The third day of the trip began with a PAS Users Group meeting. PAS is the jewelry appraisal software that is the longest established in the industry and I have been using the program for over 15 years. New updates include the ability to scan and insert images into the appraisal document such as Diamond Grading Reports and other documentation pertaining to the described item. It is always a good session and I always come away with some new tricks to make my appraisal document better.
After that it was on to the show. I started at the AGTA Show which is the upper tier of gem shows. It is at the Tucson Convention Center and is known to be very high end. There are gemstones at this show worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. As you can imagine, security is very tight and only dealers are allowed in. At this show the most prestigious and important industry organizations have their booths. I had to stop by to visit the GIA (Gemological Institute of America) booth, the Jewelers Vigilance Committee booth, the International Colored Gemstone Association booth and of course the American Society of Appraisers booth.
Next I made my way over to the GJX Show. My good friend and colleague, Ted Themelis has a booth there where he displays his treated gemstones. It is really an eye opener to see the heat treated stones that Ted has done. It is truly weird science but it is the beginning of a new era in gems and jewelry. The current technology has hit the gem industry.
That night was dinner out with 4 Italian Gem Dealers and Teddy and his son Angelo. At dinner we had another private program regarding new and different gemstone treatments that have not yet been publicized. One of the treatments that I learned about is a new laser drilling technique for diamonds that in almost undetectable. To see it you need a 300 X power microscope. Mine goes up to 140 X. In this new treatment the laser can search out the path of least resistance in the gem material and can meander in a curved path in the stone making it very difficult in many cases to identify.
Our next day was filled with presentations by the AGA (Accredited Gemologists Assoc.) where we learned about the new salt and fresh water cultured pearl market and treatments in all pearls. We also learned about the new pearl culturing process for Conch pearls. We then had a presentation by Chris Smith of the AGL in New York and by Kennith Scarrett from the GIA regarding new developments in the major gem labs around the world.
Of course the trip would not be complete without coming home with some new tools. Donna calls them toys but they really are tools. This year I bought a new spectroscope for aiding in the identification of gemstones, a set of new filters that will help to identify treatments in various stones and to separate synthetic stones and simulants from natural stones and a new digital microscope for photomicrographs of gems.
All in all it was a great trip! I always come back with renewed excitement about the Gem and Jewelry industry.
Master Gemologist Appraiser
4016 Cortez Road West
Bradenton, FL 34210