Heated Sapphire: A Hot Topic in Tucson

At AGTA’s GemFair, seminars and panel discussions devoted to the corundum market will include ruby mining in Pakistan and Afghanistan, issues surrounding the origin of corundum, practices regarding the disclosure of enhancements and treatments, and the current scientific research on new treatments.

The schedule of events, all of which will be held at the Tucson Convention Center, includes:

  • Wednesday, Feb. 5, “AGTA Gemological Testing Center Update” with lab director Kenneth Scarratt.

  • Thursday, Feb. 6, “High-Altitude Ruby Mines” and “Gems of Afghanistan and Pakistan” with Guy Clutterbuck. “Clearing the Air on Disclosure: From Beryllium to Tanzanite” will be presented by AGTA executive director Douglas Hucker.

  • Friday, Feb. 7, “Beryllium Diffusion Coloration of Sapphire,” a panel discussion with Ken Scarratt, Terry Coldham of Sapphex, John Emmett of Crystal Chemistry, Richard Hughes of Pala International, Thomas Moses of GIA’s Gem Trade Lab, Dr. Pornsawat Wathanakul of Kasetsart University/GIT, and Junko Shida of the Gemmological Institute of All Japan.

  • Saturday, Feb. 8, “Corundum and Questions of Origin” with Christopher Smith, director of the Gübelin Gemmological Laboratory, Lucerne, Switzerland.

  • Sunday, Feb. 9, “Buyers and Sellers Discuss Corundum Diffusion Disclosure” (panel discussion).

  • For more information log onto www.agta.org or call (800) 879-6259.

Also on Feb. 5, the Accredited Gemologists Association will host a panel discussion on beryllium-enhanced corundum. Panel members will include GIA’s Gem Trade Laboratory-Carlsbad director of gem identification Shane McClure, as well as JCK‘s gemstone editor, Gary Roskin. Richard Hughes and Ted Themelis will present their versions of sapphire and ruby enhancements. For more information on the AGA Conference, contact AGA representative David Harris at (415) 252-9340.