AGTA NewsFlash 

August 2008


How Does the Burma Bill Affect my Business?
Many of our Members have contacted us with questions about the recently enacted legislation that prohibits the importation of ruby and jadeite from Burma. AGTA Members should be aware that the "Tom Lantos Block Burmese JADE Act of 2008", signed by President Bush on July 29, 2008, requires that within 60 days of enactment of the bill, jadeite or rubies of Burma origin cannot be imported into the U.S. This importation ban would encompass all Burmese origin jadeite and rubies, notwithstanding "substantial transformation" in Thailand or elsewhere.

This legislation has no bearing on Burmese rubies and jadeite that are already in inventories in the U.S. and in no way prohibits the sale of these materials. This legislation prohibits the importation; it does not affect in any way the sales of existing inventories.

The importation ban also does not apply to any Burmese rubies or jadeite that were previously exported from the U.S. when they are re-imported into the U.S. by the same person, without having been improved in condition or value while outside the U.S. Customs is still determining whether or not this exemption would apply to cut and polished rubies that are exported from the U.S., placed into jewelry and then re-imported.

The importation ban does not apply to Burmese jadeite or rubies that are imported for personal use. The law does not apply to exports of Burmese rubies or jadeite from the U.S. Further, the bill does not prohibit U.S. sales of any inventory of Burmese jadeite or rubies currently in the U.S.

Non-Burmese rough and polished jadeite and rubies (or jewelry containing jadeite and rubies) may be imported from other countries under certain conditions. These non-Burmese shipments must be accompanied by officially-validated documentation certifying the country from which the jadeite and rubies were mined or extracted, total carat weight, and value of the jadeite or rubies. All entities importing non-Burmese jadeite and rubies are required to maintain verifiable records demonstrating compliance with these requirements.

For further clarification of the impact of this bill on your business, please contact the American Gem Trade Association or the Jeweler's Vigilance Committee.


World of Gems Conference Update
The World of Gems Conference, co-hosted by Gemworld International and the AGTA Gemological Testing Center is a little more than a month away and the event is coming together nicely. The program is set, attendees continue to sign up and the hotel is filling up. There is a great buzz in the industry about the quality of speakers and the information they will be sharing.

"The depth of information that is being presented will provide great benefit to every attendee." states Richard B. Drucker, President of Gemworld International and co-host of the event. "The mission of this conference is to give people practical ideas to improve their business, whether they are buying, selling or appraising gemstones."

The conference, scheduled for September 13-14 at the Hyatt Regency O'Hare in Chicago, IL, features two keynote addresses by renowned gemologist John Koivula, and sessions featuring the world’s foremost experts in gemology, sourcing, pricing and treatments. The opportunity to network with your peers and industry experts will make a big difference in your business this upcoming season.

It’s not too late to get involved; the $395 conference fee is a tremendous value for two full days of information. AGTA Members get an additional $50 off the conference registration. Sponsorships and ads are still available. Go to for details.



AGTA Spectrum Awards™
The Deadline for entries is approaching; all pieces must be in by September 26, 2008.

The American Gem Trade Association's Spectrum Awards™ celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year as the premiere colored gemstone and cultured pearl jewelry design competition in the United States and Canada. This is a fantastic opportunity to get your designs in front of a great panel of judges including Scott Martin from Saks Fifth Avenue, Tom Heyman of Oscar Heyman, Donna Sturm from Verdura, Hedda Schupak from JCK, and Claudia Mata from Town & Country. Also, all entered pieces will be featured in an editor’s event for trade and consumer press in New York City.

The Platinum Honors Division, sponsored by Platinum Guild International, also marks its return to the competition this year, with some incredible value-added exposure for winners in this division.

New this year, will be the Consumer's Choice Honors sponsored by the Jewelry Consumer Opinion Council, which will have all entries voted on by consumers to select winners in 5

If you haven't entered the competition before, make this the year that you do. It could be a very rewarding experience.

Eligibility and entry forms can be found at





eBay Ruby Has AGTA GTC Report
An American has purchased a 3.69-ct. ruby on eBay India for $19,600, making it one of the most expensive jewelry items sold on the country-specific Web auction site. The ruby was accompanied by a report from the AGTA Gem Testing Center.

Arvind Juneja of Jaipur, listed the ruby, eBay India said in a statement. Juneja has a family jewelry business on eBay. He has sold more than 90 pieces of jewelry and gems since October, 2007 on the Web site.

"I believe that the AGTA GTC report instills confidence in buyers of fine gemstones. This sale shows the level of trust that buyers place in reports from the AGTA GTC," said Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO.



2009 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Hotels
Yes, it is time to start looking ahead to the 2009 AGTA GemFair™ Tucson, especially booking your hotel. We have once again enlisted A6 Consultants as the official travel agency for the show. They have made special arrangements with hotels, airlines and car rental agencies to offer AGTA Members and attendees discounted rates. Please call 877-624-7225 to take advantage of these preferred rates.

AGTA GemFair™ Tucson Preferred Hotels:
Best Western Inn Suites Oracle
  6201 N. Oracle Rd. $139-$149
DoubleTree Hotel at Reid Park
  445 S. Alvernon Way $189-$199
Courtyard Williams Centre
  201 S. Williams Blvd. $190
Courtyard TIA
  2505 E. Executive Dr. $190
Fairfield TIA
  6555 E. Speedway Blvd. $179
Four Points Sheraton
  1900 E. Speedway Blvd. $200
Holiday Inn Express TIA
  2548 E. Medina Rd. $169-$189
The Hotel Arizona
  181 W. Broadway Blvd. $229
Hyatt Place Tucson Airport
  6885 S. Tucson Blvd. $209
Marriott University Park
  880 E. Second St. SOLD OUT
Radisson Suites Tucson
  6555 E. Speedway Blvd. $189
Residence Inn Williams Center
  5400 E. Williams Circle. $219
Sheraton Tucson Hotel and Suites
  5151 E. Grant Rd. $229
Viscount Suites Hotel
  4855 E. Broadway Blvd. $195

Please look for a mailer soon with additional hotels and rates.


Hughes Leaving AGTA GTC
Richard W. Hughes, Gemological Administrator for the AGTA Gemological Testing Center (AGTA GTC), will be leaving his position effective at the end of August for a new opportunity in Thailand. Hughes has been with AGTA since 2005.

"We wish Richard nothing but the best in his future endeavors," stated Douglas K. Hucker, AGTA CEO. "Richard has been a valuable contributor in many facets of the AGTA GTC's operations for the past several years."

Hughes is one of the world's foremost authorities on ruby and sapphire. A Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain, his first book, the highly regarded Corundum, was published in 1990. Richard's 1997 book, Ruby & Sapphire, is the standard work on the subject and is considered among the finest monographs ever written on a single gem species. He also contributed several chapters to Robert Webster's Gems.


Time to Update Your AGTA Electronic Source Directory
Your company should have the most current names, addresses, phone numbers and product information for all AGTA Members. Update your AGTA Electronic Source Directory with the click of a mouse.

Updates in the AGTA Electronic Source Directory are simple and fast. Click the "UPDATE" button located in the bottom left-hand corner of your directory, or click the "yes" button when the update reminder appears on your screen.

When you click the "UPDATE" button, you will be prompted to connect to the internet. This process is simple and should be followed at least once a month. When the download is complete, close your directory and re-open it to receive the installed update. The process is simple and should be followed at least once each month.