October 16, 17, 18
Terminal City Club
837 West Hastings Street
Vancouver, BC V6C 1B6
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.
Schedule of Events
Hotel Booking Information
Request for Donations - Silent Auction
Conference Speaker Biographies
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
||9:00 am to
|Geology of Gem Deposits Short Course|
|6:00 pm to
|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|
|Tuesday, October 20||10:00 am - 4:30 pm||Jade (Fei Cui) Identification & Valuation Seminar & Workshop
Instructor: Dr Edward Liu
|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 July 31! Download the conference registration form, complete, and return to Donna Hawrelko at the address or fax number specified on the form.
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!
This year's gem conference offers an incredible opportunity to upgrade skills by attending specialized workshops offered by leading experts in the field. Make sure you allow time before and after the conference for these special events.
Geology of Gem Deposits
Friday, October 16, 2015; 0900 - 1600 hrs
This seminar will be presented by three outstanding world-renowned gemstone geologists.
Gem deposits are rare because, in general, the conditions that promote their formation are unusual and thus worthy of scientific study. Recently, modern geological and analytical techniques have been applied to gem occurrences worldwide, and our models and understanding of their formation are being radically altered.
This one-day short course looks at gemstones from a geological perspective and reviews our current understanding of the big deposits - diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald - and will briefly look at some of the lesser-known coloured gems.
Space is very limited. Registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis.
$300 for conference delegates
$350 for all others
Registration Deadline: October 9, 2015
Jade (Fei Cui) Identification & Valuation Seminar & Workshop
Tuesday, October 20, 2015; 1000 - 1630 hrs
This workshop will be presented by Dr. Edward Liu, Research Geologist & Gemmologist, Gemmological Association of Hong Kong, and scientific committee member of the Er. Edward Gubelin Association.
The seminar & workshop will consist of:
$300 for conference delegates
$450 for all others
Registration Deadline: October 9, 2015
Register now, as space is limited, and available on a first-come, first-served basis.
Conference Speaker Biographies
Dr. Lee Groat
Dr. Cigdem Lule
Dr. Jim Shigley
Richard 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 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.
Çiğdem 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.
Shawn O’Sullivan, G.G.
Shawn comes from a family of jewelers and gemologists. Shawn started in the business while in high school carrying his Dad’s brief case while he sold jewelry to jewelry stores. He started his formal training as a jewelry student in 1980 attending Bowman’s Technical School in Lancaster, PA. That same year he started his studies with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to become a Graduate Gemologist. Shawn has traveled the world buying rough and polished gemstones. In 2003, Shawn was hired as a Senior Gemstone buyer for one of the largest TV Home Shopping Networks. He later became the Director of Product Development and was a regular host as an on-air Gemstone expert. Shawn has a passion to travel in the pursuit of beautiful and exotic gems and mineral specimens.
Shawn recent joined the Arthur Groom group and is now the President/CEO of Eternity Natural Emeralds offering emeralds, tourmalines, and other rare natural gemstones. All Emeralds are enhanced with the Excel Clarity enhancement process which is the only enhancement what carries a life time guarantee. Shawn says, “Our mission is to educate and inform everyone about the beauty of emeralds and how they can be enriched through the Excel clarity enhancement process.”
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 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 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.
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.
The production and treatment of synthetic diamonds
The colourful world of multi‐step treatments for both natural and synthetic diamonds
The present and future of the synthetic diamond industry and market
Gary A. Roskin, GIA GG, FGA
Gary Roskin, Graduate Gemologist (GIA), author, journalist, and one of the world's most highly regarded authorities in the art and science of diamond grading, is now the host for the new online gemstone information source, the Roskin Gem News Report. Former gemstone Editor for JCK Magazine, Roskin has covered the international coloured gems market, as well as gemmological subjects on diamonds, and the estate gemstone/jewellery market for close to two decades.
With over 25 years of experience with professional laboratory diamond grading, supervising, training, monitoring, and reporting, Gary Roskin has provided jewellers and appraisers with valuable diamond grading tips and techniques. He authored "Photo Masters for Diamond Grading", which was one of the best selling reference books at the GIA's Bookstore, with approximately 3500 copies sold (currently out-of-print). In 2009, Gary took on the additional role of adjunct instructor, teaching gemmology at the Fashion Institute of Technology's Jewelry Design Department in New York City, as well as Practical Tutor for the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A).
