Saturday, May 30, 2015

Conference 2015

CGA Gem Conference 2015

October 16, 17, 18
Terminal City Club
837 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC  V6C 1B6

Contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The 2015 conference is being conducted in collaboration with Vancouver Community College and the AGA.
Download a conference information package with a summary of the forms and key pieces of information on this page.

Conference Includes
Schedule of Events
Hotel Booking Information
Request for Donations - Silent Auction
Conference Speaker Biographies

Conference Includes

Friday evening wine & cheese welcome reception
Full program of speakers, Saturday & Sunday
Continental breakfast and two coffee breaks per day, Saturday & Sunday
Saturday gala dinner, dance and graduation ceremony.

Schedule of Events

Friday, October 16

6:00 pm to
10:00 pm
Conference registration with wine & cheese welcome
reception and book signing event    
Saturday, October 17
8:30 am - 9:00 am Conference registration & continental breakfast
9:00 am Opening session with keynote speaker. Speaker sessions
continue throughout the day
~12 noon Buffet lunch
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm Ruby Martini Reception - sponsored by True North Gems
7:00 pm - 11:00 pm Graduation Ceremony, Gala Dinner & Dance
 Sunday, October 18    8:30 - 9:00 am Continental breakfast
 9:00 am  Opening session with keynote speaker. Speaker sessions continue.
 ~12 noon  Buffet lunch
 4:00 pm  Conference closes


Early-Bird Member Prices

Code Event Price (add GST)
CRN 30134     Full 3-day conference registration $499
CRN 30144 Friday evening only: wine & cheese reception $59
CRN 30136 Saturday lecture & lunch only (no gala dinner & dance)     $195
CRN 30142 Saturday dinner & gala only $149
CRN 30140 Saturday full day: lectures & gala $319
CRN 30138 Sunday only: lectures & lunch $195

Download the schedule of rates


Take advantage of early-bird registration rates by June 30! Download the conference registration form, complete, and return to Donna Hawrelko at the address or fax number specified on the form.

Terminal City Club Hotel - Booking Information

Email:This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Call: 1.855.678.8998.

Booking Code: DHC


Deluxe king or double room - $159 + tax
City View suite (king) - $179 + tax
Harbour View suite (king or double) - $199 + tax

Please note that rooms are available on a first come, first served basis!

Request for Donations - Silent Auction

Conference hosts CGA, AGA and VCC invite you to donate items to the annual Gem Conference Auction. Needless to say, for a good auction interesting objects are needed. Let’s make this year's auction the best yet, and the most fun. Not only is it a chance to get that specimen you have been hunting for, it's a way to raise funds to help cover costs of the conference and raise funds for student scholarships. So dig into those old boxes in the garage, clear out the cupboards, drawers and shelves. Who knows what you might find to donate!

This year, through the VCC Foundation, donations between $50 and $1000 will receive a tax receipt when accompanied by documentation which indicates the fair market value of the item (for example, a purchase receipt or an appraisal)!  Those items over $1000 require a third party appraisal (government rules). All donations are greatly appreciated. We will have the appraisals done, if required.  Please note that donations of “services” are not eligible for tax receipts.

Please download the donation form and help us out!

Conference Speaker Biographies

Richard Drucker
Andrew Fagan
Alex Grizenko
Dr. Lee Groat
Arthur Groom
Alan Hodgkinson
Dr. Cigdem Lule
James Riley
Kelly Ross
Dr. Jim Shigley

Richard DriuckerRichard Drucker, GG (GIA), FGA
Richard Drucker is the president of Gemworld International, Inc. in Glenview, Illinois. His credentials include: Graduate Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America; Honorary FGA of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain; Senior Member of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers; Registered Master Valuer; Senior Gemologist, Accredited Gemologists Association. 

As a third generation in the jewelry industry, he began a pricing publication in 1982 now known as the GemGuide. This publication is used in more than 25 countries and is the industry leader in gem pricing and market information. In 2002, he became the owner of GemGuide Appraisal In 2014 he co-developed the World of Color nomenclature and grading system for colored gemstones.

In 2006, Drucker was bestowed the Antonio C. Bonanno Excellence in Gemology industry award. In 2012 he was awarded honorary fellowship in the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA). Drucker now serves as publisher, appraiser, consultant, lecturer, and author. He has now hosted four international gemological conferences brining gemologists, jewelers and appraisers together from around the world.

Andrew Fagan
Andrew Fagan is a diamond and coloured gemstone researcher and exploration geologist. He has explored for gemstones all over the world including the UK, Canada, Greenland and Mozambique. His current focus is the geology of metasomatic and metamorphic gem corundum (ruby and sapphire) deposits on Greenland. However, he remains active in diamond exploration whenever possible.

