By Brecken Branstrator
New York—There is much gemstone education to be had during the Tucson shows, and the Accredited Gemologists Association’s upcoming conference will add plenty to that lineup.

Scheduled for Wednesday, Feb. 6 at the Tucson Marriott University Park Hotel, the event’s speakers will cover the latest gem discoveries, research and industry trends.

Daniel Nyfeler, managing director of Gubelin Gem Lab, will speak about the cutting-edge technology behind the lab’s gemstone paternity test, the program tracing the history of gem materials through a combination of DNA tagging and blockchain launched as part of its “Provenance Proof Initiative” in partnership with Gemfields. 

Jeffery Bergman, founder and director of Primagem in Thailand, will report on the current state of Ethiopian emerald production, covering deposits, qualities, identifying characteristics, treatments and projections for future production and its distribution channels.

Speaking about the U.S. pearl business, including varieties, attributes of natural pearls and signs of cultured pearl detection will be Gina Latendresse of the American Pearl Company, who also will provide examples attendees to examine hands-on.

Laura Koss, an assistant director in the Federal Trade Commission’s Division of Enforcement, will answer questions on the latest revisions to the FTC’s guides on jewelry and gemstones.

And Claudio Milisenda, managing director of DSEF German Gem Lab in Idar-Oberstein, will cover the important varieties of commercial tourmaline and will discuss origin factors, treatments and imitations of tourmaline currently found in gem labs.

Registration for the conference is available online through Feb. 1 and costs $240 for AGA and Gem-A members and $280 for non-members. For more information, visit

The conference includes continental breakfast, light lunch and the annual dinner gala, featuring networking opportunities, music and the presentation of the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology.

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