CGA Gem Conference 2018

Please visit the Conference Registration page for more information and to register for this conference.

CGA Gem Conference 2018 Sponsors

Diamond Sponsor

$10,000 and over

Ruby Sponsor

$5,000 – $9,999

Emerald Sponsor

$1,001 – 4,999

Sapphire Sponsor

$1,000 and under

Conference 2018 Speakers

Celebrate our 60th year as a Canadian Association!
Speakers are all confirmed and we will be updating soon so stay tuned for exciting announcements:

Dr. Dominic Mok

Dr. Dominic Mok, the founder and Principal of the Asian Gemmological Institute & Laboratory Limited (AGIL), has 40 years of experience in the jewellery trade and is both a professional geologist and accredited expert gemmologist. Dr. Mok espouses “Integrity” as AGIL’ s mission from the beginning and he strictly adheres to the ethical principle of not being involved in jewellery trading. He utilizes advanced, high-tech instruments in his gem testing and annual jewellery audit appraisal services. All clients’ relevant information is kept strictly confidential.

Dr. Mok and his team members have accomplished a number of “first” in gem testing in Hong Kong. In the spring of 1993, AGIL issued the first ever Jadeite Testing Report in Hong Kong using an Infrared Spectrometer. Dr. Mok has always devoted himself to raising the bar in Hong Kong gem testing standard. He has conducted research on Fei Cui, diamonds and rubies, and published his research articles in different media. In January 2005, Dr. Mok led AGIL to further professional recognition. AGIL was the first gemological laboratory in Hong Kong granted HOKLAS ISO/IEC 17025 authorised qualification for Fei Cui Jadeite Jade testing. The qualification accredited by the Hong Kong Accreditation Service (HKAS) of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region Government.

AGIL has been teaching FGA courses since 1983 and it is one of the earliest registered Accredited Teaching Centre (ATC) of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A). AGIL is authorized to teach FGA/DGA gemmology courses in Chinese and English. AGIL’s graduates were granted four times World No.l “Best Candidate” of FGA/DGA exams. In 2009, sponsored by Dominic Mok,   Gem-A established a new worldwide examination honour, “The Mok Diamond Practical Prize’.

In 2016, Dr. Mok was appointed as the Honorary Assistant Professor of Earth Science department of the University of Hong Kong.

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.

Dr. Lee A. Groat

Lee Groat graduated from Queen’s University with a B.Sc.
(Honours, Geology) in 1982 and from the University of Manitoba with a Ph.D. in 1988. From 1988 to 1989 he was a NATO Postdoctoral Fellow at Cambridge University.

Professor Groat has been a faculty member at the University of British Columbia since 1989. His main research interests are the geology of gem deposits, pegmatites, the crystal chemistry of minerals, and economic geology. He has published more than 125 papers in peer-reviewed scientific journals.

From 2001 to 2006 Dr. Groat was Editor of American Mineralogist. He is the former Co-Editor (2012) and present Editor (2013-present) of The Canadian Mineralogist.

In 2003 Dr. Groat was elected a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America, and in 2009 the new mineral groatite, NaCaMn2+2(PO4)[PO3(OH)]2, was named in his honor.

Professor Groat is an Independent Director of multiple companies in the exploration and technology spheres and a partner in a private consulting company.

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. 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).

Sarah Steele

Sarah is a member of the Canadian Gemological Society, The Scottish Gemmological Society and a Senior Accredited Gemologist of the International Accredited Gemologists Association.

Specialising in the use of natural, semi-synthetic and synthetic polymers in jewellery, Sarah is considered a leading authority on the Jet Group of gemstones. She is regularly asked to speak and deliver workshops at conferences around the world, sharing her knowledge and expertise with many different audiences. Sarah has also worked with TV production companies to highlight the importance and relevance of Jet in culture and society.

Sarah has collaborated in recent times with The National Museum of Scotland and is involved in ongoing research with the University of Yale, to challenge our previous perception of Jet.

Sarah is an honorary research partner of the Asociación Azabache Jurásica de Villaviciosa in Spain and has been appointed Consultant Gemmologist at Whitby Museum in England, which is home to the most important collection of Victorian Whitby Jet in the world. In addition to this, Sarah is one of only a handful of manufacturers still handcrafting Whitby Jet jewellery in the traditional way in her shop, The Ebor Jetworks, which is also based in Whitby.

Andrew Cody

Andrew started collecting fossils, minerals, and gemstones at 12 years of age. He began cutting opal in 1964 after a school excursion to Coober Pedy. In 1971, he established a wholesale opal and gem cutting business, which expanded to include exporting to Europe,
Japan and USA.

