart from this focus on emeralds, he has published articles on a variety of other gemmological and mineralogical topics. For example, he co-authored the Edward Gübelin Most Valuable Article of the Year Award 2008 – first prize winning article ‘Copper-bearing (Paraíba-type) Tourmaline from Mozambique’ that appeared in Gems & Gemology and, in the same journal, wrote on the origin of Montana sapphires in 2015.

Also, Hanco is currently president of the World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) gemmological commission, dealing with nomenclature issues and laboratory best practices.



Craig Lynch


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Craig A Lynch G.G. Appraiser Accredited Senior Gemologist AGA

Mr. Lynch is the owner of Ouellet & Lynch, an independent fine jewelry appraisal firm in Phoenix, Arizona. He has served tens of thousands of clients for the past thirty five years.

Craig has worked on some of the most valuable, rare and unique collections of fine jewelry in Arizona and the United States. In 2002 he was honored to have appraised all of the jewelry and watches recovered from the shipwreck the RMS Titanic for the salvage company RMS TITANIC INC.

Since 2008 Mr. Lynch has been the gemological consultant for The Somewhere In The Rainbow Collection, a world class privately owned important fine jewelry and rare gemstone collection featured in many museums in the United States, including  the University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum, Tellus Science Museum, Georgia and several other museums.

Craig is a past member of the board of directors of the Accredited Gemologist Association.  He is the past president of the Arizona Jewelers Association, an organization of approximately 225 jewelry related businesses in Arizona.

Mr. Lynch has appeared for the past four seasons on the PBS TV series Arizona Collectibles as the jewelry expert.

Helen Molesworth

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Helen Molesworth is the Managing Director of Gübelin Academy. Helen has a broad commercial, international and academic background in the jewellery industry. Enchanted by gemstones since childhood, and specialising in ancient gems at Oxford, Helen moved directly into the field from University, gaining her FGA with Distinction. She started her career in the jewellery trade in London, moving into the international auction houses, and later becoming a Professeur d'Histoire du Bijou while also running her own business in Geneva. During ten years as a jewellery specialist for Sotheby’s and Christie’s in London and Geneva, Helen valued, sold and researched many world-class gems and important collections, including the jewels of HRH The Princess Margaret. Helen joined Gübelin in 2013 to launch and run Gübelin Academy, combining her passion for gems, jewellery and the sharing of knowledge.

Helen has a degree in Classics from Christ Church, Oxford, is a Fellow of the Gemmological Associations of Great Britain and Hong Kong, a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries in London, and has published and lectured widely on gems ancient through to modern. She also continues to take auctions for charity and has co-authored a book on ancient gems coming out later this year.



Shelly Sergent

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Shelly Sergent has spent 35 years in the jewelry industry. Starting at age 16 as a holiday season gift wrap girl for Zales Jewelers, Shelly quickly realized her passion for fine gems, design and first class client services. She learned the business of the jewelry industry climbing the ranks from gift wrap gal to sales, service, philanthropy and management. She came to understand the study of fine gems, jewelry making and learning to recognize the finishing details that separate handcrafted, designer pieces of jewelry from a stream line manufactured piece…both of which are important to jewelry lovers the world over.

Shelly worked hard to establish herself as an industry ‘go to girl’ for fine, rare colored gems and design. She has had the privilege of working with some top design houses and is grateful for the mentoring, time and shared passion she’s learned from brokers, lapidaries, designers and collectors from around the world.

Shelly’s philosophy has proven tried and true over the years: to build, nurture and maintain relationships with clients and suppliers by being honest and transparent in all aspects of doing business and establishing long standing relationships. Shelly understands that the sale isn’t always the pinnacle of her work but understanding what each person’s needs are will bring success, fun and a sharing of the intimate nature of the jewelry world.

Fast forward to today…Shelly has the amazing job as lead curator for a world class gem and jewelry collection, Somewhere In The Rainbow. Somewhere In The Rainbow’s mission is to bring hands on education, understanding and appreciation of fine colored gems and artisan crafted jewelry to museums, retail stores and educational facilities dedicated to enjoying and appreciating the rarity, beauty and value of these gems and master artisan’s works.

Shelly has been a featured guest presenter with JTV, key note speaker for many industry events and travels extensively sharing gem and jewelry passion with guests and museum goers here and abroad. You can share her adventures on Facebook @SIRGEMS or Instagram at Shelly Sergent.


Maggie Campbell Pedersen

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Maggie Campbell Pedersen, FGA, ABIPP, is President of Gem-A, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, and an Associate of the British Institute of Professional Photography. She is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS).

With a degree in commercial/industrial photography she opened her own studio, specialising in jewellery photography. Curiosity led her to study further and qualify as a gemmologist. Her area of expertise is organic gem materials, where her work includes identifications, teaching, writing, and constant research into all aspects of the subject. She has given lectures and seminars world-wide, including Master Classes in museums. She has also spent time as a research assistant in animal conservation, working with elephants, turtles, and other animals in various parts of the world.

Maggie Campbell Pedersen is the author of the books: Gem and Ornamental Materials of Organic Origin (2004, reprinted 2010), and Ivory (2015).


Miranda Wells

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Miranda Wells FGA, DGA has enjoyed a varied career in the jewellery industry. During this time she has accumulated a wealth of knowledge in the buying and selling of coloured stones and diamonds, in addition to jewellery design and manufacturing. During her own education in gemmology, Miranda received five awards for the quality of her work, all of which she now carries through to her teaching of others.

Currently, she is the Head of Gemmology at Birmingham City University, and Associate Head of the BCU School of Jewellery. At BCU, she successfully developed the unique BSc (Hons) Gemmology and Jewellery Studies degree programme, which has now been running for four years. In addition to the degree programme, the department also offers the opportunity for postgraduate study, plus a full range of Gem-A qualifications which are taught on a part-time basis.


Lily Faber

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Lily Faber FGA EG, Gemmology Tutor, Gem-A

Hailing from Miami, Florida, Lily Faber grew up fascinated by the world of gemstones thanks to the Museum of Science in Miami. In particular, she remembers the rose quartz and desert rose gypsum samples she purchased from the gift shop that provided lasting enjoyment.

Lily studied Art History at Vassar College in upstate New York before pursuing a master’s degree in Fine and Decorative Art from the University of Glasgow, Scotland. She swiftly secured a coveted junior specialist position in the silver department of Christie’s auction house in London, which introduced her to the world of fine silver, gemstones, ornate gold snuff boxes and antique miniatures. Jewellery-making courses at Kensington and Chelsea College and the London School of Jewellery led to evening classes at Gem-A, where Lily obtained her Gemmology Foundation and Diploma qualifications.

Lily continues to add to her credentials and recently qualified as a European Gemmologist from the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG). She joined the Gem-A team as a gemmology tutor in May 2017, and has represented the Association at the recent FEEG symposium in Madrid, Spain.  



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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 (, Rubyfair ( and Crown Gems, as well as being a co-founder of Fair Luxury (, 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.


Maria Alferova


Maria S. Alferova, PhD, is a Senior Curator at the Fersman Mineralogical Museum RAS, Moscow. She is in charge of gemmological collection and activities at the museum, including travelling exhibitions at the world mineral shows.

Her research area is coloured gemstones with emphasis on gem garnets and optical phenomena in gemstones.