I would like to share with all of you the following information you may find interesting and useful.

Last May I attended “The 2nd Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference” that was celebrated in Valencia, Spain. The 1rst of a new series of conferences took place in Athens in June 2015. These conferences are organized by Independent Gemmological Lab and CGL-GRS Swiss-Canadian Gemlab and the attendees both speakers and participants are from 15 countries worldwide.

The mission of the conference is to provide members of the industry (Gemmologists, Appraisers, Jewellers, Scientists and other members of the trade) with networking opportunities and the most up to date information essential to fostering a sustainable business. And also to educate and to help people understand the properties of diamonds, gems and Jewellery.

Each year the conference has a central theme and will be held in a different Mediterranean location. The theme for this year´s conference was the detection of diamond treatments, synthetic diamonds and other topics such as “Practical applications of infrared spectrometer in gemmology” and “Extraordinary gems, assessing their quality and value”. These themes were developed through workshops, lectures and a round-table discussion and, they were carried out by the best lecturers and experts in their respective fields.

I would like to mention some of the following well-known lecturers and experts who participated in this 2nd conference:

Gaetano Cavalieri. – Current President of CIBJO (The World Jewellery Confederation).

David Fisher. – Principal Scientist at the De Beers Technologies Research Centre in the UK.

Sonny Pope. – President of Suncrest Diamonds, a subsidiary of US Synthetic, Utah.

Jeffrey Bergman. – Director and Founder of Primagen in Bangkok, Thailand, specializing in exceptional untreated rubies and sapphires over 3 cts.

Dusan Simic. – Research gemmologist who founded Analytical Gemmology and Jewellery (AG&J) in NY City.



M1Dusan Simic, was talking about HPHT (High pressure High- temperature). Treatments on natural and synthetic diamonds






Not only natural diamonds are treated by HPTP, irradiation or a combination of both methods (by mentioning an example of some of the treatment methods used) but also synthetic or lab grown diamonds, to improve their colours or to remove defects.


David Fisher. – “The modern gemmologist tasked with issuing reports on diamonds is faced with many challenges, particularly with developments in the production of synthetics and the ever-widening array of treatments that can be applied to modify colours of natural stones. Fortunately, as technology for the synthesis and treatment of diamonds has changed so has the technology that can be applied to the problem of detection. Measurements that were thought to be impractical for gemmologists and gemmological laboratories 20 years ago are now routinely carried out by gemmologists having to have as much skill in running spectrometers and interpreting spectra as in viewing stones through a loupe or microscope”.


Sonny Pope. – “Coloured stones have long enjoyed the benefits of heat treating without much controversy. It is easy to heat a sapphire or ruby to temperature that will bring out the best colours that customers want. However it was not until the last quarter of a century that it was figured out how to heat treat a diamond. Since a diamond is made of pure carbon, the presence of too much heat has always burned them. Every jeweller has experienced this when they have tried fixing a piece of jewellery with a torch. We take a lesson from the earth on how to effectively heat treat a diamond. If you put a diamond under extreme pressure, like it had when it was first formed, we find that we can apply extreme heat to a diamond and this annealing removes brown and turns a diamond to different colours depending on the impurities and defects in the original diamond”.



From left to right: Manuel Llopis (Director and Founder of the MLLopis Gemmological Laboratory of Valencia and one of the conference co-operators), Benjamin Calvo (President of the Spanish Gemmological Institute of Madrid) accompanied by some well-known, gemmologists and appraisers-valuers and geologists in Spain.










Mónica G.Sáez (Gemmologist, Diamond expert and Jewellery Valuer) with Adrian S.Smith (FGA, DGA, Owner of “The Jewellery appraisers of the world” and Founder of “The Association of Independent Jewellery Valuers”, and also Supporter of the Conference).



Some Coffee-break moments:

M3 M3a


And the moment everybody was waiting for: The round-table discussion with the experts.


The round-table explored three key areas of diamond treatments:

– Technology. – The treatments facilities and the technical limitations.

– Detection.- The most difficult treatments to detect. Effectiveness of the current methods.

– Consumers. – How aware are they of the treatments? are some treatments acceptable?.

For a review of the discussion visit: www.gemconference.com



The speakers and experts of the round-table:


Front line:

From left to right: Manuel LLopis, Lisa Elser, Gaetano Cavalieri, Gail Brett Lavine, Rui Galopim de Carvalho and David Fisher.

Back line:

From left to right: Branko Deljanin, Alan Hart, Mikko Astrom, Dusan Simic and Sonny Pope.

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