AGTA NewsFlash 

July 2008


Spectrum Awards – Judges and Call for Entries
The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced the selection of their judging panel for the 2009 AGTA Spectrum Awards™. The judges are Tom Heyman of Oscar Heyman, lapidarist Walter Casaravilla, Scott Martin of Saks Fifth Avenue, Claudia Mata of Town & Country, Hedda Schupak of JCK Magazine, and Donna Sturm of Verdura.

"We are thrilled to have this esteemed group of jewelry industry professionals join us as judges this year," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "Participants in this year's competition should be excited to have their pieces exposed to this very influential and insightful panel."

Tom Heyman has been involved with the family's business, Oscar Heyman, for over twenty years and represents the third generation of Heymans in the firm. Walter Casaravilla, who besides being a lapidarist, is a critically acclaimed painter. Scott Martin is the Senior Buyer - Fine Jewelry for Saks Fifth Avenue and is responsible for introducing many key brands to the company. Claudia Mata is the Jewelry & Accessories Editor for Town & Country magazine, which in 1987 was the first consumer magazine to participate in the Spectrum Awards judging process. Hedda Schupak is Editor-in-Chief of the JCK Publishing Group and known for her keen fashion sense and understanding of the jewelry industry. Donna Sturm oversees many aspects of design and product development at Verdura.

The AGTA Spectrum Awards™ is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year as the premier colored gemstone and pearl jewelry design competition. Past participants have included such notable jewelry designers as Henry Dunay, Jose Hess, and Stephen Webster to name a few. Winning entries have graced countless magazine covers and have been featured in numerous feature stories.

For more information and entry forms for the 2009 AGTA Spectrum Awards™, please visit or call 800-972-1162. The deadline for entries is September 26, 2008.


World of Gems Conference Agenda
The World of Gems Conference, co-hosted by Gemworld International, Inc. and the AGTA GTC announced that it had finalized the speaker and session program for the event, being held September 13-14, 2008, in Chicago at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare. The theme of the conference is "Integration of Information."

The keynote sessions will be held on Saturday and Sunday mornings beginning at 9:00 am. They will be presented by noted gemologist John Koivula from the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). He will focus on the microworld of inclusions in emeralds, sapphires, rubies and diamonds.

On Saturday, September 13, the sessions will focus on the origins, treatments and pricing of sapphires, rubies and pearls. The sapphire session, presented by Dr. James Shigley, Robert Kane and Richard Hughes, will describe current sapphire deposits, origin determination, identifying treatments and their effect on pricing. Gina Latendresse, Eric Braunwart, Dr. Jim Shigley and Stuart Robertson will discuss Chinese, American and Mexican pearl varieties to include treatment issues and pricing. The ruby session will feature Christopher Smith, Dr. Lore Kiefert, Richard Drucker and Richard Hughes. They will discuss Burma and origin considerations, treatments and pricing. A cocktail party will be held at 6:15 pm.

On Sunday, September 14, the emerald session follows the keynote and will feature Ron Ringsrud, Stuart Robertson and Dr. Lore Kiefert. This class will look at identification procedures for emerald origin, treatment scales, current treatment types and their effect on the market and pricing. Diamonds will be the focus after lunch in a session featuring Gary Roskin, Dr. Jim Shigley, Paul Shannon and Richard Drucker. They will share grading techniques, treatment identification, pricing and how to incorporate light performance technology in your business. The final session will be a laboratory update from Dr. Jim Shigley (GIA), Dr. Lore Kiefert (AGTA GTC) and Christopher Smith (AGL). Recent issues with tanzanite coatings, andesine and industry nomenclature will be shared.

On Friday, September 12, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm, optional user group and demonstration sessions will be held, including GemGuide Appraisal Software and The Edge Retail Jewelry Store Management System.

