Online Periodical Focuses on Organic Gem Materials

Organic gems expert Maggie Campbell Pedersen has introduced an online periodical called Organic Gems featuring articles on pearls, amber, shell, coral, ivory, jet, bone, and horn. Each issue will include an information piece, discussing one particular organic gem material in detail; a feature presentation written by a guest author; and a readers’ forum where subscribers are invited to contribute firsthand accounts of research, market trends, frauds and fakes, etc.

The inaugural issue includes “A Background to Ivories,” which explains what it is and how to recognize and test for it, as well as a discussion of the legalities of trading in ivories. A feature article titled “Looking After Gem Materials” discusses the potential damage to organic gems by temperature, humidity, light, and pollution. It was written by guest author Robert Child, head of conservation at the National Museum of Wales. Pedersen follows with a detailed article on “Cherry Amber, Real or Fake?”

Issues 2 and 3 are also online. No. 2 offers “A Background to Bone and Antler”; “Shell, a Look at Its Uses, From Cameos and Beads to Inlay”; and “The Mellow Melo,” about the Melo-Melo pearls of Southeast Asia, by guest author Gail Brett Levine, executive director of the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers.

Issue 3 reports on “Baltic Amber: Enhancements, Treatments and Their Effects,” and includes a report by Pedersen on the recent Amberif amber fair in Gdansk, Poland.

Pedersen, author of Gem and Ornamental Materials of Organic Origin, plans to have new information online every two months.

To read the first issue for free, visit, or contact Maggie Campbell Pedersen, FGA, at Other issues are accessed by annual subscription of £27 ($53) (or £22, $43, for members of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain).

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