Thursday, December 31, 2009

Come Out and Play at the GIA Lounge

Come Out and Play at Tucson’s Best Party

Every year, the GIA Lounge is the one place in Tucson where you’ll find the most fun, the best party, and a guaranteed good time. Join us at Tucson’s most playful party – the GIA Lounge “Where Color Comes to Play!”

Annual Dinner, Auction, and Dance Party
Sponsored by the GIA Alumni Association
Friday, February 5, 2010
6:30 – 11 pm
Marriott University Park Hotel

Up to January 18, 5 pm PST:
$45 GIA Alumni and Industry Associations members
$55 Other guests

After January 18 and at the door:
$55 for everyone

To reserve your spot on the playground click here, e-mail, or call (760) 603-4100.

GIA at the Tucson Gem Show...

Mark Your Calendar with GIA’s Tucson Activities
It’s not too early to start putting together your game plan for the February 2010 Tucson shows. GIA has a number of courses and seminars that will expand your knowledge on a variety of gemological topics. And don’t forget to RSVP for the best party in town: the GIA Alumni Association annual dinner and dance party.

GIA Show Service Laboratory at the AGTA Show
GIA will offer quick, convenient access to gem identification and country-of-origin services during the shows. Drop off your gemstones at the AGTA Show in the Onyx Suite of the Tucson Convention Center. The laboratory will be available:
Feb. 1-6: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Feb. 7: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
This is a great opportunity to use your GIA GemPasses™ for identification and country-of-origin services. Find out more.
For more information, call (800) 421-7250, ext. 4517 or (760) 603- 4517, or

GIA Education
All classes and seminars will be held at the Tucson Convention Center.

Gem Identification Lab class
Required for G.G. and Graduate Colored Stones diploma programs
Feb. 1-5, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Gila Room
Learn the same time-tested procedures and identification skills used by GIA’s renowned gemological experts. Gain confidence using a microscope, refractometer, polariscope, dichroscope, spectroscope, and loupe to identify natural gemstones, imitations, and synthetics. You’ll get expert demonstrations and coaching in quick, effective testing procedures, with plenty of hands-on practice. Students must pass a five-stone practical test to complete the class.
Credential earned: GIA Letter of Completion
Tuition: $1,350 plus a $45 book fee

Feb. 6, 9-11 a.m.
Gila Room
Learn about the quality factors involved in classifying cultured and natural pearls and the grading methodology used by the GIA Laboratory. Participants will have the opportunity to grade cultured pearls according to GIA’s 7 Pearl Value Factors™.
Credential earned: Letter of Attendance
Tuition: $145

Gemstone Treatment Update
(Previous gemological training or experience recommended)
Feb. 6, 1-3 p.m.
Gila Room
Gain deeper insight into the major gemstone treatments found in the marketplace today and discover how to detect them. You’ll also enhance your identification skills with hands-on practice using a microscope.
Credential earned: Letter of Attendance
Tuition: $145

Free Seminars

From the Andes to the Pantanal – The Story of Bolivia’s Ametrine
Feb. 4, 1-2 p.m.
Greenlee Room
GIA photojournalist Robert Weldon and GIA videographer Pedro Padua traveled through Bolivia to document the story of ametrine and the Anahí mine. Join them on a journey from Bolivia’s highest peaks to the mine along the banks of the Pantanal.

Books for Gem Lovers
Feb. 4, 1-2 p.m.
Mohave Room
Authors of recent gem books discuss their works.

GIA Research Update
Feb. 6, 9-10 a.m.
Mohave Room
Take this chance to meet a GIA researcher who will answer questions and review the very latest developments in gem treatments, synthetics, identification, and other topics of interest.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

TGMS Reveals 2010 Show Poster!

For those of you who are, like me, big fans of "The Main Show" I just got permission to unveil the 2010 Show Poster. These have become quite collectible and are a limited printing - so you may want to pre order one of these if you want to add it to your collection. Contact the Tucson Gem & Mineral Society for information.

...and now the 2010 TGMS Main Event - Gems & Gem Minerals....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

2010 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ - Cutting Edge Awards Part 2

Back to the Cutting Edge...

2010 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Collection - A2 - Open Category All Other Faceted

These are the faceted gems in anything other than a "classic" cut - there were some this fabulous Aquamarine from one of my favorite gem cutters...

Entry 249 David Brackna
David A. Brackna Gemcutter
Germantown, MD
24.68 ct. bar cushion-brilliant-cut Aquamarine.

...and lots of Paraiba Tourmaline...

Entry 557 Jeffrey Bilgore
Jeffrey Bilgore LLC
New York, NY
14.73 ct. round Paraiba Tourmaline.

Entry 318 Allen Kleiman
A. Kleiman & Co.
San Francisco, CA
3.64 ct. natural oval-shaped Paraiba Tourmaline.

Entry 539 Joseph Ambalu
Amba Gem Corp
New York, NY
16.88 ct. cushion-cut Paraiba Tourmaline.

...and pink lots of hot, hot PINK!!!!

Two glorious Rhodocrosite from Ben Kho - not sure how he is able to get such a precise cut in such a soft stone...