His industry achievements include involvement in the proclamation of Opal as Australia’s National Gemstone, the production of an award-winning Opal stamp series with Australia Post, the design of the official National Gemstone emblem and development of the official Opal Nomenclature.

Andrew wrote, “Australian Precious Opal – a Guide Book for Professionals” which was used extensively worldwide by the industry. In 2010 Andrew and his brother Damien published “The Opal Story” in six languages, there are now more than 50,000 copies in circulation.

Andrew is joint founder and director of “The National Opal Collection” (NOC) with showrooms and Museums in both Sydney and Melbourne. His opalised fossil collection is expansive and includes a 2.5 metre opalised pliosaur, and the opalised upper jaw of a rare mesozoic mammal.

Andrew’s businesses are winners of both Government Export and Tourism Industry Awards. He has a Gold Commendation from the Lord Mayor of Melbourne, is an honorary fellow of the Gemmological Association of Australia, and is a research Associate of The Australian Museum.

He has served the Industry in a number of official capacities including President of the Australian Gem Industry Association, Founding Member and Chairman of the Australian Jewellery and Gemstone Industry Council, and President of The International Colored Gemstone Association.

Andrew is currently working with a number of organizations on a review of opal classification, the goal being a universal system throughout the world gemstone community. In order to achieve his goal, he has put together 50 master reference sets for use in
education and laboratories. The comprehensive sets contain 216 opal specimens in each.

He is an Honorary Fellow of both the Australian Gemmological Association and The Gemmological Association of Great Britain, and is a regular speaker at international forums, he has a true passion for his industry and has now been involved with opal for more than 50 years.

Dr. Çiğdem Lüle, PhD, FGA, GIA GG , DGA

Dr. Lüle is a mineralogist, an award winning gemologist and the owner of Kybele LLC consulting firm C. LuleFLO 4494 based in llinois, USA. As an independent researcher, she has dedicated a large part of her career to archaeogemology; the identification of gem findings from archaeological sites, with an emphasis on origin investigation. Her consultation services also include developing tailored edu- cation for the gem professionals, appraisers, gemologists and gemology students. She special- izes in mineral appraisals.

Professional Education

  • BSc. In Geo Engineering, Ankara University, Turkey, 1995
  • Diploma in Gemmology from Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA), 1998 • Diamond Diploma from Gemmological Association of Great Britain (DGA), 1998
  • MSc. in Mineralogy, Ankara University, Turkey, 1999
  • Graduate Gemologist, Gemological Institute of America (GIA), 2005
  • PhD. in Mineralogy, Hacettepe University, Turkey, 2006

Industry Affiliations 

  • Member of The Scottish Gemmological Association (SGA), 2008–present
  • Accredited Senior Gemologist member of Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA), 2011–present
  • Member of Mineralogical Society of America, 2011-present
  • Member of National Association of Jewelry Appraisers 2018

Employment, Industry Service and Recognition

  • Research Assistant at Mineralogy Department, Ankara University, Turkey, 1999-2002
  • Staff Gemologist and Sales Assistant at R. Holt and Co., London, UK, 2002-2004
  • Gemology Instructor at GIA London Campus, London, UK, 2004-2010
  • Director of Development Gemworld International, 2011- 2017.
  • Contributing editor to the GemGuide and Gem Market News published by Gemworld International, 2011- present.
  • Technical advisor the World of Color system published in 2014.
  • AwardedtheprestigiousAntonioC.BonannoExcellenceinGemologyAward,2016.
  • Conference Co-Chair, World of Gems Conference V, 2017.

 Art Samuels

Art Samuels has had two full careers. The first was on Active Duty in the U.S. Navy for 24 years where he was a Naval Flight Officer and an expert in Soviet Submarines. Art retired as a Commander where he switched from ” Subs to Stones” and he is currently the founding Partner in 7 high end retail stores in South Florida, and Partner in 2 wholesale Gem & Jewelry companies ( Vivid Diamonds & Jewelry,

Art Samuels is an active buyer and seller of fine Gems and Jewelry, using his gemological skills to Treasure Hunt in the Estate Jewelry marketplace. He is an outspoken proponent of change to improve our industry, and a speaker who freely shares his practical gem experiences and insights on making money. Art is deeply involved on numerous boards of gemological and trade organizations such as the Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) and the Diamond Bourse of the Southeast United States.

Alex Grizenko, BSc, MHA, MBA

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 emerald 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 toworldmarketssince1994.

Over the years Lucent Diamonds has perfected many growing technologies for fancy color 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)

Stuart Robertson, Graduate Gemologist (GIA)

Stuart Robertson is the Vice President and Research Director of Gemworld International, Inc., located in Glenview, Illinois, USA. He also serves as Gemstone Editor of the periodicals published under the company’s GemGuide and Gem Market News brands. In addition to Gemstone Editor, Stuart is an award-winning appraiser and gemologist; he is also the co-developer of the industry course, Corundum Treatments and Pricing.

