Scottish Gemmological Association

WORKSHOPS

Sunday, 6th May, 2018

Our Sunday afternoon workshops and talks are always popular and places are limited for some of them, so we always recommend that you choose and book your options as soon as possible.  

You can select from the range of different workshops in each session, with durations ranging from one to two hours.  We ask that you rank your choices for each session by preference, just in case your first choice workshop has no more spaces available.  The durations are kept somewhat flexible - they could run longer depending on your level of participation!

 

SESSION 1, all finishing by 3.15p.m

1.15p.m start: 

Leo de Vroomen:  Unusual Gemstones – what does precious mean? 1.5 to 2 hours

Leo has always valued unusual gemstones – those with individual character, which ‘speak to him’.

He will talk about specific pieces and explain the technique of repoussé and the skill of the enameller, both often used in the designs in which these gemstones are featured.  This talk will have a more technical content than the Friday presentation.

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STARTING FROM 1.45P.M

Miranda Wells:   Assessing the Quality Factors of Pearls,  timing tbc

This practical workshop will give delegates hands-on experience in assessing the quality factors of pearls – size, shape, colour, lustre, surface condition, nacre quality and matching. After a theoretical overview, attendees will have the opportunity to examine a wide range of both single and strung pearls, from freshwater and marine molluscs.

Please feel free to also bring your own pearls along to assess in the session.  No equipment or previous experience is required.

 

Lily Faber:  Identifying materials set in Pieta Dura Inlaid works of art,  1.25hr.  2p.m start

Throughout history, from the Renaissance and beyond, gem materials have been inlaid into one another to create pictorial or geometric scenes used in pendants, small boxes, panels and pieces of furniture. There is a wealth of beautiful materials that have been cleverly used for these decorative purposes and it can often be tricky to identify them.  

Hosted by Gem-A tutor Lily Faber FGA EG, this talk will encompass the history of pietra dura (‘hardstone’) inlay, the various materials that have been used, as well as how to identify them using mainly observation and comparison. Imitation materials will also be covered as they can be very convincing and tricky to identify. Attendees will be using a loupe to identify and distinguish gem materials such as lapis lazuli, coral, malachite, agates and more from their imitations. This will help to increase their knowledge of these attractive materials and their uses in historical and present-day pieces.

 

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Maggie Campbell Pedersen: Ivory, Coral and Tortoiseshell – Past Uses and Present Emotion,   1- 1.5hr

Organic gem materials – those of plant or animal origin – are pleasing to the eye, and often very tactile. They were our first form of jewellery, and long before we could even recognise a diamond we were wearing necklaces of seeds, feathers, or bits of shell. We have samples of coral and tortoiseshell items made many hundreds of years ago, and of ivory carved forty thousand years ago. Ivory and tortoiseshell have been made into utilitarian objects, and also used extensively in the decorative arts as adornment in the form of jewellery, carvings, furniture inlay and so forth. They have been regarded as symbols of status, and thought to possess talismanic properties. Corals were likewise considered to be status symbols and thought to be powerful amulets. Today most of them are not listed as protected species and are still widely used in jewellery, however manypeople avoid trading in them as stocks have decreased drastically due to historic over-fishing and pollution.  

For centuries we have admired and collected artefacts derived from what we now know to be endangered species, but this was done in ignorance.  It is only in more recent years that we have become aware of the cruelty to the animals concerned, and the damage being done to the environment by using these and various other materials of animal origin.  Most people agree that killing the animals and smuggling their parts is wrong, but there is much discussion about how it should be stopped, and disagreement about whether to destroy all old stockpiles of the materials.   It is a highly emotive subject. 

In the case of ivory many people would like to see all artefacts made from the material destroyed – whether they are new or antique –  in order to set an example.  Yet in the view of many others this would not save any animals and many of the items are extremely beautiful and exhibit exquisite craftsmanship.  To get rid of them would be denying and destroying examples of worldwide cultures and history.  

 

Stuart Pool:  Responsibly-sourced Gemstones, 1 - 1.5hr

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 is a specialist in responsibly-mined and fully-traceable coloured gemstones, mainly sourced directly from mines in Sri Lanka and Tanzania. 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.

