By Michelle Graff
Ventura, Calif.—Bob Lynn, the longtime American Gem Society jeweler who once made Bill Farmer disappear on stage at Conclave, died over the weekend.

He was 68.

20200305 Bob LynnBob Lynn, CGA Born in Ventura, California in April 1951, Lynn got his start in the jewelry industry when he was 14, working as an apprentice for a local jeweler and gemologist, according to an article in the November 2019 issue of Spectra, AGS’ quarterly magazine.

As an apprentice, he learned the fundamentals of jewelry work, including how to cut, carve and facet gemstones.

After studying physics in college, Lynn got a job as a junior engineer at the Pacific Missile Test Center in Point Mugu, California while still honing his jewelry skills by working part-time out of a crafts arcade.

“All through high school and college, I always had at least two jobs, one of which was jewelry,” Lynn told Spectra. “Because I was well-schooled in manufacturing and production of precision parts for aerospace, translating those skills to jewelry was natural.”

In 1973, he opened his first brick-and-mortar store, Lynn’s Jewelry Studio, and joined AGS.

Over the next 40-plus years, he created a wide variety of custom designs for his clients and one very important pin—Lynn was the jeweler behind the Shipley pin, which is given to the recipient of the Robert M. Shipley Award every year.

AGS said he made every Shipley pin to date, at no charge to the association.

Lynn retired from his store in 2017, passing the torch to his colleague John Muscarella, who worked alongside him for 22 years and still operates Lynn’s Jewelry Studio today.

After his “retirement,” the jeweler continued to work—he took on process engineering projects with a partner and, in October 2019, traveled to Europe for two weeks to perform an appraisal.

Lynn also constructed a lapidary and jewelry workshop where he worked on cutting and finishing his personal collection of gemstones.

Outside of the jewelry industry, Lynn was a 50-year member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians and a member of the Academy of Magical Arts, better known as Los Angeles’ Magic Castle, earning himself the nickname the “Magician Jeweler.”

The Spectra article recalled one specific trick.

At Conclave 1997 in Chicago, jeweler Bill Farmer delivered the closing address, which included announcing the following year’s theme—“Magic of AGS.”

Lynn came on stage with his “assistant,” Gary Long, and made Farmer “disappear” using a chair, a folding table and a drape.

“We learned the sad news this weekend that Bob Lynn passed away,” AGS President Katherine Bodoh said in a message shared with AGS members earlier this week.

“Bob made a lasting impact on our community … He loved our community, and what we represented to the industry and jewelry buyers. We will be forever grateful to Bob for his contributions. Our thoughts go out to his loved ones.”

TAGS:   Obituaries
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