Monday, August 21, 2017

Conference 2017 Speakers

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October 20-22, 2017
The National Club
303 Bay Street

Toronto, ON  M5H 2R1
Conference Chairperson: Karen Howard

Conference Includes
Friday evening cocktail reception
Full program of speakers, Saturday & Sunday
Continental breakfast and coffee breaks, Saturday & Sunday
Saturday gala dinner and graduation ceremony. 

Conference Program Speakers:

Warren Boyd-Potentate Mining
Odile Civitello-Gemmologue Évaluateur Enr. 
Tammy Cohen-Almod Diamonds Limited Group                                      
Richard Drucker-Gemworld International Inc
Eric Fritz-The Gemmological Association of Great Britain
Alex Grizenko-Lucent Diamonds Inc
Alan Hodgkinson-Scottish Gemmological Association
Jon Phillips-Corona Diamond
Art Samuels -Vivid Diamonds and Jewelery                                        
Chris Smith -American Gemological Laboratories
Brad Wilson-Alpine Gems

Speaker Biographies

Odile Cilvitello  
Odile Civitello is a graduate from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA), from the British Gemmological Association (Gem-A), and from the Canadian Gemmological Association (CGA). She is also a Certified Appraisal Professional from the Canadian Jewellers Association.

In 1993, she opens an office where she offers gem and jewellery appraisal services. In 1995 she founds the Montreal School of Gemmology (EGM), an education institution now internationally recognized. Her experience and dedication for teaching make it possible for her to initiate courses at all levels and fields of specialization (foundation courses in gemmology, preparatory courses for the Gem-A exams, practical workshops, courses for rough diamond grading, coloured stones grading and jewellery appraisal). While at school, she also organized study trips to Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Brazil and Tanzania.
After twenty years with the Montreal School of Gemmology, she now offers exclusively appraisal, gemmological and consultation services, gemmology remaining a never ending passion.  

Tammy Cohen
Tammy Cohen 2016 640x480

Tammy Cohen serves as Director of Crown of Light Education and Marketing.

 She first joined Almod Diamonds Limited Group in 2007 to launch the Pink Desire Collection, an ancillary mid-tier jewelry line for the Pink Panther motion picture franchise, marketed jointly with MGM and Sony Films

By 2013 she rejoined Almod Diamonds Limited Group spearheading a multi–phase Crown of Light Education Initiative and marketing
campaign; broadening brand awareness and liaising with the trade and consumers for all Crown of Light products along with the development of Crown of Light brand strategy.

Prior to Almod Diamonds, Ms. Cohen opened Tammy Cohen Marketing & Consulting; lauded for 
its results oriented and affordable corporate marketing strategies. From 2008 to 2012 Ms. Cohen aligned with various US and global firms to develop traditional and social media marketing campaigns. 
Ms. Cohen earned her MBA from Baruch College in New York City in 1992. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and 3 sons.

Richard Drucker

RichardDrucker-2017      Richard Drucker, GG (GIA) is the president of Gemworld  International, Inc. in Glenview, Illinois. His credentials include: Graduate  Gemologist of the Gemological Institute of America; Honorary Fellow of  the Gemmological Association of Great Britain; Senior Member of the  National Association of Jewelry Appraisers; 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 40 countries and is the industry leader in gem pricing and market information. In 2002, he became the owner of GemGuide Appraisal Software. 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 hosted four international gemological conferences brining gemologists, jewelers and appraisers together from around the world with a fifth planned for fall 2017.

Eric Fritz
  Eric Fritz, FGA, DGA is the manager of North America for Gem-A, the Gemmological
Association of Great Britain, holding both colored Eric Fritzstone and diamond designations.   Eric has a degree in Zoology from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  The Zoology degree leads to a passion for pearls and other organic gem materials, which are Eric’s specialty.  The studies concentrated on invertebrates which as a review include molluscs; shells and the organisms contained within.  This is the source of pearls as we know them.  As a youth, Eric collected shells on the seashore and noticed at an early age the ability for pearl formation as a free pearl or as a protrusion of the shell, what we now refer to as Mabe or blister pearls.  An obsessive shell collection now resides beside the minerals and gemstones.

   Gem-A is the oldest, over 100 years, and worldwide leader in gemmological training.  As the oldest educational provider, innovation and current trends still guide the emphasis in staying up to date.  Gem-A was also the first gem testing lab in the world, a call to action from differentiation of natural and cultured pearls.  In recent years, Gem-A has made a major commitment in North America.  We offer on line courses with onsite labs convenient to all students.  Our mission is to advance the understanding of ge
mstones through education, membership and the encouragement of best practice.

Alex Grizenko 
Alex Grizenko Photo at JCK June 7 2017
    Alex Grizenko, a renowned expert on lab grown    diamonds, is CEO of Lucent  Diamonds, Inc. located in Carbon Beach, Malibu, California.

  Alex Grizenko studied at McGill University (B.Sc.) and Duke University (M.H.A.)  a
nd owned two computer companies before beginning his gem journey in 1990.  He started by importing semi-precious rough gemstones and lab grown emerald  and alexandrite from Russia followed by several successful partnerships with  innovative diamond growing labs.  A pioneer, Alex is credited as being one of the  few to offer lab grown diamonds to the world market since 1994. Over the years  Lucent Diamonds has perfected many technologies for fancy color lab diamonds  including the production of spectacular reds, pinks, purples, blues, greens,  oranges and yellows.  During the past five years, Lucent Diamonds has focused  on the production of affordable colorless and near-colorless diamonds.   