Stuart is a recipient of the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Excellence in Gemology Award and the AIJV Valuer of the Year Award.

Kelly Ross

Kelly Ross is a security specialist and expert in the criminal use of diamonds gemstones and precious metals. He worked in the RCMP as thier subject matter expert on diamond and jewellery based crimes, relating to fraud, theft, money laundering and counterfeiting. He has conducted investigation on a national and global scale and represented the RCMP to froeign police agencies and anit-money laundering agencies.

He holds gemological designations from several schools including the Canadian Gemmological Association and completed a Maters of Arts degree researching the criminal use of diamonds and jewellery.

He currently works in security and fraud investigations in the financial sector and is regularly called on to assists Canadian and international law enforcement with training and investigations on diamond and jewellery related crimes.

Mike Botha

An internationally acclaimed master diamond cutter with 48 years of experience in the profession, Mike has worked in South Africa, Russia, and in Canada (Vancouver, Yellowknife and Prince Albert) on some of the world’s largest diamonds.

He worked as the occupational certification officer for the diamond industry in the Northwest Territories under the Department of Education, Culture and Employment, as well as the technical consultant for the Department of Industry, Tourism, and Investment. He was the chief instructor at Aurora College in Yellowknife for their diamond polishing program, which earned the college the Yves Landry award for educational innovation in 2004.

Other achievements:

  • At the age of 28 he was one of the historic team of diamond cutters and polishers who worked on the Premier Rose Collection.
  • His in depth knowledge of diamond crystallography has enabled him to do training workshops in various locations including the U of A in Edmonton for Dr. Thomas Stachel’s department.
  • He developed a system of trigonometric profiling of fancy shaped diamonds resulting in perfectly shaped diamonds.
  • He was the technical lead on the Diamond Standards and Certification development initiative for the Government of the Northwest Territories.
  • He developed a number patented diamond shapes.
  • As a 3D modeler, he designs diamonds with superior light performance than the current round brilliant paradigm.
  • Mike has rare perspective, craftsmanship, leadership, and entrepreneurial enthusiasm. His lifetime experience and in-depth knowledge of diamond cutting, polishing, and diamond crystallography enabled him to develop the acclaimed Sirius Star®…the world’s brightest diamond® range of diamonds shapes.
  • Mike has been a speaker on Light Performance and Facet Definition of Diamonds at jewellery shows and other events in Japan, Korea and Namibia as well as at various locations across North America. He has also done workshops and training at several North American events.
  • He recently cut the Esperanza diamond which was discovered in the Arkansas Crater of Diamond State Park. To date, this is the most valuable diamond ever discovered in the USA.

Gary A. Roskin, GIA GG, FGA

Gary Roskin, graduate gemologist, author, journalist, and one of the world’s most highly regarded authorities in the art and science of diamond grading, is now the Executive Director for the International Colored Gemstone Association, the ICA.

Former Gemstone Editor for JCK Magazine, the Baselworld Daily News, and for the Roskin Gem News Report, Roskin has covered the international colored gems market, as well as gemological subjects on diamonds, and the estate gemstone/jewelry market for over two decades.

With 40 years of professional laboratory diamond grading, supervising, training, monitoring, and reporting, Gary Roskin has provided jewelers and appraisers valuable diamond grading tips and techniques. Author of “Photo Masters for Diamond Grading,” this book was one of the best-selling reference books at GIA’s Bookstore, with approximately 3500 copies sold. [Currently out of print.] In 2009, Gary took on the additional role of adjunct professor, teaching gemology 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).

Roskin began his career as a fourth-generation retail jeweler in Marion, Indiana. He studied at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) in Santa Monica, California, and worked there from 1977 through 1992; 6 years as Assistant to the Director of the Los Angeles GIA Gem Trade Lab, 3 years as a resident gemology instructor in both diamond grading and colored stone / gem identification, and 5 years as Executive Director of the GIA Alumni Association. From 1992 through 1997, Roskin was Assistant Director of the European Gem Lab in Los Angeles.

Roskin is a Graduate Gemologist and Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain. In 2002, Roskin was nominated for the Accredited Gemologists Association Antonio Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, and in 2001 was the recipient of ISA’s Media Award for his feature story entitled, “Bad Appraising Lands Good Jeweler in Court.” In 2004, Roskin was awarded several Richard T. Liddicoat Journalism Awards Honorable Mentions from the American Gem Society. In 2011, Roskin was awarded 2nd place in Gems & Gemology’s 2010 Dr. Edward J. Gübelin Most Valuable Article Award, as a co-author of “Synthetic Gem Materials in the 2000s: A Decade in Review.”

