Monday, October 19, 2009

AGTA GemFair Seminars...Overview

Some difficult choices to make is good to see that some of my favorite seminars are being offered again this year:

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).
Every one who buys gems in Tucson should take this seminar - it is an extended session so it does take up quite a big chunk of your time - but the hands on experience you gain will make you a smarter buyer.

Spinel: A Royal Gem
Edward Boehm, JOEB Enterprises (Greenlee room)
Basic - Intermediate. Spinels come in diverse colors from romatic origins. Their durability and high dispersion add to their allure. Graduate Geologist Edward Boehm leads a stunning visual tour through time and space as he explores famous spinels and explores the historic and current sources for spinel, such as Burma, Sri Lank, Tanzania, and Tajikistan. Using images from his own travels to the mines, including his most recent trip to Tanzania, Boehm enlivens the story of this gem which is currently holding great consumer attention
Each year Ed Boehm takes you on a journey to a new, exotic location to discover some of the latest 2009 it was Winza Ruby and in 2010 we look at Spinel.

Developments in the Chinese Pearl Industry
Elisabeth Strack, Gemmologisches Institut Hamburg (Mohave room)
Intermediate – Advanced. It is getting more and more difficult for jewelers to keep track of developments in the cultured pearl industry. Traditional producing countries like Japan are losing ground and newly producing countries like Vietnam are on the rise. In addition to producing Akoyas, China produces not only fresh water cultured pearls of all varieties, with and without a nucleus, with and without second and third harvests, but also tries its luck with South Sea cultured pearls. The traditional South Sea countries concentrate their efforts on quality but some producers undermine such efforts. It is getting increasingly more difficult, even for an expert, to distinguish the different types of pearls with the naked eye and evaluate them. Only a systematic approach will help. If eye-visible criteria are not enough, certain testing methods have to be applied which will be presented in this lecture. The lecture will also make reference to artificial coloration and treatments as they often add to the confusion of origin. Methods of detection will be presented.
Elizabeth Strack's Pearls Seminars are always amazing - filled with current first hand information - good to see they didn't schedule her on the last day of the show this year!

...along with these standards there is a whole crop of new subjects:

Colored Gemstone Wardrobe, Fashion Informed
Hedda Schupak (Maricopa room)
Basic - Intermediate. Astute retailers understand that fashion-forward clients need two services from their personal jeweler. The first service is assistance in planning a core jewelry wardrobe which articulates the client’s personal style. The second service is assistance in complementing the core jewelry wardrobe with fashionable jewelry pieces which are sensitive to the colors, themes, and economies of each fashion season. In this session with fashion and style expert Hedda Schupak, learn how to help your customers develop a colored gemstone wardrobe that is fashion informed.
Hedda Shupak, contributing editor of JCK Magazine brings us into the world of Fashion.

Books for Gem Lovers!
John Koivula, Ron Ringsrud, Richard W. Wise (Mohave room)
Basic - Intermediate. Authors of recent new and revised Gem Books discuss their works.
John Koivula:
Photo Atlas of Inclusions in Gemstones: Vol III and Geologica-Earth’s Dynamic Forces
Ronald Ringsrud:
Emeralds A Passionate Guide The Emeralds, The People, Their Secrets
Richard W. Wise:
The French Blue

...and if you are a reader like me you will be excited about this assembly of noted authors in the Gem & Jewelry Industry.

Internet Marketing to Drive Local Traffic
Brad Simon, (Graham room)

Use Social Media to Sell Design
Cindy Edelstein, Jewelers Resource Bureau (Maricopa room)

Brad Simon ( and Cindy Edelstein ( are both doing seminars on online marketing - Brad looks at your optimizing your website to attract local traffic and Cindy introduces you to the "Brave New World" of Social Media.

More seminar info at:

I am getting more excited as each announcement is made - I hope that you are making plans to see the Tucson Gem Show in 2010 and if you can't go to Tucson - that you join me.

I have set up a separate Twitter account and site that I can post to and you can talk to me while I am in Tucson (yes - I will still be posting daily wrap ups on my blog).

On Twitter you can follow @TucsonGemShow

...and get the quickest updates at:

If Facebook is your preferred platform my page can be accessed at:

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