JTV Goes to London for the 2012 Gem-A Conference

Published on JTV.com: November 2012
A Personal Perspective on Travelling with Co-Founder Jerry Sisk
By: Tim Matthews, CEO & President

This is page 2 of a 10 page article on the Gem-A Conference in London. Read page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Jerry and I left Knoxville for the 2012 Gem-A Conference late on Friday, November 2, having a short layover in Atlanta en route to Heathrow. The overseas flight was just over eight hours with a mid-day arrival on Saturday in London. The afternoon gave us a breather as we settled into Hotel Russell where, incidentally, the conference speaking sessions were held on Sunday.

After settling into our hotel Saturday afternoon, Jerry and I had a small window of time for some sightseeing prior to our scheduled dinner with a select group of Gem-A executives and guests. Since our trip was full of scheduled activities centered on the jewelry and gemstones business, we wanted to do something different and decided that we would make a quick visit to the Imperial War Museum. Jerry and I were excited about this little side trip because we are both history buffs and this would also give us a chance to get out and see something unique.

So, we departed the hotel and set out for the closest bus stop, knowing that the Museum was conveniently located on one of the principal bus routes. London has wonderful public transportation system with many options for visitors, including the London Buses network originally introduced after World War I. It did not take long for us to catch one of the double-decker buses bearing its archetypal bright red paint, route 59 from Russell Square.The Imperial War Museum's collection of "big guns" and instruments of war was certainly impressive, and we took the opportunity to snap a photo of Jerry next to one of the big guns we saw. Of course, I think of Jerry as a "big gun" because he has incredible knowledge about gemstones, having recently authored a definitive "Guide to Gems and Jewelry". Jerry also was recognized by JCK as one of the most powerful among the movers and shakers in the gemstone business.

In any case, Jerry and I enjoyed the Imperial War Museum and its displays of impressive guns. But to me, I was most impressed with the art collection and the explanation of how censors during WWII actually censored war-era paintings to prevent confidential information from passing inadvertently to the enemy. This intersection of art and intrigue reminded me of so many interesting gemstone stories and hidden delicacies in gemstones like the horsetail inclusions in Russian demantoid.

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