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Breaking All the Rules!
Tanzanite, Treated Spinel, Created Diamonds & ICE Jade

AGA Tucson Conference was held February 1, 2012

Spinels courtesty of Edward Boehm
Spinels from Burma, Sri Lanka, & Tanzania
courtesy of RareSource Photo by: R. Weldon

We were awed by the following distinguished researchers and gemologists:

Edward Boehm, President and CEO of RareSource (formerly JOEB Enterprises) is a world renowned gemologist, author and dealer of fine gemstones. He has traveled the world extensively collecting some of the finest specimens seen in any collection and conducted research at gem deposits. (Biography)

Edward presented The World of Spinels, focusing on sources, treatments and quality characteristics. The hands-on session provided a great opportunity to learn about the nuances that expert spinel dealers look for when grading.

Dr. Adolf Peretti of GRS Laboratory in Bangkok, Thailand, presented the findings of his most recent research on spinel origin. With new sources of beautiful spinel entering the market, and demand continuing to increases, gemologists need to be aware of what is currently in the market, how they are valued, and whether or not they have been treated to look more valuable than they are. (Biography)

Tom Chatham, President of Chatham Created Gems, is recognized as the leader in created gemstones. Pioneers in the created gemstone industry, today their product line extends far beyond grown emerald and ruby. Chatham Created Gems is also a leader in the created diamond industry. Tom has been involved in the created diamond market for decades and presented an information packed program exploring the current State of the Synthetic Diamond Industry. (Biography)

Thomas Hainschwang, Managing Director of GGTL Laboratories and founder of GEMLAB, Liechtenstein is a research gemologist and formerly led the colored diamond department for the GIA research laboratory in Geneva. Thomas is currently engaged in a number of important gemological research projects in both colored stones and diamonds. (Biography)

Thomas addressed the AGA conference delegates regarding Color Enhancement of Tanzanite.


Dominic Mok, Founder and Principal Geologist at the Asian Gemmological Institute and Laboratory, Hong Kong, is an expert in the material Jadeite. He spoke on Types, Identification and Testing Jadeite. The AGA was privileged to offer this opportunity to meet Mr. Mok and learn about Jadeite from an international authority on the subject. (Biography)

Dr. Jim Shigley is Distinguished Research Fellow at the GIA Laboratory in Carlsbad. The editor of the Gems & Gemology in Review series and contributing editor to the journal, he received a bachelor’s degree in geology from the University of California, Berkeley, and a doctorate in geology from Stanford University. He has written extensively for Gems & Gemology and other professional journals. (Biography)

Dr. Shigley is well versed in the current state of synthetic diamond detection having conducted numerous studies in the area of diamond treatments and synthetics. He discussed the Identification of Synthetic Diamonds from the Laboratory Perspective.

M. Bonner Denton, Professor of Chemistry & Geosciences at the University of Arizona will be presenting The Role of Raman Spectroscopy in Gem Identification & How Evolving Technology Is Expanding Its Use and Availability. (View abstract)

The evening concluded with a festive dinner and awards ceremony, honoring Thom Underwood, this year’s winner of the prestigious AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.

Platinum Sponsor JIBNA

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