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The AGA Conference...

Where great minds meet!

John Koivula and Richard Hughes at the AGA Gala

AGA Tucson Conference on Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Early Registration Savings of $35

(Press Release Nov. 2019)
(Press Release - Weldon Jan. 2020)

Auction/Raffle items to date

Awareness of Our Gem Environment and People

Challenges in Technology and Culture

Come learn from these heavy hitters...

Richard Hughes

Richard Hughes, FGA , Lotus Gemology (bio)

Jade: China's Gift to The World

Get a glimpse into the true essence of what jade means to the Asian market. Westerners look to jade's color and gemological properties but Asians look to jade's virtues. The Hetian "mutton fat" nephrite jade of western China can have enormous value and Dick will enlighten us to this important gem and the master carvers who bring it to life. Some of the treatments to jades and their detections will also be addressed.

Dr. Jeffrey Post

Dr. Jeffrey Post, Smithsonian (bio)

Environmental Mineralogy - A Study for the Survival of the Planet

The ubiquitous minerals and oxides beneath our feet and in our waters have an impact on our well-being. Our interactions affect the planet as a whole and our lives, in particular. Dr. Post will explore this fascinating newer science with some of the tools only recently available for their complex analysis. He will also treat us to a look at some of the gem additions to our National collection at the Smithsonian.

Dr. Laurent E. Cartier

Dr. Laurent E. Cartier, SSEF (bio)

Traceability of Gemstones and Pearls - Challenges & Opportunities

Due diligence, tracking and traceability have moved to the forefront of the gem and jewelry world. The public, banking institutions seeking to reduce risk, and the governments of many gem-producing countries are all demanding detailed information and greater transparency, at each step of the journey from the mine to the finished jewel. New standards and associated technology could be augmented by combining them with established standards and existing gemmological approaches like geographical origin, DNA fingerprinting of corals, ivory and pearls, & detection of synthetics could lead to new and more effective testing protocols. This presentation will focus on what this means for gemologists and how they can be involved in the process and contribute to making greater transparency and traceability a reality.

Dr. Aaron Palke

Dr. Aaron Palke, Senior Research Scientist, GIA (bio)

Treatments of Spinel & Garnet

Gems historically assumed to be untreated are now being re-examined with some very interesting discoveries. Dr. Aaron Palke will share ongoing research being conducted, particularly on spinels and garnets. Through its treatment of gems at various temperature levels, GIA is cataloging changes to internal features and other measured responses. This preemptive approach allows GIA to better determine what treatment has occurred to stones submitted to the lab.

Robert Weldon, GIA

Robert Weldon,

The ongoing project of educating artisanal miners of East Africa about the stones they recover has put valuable information into the hands of the people whose livelihood depends on mining gemstones.

This program has seen immediate results for the over 1000 miners already trained. Miners are now able to bargain better with their buyers and return more money to their families and communities. The social impact of the project has been enormous and exposure to the supply chain has opened up other opportunities for miners, such as gem cutting and jewelry manufacture. (Press Release... Photos...)

Eric Fritz

Eric Fritz, FGA, DG, University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum (bio)

Organics - Identification and trade restrictions

Organic gems – with coral and ivory to be highlighted for type identification and how to handle material presented for sale or reports. Hands on examination will further your knowledge and appreciation of organic materials from the presenter's extensive collection.


Hands on workshops!!!

IMPORTANT: There is one Optional Workshop available to conference registrants on a first come, first serve basis. It will run simultaneously with Eric Fritz's workshop on Organics. Once you've registered & paid for the conference, email Jan to reserve a seat at the one remaining workshop below.

Sam Lloyd

Sam Lloyd, FGA EG, Gem-A (bio)

Gem-Fun With Filters!

This hands-on workshop will guide you through some of Gem-A's favourite filters, explaining why we use them, how to use them and which one to use when! This workshop is perfect for gemmologists that are just getting started with filters, or for those looking for a refresher. (10 seats remaining)


Claire Scragg

Claire Scragg, FGA (bio)

Use your Spectroscope - Reading between the lines

Get over your spectroscope fears or learn some trade secrets from a leading expert. This is one of the most valuable instruments in the trade and it can travel in your pocket! Learn how to coax those little lines which can reveal a stone's identity where other instruments fail. (SORRY BUT ALL SEATS HAVE BEEN RESERVED.)

Read between the lines

Gala Dinner Dance Tickets Only

If you wish to attend our Annual Gala Dinner Dance but not the conference, tickets are available here. Please follow directions for Gala Only tickets.

Early Pricing for Gala Only Tickets (by 1/28/2020)
AGA & Gem-A Members: $75, Non-Members: $105

(Tickets at the door or online after the early deadline are $95 & $125 respectively.)

No refunds after 1/28/2020

Early Registration Conference Fees - SAVE $35
Available on-line until January 28, 2020

Conference registration includes continental breakfast, light lunch & the AGA Annual Gala & Dinner featuring great networking opportunities, music, dance floor & the presentation of the AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.

Early Registration Fees*:
AGA & Gem-A Members: $195
Non-Members: $245

Register Now...

LOCATION: Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel Conference Center, 880 E. Second Street, Tucson, AZ 85719 (map)

February 5, 2020
Check-in: 8:00 am, Program: 8:30 am - 4:30 pm
Reception: 6:00 - 7:00 pm, Gala Dinner Dance: 7:00 - 11:00 pm

* Registrations at door or online after the early deadline are $230 & $280 respectively.

No refunds after 1/28/2020

Press Release

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