Executive Director, ICA
Gemstone Authority, Journalist, Photographer
Adjunct Professor, Fashion Institute of Technology
(212) 620-0900

Duncan Parker, FCGmA, FGA

Duncan Parker has been a jewellery specialist for 30 years. He is vice president at Dupuis Fine Jewellery Auctioneers.

Duncan is vice president of The Canadian Gemmological Association. He has been an instructor in gemmology for the Canadian Gemmological Association for many years.

He is on the board of the Canadian Jewellers Association.

Past President of Jewellers Vigilance Canada, Duncan chaired the committees that prepared Canada’s Jewellery Appraisal Guidelines, and the Guidelines with Respect to the Sale and Marketing of Diamonds, Coloured Gems, and Pearls. He also worked with the Northwest Territories Government in preparation of the training programs for diamond workers.

He has also written and taught gem and jewellery programs at George Brown College and at the Life Institute at Ryerson University.

He is also a regular columnist on antique jewellery and appraising for several journals.

Duncan is a regular speaker at conferences, specializing in Jewellery History and gemmology.

Joseph DuMouchelle, GG

Joseph DuMouchelle, G.G. is an estate buyer, auctioneer, appraiser and Graduate Gemologist with expertise in buying and selling antique, estate and fine jewelry, diamonds and gems as well fine art and antiques. He grew up in a family run estate and auction business with a 91-year-old history. Mr. DuMouchelle has been buying, selling and appraising fine and estate gems and jewelry for over 35 years and is co-founder, and President, of Joseph DuMouchelle International Estate Buyers, Auctioneers and Appraisers. Having offices in New York, Palm Beach and Naples, FL as well as Birmingham, MI. Joseph, his partner Melinda (Lindy) Adducci, G.G. and their staff of experts, travel the country meeting with private clients, professional appraisers, jewelers, attorneys, estate representatives and bank officers. They specialize in buying, selling, appraising and auctioning larger fine diamonds, fancy color diamonds, fine natural colored stones, estate, signed and antique jewelry, and fine objects d’art.

Mr. DuMouchelle has lectured at gem and jewelry conferences throughout the U.S. He has held numerous positions in the industry such as Past President of the Accredited Gemologists Association, a Member of the International Board for the GIA Alumni Association as well as the Michigan GIA Alumni Past President. Joseph DuMouchelle donates his auctioneering skills and services to aid in fundraising raising millions of dollars for national organizations in the U.S. and is the auctioneer for the GIA Alumni Association in Tucson every year.

Mr. DuMouchelle’s company provides valuable hands on service to appraisers, jewelers, gemologists, attorneys, bank officers, collectors and individual sellers helping them achieve record numbers for selling their larger diamonds, colored stones, signed and estate jewelry and gems at auction. They pride themselves in outperforming major competitors in this endeavor. For those sellers and representatives selling for immediate cash payment Joseph DuMouchelle has provided that service since the beginning.

As an international auction house, they hold diamond, jewelry and timepiece auctions, almost monthly throughout the year, selling to clients in over 80 countries world-wide. They have successfully handled and sold items from major collections and families as well as private individuals, throughout the U.S., including items from the estates of major auto barons, Nat King Cole and Marla Maples including the 7.45ct Harry Winston diamond engagement ring given to her by Donald Trump.

Lily Vongwattanakit

A native of Hong Kong, after briefly working as the assistant to the Managing Director of an elite pearl company which was one of the major suppliers of high qualities pearls to wholesalers in the U.S., Lily moved to New York in her early twenties.  She was recruited as assistance colored stone buyer at Tiffany which opened up opportunity for her to learn about gemstone hands-on under the guidance of the chief colored stone buyer, who was also a certified gemologist, encouraging her taking various gemological classes and attending seminars in gemology, which paved the road for her new endeavor two years later as assistant gemstone buyer at Van Cleef & Arpels in New York.

Years of working closely with Mr. Claude Arpels, benefiting from his knowledge and guidance, having an opportunity working with the amazing gemstones and the creative designs, sparked Lily’s interest and passion on the gemstones; shortly after joining Van Cleef & Arpels she decided to make it her career at this world-class institute.

For over 40 years, Lily Vongwattanakit has contributed her invaluable expertise to sourcing gemstones for the Maison and is recognized as an authority in the gemstone sourcing field.

Lily is also a part-time teacher in L’Ecole, School of Jewelry Art which is sponsored by Van Cleef & Arpels.

Simon O’Brien

Diamond integrity manager, De Beers Mining

Simon joined De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company, Canada, 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 in Canada on behalf of De Beers.