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 EstateBuyers.com).
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.
Dr. 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.
Dr Edward Liu
Dr Liu is an experienced research geologist and gemmologist who has long been engaged in the study of mineral physics and mineral materials. His most prominent research is on the crystal chemistry and microstructure of pezzottaite - a new beryl group mineral. During the study of Fei Cui, he discovered the bright green variety of omphacite jade in 2010. He has conducted many on-site investigations of pegmatitic and metamorphic minerals in Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Madagascar, China and even Russia, and his work has extended to crystal morphology, spectroscopic studies and synchrotron radiation x-ray tomography. Many important research papers about gems and minerals have been published in different journals of mineralogy, petrology and gemmology. In 2002, he was awarded First Prize for “Excellence in Science and Technology” by the Chengdu Academy of Social Science.
Dr Liu is a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain and an instructor of the FGA Gemmology (Diploma) Program since 1992. He was a course instructor of mineralogy (2009) in the Hong Kong Baptist University SCE. He has been a presenter (or invited speaker) at many national geological conferences and international gemmological conferences. Currently he is a Chinese delegate to the International Gemmological Conference, a scientific committee member of the Dr. Eduard Gubelin Association (Gubelin Gemlab Ltd., Switzerland) for Research & Identification of Precious Stones, an education director of the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong and the Mineralogy Society of Hong Kong, a convener of the technical board of the "Fei Cui Testing Methods and Laboratory Management System Development Project" (The Hong Kong Council for Testing and Certification), one of the authors of the "Standard Methods for Testing Fei Cui" for Hong Kong, and a life member of the Chinese Society for Mineralogy, Petrology and Geochemistry.
Robert Weldon GG
Robert Weldon is Manager, Photography & Visual Communications at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Weldon is based in the Institute’s Richard T. Liddicoat Gemological Library & Information Center in Carlsbad, CA, where he divides his time pursuing writing assignments, traveling, photographing, public speaking and library research and related assignments.
Weldon has reported about gemstone and gemological issues for 20 years. He worked as a senior editor at JCK, and later Professional Jeweler magazines before returning to GIA in 2006. In his capacity as a gemological photojournalist and researcher, Weldon travels to some of the world’s major gem sites, including Burma, Colombia, East Africa, South Africa, Botswana, Lesotho, Angola, India, Thailand, Russia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Brazil, and Bolivia.
Weldon’s photographs have appeared in scores of international gemological, jewelry and consumer publications, illustrating his own and other authors’ articles, and in several books, including Splendour & Science of Pearls, which he co-authored and edited. Since 2008, his photographs have appeared on the covers of GIA’s scholarly publication, Gems & Gemology.
Recent peer-reviewed articles by him include: Ruby & Sapphire Production & Distribution: A Quarter Century of Change (Winter 2009); The Museum of London’s Extraordinary Cheapside Hoard (Fall 2013); Botswana’s Scintillating Moment (Summer 2014). He is currently working on peer-reviewed articles about Brazilian diamond history and the Chivor emerald mine in Colombia.
A public speaker for two decades, Weldon focuses on topics as diverse as gemology, photography, world gemstone sources, and Fair Trade gemstones and sustainable business practices for the gem business.
Diamond Integrity Manager, De Beers Mining, Canada
Simon joined De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company, now De Beers Group Sightholder Sales, in 1984 and has worked in various roles in Europe, Asia, North America and Africa. He was appointed Diamond Liaison Manager at De Beers Canada in 2007 and more recently Diamond Integrity Manager in April 2015. He is responsible for the process involved in the sale of goods to DBGSS, Senior Compliance Officer for De Beers’ Best Practice Principals, the Business Integrity Implementation Manager for De Beers Canada and responsible for beneficiation in the Secondary Diamond Market in Canada on behalf of De Beers.
It's time to get excited! Donations for the Silent Auction at our Saturday evening graduation celebration are starting to come in. Check this page often to see what new treasures have been added.
14 kt yellow gold 5-stone channel set princess cut ring, with blue zircon, garnet,
ruby & sapphire
14 kt yellow gold brushed-finish earrings, 8.6 grams