Google+ The Daily Jewel: 2/22/15 - 3/1/15


Saturday, February 28, 2015

At #GIA Dreher Exhibition and Talk With Patrick Dreher

We recently spent an extraordinary evening at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)...

You may have seen my announcement recently the Patrick Dreher from the Gem Carving Dynasty from Germany would be speaking at GIA! ...well we didn't hesitate!

A Little History

The undeniable Gem Carving capital of the world is Idar Oberstein and I think that many of us are aware of several of the Gem Artists and Styles that have come from that region.  Most have heard of the Munsteiner family and in particular Bernd Munsteiner who is the artist behind the Dom Pedro Aquamarine (14 inches tall and weighs 10,363 carats) in the Smithsonian...
Photo via GIA website
 The Munsteiners have their style of carving/faceting and other Ateliers in Idar Oberstein focus elsewhere.  With this exhibit, it was interesting to learn the history of one of the few cutters that concentrate in the area of animal figures...and not pieced together figures (though they have created pieced figures) but the House of Dreher's focus is figures created from a single piece of gem rough.

Patrick Dreher is the 5th generation carver in his family from a region that is the soul of Gem Cutting and Carving - Idar Oberstein has a 500 year legacy....

Seen at the Scene

The evening started in the Main Lobby at GIA where the Dreher pieces had been beautifully displayed in the cases at the far side of the room, Food and Drink Serving Station behind the Reception Desk and tables filled the center.  



It was a gathering that had attracted some of the most important names in the Industry - these are just a few of the faces I recognized....

  • The Larsen Family - Bill, Jeanne, their sons with their significant others....the evening was made possible due to their generous loan of the Carvings on display from the personal Collection of Bill & Jeanne Larsen.
  • Harold & Erica Van Pelt - two of the best gem and mineral photographers in the world. Few know that for the last 35 years Harold Van Pelt has perfected an extraordinary gem carving technique (a piece of Harold's is currently on display at GIA).
  • Meg Berry, of MegaGem, Multi-Award Winning Gem Cutter, formerly with Pala International
  • Robert Weldon, Manager of Photography and Visual Communications at GIA
  • Blair Beavers with the Pearl Guide and Graduate Gemologist

Meeting the Artist

We asked to move to a room that GIA often uses for presentations, seminars and symposiums...and in true GIA style the room was perfectly appointed so that everyone could see the detailed carvings and techniques as they were described.

Mr. Dreher spoke beautiful English and started with a brief overview of the 500 year gem cutting tradition of Idar-Oberstein, and wove his family's role throughout.  It was fabulous hearing about the distinction between assembled  pieces made from multiple gems and pieced together and the Dreher trademark use of a single piece of gem rough. 

At one point he described his carving technique which would have been lost on most of those in attendance if it weren't for the multiple viewing screens throughout the room. 

We then adjourned to the Lobby for Coffee & Dessert.

Thank you GIA, Patrick Dreher and the Larsen Family for the lovely evening, good company and yet another fabulous learning experience.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

GIA's Winter Edition of Gems & Gemology is Available Online - Highlights Diamonds

Press Release from GIA

Winter Issue of GIA’s Gems & Gemology Highlights Diamonds

Quarterly professional journal reviews auctions, colored diamonds, emeralds and more

The Winter 2014 issue of GIA’s peer-reviewed journal Gems & Gemology (G&G) reviews rough diamond auctions and pricing, the Argyle mine’s pink diamond tenders, a gemological study of the 12.03 carat Blue Moon diamond, the separation of natural and synthetic emeralds using vibrational spectroscopy, and much more. The issue is now available in print, and online with exclusive video content.

G&G’s cover story, “Rough Diamond Auctions: Sweeping Changes in Pricing and Distribution” by GIA Senior Industry Analyst Russell Shor, examines the growing percentage of rough diamonds being sold through auctions, a shift that has caused price volatility while opening up supply to more manufacturers and dealers. He explains that some in the industry advocate auctions as a more accurate reflection of rough diamond market values, while others fear they encourage price volatility and speculation.

Next is “Exceptional Pink to Red Diamonds: A Celebration of the 30th Argyle Diamond Tender,” an insightful review by the GIA laboratory’s John King, Dr. James E. Shigley and Claudia Jannucci. Over the years, GIA has graded extremely rare polished pink diamonds from Australia’s Argyle mine, which have been sold for 30 years through invitation-only tenders. This article presents a concise survey of the color, carat weight and cutting style of the gems offered through those tenders.

In another feature, Dr. Elo├»se Gaillou of the Paris School of Mines, Dr. Jeffrey Post of the Smithsonian Institution and their co-authors present a gemological study of the 12.03 carat Blue Moon diamond, an internally flawless Fancy Vivid blue diamond. Discovered at the historic Cullinan mine in early 2014, this diamond set the auction record price for a rough gem prior to its fashioning. In the final article, Dr. Le Thi-Thu Huong from the Hanoi University of Science and her co-authors deliver a preliminary study – contrasting FTIR and Raman spectrometry – on the topic of separating natural and synthetic emeralds using vibrational spectroscopy.

The issue also includes entries on the first non-nacreous beaded cultured pearl, a new Ethiopian black opal deposit, a beryl and topaz doublet set in fine jewelry, and demantoid garnet from a new deposit in Pakistan’s Baluchistan province. Additional details about G&G, full articles, more in-depth coverage, hundreds of additional photos, and exclusive video footage are available on GIA’s website at  


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