Scottish Gemmological association

Trays of rubies Mogok 2019.jpg

SGA Gemmological Symposium

SAturday, 9th november 2019

in the Hepburn Suite
at The Royal Scots Club
29-31 Abercromby Pl, Edinburgh EH3 6QE

Presentations - further detail to follow

(Running order tbc)

Morning, 9.00 - 9.30am.

Registration and tea/coffee with pastries

9.30am. - 12.30pm. with a refreshments break mid morning

Rachel Walcott: The History of the National Museum of Scotland Gem Collection

A presentation explaining how the collection has been assembled and has evolved over the years.

Rachel is Head of the Earth Systems section of the National Museum of Scotland. <>

Kim Rix: Off the Beaten Track in Mogok.

For foreigners, travel to Mogok has been virtually impossible over the last decade. But after a successful three-day event in March 2018, to celebrate the 800th anniversary of Mogok, the Myanmar government have recently opened the doors to visitors once again.

Kim Rix, aka the ‘Gemstone Detective’ travelled there in July 2019 in the name of research for her next book, however the future of Mogok is uncertain as she will explain.  

Kim Rix is a gemmologist, photographer and author of The Gemstone Detective series of books. <>

Andrew Fellows: Diamonds – Today and Tomorrow.

Andrew will talk about what is currently happening in the world of diamonds and where these developments may lead.

Andrew Fellows - Gemmologist (with a special interest in gemstone testing equipment!) and Tutor from Birmingham City University Gemmology Department . <>

Light lunch and a chance to chat with speakers 12.30 - 1.30pm.

Afternoon, from 1.30p.m  

GemSet Competition Update

Mary Michel: The Ethical Making Programme - what this means when sourcing materials, and the impact it is hoped to have.

The Ethical Making Programme was established by the Incorporation of Goldsmiths in January 2017 to promote and educate on ethical making practices in the jewellery and silversmithing sector in Scotland. The Programme consists of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths’ Ethical Making Resource and Ethical Making Pledge. Through these projects, the Programme empowers makers and students to develop their own ethical making approach and inspire others to do the same.

Mary Michel is Director of the Incorporation of Goldsmiths of the City of Edinburgh. <>

Helen Plumb: Glorious Coloured Gemstones

In this introduction to coloured gemstones, gem dealer and jeweller Helen Plumb outlines the qualities of gems, debunks some common misconceptions and delivers a whirlwind tour of her coloured gemstone world.

Helen Plumb is a Gemmologist and jeweller from Just Gems in Winchcombe.

3.15 - 4.00pm Tea/coffee available and time to browse displays and chat to speakers and delegates.

After this, we strongly recommend that you visit the excellent Elements Jewellery and Silversmithing Fair held in Lyon and Turnbull’s premises at 33 Broughton Place. It is open until 6.00pm. <>

The Incorporation of Goldsmiths are also organising a separate evening event at Lyon and Turnbull after the Fair closes for the day.  They look forward to welcoming you to an evening of shimmering silver, iconic jewels and historic treasures. Their speakers are as follows:

Christina Jansen and Kirsty Sumerling from The Scottish Gallery will guide us through the life and work of globally renowned champion of modern jewellery, Wendy Ramshaw (1939 – 2018). 

Dr Sandra Wilson, Reader in contemporary jewellery and metalwork at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design is the organiser of this year’s Hammerclub Forum and exhibition, ‘Renewal’. In May this year Dundee hosted the UK’s first symposium for this group which included 79 different artists from 12 different countries. This year at Elements we have selected 60 of these works for the Exhibition in the upper galleries. Sandra will be introducing us to some of the key works on display – the materials, techniques and ideas behind the pieces. White gloves will also be available for handling some of this incredible Silver.  

The final speaker for the evening will be Lyndsay McGill, Curator at the National Museums Scotland. Lyndsay has curatorial responsibility for a wide range of objects, ranging from the early Stuart kings to the Enlightenment which includes silver and jewellery - her favourite collections.

During the Renaissance and Early Modern period, Scotland produced a number of items with a distinct form and use, so much so, that they can now be classed as being a Scottish speciality. These include standing mazers, quaichs, thistle cups and ovoid urns. All are drinking vessels, and most were fashioned in silver or embellished with a precious metal. Lyndsay will discuss the unique Scottishness of these objects and highlight the personal stories surrounding them

 The Incorporation are also generously offering us discounted ticket for this event for £6.00 (Usual price £8.00) . The talk ticket includes entry to Elements Festival for the duration of the show (usually £5 entry). Those booked on the event can mention their name at the front desk and their name will be checked off on the list of those booked should they wish to visit the show prior to the talk.

Once our delegates have paid for their Symposium attendance, we will send a link and code to allow booking for the Elements events at Lyon and Turnbull’s premises.

sga symposium Booking Form 

PAYMENT OPTIONS. Payment should be made to: The Scottish Gemmological Association, by Direct Banking to A/c details as follows: Sort Code: 83 26 02 A/c No: 00202367 or to our Paypal A/c. ( If you would prefer us to send a Paypal Request, please ask. Please use your name as Payment Reference. We prefer to receive payment by Direct Banking, details as before, however, cheques can be made out to: The Scottish Gemmological Association, and sent: c/o 116A Rose St. Edinburgh EH2 3JF
REFUNDS. We will refund in full for whatever reason up to 15th October. After that, any refund will only be made in what we regard as exceptional circumstances.

Should you prefer to send your booking form by post, a copy of it can be found by clicking here.

Shortly after payment has been received, we will send an acknowledgement email.