Entry 254 Ben Kho
Kho International, Ltd.
Decatur, GA
11.48 ct. antique cushion-cut Rhodochrosite.

Entry 255 Ben Kho
Kho International, Ltd.
Decatur, GA
16.02 ct. fantasy cushion-cut Rhodochrosite.

...and the category WINNER!

Entry 316 Allen Kleiman
A. Kleiman & Co.
San Francisco, CA
10.78 ct. natural heart-shaped red Spinel.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

AGTA Spectrum Awards 2010 - Cutting Edge Awards

I am sharing some of the highlights (my faves) of the Cutting Edge Awards from the 2010 AGTA Spectrum Awards - follow the links to view the entire field of entries.

My thanks to Cheryl Kremkow for her list of the winners...I have added the winner info to the end of each category (with a photo where available).

2010 AGTA Spectrum Awards™ Collection - A1 - Open Category Classic Gemstone

Entry 21 Ruben Bindra
B & B Fine Gems
Los Angeles, CA

13.11 ct. cushion-cut orange

Entry 41 Roger Dery
Spectral Gems, Inc.
Royal Oak, MI

31.80 ct. rectangular antique
cushion-cut yellow Sapphire.

Is it just me, or are you totally falling for the subtle Champagne colored gems?

Entry 540 Joseph Ambalu
Amba Gem Corp
New York, NY

7.34 ct. oval-cut natural Padparadscha

...and the winner is!!!!
A1 – Open Category Classic Gemstone, 1st Place: Robert Kane, Fine Gems International, Helena, MT, 4.53 ct. cushion-cut natural pink Sapphire.
(sorry no photo)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catalog In Motion 2010 - Registration OPENS!!!!

Catalog In Motion® class registration
opens Wednesday at 10 a.m. MST

Showroom open Feb. 5–8, 2010
Classes held
Feb. 1–8, 2010

Learn it: Get your hands on the tools that will change the way you work (and play).

Love it: Challenge yourself by learning new techniques.

Live it: Reach for your potential.

*Just attending the show or free seminars?
No need to register.

AGTA Spectrum Awards 2010

The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) was formed almost 26 years ago when a group of gem dealers got together in Tucson, AZ and has "blossomed into a leading industry force".

The AGTA has taken on the responsibility of educating and promoting the use of colored gemstones and cultured pearls. Whether that is through the education of their members and member businesses or educating the public through their user friendly "Add More Color To Your Life" website .

To further this quest and to show some really innovative use of colored gems and cultured pearls, in 1984 the AGTA launched their Spectrum Awards program. "Spectrum recognizes the innovative use of natural gemstones and cultured pearls in finished fine jewelry design."

The success of their Spectrum Awards inspired a new competition and in 1991 the Cutting Edge Awards were born. "Cutting Edge honors creativity in lapidary arts, including faceted gems and pearls, carvings, and objects of art."

Last week there was a Press showing of the entries for the 2010 AGTA Spectrum Awards consideration and photos were posted on the AGTA website.

For the next couple weeks we are going to look at a few of my favorites as we cover a category each day. While the Spectrum and Cutting Edge Awards are both housed in an exclusive Designer Pavilion at the AGTA GemFair, I will be covering the Jewelry of the Spectrum Awards on my Daily Jewel blog and the Cutting Edge Awards here... so subscribe and don't miss a day!

While entries are closed for the 2010 Awards - start thinking about what you would submit in 2011! In the words of Adam Graham AGTA Spectrum Marketing Manager, "We encourage everyone to enter your pieces and take your shot!"

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

AZ Designer Craftsmen Schedule of Workshops

Arizona Designer Craftsmen are a group of artists that first came together in Tucson in 1959 and has become a nationally acclaimed program of workshops. Go to the AZ Designer Craftsmen website to register...

TitleMARILYN NICHOLSON "Hand-Made Catches & Mechanisms"
Tagssouthern chapter workshop
When and where
Start Date
6 February 2010, SaturdayTime09:00 AM
End Date
7 February 2010, SundayEnd Time05:00 PM
LocationRandolph Arts & Crafts Bldg#4 Jewelry Studio, 200 S ALvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711

nicholson_brooch.jpgRefine the designs of your jewelry by adding findings specifically made for a particular piece. Information relevant to making tiny elements that move and soldering pieces in close proximity will be shared. A collection of historic examples and contemporary designs will stimulate your imagination. Bench tips and detailed descriptions of the sequence of building both simple and complex mechanisms will be explored.