Alex has been a frequent lecturer for organizations such as the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) on topics ranging from new diamond technologies and their expanding markets, disclosure requirements for lab grown diamonds and future trends in lab versus earth grown diamonds. He has been featured on programs such as PBS-NOVA (The Diamond Deception), BBC
Science & Nature - Horizon (The Diamond Makers, The Diamond Labs), German ZDF Science (Laboratory Diamonds).

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

Jon C. Phillips GG (GIA), CG (AGS)   JONP PIC 500x500

Jon has been in the jewellery business for over 35 years and worked in all of its “facets”. He is currently the Divisional Manager for Canadian Diamonds at Corona Jewellery Company Ltd. in Toronto, Canada. Part of Jon’s responsibilities includes managing the rough to polish systems for Canadian Diamonds including purchasing of the rough directly from mining companies to working with diamond polishing factories to produce the final product.

Jon is also the lead instructor for Corona and travels worldwide to promote Canadian diamonds and gold. He is Corona’s first contact for anti-money laundering (AML) and Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) compliances.

He has worked for BHP Billiton Diamonds as a Marketing Manager in both Vancouver and Antwerp and as a service Manager for Birks in Vancouver. Jon and his wife Carol ran their own custom jewellery business in Vancouver for fifteen years which is where Jon obtained his training as a journeyman goldsmith.

Jon is a Certified Gemologist (CG) from the American Gem Society (AGS) and a Graduate Gemologist (GG) from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).

Jon also currently sits as the chairman of the Accreditation and Certification committee of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and is a past member of the Standards Committee.  Jon is a member of the GIA Alumni Advisory Council and past vice-president of the diamond commission for CIBJO. He currently sits on the boards of the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA) and Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct Committee (CDCC).

Art-SamuelsArt Samuels
Art enlisted in the U.S. Navy, became an expert in anti-submarine warfare and after 24 years of service, retired as a Commander. Art founded and is a partner in a high-end six-store retail jewellery chain. He also founded and is president of two wholesales gem and jewellery companies (Vivid Diamonds & Jewelry and

Art is active as a top gemmologist, and an active buyer and seller of estate gems and jewellery. He is a Senior Member and on the Board of the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA), and the Diamond Bourse of the Southeastern United States.

Chris Smith

    Christopher P Smith5
             Chris Smith is a 30 year veteran of the gem and jewelry industry with a distinguished international career. He began his interest in gemology in 1986, when he joined the GIA Laboratory, then in Los Angeles, CA, after graduating from their graduate gemologist and graduate jeweler's programs. Although initially a diamond grader, he quickly transitioned into the Gem Identification department where he worked with such notable gemologists as Shane McClure, Robert E. Kane, Chuck Fryer, Emmanuel Fritsch, and many others.

He also pioneered research into several areas of gemology, including the further development and refinement of country-of-origin criteria for rubies, sapphires, emeralds, alexandrites, spinel and other gemstones. This innovative work included the characterization of ruby and sapphire from a number of newly discovered deposits, such as rubies and sapphires from Mong Hsu, Nepal, Tajikistan, and Vietnam, as well as other localities.

In 2003, Chris returned to the GIA Laboratory, this time in New York. As the Director of Identification Services, he was involved with the development of colored gemstone services and research. In December of 2006, Chris joined the American Gemological Laboratories (AGL) as Vice President and Chief Gemologist to spear-head the growth and development of their colored gemstone services.
In April of 2009, Chris became President and owner of AGL.

Along with his identification and research work, Chris has published and lectured extensively on various gemological topics. In 2016 he was honored with the Excellence in Gemology award by the Indian Diamond and Colored Stone Association (IDCA). In 2012 the Jeweler’s Circular Keystone included Chris in its Power List of the Industry’s 50 most influential people. In 2010 he was awarded an honorary Fellowship (FGA) by the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) for his career-long commitment to the advancement of gemology. In 2009 Chris received the Antonio C. Bonnano award for Excellence in Gemology from the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA). In 2007, Chris was awarded the Richard T. Liddicoat award by the American Gem Society (AGS). He is a past recipient of the Most Valuable Article Award in Gems & Gemology and has been a member of their technical review board since 1993. He also was a founding member of the Laboratory Manual Harmonization Committee (LMHC) and he is a current member of the board for the British Gemmological Association (Gem-A).

Brad Wilson

Brad’s interest in minerals began at a young age, but fully crystallized (pardon Brad-Wilson-Dec-2016-crop-1600the pun) in 1978 when he accidentally discovered transparent smoky quartz in northern Canada.  Since then, his keen interest in Canadian minerals and gemstones has lead Brad all across Canada prospecting for minerals and rough gemstones.  Brad completed BSc and MSc degrees in geology at Queen’s and Carleton Universities and in 1991, Brad became a Fellow of the Canadian Gemmological Association (FCGmA), and from 2007 to 2012 was the CGA’s vice president.  A faceter of gemstones since 1979, Brad cuts many rare and soft collector stones as well as the more traditional coloured gemstones.  Brad is the Canadian partner of "Coast to Coast Rare Stones International", a company specializing in rare, soft and collector gemstones and he operates “Alpine Gems”, a gem cutting shop and consulting business in Kingston, Ontario. In addition to selling gemstones, Brad works as a gemstone exploration consultant, offering property evaluation and exploration services specifically for gemstones.   He has also written several articles on Canadian gemstones.




The CGA offers sincere thanks to the following for their sponsorship and support:

CGA Conference 2017

Ruby Sponsor


Emerald Sponsor

   Sapphire Sponsors
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