While out in Tucson attending gem shows including The Accredited Gemologists Association all day yesterday and the speakers and information were fabulous. It alway amazes me how passionate and interesting everyone is about their work and business in the gem and jewelry fields. Everyone is so open and eager to teach and inform about their particular passion. I learned about Aquaprase, a new gem material from Africa and how Yianni  Melas discovered the stone in Africa. He was very passionate about the stone and about creating jobs for the local population of the area where the stone is found. Gary

Gary Roskin, one of my mentors, now executive director of The International colored Gemstone Association, had a great presentation on new gems in 2017. He had gone around to the gem shows and taken photos of fabulous new stones to share with us.

The evening Gala was attended by the best and brightest stars in the gemological firmament, and the AGA’s 2017 Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Excellence in Gemology went to Al Gilbertson, who is Project Manager, Cut Research at the GIA Carlsbad Laboratory. I have known Al for many years and alway answered yes when he asked me to evaluate fancy diamond cuts for hours while attending the gem show! He honored me greatly by coming over to me before the award ceremony to congratulate me on winning the Spectrum award. I was so honored. We have known each other a long time. Totally first class kind of person. It was a very nice first full day of the Tucson gem show!!