 

Maria Alferova: Surface Optical Phenomena in Gemstones,  1 - 1.5hr

Optical phenomena in gemstones, eg asterism, cats-eye, iridescence, opalescence etc and their combinations - make the gemstone unique, desirable, mystic. The participants will observe the phenomena and learn about their origin.

 

BREAK FOR COFFEE   3.15 - 3.45p.m

 

SESSION 2, all starting at 3.45p.m

 

Shelly Sergent and Craig Lynch:  His facts, Her Opinions... around 1.5hr

Science vs. Aesthetics regarding rare gem acquisitions.

    

Miranda Wells: The Development of the Brilliant Cut in Diamonds,  timing tbc

This workshop looks at the development of diamond cutting from the original Point Cut through to the tolerances of the modern brilliant. The effect of the cut grade on the appearance of a diamond will be explored, along with the different factors which contribute to the grade.

A range of diamonds will be available for delegates to examine and grade. Please bring stone tongs, 10x loupe and cloth.

 

Lily Faber:  Colours that Cause Confusion,  1.25hr

Some gem materials appear to possess the magical ability to change colour before your eyes. There are a number of causes for this phenomenon, many of which can appear in the same stone at the same time, thus causing a great deal of confusion. 

Hosted by Gem-A tutor Lily Faber FGA EG, this insightful talk will explore the similarities and differences between colour change, colour shift and pleochroic gemstones, while investigating the causes behind their many colours. This will lead into a discussion on how using these traits can assist in gemstone identification, using both natural and synthetic gemstones such as alexandrite, colour-change spinel, garnet, sapphire, iolite, andalusite and tanzanite as practical, hands-on examples. Attendees will also use a dichroscope and different light sources to test their knowledge and boost their understanding of this interesting area of gemmology.

 

Maggie Campbell Pedersen: Ivory, Coral and Tortoiseshell – Past Uses and Present Emotion,   1- 1.5hr

Organic gem materials – those of plant or animal origin – are pleasing to the eye, and often very tactile. They were our first form of jewellery, and long before we could even recognise a diamond we were wearing necklaces of seeds, feathers, or bits of shell. We have samples of coral and tortoiseshell items made many hundreds of years ago, and of ivory carved forty thousand years ago. Ivory and tortoiseshell have been made into utilitarian objects, and also used extensively in the decorative arts as adornment in the form of jewellery, carvings, furniture inlay and so forth. They have been regarded as symbols of status, and thought to possess talismanic properties. Corals were likewise considered to be status symbols and thought to be powerful amulets. Today most of them are not listed as protected species and are still widely used in jewellery, however manypeople avoid trading in them as stocks have decreased drastically due to historic over-fishing and pollution.  

For centuries we have admired and collected artefacts derived from what we now know to be endangered species, but this was done in ignorance.  It is only in more recent years that we have become aware of the cruelty to the animals concerned, and the damage being done to the environment by using these and various other materials of animal origin.  Most people agree that killing the animals and smuggling their parts is wrong, but there is much discussion about how it should be stopped, and disagreement about whether to destroy all old stockpiles of the materials.   It is a highly emotive subject. 

In the case of ivory many people would like to see all artefacts made from the material destroyed – whether they are new or antique –  in order to set an example.  Yet in the view of many others this would not save any animals and many of the items are extremely beautiful and exhibit exquisite craftsmanship.  To get rid of them would be denying and destroying examples of worldwide cultures and history.  

 

Stuart Pool:  Ethical choices in jewellery - what to consider and where to start.  1 -1.5hr

This talk will cover key issues relating to sourcing diamonds, gold and coloured gemstones, explaining some of the biggest problems in the supply chains for those materials.

Stuart will look at which issues relate to which materials and their provenance. He will also review the various organisations responding to the problems and how individuals and businesses can work to overcome the challenges of responsible sourcing in the jewellery industry.

 

Maria Alferova: Treasures of the Diamond Fund1 - 1.5hr

The Diamond Fund of Russia is a main repository of the Crown Jewels, precious stones and unique nuggets found in Russia and Soviet Union. The exhibition of the Diamond Fund was organized in the Kremlin Armory 50 years ago, and since then it was replenished with the modern masterpieces of high-end jewelry.