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AGA Tucson Conference, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2017 - Register Now

Spotlights on Tucson - Cutting Edge Gemology to keep you in the loupe

Secrets of the Hope Diamond Revealed

Recent research projects update a storied history

Dr. Jeffery Post, Curator, Gem and Mineral Collection, Smithsonian Institution (bio)

The Hope Diamond is one of the most famous gemstones in the world. It is familiar to most people because of its fascinating human history which includes kings and thieves and perhaps a curse or two, but it is also a rare blue diamond, the largest and finest of its kind known. Despite its long history in the public eye, the diamond still prompts many questions.

Was the Hope Diamond cut from the great French Blue Diamond that was stolen during the French Revolution in 1792? Are there other blue diamonds that were cut from the same original parent stone as the Hope Diamond? Why does the Hope Diamond emit an intense ember-orange glow after exposure to ultraviolet light? This illustrated presentation will explore the history of the Hope Diamond and describe recent research projects that attempted to unlock some of the secrets of the Hope Diamond.

Dr. Jeffrey E. Post, a native of Wisconsin, received Bachelor of Science degrees in geology and chemistry from the University of Wisconsin - Platteville, and his Ph.D. in chemistry, with a specialty in geochemistry, from Arizona State University. READ MORE…

From Gemology to Mineral Physics & Back Again

Including an update on a gem of the future: Nano-Polycrystalline Diamond

Elise Skalwold, Consulting Gemological Curator, Cornell University (bio)

In the author's ever-expanding experience of the world of gems, the study of gemology has led her on an unexpected and fascinating journey into the realms of mineralogy and high-level mineral physics research. Through a behind-the-scenes tour of her own collaborative research projects, this presentation gives the audience a taste of the complex scientific efforts which directly or indirectly support the day-to-day gemological science on which the gem industry relies, but which often remain relatively invisible. Central to the story are her co-researchers and other colleagues who enrich the quest for understanding and interpreting this fascinating world.

The thread which binds this journey is the intense investigation of a blue crystal included within a diamond macle. Over a four year period, some of the most technologically advanced instrumentation in the world has yielded volumes of data and a conclusion that this pleochroic crystal is olivine, though as yet no conclusive reason for its anomalous color. Nonetheless, the high degree of scrutiny to which this diamond and its inclusions have been subjected is in itself a remarkable story and provides insights into a world deep within the Earth – arguably one of its last frontiers and one which is otherwise inaccessible.

Inextricably linked to this story is the Diamond Anvil Cell (DAC), a remarkable instrument used in high pressure research. Not only does the DAC utilize gem quality diamonds in its own construction, it is also used to study the Deep Earth environment in which diamonds form. Gemmy nano-polycrystalline diamond (NPD) plays an important role in both the DAC and in our understanding of natural gem diamonds.

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). READ MORE…

Other planned programs...

The New Blues - New Discoveries and their Impact on Nomenclature

Apache Blue Stone - What is it really?
Its identity is to be announced at the conference and it appears that we're in for a surprise.
Warren Boyd, Apache Way

Aquaprase - The First New Gem of the 21st Century
Yianni Melas, Gem Explorer

The Art of the Deal

Art Samuels, Estate Buyers
Street-savvy gemology and tales from the estate department

In Search of Consistency: Color Terms in Gemology and the AGL Approach

Christopher Smith, American Gemological Laboratory

NEW for registered attendees: Two Gemology Breakout Sessions to sharpen skills and make new discoveries

The Accredited Gemologists Association Tucson Conference calls together experts from leading international laboratories and educational institutions to explore the critical challenges facing the industry today, and discuss the tools and techniques needed to meet those challenges head on.

About the 2017 AGA Conference & Gala (Register Now...)

Conference check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 1, 2017
Conference sessions are from 8:30 a.m. - 4:45 p.m. Continental breakfast, light lunch & Gala ticket are included with the conference fee.

The annual AGA membership meeting will be held during the conference lunch break.

The evening will conclude with a festive dinner and awards ceremony, honoring this year's winner of the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.

The Gala Champagne Reception is from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. followed by the Gala Dinner Dance & Bonanno Award Ceremony from 7:30 to 11:00 p.m.

These events will be held at the Tucson Marriott University Park, 880 E. Second Street, Tucson, Arizona (map)

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 1/20/2017)
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 1/20/2017

Early Registration Conference Fees
Available on-line until January 20, 2017

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

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

Register Now...

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

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

No refunds after 1/20/2017

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