Mr. Fagan completed his B.Sc.(hons) in 2005 focussed on diamond geology at the University of Glasgow, UK. His M.Sc. experimentally investigated the possibility of natural diamond growth from a hydrous silicate melt as part of the Diamond Research Group at the University of Alberta.

Mr. Fagan has worked as a gemstone specialist for Rio Tinto, Peregrine Diamond Ltd., the Territorial Government of Nunavut, and the University of British Columbia. He was elected as a Fellow of the Geological Society of London in 2005 and received Chartership as a Professional Geologist (C.Geol) in 2013. Since 2009 he has occupied numerous technical and consulting roles at True North Gems and formed an integral part of the team that modelled, handled permitting, and initiated construction on Greenland’s first ruby and pink sapphire mine.

Cigdem LuleÇiğdem Lüle, PhD, FGA, GG (GIA)
Çiğdem Lüle, PhD, FGA., GG (GIA) is a research gemologist and mineralogist. She has dedicated a large part of her professional career to the identification of gem findings from archaeological sites. The focus of her subject is to establish the geologic and geographic origin of ancient specimens by use of nondestructive gemological and mineralogical testing techniques. 

Dr. Lüle earned her PhD. in Mineralogy at Hacettepe University in Turkey. Her interest in mineralogy evolved to focus on gem and ornamental minerals. In 1997, she was awarded the British Council of Turkey Scholarship to study gemology at the prestigious Gemmological Association of Great Britain in London. In 2000, she was granted the Chevening Scholarship for PhD. research at the Ashmolean Museum of Oxford and the Natural History Museum of London, UK by the British Council of Turkey. 
Dr. Lüle relocated to Great Britain in 2001 where she established residence for the next 10 years. In 2005, she earned a graduate gemologist diploma from the Gemological Institute of America. Dr. Lüle was employed as an instructor at the London Campus of the GIA from 2004 until 2010. 

In 2010, Dr. Lüle relocated to the USA and joined the staff of Gemworld International Inc., in March 2011 as Special Projects. She has developed a series of practical educational workshops pertaining to specific pricing and identification challenges facing the global trade today. These workshops are currently taught by her and administered through Gemworld International, Inc. 

Dr. Lüle is also the technical advisor of the new World of Color, color communication system and the contributing editor of the GemGuide’s Gem Market News.

Arthur GroomArthur P. Groom
Arthur Groom founded ARTHUR GROOM & CO. as a retail jewelry business in 1975 and continues to operate a high-end retail jewelry store in Ridgewood, New Jersey.  Since 1975, he has vertically integrated the company by opening different wholesale and manufacturing operations.  In 1987, Mr. Groom forged a division dealing in emeralds in Bogota, Colombia.  While there he opened a research and development laboratory concentrating on gemstone enhancements.  That laboratory was later moved to North America where it created the ExCel Process as it is used today for the clarity enhancement of emerald, and more recently for tourmaline.  This Process revolutionized gemstone enhancements around the world.  ExCel is the only colorless and stable clarity enhancement for gemstones, and is guaranteed for the lifetime of the stone.  Mr. Groom has offices located in New Jersey, New York City, Jaipur, India, Bangkok, Thailand and Kabul, Afghanistan, manufacturing and distributing branded Eternity Natural Emerald jewelry and loose stones internationally.

Alan Hodgkinson
President of the Scottish Gemmological Association, Freeman of the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, Honorary Member of the Canadian Gemmological, Honorary Registered Valuer.

Lifetime awards by AGA, AGTA, Gem-A and SGA, Author of Visual Optics, Author of Gem Testing Techniques and Originator of the synthetic emerald filter and the stained green jadeite filter.

kelly photo 2Kelly Ross MA, FCGmA
Kelly Ross was the Diamond Program Coordinator for the RCMP for 11 years before retiring from the RCMP in 2013.  He was responsible for investigations, intelligence analysis, litigation assistance, and training on matters relating to the criminal use of diamonds, gemstones and precious metals.  He has been qualified as expert for the criminal use of diamonds, gemstones, and precious metals in Canadian jurisdictions of Quebec, Ontario, and Alberta and just prior to retiring from the RCMP he was the lead Canadian delegate to the FATF Global Money Laundering typology review on the use of diamonds in money laundering.  He was also a jeweller and goldsmith for 11 years.

