This year, the AGA conference was held on Wednesday, January 31st located at the Tucson University Park Hotel. Approximately 150 gemologists and industry professionals attended the conference from all over the world. It was a day packed with gemological related presentations, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities. The first speaker to kick off the AGA conference was Dr. Thomas Hainschwang, director of GGTL Laboratories in Liechtenstein. Thomas’s talk was titled, “A Massive Diamond Treatment Project.” Thomas discussed the current research project that he is working on launched by the GGTL Laboratories. There is extensive research already available about treated diamonds, but more to be done. This study endeavors to allow a better understanding of the origin of color in diamonds and create the most complete dataset of natural vs. color treated diamonds anywhere. The project is focusing on diamonds known to have existed in museum collections that predate the various diamond color treatments. The presentation discussed the complexity of diamonds naturally colored by radiation, and color enhanced diamonds treated by irradiation, annealing, HPHT treatments, or their combination. This project is funded in part by AGA research grants. The second presenters were Andy Lucas and Shane McClure of GIA, speaking about “Determining Emerald Origins.” The speakers provided a list of more than 10 current countries that produce emerald. Not all of the sources are currently significant to the gem trade. However, as part of GIA origin research, the speakers have been collecting samples from mines in each location. Some helpful tips when separating emeralds are, knowing the possible emerald sources, know the R.I reading, and does the emerald fluorescence or not. Emeralds from Colombia typically have low iron content and a lower R.I. at 1.57-1.58 and can fluoresce red. Emeralds from high iron sources such as Brazil and Zambia could have a higher R.I. at 1.58-1.59 and could be as high as 1.60. These emeralds typically do not fluoresce. Separating origins by inclusions is not enough, many emerald characteristics overlap from all sources. For example, you can find two-phase blocky inclusions in all emeralds. An important takeaway from this talk stated by Shane McClure is, “Country of Origin is the hardest thing that we do and origins are an opinion and only that.” The next speaker was...  
This year, the AGA conference was held on Wednesday, January 31st located at the Tucson University Park Hotel. Approximately 150 gemologists and industry professionals attended the conference from all over the world. It was a day packed with gemological related presentations, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities. The first speaker to kick off the AGA conference was Dr. Thomas Hainschwang, director of GGTL Laboratories in Liechtenstein. Thomas’s talk was titled, “A Massive Diamond Treatment Project.” Thomas discussed the current research project that he is working on launched by the GGTL Laboratories. There is extensive research already available about treated diamonds, but more to be done. This study endeavors to allow a better understanding of the origin of color in diamonds and create the most complete dataset of natural vs. color treated diamonds anywhere. The project is focusing on diamonds known to have existed in museum collections that predate the various diamond color treatments. The presentation discussed the complexity of diamonds naturally colored by radiation, and color enhanced diamonds treated by irradiation, annealing, HPHT treatments, or their combination. This project is funded in part by AGA research grants. The second presenters were Andy Lucas and Shane McClure of GIA, speaking about “Determining Emerald Origins.” The speakers provided a list of more than 10 current countries that produce emerald. Not all of the sources are currently significant to the gem trade. However, as part of GIA origin research, the speakers have been collecting samples from mines in each location. Some helpful tips when separating emeralds are, knowing the possible emerald sources, know the R.I reading, and does the emerald fluorescence or not. Emeralds from Colombia typically have low iron content and a lower R.I. at 1.57-1.58 and can fluoresce red. Emeralds from high iron sources such as Brazil and Zambia could have a higher R.I. at 1.58-1.59 and could be as high as 1.60. These emeralds typically do not fluoresce. Separating origins by inclusions is not enough, many emerald characteristics overlap from all sources. For example, you can find two-phase blocky inclusions in all emeralds. An important takeaway from this talk stated by Shane McClure is, “Country of Origin is the hardest thing that we do and origins are an opinion and only that.” The next speaker was...  

The Accredited Gemologist Association (AGA) Tucson Conference – 2018

Posted on March 1, 2018 by Jennifer Santi, GIA GG, AGS CG

This year, the AGA conference was held on Wednesday, January 31st located at the Tucson University Park Hotel. Approximately 150 gemologists and industry professionals attended the conference from all over the world. It was a day packed with gemological related presentations, hands-on workshops, and networking opportunities. The first speaker to kick off the AGA conference was Dr. Thomas Hainschwang, director of GGTL Laboratories in Liechtenstein. Thomas’s talk was titled, “A Massive Diamond Treatment Project.” Thomas discussed the current research project that he is working on launched by the GGTL Laboratories. There is extensive research already available about treated diamonds, but more to be done. This study endeavors to allow a better understanding of the origin of color in diamonds and create the most complete dataset of natural vs. color treated diamonds anywhere. The project is focusing on diamonds known to have existed in museum collections that predate the various diamond color treatments. The presentation discussed the complexity of diamonds naturally colored by radiation, and color enhanced diamonds treated by irradiation, annealing, HPHT treatments, or their combination. This project is funded in part by AGA research grants. The second presenters were Andy Lucas and Shane McClure of GIA, speaking about “Determining Emerald Origins.” The speakers provided a list of more than 10 current countries that produce emerald. Not all of the sources are currently significant to the gem trade. However, as part of GIA origin research, the speakers have been collecting samples from mines in each location. Some helpful tips when separating emeralds are, knowing the possible emerald sources, know the R.I reading, and does the emerald fluorescence or not. Emeralds from Colombia typically have low iron content and a lower R.I. at 1.57-1.58 and can fluoresce red. Emeralds from high iron sources such as Brazil and Zambia could have a higher R.I. at 1.58-1.59 and could be as high as 1.60. These emeralds typically do not fluoresce. Separating origins by inclusions is not enough, many emerald characteristics overlap from all sources. For example, you can find two-phase blocky inclusions in all emeralds. An important takeaway from this talk stated by Shane McClure is, “Country of Origin is the hardest thing that we do and origins are an opinion and only that.” The next speaker was...  

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