CGA Gem Conference 2019

Mini-Conference 2019 Line-up

Celebrate our 61st year as a Canadian Association!
Speakers are all confirmed and we will be updating soon so stay tuned for exciting announcements:

Teri Brossmer

Teri Brossmer embarked on her career as a professional jewelry appraiser while attending Nebraska Wesleyan University. After completing 2 years as an understudy to the resident Appraiser in a retail jewelry store in Lincoln, Nebraska, she moved to California to complete her Graduate Gemologist training in residence at the Gemological Institute of America.

In 1981, GG diploma in hand, Ms. Brossmer launched her independent jewelry appraisal practice, Gem Appraisals Unlimited, LLC, now located in Glendora, CA. Her client base is diverse, including individuals, many levels of law enforcement and the legal community.

Ms. Brossmer regularly appraises seized and forfeited property. She is often retained as an expert witness or litigation consultant, specializing in testimony regarding gem and jewelry valuation and jewelry appraisal profession standard of care.

Ms. Brossmer earned her Accredited Senior Appraiser and Master Gemologist Appraiser designations through The American Society of Appraisers and Senior Member status through the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

She currently serves as a course developer and instructor for the ASA Gems and Jewelry discipline and is a certified USPAP instructor. Ms. Brossmer currently serves as Vice President of the board of governors of Accredited Gemologists Association.

Richard Drucker

Richard Drucker, GG, FGA, NAJA, AGA is the president of Gemworld International,Inc. in Glenview, Illinois. His credentials include: Graduate Gemologist of 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 Gem Guide Appraisal Software. In 2014 he co-developed the World of Color nomenclature and grading system for colored Gemstones.

In 2006, Mr. 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). Mr. Drucker now serves as publisher, appraiser, consultant, lecturer and author. He has hosted international gemological conferences bringing gemologists, jewelers and appraisers together from around the world.

Lisa Elser

Lisa Elser is a gemcutter trained in Switzerland and living in the Vancouver, BC area. She’s published articles on gem travel, ethical buying, heat treatment of gems, and numerous gem cutting techniques. Her gems have been featured in Canadian Jeweller, More Magazine, Canadian Jewellery Business, and Jewelry Artist Magazine, and she is the winner of an American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) Spectrum Award and 5 Lapidary Journal Gemmys.

Her Spectrum Award winning Tourmaline is in the permanent collection of the Smithsonian Museum.

She and her husband travel the world to buy rough gems, ensuring that the stones purchased are ethically mined and benefit local communities.

Eric Fritz

Eric Fritz, FGA, DGA is the manager of The University of Arizona Gem and Mineral Museum.  The current role is to develop and transition the existing museum to the historic Pima County Courthouse facility.  Eric will interface with the University, Pima County and the architects to build a world class facility for the collections as well as a research arm for mineralogy and gemology research.

Prior to this role, he was Manager-North America for Gem-A, the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, holding both colored stone and diamond designations.   Lab instruction, seminars and workshops are provided to students and the gem and jewelry industry.  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.    As a youth, He 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.

Alex Grizenko

Alex Grizenko, a renowned expert on lab grown diamonds, is the founder and 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.), and owned two computer companies before starting an import/sales company in 1990 for semi-precious gemstones and lab grown emeralds and alexandrite. His next ventures set the stage to form Lucent Diamonds through extensive partnerships with brilliant physicists and engineers who were the first to create commercially viable gem-quality diamond growers. Alex is credited with offering lab grown diamonds to world markets since 1994.

Over the years Lucent Diamonds has perfected many growing technologies for fancy colour diamonds and has pushed the envelope with spectacular lab grown red diamonds and ones grown from carbon extracted from biological sources. Lucent Diamonds now offers a commissioned diamond service to grow diamonds from wedding bouquets for special anniversary gifts. More recently Lucent Diamonds has also focused on HPHT and CVD technology for growing 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 identification techniques, disclosure requirements and future trends in lab versus earth mined diamonds. He has been featured on programs such as PBS-NOVA (The Diamond Deception); BBC – Science & Nature – Horizon (The Diamond Makers, The Diamond Labs), ZDF – Germany – Science (Laboratory Diamonds).

Jon Phillips

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. Jon also does presentations on diamond market conditions and on synthetic diamonds in the jewellery industry. 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. He is a part time instructor at Vancouver Community College in the Jewellery Art and Design program. 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 on the Accreditation and Certification committee of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) and is a past member of the Standards Committee.  Jon is a past vice-president of the diamond commission for CIBJO and currently sits on the board of Canadian Diamond Code of Conduct Committee (CDCC) and is on several committees for the Canadian Jewellers Association (CJA).

Robert Weldon

Robert Weldon is Director of the Library at GIA, Carlsbad, CA, leading a team of 16 librarians and subject matter experts. He also pursues writing assignments, travel to gem localities, gem photography, and public speaking. Weldon speaks Spanish and German fluently.

Mr. Weldon has reported extensively on gemological issues. He was a senior editor at JCK, and later Professional Jeweler (USA) magazines, before returning to GIA in 2006. Weldon travels to some major gem sites around the world including Burma, India, East and South Africa, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil, Russia, and several other sources.

Mr. Weldon’s photographs are published 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, and A Rough Guide for Artisanal Miners. Since 2008, his photographs appeared regularly on the covers of GIAs Gems & Gemology.

Recent peer-reviewed articles by him and co-authors include: The Museum of London’s Extraordinary Cheapside Hoard (Fall 2013); Botswana’s Scintillating Moment (Summer 2014); In Rainier’s Footsteps: Journey to the Chivor Emerald Mine (2016), and Brazil’s Diamonds: A Historical & Recent Perspective (2017). Gem Virtuosos: The Drehers and Their Extraordinary Carvings, a story about Idar-Oberstein’s celebrated Dreher carving family, was published in the 2017 Winter issue of Gems & Gemology.