He holds several gemological credentials including the FCGmA diploma and trained as a rough diamond grader in North America and Belgium.  He holds a university degree with concentrations in earth studies as well as a Masters of Arts Degree for researching the criminal use of diamonds, gemstones and precious metals by criminal organizations.  In 2008 he published the book titled "The Fifth C: The Criminal Use of Diamonds" and has lectured across Canada, in the United States and Africa on this topic.

Lee GroatLee Groat, PhD 
Lee Groat grew up in Kingston, Ontario, and graduated from Queen's University with a B.Sc. (Honours, Geology) in 1982. From there he went to the University of Manitoba, graduating with a Ph.D. degree in 1988. In 1988-1989 he was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University.

Dr. Groat has been at UBC since July 1989. In 1999 he was awarded the Young Scientist Medal of the Mineralogical Association of Canada. Throughout the 1990's he was at various times an Associate Editor for both Canadian Mineralogist and American Mineralogist, and from 2001 to 2006 was Editor of American Mineralogist.
In 2002 he was awarded a Killam Prize for Excellence in Teaching.
In 2003 he was elected a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America.
In 2009 the new mineral groatite, NaCaMn2+2(PO4)[PO3(OH)]2, was named in his honour.

He is currently Past-President of the Mineralogical Association of Canada, former Co-Editor (2012) and present Editor (2013-present) of Canadian Mineralogist, and Director of the Integrated Sciences program at UBC.

Grizenko2Alex Grizenko
Alex Grizenko, President of Lucent Diamonds Inc. has over 20 years experience in lab grown diamonds and advanced diamond technologies. Along with a team of physicists and engineers, Lucent Diamonds represents the cutting edge in research and development in the field of synthetic diamond production and HPHT (high pressure, high temperature) natural diamond treatments. Lucent Diamonds specializes in color diamonds and has also developed a multi‐step treatment process for both natural and synthetic diamonds to produce vibrant pink and red colors.

Recently, at their laboratories in Novosibirsk, Russia, the team developed a technique and the equipment necessary for performing deep‐cleaning of microscopic fissures in both rough and faceted diamonds. Lucent Diamonds is also involved in developing gem grade diamond alternatives and has perfected a technology to apply diamond‐like carbon coatings to CZ as a means of enhancing the material’s durability and luster.

Topics include :
  • The production and treatment of synthetic diamonds
  • The present and future of the synthetic diamond industry and market
  • The colourful world of multi‐step treatments for both natural and synthetic diamonds
  • The importance of deep cleaning for rough and polished diamonds
  • Exciting developments in new diamond simulants.
  • Specimens will be on hand for observation.

Jim Shigley headshot 2Dr. James Shigley, PhD
Dr. James Shigley is a distinguished research fellow at the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California.  Prior to joining GIA in 1982, he studied geology as an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley, and later received his doctorate in geology from Stanford University.  He helps direct GIA’s research activities on the identification of diamonds and colored gemstones, and has ongoing research interests in the natural geological environments of gem mineral formation as well as the characterization of gem materials.  Dr. Shigley is the author of more than 180 published articles on diamonds and other gemstones in various journals, and has been a well-known speaker on gemmological topics to both professional and general audiences on nearly 250 occasions.




Year after year, the CGA brings together gemmologists from across Canada and around the world to network, share the latest news in the field and attend special workshops. Our sumptuous banquet dinner provides a classy setting to honour graduates of our professional gemmology programs and to welcome new Fellows into the Association ... and the silent auctions can't help but add a little spice to the occasion!

In today's competitive, fast-changing environment, it's important to stay abreast of changes and demonstrate involvement in the community on an on-going basis. Add the CGA gem conference to your schedule today!

Grad & AGM 2014

CGA Grad Dinner & AGM 2014
with Special Workshops

November 13 - 14, 2014
The National Club, Howland Room
303 Bay Street
Toronto, ON  M5H 2R1

Organizer: Anita Beardwood
Workshops Coordinator: Karen Howard

The CGA's 2014 Annual General Meeting of members was held in conjunction with the end-of-year graduation ceremony and dinner at the Howland Room of the National Club in downtown Toronto. An accompanying selection of special workshops was held just before the event to provide an opportunity for additional skills development in the area of gemstone treatments and pricing.  

The event featured a cocktail reception at 5:30 pm followed by a speaker, dinner, Annual General Meeting and graduation ceremony.

Registration Form - Grad & AGM - click here to download
Registration Form - Special November Workshops - click here to download
Notice of AGM & Proxy Form - click here to download
Director Nomination Form - click here to download

Member price: $75; 
Student price: $60
Non-Member & Guest
 price: $85

Student price is applicable to currently registered CGA, GBC, VCC & CIJT students, plus anyone receiving a CGA preliminary or professional certificate.
Please advise of any dietary restrictions.


