New York—The cases upon cases of loose gemstones and jewelry are what bring buyers to the AGTA’s GemFair in Tucson, but there’s much more going on than just selling and buying  to keep them there.

During the trade show, which runs from Feb. 5 to 10, the AGTA will host a number of free seminars for the trade, covering legal issues, mine “tours," trends in the market and new techniques and research. 

Here are 5 education sessions not to miss. For the full lineup, visit

1. “Introducing Hyperion: Lotus Gemology’s Inclusion Database”
Wednesday, Feb. 6 from 1-2 p.m.
Graham Room

Lotus Gemology’s Billie Hughes will delve into the lab’s Hyperion inclusions database, a searchable database featuring more than 900 photomicrographs. In this session, Hughes will talk about how the databse got started and the different ways it can be used to identify gems, separate natural from lab-grown, spot treatments and distinguish between different origins.

2. “Market Trends and the Impact of Important Gem Sourcing Considerations”
Thursday, Feb. 7 from 9-10 a.m.
Maricopa Room

This year’s edition of the talk from GemWorld International President Richard Drucker and Vice President Stuart Robertson will focus on the impact of source on gemstones as well as how prices are affected during the Tucson gem show and the year overall. 

3. “USPAP Compliance with Colored Gemstones”
Friday, Feb. 8 from 9-10 a.m.
Graham Room

David Rotenberg, owner and president of David Craig Jewelers in Pennsylvania, who has extensive experience as a Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP) compliance appraiser, will discuss USPAP compliance as it pertains to the colored gemstone industry.  Topics covered will include the USPAP application for specific types of gems and jewelry, USPAP’s intended uses and definitions of value. 

4. “Creating a Transparent Chain of Custody and Traditional Gemstone Identification Methods Used at the Source”
Friday, Feb. 8 from 1-2 p.m.
Maricopa Room

Sheahan Stephan of Sheahan Stephen Sapphires will talk to attendees about how to create greater transparency and control in their supply chain, empower relationships with their suppliers and better communicate with customers through traditional gemstone identification methods and knowledge. The session will demonstrate what a transparent chain of custody looks like, address the steps needed to properly disclose the source of a stone and, through a hands-on lab, show how traditional gemstone identification at the mine can help strengthen the awareness of the sourcing process.

5. “Color Perception in Gemology”
Saturday, Feb. 9 from 9-10 a.m.
Maricopa Room

Since color is arguably the most important grading factor for colored stones and there are endless discussions around perception of color and how to observe it and name it, Çiğdem Lüle, gemologist and owner of Kybele LLC, will use this talk to delve into color science, cultural aspects of color perception, observation of color and color terminology of gems with examples from the current gem market.

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