Welcome to AGTA GTC's Laboratory Update for September 27, 2005

In this message

  1. AGTA GTC's Koivula & Hughes Lecture in New Mexico
  2. Meet Our Staff: Hpone-Phyo K. Nyunt

Current turnaround time at the AGTA GTC
5–7 Business Days


AGTA GTC's Koivula & Hughes Lecture in New Mexico
On August 29, 2005, the AGTA GTC's John Koivula and Richard Hughes lectured to attendees of the Radiation Effects in Insulators Conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Organized by Dr. Kurt Sickafus of Los Alamos National Laboratory, the evening lectures provided attendees with a double-barreled blast of both the internal and external worlds of gemology.
     Hughes began the evening by relating his own personal entry to gemology via a round-the-world sojourn he undertook at age 18, then jumping to the latest challenges facing the field today, including beryllium diffusion and the detection of heat treatment using UV fluorescence. He finished up with a moving personal account of his 1996 pilgrimage to Burma's Mogok Stone Tract, a place he continues to be drawn back to.

Mining rubies at Mogok, Burma, August 2004. Photo © Richard W. Hughes/RWH Publishing

John Koivula then proceeded to bedazzle attendees with one stunning image after another illustrating the internal world of gemstones. Koivula, who is about to release Volumes 2 and 3 of his Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones (in conjunction with the recently deceased Edward Gubelin), showed the attendees that, far from being "flaws," inclusions are not only visually attractive, but offer valuable clues regarding the origins of gems and, indeed, the earth itself.

Covellite in quartz from Bahia, Brazil. Photomicrograph © John I. Koivula/microWorld of Gems

Visit to the Los Alamos National Laboratory
In addition to their lectures, Koivula and Hughes were given a tour of the Material Sciences building at Los Alamos National Laboratory by Darrin Byler. They visited four different labs, including those involving particle acceleration, electron microscopy, crystal growth and mass spectroscopy.
     A number of excellent contacts and discussions resulted from this meeting and tour, the fruits of which will help keep the AGTA GTC at the forefront of the gemological field.

From left to right: Ken McClellan of Los Alamos National Laboratory describes crystal growth techniques to the AGTA GTC's John Koivula and Richard Hughes. Photo: Lisbet Thoresen.

The AGTA GTC's Richard Hughes examining a SIMS unit at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Photo: Lisbet Thoresen.

Hpone-Phyo K. Nyunt – Customer Support Assistant
Hpone-Phyo K. Nyunt, joined the GTC Control Room team at the end of December 2004. He is a native of Myanmar (Burma) where his family has a history in gemstones and jewelry. Hpone came to the US in 2001 and has studied computer and electrical engineering at Northern Illinois and Columbia Universities. He is an experienced customer support assistant who is also proficient in the domestic and international shipping. Hpone also has extensive experience with data entry and inventory control. Hpone's experience adds to that of an already well-tuned Control Room.

Hpone-Phyo K. Nyunt

The AGTA Gemological Testing Center provides the industry and the public with a complete range of lab services, including gemstone identification, origin determination and pearl identification. Located in New York City, the laboratory is equipped with the latest, technologically advanced, investigative equipment.The AGTA GTC is committed to providing excellent service, superior value and outstanding quality. A complete list of services and detailed pricing information is available on our website, www.agta-gtc.org. Please contact us with any questions.

American Gem Trade Assocation Gemological Testing Center
18 East 48th St., Suite 502
New York, NY 10017, USA
Tel: 212-752-1717; Fax: 212-750-0930
E-Mail: info@agta-gtc.org; Web: www.agta-gtc.org
© 1999–2005 American Gem Trade Assocation Gemological Testing Center. All rights reserved. Users may download this information for their own private, non-commercial use. Any other reproduction of this document (text or graphics) without the express written consent of the AGTA GTC is strictly prohibited.
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