Christopher Smith

Chris Smith began his gemological career in 1986 when he joined the GIA Laboratory, then in Los Angeles, CA. He started as a diamond grader, but shortly moved over to the gem identification department where he worked with such notable gemologists as Shane McClure, Bob Kane, Chuck Fryer, Emmanuel Fritsch and others.

In 1991, the Gübelin Laboratory of Luzern, Switzerland hired Chris and moved his young family to Switzerland. He worked with the Gübelin Laboratory for nearly 12 years and eventually became Director of the Lab. During his tenure at Gübelin, he oversaw operations, developed key new services, expanded the scope of Gübelin's operations globally and pioneered research into several areas of gemology, including the further development and refinement of country of origin criterion for rubies, sapphires, emeralds, alexandrites, etc. He also oversaw ruby and sapphire research from a number of newly discovered deposits, such as Mong Hsu ruby, sapphires from Vietnam, rubies and sapphires from Nepal and rubies from Tajikistan, as well as others. As part of his research activities, he has visited a number of gem mines, including Mogok, Sri Lanka, the Ural Mountains in Russia, Australia, Thailand, etc. While focusing a great deal of his efforts on the determinations for country of origin, he has also worked extensively on the distinction between non-treated and treated gems, including a variety of heating techniques for corundum and HPHT treatment of diamonds, as well as others. Other focuses include the origin of color and its identification in rubies and sapphires, diamond, coral and other materials plus the identification of and distinction between natural and synthetic gems and the further development of analytical techniques and their applications in gemology.

In 2003, Chris returned to the GIA Laboratory, this time in New York and was the Director of Identification Services there, involved with the development of colored stone services and research. Recently, in December of 2006, Chris joined the AGL as Vice President and Chief Gemologist to spear-head together with C.R. "Cap" Beesley the growth and development of their colored stone services. Chris is currently President of AGL in New York.

Chris has published and lectured extensively on these various topics. He is a past recipient of the Most Valuable article award in Gems & Gemology. In 2007 he received the prestigious Richard T. Liddicoat award from the American Gemological Society and he was a founding member of the Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC).

Chris received the 2009 AGA Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.

2015 Tucson Conference - February 4, 2015

About the AGA Conference & Gala - Topic & Speaker Info

Conference check-in begins at 8:00 a.m. on Wednesday, February 4, 2015
Conference sessions from 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Continental breakfast, light lunch & Gala ticket are included with the conference fee.

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

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

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