Published on JTV.com: November 2012
A Personal Perspective on Travelling with Co-Founder Jerry Sisk By: Tim Matthews, CEO & President
After too short a visit to the Museum, we were next on our way to dinner at Greig's Restaurant in the heart of Mayfair near Berkeley Square. We shared a wonderful dinner in a quaint private dining room with Gem-A executives and a small group of guests. I had the fortune of sitting between James Riley, the new CEO of Gem-A, and Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, giving me a special opportunity to become more acquianted with these industry leaders and learn about their fascinating careers and organizations. James Riley possesses an incredible amount of trade knowledge, particularly focused on diamonds. I found it fascinating that Dr. Cavalieri's family business in Italy and Sicily originated in 1821. Imagine the legacy and family knowledge that comes with being in the jewelry business almost 200 years!
Sunday was our big conference day, chocked full of guest speakers and educational opportunities for the large assemblage of Gem-A delegates and guests. The speakers included Dr. Hanco Zwaan who spoke about new emeralds from Brazil, Bear Williams presenting on advanced instrumentation for small gem labs, Dr. Lore Kiefert informing us about West African corundum, Thomas Hainschwang sharpening our skills with new methods of synthetic diamond identification, Richard Hughes relaying a first hand account of the Chinese jade and nephrite mines and trading centers, Joanna Whalley exploring gem setting and enhancements in Renaissance Europe and Ron Ringsrud teaching us about the Colombian emerald industry. Of course, our own Jerry Sisk was a featured speaker, telling the audience about how passionately Jewelry Television is dedicated to expanding the market for colored gemstones and leading the industry in gemstone education and disclosure.
Other presenters at the conference included Richard Drucker, who spoke Saturday on how to gauge color in colored gemstones from a valuation perspective, a seminar that we missed unfortunately due to our late arrival time. Maggie Campbell Pedersen presented on Monday about identifying amber and distinguishing it from treated materials and imitations. Dr. Jack Ogden, former CEO of Gem-A, gave a fabulous presentation at Goldsmith's Hall on the history of gems and gem setting over the last 5,000 years.
The Gem-A conference was a great way to mingle with other professionals and learn fascinating new information about the trade. We learned about new mineral deposits, the obstacles and difficulties facing the supply chain, particularly in remote mining communities, and new methods of identifying gemstones and treatments. The many millions of miles logged by these professionals around the world make all the difference to our understanding of gemstones.
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