Staff changes at the AGTA Gemological Testing Center

Kenneth Scarratt, who has been the laboratory director since the AGTA Gemological Testing Center’s formation, will leave the United States and return to his home in Thailand where he will take up a research position with the Gemological Institute of America. Scarratt’s last day with the AGTA GTC will be March 31. Dr. Lore Keifert will become acting laboratory director on April 1. Keifert joined the AGTA GTC in February.

“The selection of Lore as acting Laboratory Director gives me the utmost confidence in the future of the AGTA GTC,” Scarratt said. “Lead by Lore, this team will continue to improve upon the high standards previously set by the AGTA GTC. I wish everyone involved the greatest of success.”

Before joining AGTA GTC, Keifert was director of the colored stone department at the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF), Basel, Switzerland. She joined the institute in 1994 and first served as assistant director.

Kiefert, a native of Heidelberg, Germany, began studying Mineralogy in 1981. In 1987, she obtained her Master’s degree with a thesis on the distinguishing characteristics of sapphires (natural vs. synthetic as well as different origins). After this, she changed direction and went to Australia to gain her Ph.D. on the composition of desert dust. She earned her Ph.D. in 1996 and her FGA (Diploma in Gemology) early in 1998.

Kiefert has contributed to the Handbook of Raman Spectroscopy and the Handbook of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archaeology. She has lectured at numerous scientific and gemological conferences in Australia, South Africa, the United States, England, Belgium, Czech Republic, Austria, Holland, Germany, and Switzerland.