Thursday, November 13

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Corundum Treatments and Pricing Workshop
Instructor: Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
CGA Classroom, 55 Queen St E, Lower Concourse 105
Friday, November 14

9:00 am to
1:00 pm
Cultured Pearls and Pricing Workshop
Instructor: Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
CGA Classroom, 55 Queen St E, Lower Concourse 105    
2:00 pm to 5:30 pm Emerald Treatments and Pricing Workshop
Instructor: Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
CGA Classroom, 55 Queen St E, Lower Concourse 105
5:30 pm - 

Cocktails, followed by speaker, silent auction, AGM, dinner and graduation ceremony.

Annual General Meeting - Elections for Positions on the CGA Board of Directors




President Donna Hawrelko Vancouver, BC
Vice President Duncan Parker Toronto, ON
  James Denas Toronto, ON
Secretary Breanne Avender      Calgary, AB
Treasurer Adam Ostrow Coquitlam, BC 
Director of Education      Derek Jackson  Vancouver, BC

Voting members who cannot attend the meeting are asked to complete a proxy and return it to the office.

Biographies for Board Nominees
Donna Hawrelko (nominated for President)
Donna Hawrelko (FCGmA, FGA) is Program Coordinator at Vancouver Community College in British Columbia, and administers delivery of the CGA's professional gemmology program under an affiliate agreement. She is Past President of the AGA (Accredited Gemologists Association) and has served as CGA's Director of Education since 2007. As Conference Chairman for CGA's upcoming 2015 Annual Conference, as well as for many conferences in the past, Donna is deeply involved in building and supporting the gemmological community in Canada.
Duncan Parker (nominated for Vice-President)
Duncan Parker (FCGmA, FGA) has worked as a gemmologist, appraiser and jewellery consultant for thirty years, including over two decades at Harold Weinstein Gemmological Laboratory in Toronto, and currently as VP with Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers. He has participated in the development of gemmology- and jewellery-related course material for the CGA, George Brown College, Ryerson University and the Government of the Northwest Territories, and has worked with Jewellers Vigilance Canada (JVC) to draft industry guidelines. He is immediate Past President of JVC, and has served the CGA as President for over a decade.
James Denas(nominated for Vice-President)
James Denas (FCGmA, HRD CDG) is a gemmologist and an Antwerp-certified diamond grader. He is the owner of Designed by You Custom Jewellery, President of the North York Faceting Guild, and an instructor of the preliminary-level part-time evening gemmology program with the Canadian Gemmological Association. Mr. Denas also narrates audiobooks for the CNIB and broadcasts for AMI Audio, where his recent three-part documentary Death of a President: The Moment and The Controversy won the 2014 bronze medal at The New York International Festivals.
Breanne Avender (nominated for Secretary)
Breanne Avender (FCGmA, FGA) has been in the jewellery industry since 2002. In 2012 she received her BFA in Jewellery and Metals from the Alberta College of Art and Design (ACAD), and was a finalist in the Niche Awards program celebrating excellence and innovation in fine craft. She has participated in 4 shows and was the October 2014 spotlight artist at the Alberta Craft Council. She currently works with a Calgary jewellery store specializing in custom design, and has taught numerous day courses in gemmology at ACAD.
Adam Ostrow (nominated for Treasurer)
Adam Ostrow (FCGmA) is a certified insurance appraiser and accredited senior gemmologist with the AGA. He is President and owner of Rockcliff Design Group, Ltd., a jewellery, gemstone and appraisal company that is a member of the AGTA. He holds Masters Degrees in Business Taxation and International Finance, and has been a Senior Manager with both PwC LLP and with KPMG LLP. He has served the CGA as Treasurer since November of 2012.
Derek Jackson (nominated for Director of Education)
Derek Jackson entered the jewellery industry in 2008 as an independent designer, and started working as a bench jeweller in 2010 completing repairs and making jewellery. He currently manages a small wholesale company where he directs job flow, quality control and the procurement of gemstones and supplies, as well as writing appraisals and making CAD models. At Vancouver Community College, Derek teaches the Registered Master Valuer course, and acts as a teaching assistant and substitute teacher for the gemmology program. His contributions as part of the CGA Conference Committee in Vancouver help foster interaction between gemmologists in Canada.


CGA Classroom
55 Queen St East, Lower Concourse #105, Toronto, ON  M5C 1R6
Instructor: Dr Cigdem Lule, GemWorld International
All attendees will receive a certificate of attendance from GemWorld International upon completion of their workshops.