NICHOLSON2phpThumb_cache_www_bmagic_org_uk_src5070261c8db504b2169c3d925b453128_par90ac2534a51d0da96a00b5d52b4b4fc6_dat1237481206.jpgBIO: Marilynn has her MFA from The School of the American Craftsmen at the Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.). She also studied in England, Mexico and Denmark. She has taught Jewelry, Weaving, Foundations and 2d and 3D Design at Trenton State College(N.J.), Rhode Island College, and in England at Malvern Hills Collegeand Hereford College of Art. Since 1973 Marilynn has been a self-employed jeweler exhibiting in England, Germany, Japan, Israel, Switzerland, Australia as well as the USA. Her work is in permanent collections in England at Victoria and Albert Museum, Goldsmiths’ Hall, the Birmingham Museum and West Midlands Art Collection. She has written reviews for publication as well as having been featured in several articles in Lapidary Journal and in the book, Treasures of the20th Century published by Goldsmiths’ Hall in 2000. Marilynn teaches at The University of New Mexico, The Taos Institute of Art, Santa Fe School of Metalsmithing, Pueblo 5, The Oo-oon-ah Art Center atTaos Pueblo, The Firehouse Art Center, and the Armory Art Center. She fabricates her work in a collage style inspired by nature using metal and stone. She mainly teaches at her studio school, Taos School of Metalsmithing and Lapidary Design.


Marilynn's Website

SKILL LEVEL: Beginning/Intermediate Levels. Age 17+

WORKSHOP FEES: $155 ADC Members/$180 Non-Members



TitleKARI MINNICK "The Glass Onion: Layers of Imagery & Text for Kilnformed Glass"
Tagssouthern chapter workshop
When and where
Start Date
29 January 2010, FridayTime09:00 AM
End Date
31 January 2010, SundayEnd Time05:00 PM
LocationRandolph Center Arts & Crafts Bldg#4 Glass/Crafts Studio, 200 S Alvernon Way, Tucson, AZ 85711

MINNICK_web 4.jpgThis is a 3-Day workshop which explores the narrative and painterly potential of kiln formed glass. Students will be introduced to a variety of expressive kiln forming techniques to enable the use of text and images in their glass work. This class will be of interest to artists such as print makers, painters, poets, or anyone for whom imagery, layering and personal expression are desired elements. Working with Bullseye glass, frit, powder, and stringer, students will create pre-fired design elements to be used in subsequent glass projects, combined with other glass techniques and/or adapted to other media. Stenciling, sifting and sgrafitto with powders are some of the processes to be covered. Opacity, transparency, and design concepts will also be considered. Students will combine these kilnforming processes in a final project. While basic kiln practices will be touched upon, the focus of the class will be on the expressive use of the materials and creating glass art based on the students signature work. Prior glass experience is beneficial but artists of other media are encouraged to enroll.

MINNICK_web 4.jpgBIO: Kari Minnick holds a degree in studio art from the University of California and has been an exhibiting artist and educator for over twenty-five years. Collected internationally, Kari's works are in private, corporate and embassy collections. Recently, her work was featured in the exhibit "Celebrating Connections: Contemporary Glass Art by Mid-Atlantic Artists" at the Museum of American Glass in Millville, NJ. Noted for outstanding craftsmanship and achievement in glass, Kari received the prestigious Juror's Choice Award at the Bay Area Glass Institute 2008 Gala Auction. Kari is the owner/artist of Kari Minnick Art Glass Studio, located in the heart of the new Arts and Entertainment district in Silver Spring, Maryland. The studio offers architectural commissions, fine art glass, and internationally recognized courses in kiln formed glass.

Kari's Website

SKILL LEVEL: Beginning/Intermediate Levels. Age 17+

WORKSHOP FEES: $210 ADC Members/$235 Non-Members


  • Bring slides/cd of your work
  • Sketch book
  • Inspirational materials such as clippings, fabric swatches, writings, etc.
  • Glass cutting/breaking tools if you have/prefer them

Please check out the wonderful workshops we've had this year.
Go to

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

AGTA GemFair Pre-Registration Ends Dec 31st...

This show is especially crowded on opening day - you will be one step ahead of the crowd if you pre-register...Register at

Friday, October 30, 2009

Matlins Talks Ruby on Good Morning America - Nov. 3rd

Antoinette Matlins to Appear on
ABC’s Good Morning America

Tune in to Good Morning America on Tuesday,

November 3, when internationally respected gem

and jewelry expert, author and lecturer Antoinette

Matlins will expose the truth about controversial

ruby composites being sold across the country.

Is that a natural ruby you purchased or is it a

Learn more about what composites are and how to identify them.

...this is sure to be information you need to make your buying trip to the Tucson Gem Show a success! composite, enhanced, fissure-filled...this and more are covered in Ms. Matlin's informative Free Seminar at the AGTA GemFair.

Gem ID – Parts I and II hands-on (3 hour extended session, ends at 4:00)
Antoinette Matlins, Gemstone Press (Graham room)
Basic-Advanced. (Part I not required to benefit from Part II. Part II is not required to complete Part 1). These non-technical, half-day workshops demonstrate how to use simple, portable instruments to quickly and easily identify colored gemstones typically seen in the jewelry market, and detect many treatments, and spot many fakes and synthetics. Techniques to screen for HPHT-treated diamonds and surface-coated diamonds and gemstones are also covered. Even gemologists can benefit from time-saving tips. These techniques and tools will reduce risk and increase confidence when buying away from your store, office, or in the field. Class size limited. (First-come, first-served, limited attendance.)

Always a great source for information:

The key to avoiding costly mistakes and recognizing profitable opportunities is knowing both what to look for and what to look out for.


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