Aug 302014

Al Gilbertson signing his book "The American Cut"

AIJV member Ted Irwin hosted the second annual Northwest Jewelry Conference August 15-17 2014 in Bellevue, WA, USA. With a twenty-five year history of offering period jewelry classes, Irwin through Northwest Gemological Institute (NGI) started a multi-speaker conference style program in 2013, attracting collectors, dealers and appraisers to a small classroom setting with accomplished instructors. Continue reading »

Oct 312012

This biannual conference is hosted by Richard Drucker and his associates at Gemworld International and was attended by delegates from eight countries.  Among the attendees were AIJV members from Canada, Scotland and the USA.

The weekend started on the Friday night with a “Meet and Greet” at the Hotel’s Private Dining Room. It was a time to renew old acquaintances and meet new people. Conversation flowed.

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Nov 262011

Let me open by saying that I have a stock answer when asked for an opinion on Jewellery Shopping Channels – “I am one of their greatest fans but one of their biggest critics”.

I have publicly praised shopping channels but also lodged official complaints to The Advertising Standards Authority and The Office of Fair Trading.   The jewellery trade’s view of Shopping Channels is at best dismissive and at worst scathing.  Some of their views are wholly justified, while others are not, and have more to do with a reaction to a prolific competitor than anything else.

What follows is an objective view of buying jewellery from shopping channels in general, no particular channel is singled out for praise or criticism so some of the following points may not all apply to all Shopping Channels. Continue reading »

May 132011

There can be few occasions where one can, in the course of conducting one’s business, merge great fellowship, fun, education of the highest order and socialising all into a long weekend.

The annual conference of the Scottish Gemmological Association,  is such an occasion. Three and a half days in the company of friends (old and new) and some of the world’s most eminent gemmological minds, all brought together in the “Fair City” of Perth, for all things gemstones and jewellery. Continue reading »