Corundum Treatments and Pricing Workshop (full day)
Thursday, November 13, 9:00 am -4:00 pm; CGA Member $420/Non-Member $450

This class is an intensive one-day workshop on corundum treatments and pricing. Heating and other methods used to enhance the appearance of corundum are having a profound effect on the market. The sale of treated corundum has dramatically increased the supply of products sold as ruby and sapphire. Accurately pricing corundum requires the professional gemmologist to distinguish not only between treated and natural, but also between the various treatments encountered in today's global market.

This workshop is designed to reconcile the pricing of rubies and sapphires by specific treatment type. 

Participants will examine a variety of natural and treated ruby and sapphire, followed by a presentation concerning pricing considerations. This hands-on session is supported by a PowerPoint presentation featuring high quality images of characteristic features that reveal whether stones have been enhanced, and how.

Friday, November 14, 9:00 am - 1:00 pm; CGA Member $220/Non-Member $250

Cultured pearls are one of the fastest growing sectors in the gem trade. Many varieties of Chinese freshwater pearls have earned widespread consumer acceptance across the global market. However, visual similarity of these pearls to the once dominant seawater varieties like Akoya and South Sea pearls has created some challenges for buyers, sellers and appraisal professionals whose responsibility it is to accurately grade and price pearl products for their clients.

Today, cultured pearls are produced in an array of colours, shapes and sizes, yet the standard remains the round to near round white products. Although visually similar, beyond appearance these products share little in common. Market availability, surface quality, and of course price, differ greatly from variety to variety, as well as among pearls of the same variety. Accurately pricing cultured pearls requires the professional gemmologist to distinguish not only between types, but also to correctly assess quality and shape factors within the same variety.

In this workshop, participants will examine and grade a variety of cultured pearls, followed by a presentation concerning common enhancements and pricing considerations. The hands-on session is supported by a PowerPoint presentation featuring high quality images of certain characteristics useful for assessing overall grade.

Emerald Treatments and Pricing
Thursday, April 3, 2:00 pm - 5:30 pm; CGA Member $250/Non-Member $280

This is a half-day hands-on class working with treated and natural emerald specimens, including pricing information.

Participants will examine emeralds treated by various methods and learn the practical techniques used in the field to recognize them. The degree to which an emerald has been enhanced is one of the major considerations when accurately pricing these popular gems. Tips regarding how to estimate the treatment level are also presented.

Value factors such as colour, clarity and transparency are discussed based on the GemGuide pricing system. Emerald specimens have been specifically treated for this program to illustrate the common treatment types and levels of enhancement encountered in the market.

Past Conference List

The Meeting Place for Gemmology in Canada!

The CGA's regular gem conferences have been bringing together colleagues in the gem and jewellery business since 1990.

Date & Location Conference
October 1990
George Brown College
Toronto, ON
Robert Shore
Zia Hasan
October 26, 1991
North York Novotel
Toronto, ON
 James Hergel
October 24-25, 1992
Park Plaza Hotel,
Toronto, ON
 Robert Shore
October 23-24, 1993
Park Plaza Hotel
Toronto, ON
Duncan Parker
October 22-23, 1994
Park Plaza Hotel
Toronto, ON
Colette Bensimon
October 1995
Renaissance Hotel, Harbourside
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
October 19-20, 1996
Hart House, U of Toronto
Toronto, ON
Duncan Parker
October 25, 1997
Delta Chelsea Inn
Toronto, ON
Jeannine Dykstra
October 24-25, 1998
Montreal Board of Trade, Place Ville-Marie, Montreal, QC
Francois Longere
Hart House, Univ of Toronto
Toronto, ON
October 20-22, 2000
Sheraton Wall Centre Hotel,
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
Metropolitan Hotel,
Toronto, ON
Anna Jankowiak
November 2, 2002
Ontario Heritage Centre
Toronto, ON
Duncan Parker
Ontario Heritage Centre, Toronto, ON
Anita Beardwood
October 22-25, 2004
Terminal City Club
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
The Ontario Club
Toronto, ON
Eden Rathwell
October 28, 2006
The Ontario Club
Toronto, ON
Jennifer McKercher
Oct 19-21, 2007
Terminal City Club
Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
November 7-9, 2008
Dominion Club at One King West, Toronto, ON
Anita Beardwood
Hart House, U of T
Toronto, ON
Mike Hyszka
September 26, 2010
Universite de Montreal
Montreal, QC
Chandra Horn
Nov 18-20, 2011
Terminal City Club, Vancouver, BC
Donna Hawrelko
October 21, 2012
The Gallery at the Heritage Centre, Toronto, ON
Anita Beardwood