Billie Hughes, FGA

E. Billie Hughes visited her first gem mine (in Thailand) at age two and by age four had visited 3 major sapphire localities in Montana. A 2011 graduate of UCLA (B.A., Political Science), she qualified as a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA) in 2013. Billie's photographic work has been published in Terra Spinel, the Wall Street Journal, Ruby & Sapphire: A Collector's Guide, Ruby & Sapphire: A Gemologist's Guide and Inside Out.

To date, she’s visited scores of countries for research on gems, including most of the major ruby & sapphire deposits in the world, and has delivered lectures in China, France, Sri Lanka, Thailand, the UK, and the US. Her articles, gemological images & photomicrographs have appeared in Gems & Gemology, The Gemguide, The Journal of the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong, and InColor magazine.

She’s a talented photomicrographer & has won prizes from the Nikon Small World, Gem-A, Clemson University, and Close-Up Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2020, Van Cleef & Arpels’ L’École School of Jewellery Arts hosted exhibitions of her inclusion photography in Paris and Hong Kong.