On Monday, September 15, the AGTA GTC will offer its renowned gemstone treatment seminar. Participants will get hands-on instruction using microscopes and actual gemstones. There is an additional fee for this all-day session, which is limited to only ten people. Contact Dr. Lore Kiefert to register at

The cost of the conference is $395 and includes all breakfasts and lunches with a cocktail reception on Saturday. Members of AGTA receive a $50 discount, making the conference $345. Log on to to register and to reserve hotel rooms.



2008 JA NY Show
The AGTA will once again have a Colored Gemstone and Cultured Pearl Pavilion at the JA New York Show, July 27-30. The pavilion is comprised of 33 Member companies exhibiting, along with an AGTA booth selling memberships, Lab services and marketing products.

The AGTA Pavilion provides a venue for buyers looking for quality gemstones and pearls that they can buy with confidence from AGTA Members. This is a one-stop-shop for retailers, designers and manufacturers looking to restock for the upcoming holiday season.

The AGTA Gemological Testing Center will have representatives on-site taking in gemstones for next-day service. This service has been very popular at trade shows for buyers and sellers alike, primarily for identification and origin reports. Gemstones must be delivered to the booth by 1:00 pm to get them back by the next day.

AGTA Member Firms exhibiting in the AGTA Pavilion at JA NY:



Akiva Gil Co.


James Alger Co., Inc.


Robert Bentley Company, Inc.


Blue Moon Enterprises


Brasil Color Gems


Brazil Imports


California Collections




Creative Beads


D. S. L. Pearl


Eliko Pearl Co.


Fine Gems (NY)


Gem Stone USA


Gemorex International


Ijadi Gem


The Kay El Company


Lakhi Impex




Manak Jewels


Nanci Knott & Co.


Oriental Gemco, (NY)


Pala International




Quality Beads International




Royal Gems


S & S Gems


S. P. B. Gems


Scott Spurling


Shaun Gems International


Jayson Traurig Bros. of Australia


Vista Gems


White Cloud Co.


Yen's Jewelry & Accessories






Stock Photography
As we move into the Summer, it is a great time to review your website and marketing materials prior to the Fall holiday rush. Fresh, high quality photography is a great way to attract interest and create a "wow" experience. AGTA is here to help.

The AGTA offers over 400 images with a wide array of high and low-resolution images to fit your needs for use in your website, advertising, marketing materials or as stand-alone pictures in your store or office. From Agate to Zircon, there are 34 different gemstone varieties featured with multiple photos of each. The images are comprised primarily of loose gemstones, but we do offer some jewelry if you would like to show finished product.

High-resolution images are available for $75 each and low-resolution images are $50 each. There is a 20% discount offered when you purchase six or more images. All images are delivered as digital files on a CD.

We have recently added 40 new images to our online catalog. Go to to view the current collection of images. If you have a need for an image of a certain gemstone that is not currently offered, please let us know so that we can add that to our selection.



The AGTA announced that the organization will establish an AGTA Colored Gemstones and Cultured Pearl Pavilion at the inaugural INSTORE SHOW, to be held at the Navy Pier in Chicago, IL April 19-21, 2009.

"We are excited about establishing a new marketplace for our Members at the first INSTORE SHOW," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "Our Member firms are looking forward to seeing how Instore's fresh thinking extends to the trade show environment."


The AGTA Pavilion will be comprised of AGTA Members selling loose colored gemstones and pearls along with designers and manufacturers of colored gemstone and cultured pearl intensive jewelry. Retailers can shop with confidence knowing that AGTA Members are bound to a code of ethics and providing complete disclosure.

"The INSTORE SHOW is pleased to have AGTA involved," said James Reed, Show Director. "The product quality and ethical business practices of AGTA firms are exactly what we are looking for in creating the best show experience for our buyers."

This three-day national-level event is expected to draw approximately 400 booths and will offer special educational opportunities aimed at addressing the most essential purchasing, marketing and management questions independent jewelers face today.

Contact the AGTA office now at 800-972-1162 and ask for Mary Lou or Patti.