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2010 Tucson AGA Conference & Gala Dinner Dance
was held on Wednesday, February 3, 2010

bag of diamonds

Efficient Gemology: Tips, Tricks & Working on A Shoestring Budget

Program Highlights

Understanding Composite "Ruby" Imitations -- Important Hands-on Session - An opportunity for participants to examine and understand composite "rubies" & the distinguishing characteristics of these artificial stones from treated rubies.

Christopher Smith, President American Gemological Laboratory, New York, will discuss three different types of Mozambique rubies, including composites, and their gemological challenges.

Dr. Cigdem Lule PhD, GIA London, will present an introduction to the concept of Archaeogemology, a new concept that advances the simple non-destructive analysis and modern terminology of gemology to the interpretation of archaeological gem findings.

Alan Hodgkinson FGA, President of the Scottish Gemmological Association, was unable to join us. We sincerely hope to see him next year!

Thomas Hainschwang, the founder of GEMLAB, Liechtenstein, is a research gemologist and former head of the colored diamond department for the GIA research laboratory in Geneva. Thomas' presentation is one that no gemologist can afford to miss. Entitled, "Advanced Instrumentation in Gemology - its Uses, Advantages and Risks," this presentation will focus on advanced laboratory instrumentation that can be of use to the experienced gemologist.  Access to advanced instruments has now spread beyond just the major international laboratories and it is critical that gemologists learn what's available, and when--and how--to make use of it. His presentation will identify the challenges gemologists face today resulting from new treatments and synthetics, and explain technology that goes beyond the limitations of basic gem testing equipment typically found in stores and appraisal laboratories, technology that is now available and accessible to a much broader range of gemologists.

pearls-© ewa kubicka -

Dr. Don Hoover, FGA, has been conducting important research regarding the magnetic susceptibility of gems. His research reveals the important role that rare earth magnets can play in the identification of gems. This is a new quantitative measure for gemologists, which will be introduced at the conference and will feature a hands-on demonstration to better understand techniques.

David Porter will examine several interesting developments from the world of natural pearls. He has recently dedicated a considerable amount of time documenting a rediscovered source for these prized treasures. One of the more interesting of these varieties is the rare nautilus pearl. This program is a "show and tell" of the natural pearls, most of which many gemologists have never heard of or seen from the Sulu area.  Porter’s talk will cover the key questions and controversies regarding the subject along with history of pearls and stories of finds.  There will be technical discussion of formations, biology of this material and an expose on how pearls are treated in Mumbai.

Lighting Task Force - An update on the impact of AGA research into Lighting & Color Grading Fluorescent Diamonds from Task Force Chairman Stan Hogrebe & Ann Simpson.

Richard Hughes reminded us to remember the humanity and the beauty surrounding our gemological interests.

The evening concluded with a festive dinner, fund raising auction and awards ceremony, honoring this year’s AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology recipient - Richard Hughes.

The AGA Conference was held at the Marriott University Park in Tucson, Arizona.

Speaker Bios

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