AGA’s annual Tucson Conference to focus on latest research findings on diamonds and colored gems

The Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) will hold an important full day conference in Tucson on Wednesday, February 4, 2009 at the Marriott University Park. The conference will be held from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm followed by a gala dinner dance and awards ceremony. Topics include: Interesting Submissions to the Lab & Groundbreaking News on Tanzanite; The Heating of Corundum - From the Naked Eye to the Spectrometer; Beryls: Natural and Synthetic; Findings from the Task Force on Lighting and Diamond Grading; and Seen Through the Microscope.

Kathryn Bonanno, Vice President of the AGA, notes, "In keeping with AGA's history of providing an international platform for the exchange of important information to members of the gemological community, we are extremely pleased with our Tucson 2009 Conference."

The Conference program features an internationally recognized line-up of research gemologists. Christopher P. Smith, Vice-President and Chief Gemologist of American Gemological Laboratories kicks off the morning session with a discussion of recent issues observed in the lab, including research concerning the identification of natural, non-heated tanzanites. Then, Dr. Emmanuel Fritsch, Professor of Physics at the University of Nantes, in Nantes, France joined by Franck Notari, founder and director of GemTech Lab in Geneva, Switzerland will present a lecture on "Treated Corundum - From the Naked Eye to the Spectrometer."

The afternoon session will see the return of an AGA favorite, Alan Hodgkinson, Director of the Scottish Branch of Gem-A, who will present findings of his recent research of natural and synthetic beryls. Alan will be followed by AGA board member Gary Smith along with Stan Hogrebe of Dazor Lighting who will present the latest scientific findings from the AGA's task force on lighting standards in the field of gemology, initiated by the Association's groundbreaking position paper on the impact of lighting on color-grading fluorescent diamonds, unveiled at the 2008 AGA Las Vegas conference. The concluding speaker John Koivula, G.G., chief gemologist for GIA's West Coast Identification Services, will present an insightful presentation on observations made through the microscope.

The evening will conclude with a festive dinner and awards ceremony, honoring this year's winner of the prestigious Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology, Christopher Smith.

For information or to register go to or call G-Force Services at 619-501-5444 for a registration form.