Scottish Gemmological Association

WORKSHOPS and talks

Sunday, 5th May, 2019

We are always very lucky with the range of Sunday afternoon presenters we have, and this year is no exception.

We are offering up a slightly different mix in our programme this year. Four of the rooms will be dedicated to hands-on workshops and two will host slightly shorter talks. Our delegates should be able to opt to do two workshops, or one workshop and a talk (or even two talks!) or three talks.

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.  

The booking form lists the following in start time order. If it is not possible to fit you in to your initial choices, we will get in touch.

John Andrew

1.30 - 2.30pm Talk 1 - Why was there a Renaissance in British Silver Post 1945?

In short take a grumpy King, add a fat controller of a railway, a few Government Ministers, The Royal Navy’s Camouflage Directorate, an artist, an architect, an old Etonian looking for a job, a few students, the daughter of an English Earl and an American socialite - and stir.

2.45 - 3.45pm Talk 2 - What Makes a Collector Tick?

John Andrew has formed the largest collection of post World War II British designer silver in private hands - and it all started because he was given an Irish halfcrown.

David Callaghan

1.30 - 2.30pm Talk 1 - The House of Cartier 

David’s new talk charts the history of this once unique company illustrating some of the most famous jewels and objèts ever created, together with some of the more whimsical pieces brought into being by their renowned craftsmen.

2.45 - 3.45pm Talk 2 - From Design Board to the Jewel

This talk illustrates the relationship between the designer and the craftsmen in the production of items of fine jewellery. What inspires the designer and how that inspiration is transferred from the drawing board to the finished jewel.

Pat Daly

1.45 - 3.15pm. Workshop 1 - Visual Optics

This hands-on workshop will guide you through the process of visual optics, a simple observation technique that can be used in any situation. Visual optics allows us to distinguish between similar-looking stones and can even be used to measure approximate optical properties.

Originally developed by gemmologist, Alan Hodgkinson, visual optics is a valuable skill that all gemmologists should learn, and with the introduction of a new hand-held instrument, visual optics is now even easier to master. Using three simple tools: a torch, spectroaid (aka the judy scope) and finally, your eyes, this workshop will combine theoretical teaching and practical examples to help you to get valuable information from gemstones using this method.

3.45 - 5.15pm. Workshop 2 - Visual Optics

As above.

chris smith and cigdem lule

1.45 - 3.15m. Workshop 1 - ColorCodex

The ColorCodex™ color referencing system is an innovative tool for industry professionals to compare and reference the color of faceted gemstones. Easy to use and intuitive, the ColorCodex™ system has been developed to allow for accurate and repeatable results when assessing the color of a gemstone.

Following on from the morning talk on ColorCodex, this workshop session will allow delegates a hands-on opportunity to explore the features of this new system to identify the color of precious stones.

3.45 - 5.15pm. Workshop 2 - ColorCodex

As above.

Sylvia Gumpesberger

2.00 -3.30pm. Workshop - LED sources and Rare Earth Magnets - double for your trouble!

In this workshop you will playfully explore the numerous advantages (and a few caveats) of using LED (light emitting diode) sources to test various gem optics.  This includes an approach to "crossing colour filters", and a laser diode "kaleidoscope" for indicating relative RI of over-the-limit faceted gems.  DIY enthusiasts can have a go at making their own simple battery powered LED devices.  You will further explore a specific yet simple approach to using powerfully focused rare earth magnets to determine magnetic susceptibility of gem minerals (very helpful for characterising the garnet group and other key gem separations).  

Kerry Gregory

2.15 - 3.30pm. Workshop 1 - Taking the headache out of gem separation

Having taught gemmology for the last decade or so, Kerry has often had people say " I find it really hard to ID X from Y", so she has compiled a list of stones that cause headaches, and what tests will help you separate them.

In this practical class you can put these techniques to use in efficiently identifying these annoying stones. (bring your own paracetamol)

4.00 - 5.15pm. Workshop 2 - An eBay experiment - great purchase or awful con

With thousands of sellers of coloured stones on eBay, and prices starting at less £1.00, is it a great way to buy stones direct from suppliers? Or is it a great way for unscrupulous characters to sell their tat? You decide!

You will see the original listing of the stones, the opportunity to test them to see if they are as described and then we will value them in the current market and see if we have great buys, or an awful con.

Almod Diamonds - Tammy cohen and and Tatiana Conte

2.45 - 3.45pm

The Crown of Light Presentation is designed to provide insight into the operation behind the Crown of Light Brand and its strategy for differentiation in a competitive environment. The presentation will cover the following areas:

1) Innovation and Crown of Light Architecture, 2) Global rough manufacturing and vertical Integration, 3) Social Responsibility, 4) Brand evolution though differentiation and 5) Identifying collection that brings success in both design and sales.

Clare Blatherwick

4.00 - 5.00pm. Talk - World Tastes in Jewellery

Clare will look at some of the factors that drive the global market. What sort of stones, makers and eras are commanding the greatest interest, with examples of prices achieved in auctions across the world, as well as opening up a discussion on predictions in 2019 and onwards.

Alex Grizenko

4.00 - 5.15pm Workshop - Identifying Lab Grown Diamonds, Techniques and Instruments

In this session Alex will walk the participants through a flow diagram focused on gemmological methods of identifying lab grown from natural mined diamonds and describe the many different types of detection instruments that are now available to jewellers, gemmologists and diamond laboratories.

Jack Ogden

4.00 - 5.15pm Talk - The Gold, the Bad and the Ugly

Gemmologists are not the only ones in the jewellery world focusing on whether things are what they are supposed to be. One of the greatest challenges for those handling old jewellery, whether dealers, auction houses, valuers and even museum curators, is the problem of fakes and forgeries.

This presentation  will look at spurious jewellery of all periods and the various ways in which it can be exposed for what it is. It will be stressed that a holistic approach is necessary, that is, a combination of stylistic considerations, examination of mode of manufacture and identification of the materials. Problematic pieces encountered by the speaker in collections or on the market around the world will be discussed, from ancient to Art Nouveau, and detection methods explained.

The talk will also raise the question of what the future holds and how (maybe even if) the huge expansion of the jewellery forgery 'industry' in recent years can be countered. 

Please note this is a presentation/discussion not a hands-on session and because some of the objects that will be discussed are in private or dealer's hands, filming or photography will not be permitted.