Welcome to AGTA GTC's Laboratory Update for December 14, 2005

In this message

  1. AGTA GTC in Tucson
  2. Sapphire from New Zealand
  3. Meet our Staff: Stasha Maletic
  4. Season's Greetings from the AGTA GTC
  5. Peace of Mind with an AGTA GTC Report
  6. AGTA GTC on the Web

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

The AGTA GTC Mobile Laboratory Facility Opens on
Tuesday, January 31, 2006 at AGTA GemFair Tucson

Once again, the AGTA Gemological Testing Center (AGTA GTC) will be participating in AGTA GemFair Tucson. Note that the AGTA GTC Mobile Laboratory Facility will be opening on January 31st, one day before the AGTA GemFair Tucson (which runs February 1–6, 2006). This will allow vendors to have their gemstones tested so they are ready for sale during the show.
     Our Mobile Laboratory Facility provides a wide range of gemstone testing services onsite during GemFair. The AGTA GTC has a reputation for providing excellent service, superior value and outstanding quality. AGTA reports give your clients the confidence they need when purchasing color. Services include:

  • Identification reports for all kinds of gemstones
  • Country-of-origin reports for ruby, sapphire and emerald

     GemFair and the AGTA GTC Portable Lab Facility are located at the Tucson Convention Center. The address is 260 S. Church Ave. The AGTA GTC Mobile Laboratory Facility is located in the Onyx Suite on the main level.
     The AGTA GTC Mobile Laboratory Facility opens one day before GemFair. The laboratory is open Tuesday, January 31st to February 6th, 2006. Hours are 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. January 31st to February 5th and 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. February 6th.


Sapphire from New Zealand

It was during the wash up of concentrates from alluvial gravel when Des Gavin, the plant operator of a large-scale gold mining operation in Otago, New Zealand, noticed brightly colored gemstones coming through on to the gold tables. His 50 years of experience as gold prospector taught him to question everything. What were these gemstones, why were they heavier than quartz? He had seen nothing like this in his 50 years of mining.

Sapphire from New Zealand

Figure 1. Some of the sapphires that Des Gavin collected while working in the mine operation. Note that the gravels to the right are zircons, which are often associated with sapphire in alluvial deposits. Photo: Lore Kiefert

     Referring to his gemology books confirmed his suspicion that they were corundum, rare in New Zealand, but certainly abundant here. The owners of the plant showed little interest, concerned only with recovering gold. Gavin was allowed to keep the gemstones he came across (Figure 1). Once the ground was worked to a depth of 30 meters, which was three meters below sea level, the mine became uneconomic and was closed (Figure 2). The tailings were used to fill the hole, and the stockpiled soil was spread on top and re-seeded for farm pasture. Today no trace of the mine exists, and cows and sheep graze contentedly on the sapphires, which certainly are left behind, since only the gravels that were smaller than 5–7 mm came onto the gold tables.

Mine site in New Zealand

Figure 2. The mining site as it was in 1999, one year before it closed. Photo: Des Gavin

     Lore Kiefert visited New Zealand in December 2002, hoping to see the mine, but all that was left was the paddock with the grazing sheep (Figure 3). She was, however, rewarded with the sight of the many gemstones that Des Gavin had collected during the time when the gold mine was active (Figure 4). The predominant color of the samples is pink, with blue, purple, greenish-blue, orange and purplish red sapphires also found (Figure 5). Together with Michael Krzemnicki (SSEF) and Karl Schmetzer, she is currently working on a publication about these sapphires. The results will be published in the near future in a gemological journal.

Mine site

Figure 3. The same site after reclamation in December 2002. Photo: Lore Kiefert

New Zealand sapphire

Figure 4. These sapphires were collected over a time span of five years from the gold mine in Otago, New Zealand. Photo: Lore Kiefert

Rough and cut New Zealand sapphire

Figure 5. Some rough and faceted sapphires from Des Gavin's collection. Photo: Lore Kiefert

Stasha Maletic – Office AssistantStasha Maletic
Born in the former Yugoslavian Republic of Slovenia, Stasha Maletic graduated from Novi Sad Teacher's College in 1988. Following graduation, she worked as a teacher with third and fourth graders in her native Yugoslavia for four years. Stasha later worked as office manager and HR administrator for a computer consulting company. Her fluency in two Slavic languages as well as English helped to successfully manage staff in both the US and European offices. The opportunity to join AGTA in October 2005 gave Stasha the chance to gain experience in a different field, where she is eager to learn and prove herself once again.

Season's Greetings from the AGTA GTC
The holiday season is now upon us. We at the AGTA GTC would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our clients and the others who have supported our work over the past year. May all your dreams come true!


Give the Gift of Peace of Mind with an AGTA GTC Report
It is no secret that technological advances have led to an explosion of ever more sophisticated synthetic and treated gemstones. Consumers have a broad range of purchase possibilities and if they lack confidence in our jewelry and gemstone products, they will look elsewhere.
    One of the best ways to inspire consumer confidence at the point-of-sale is to present gemstones with an AGTA Gemological Testing Center Identification or Origin Report. These attractive reports can be the difference between the choice of a fine gemstone gift, or some other product.
We would remind our customers that with the holiday gift-giving season rapidly approaching, the demand for our gemstone testing services will also increase. Beat the rush and submit your gemstones now. This will ensure that you have professional reports at the ready when it comes time to close a sale.

Ruby ID Report

The AGTA Gemological Testing Center Identification Report provides a perfect point-of-sale tool for consumer peace of mind.

AGTA GTC on the Web
A number of clients have asked us to consider making our gemological bulletins available to a wider audience. Towards that aim, over the past few months we have built a website specifically for the AGTA Gemological Testing Center. It is now live and offers a complete archive of our e-mail bulletins, along with a full description of the lab and its services.
     See it at www.agta-gtc.org or link from AGTA’s regular site, www.agta.org.

AGTA on the web

The new AGTA GTC website offers the most up-to-the-minute gemological news, along with a full description of the lab and its services.

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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