Events & Awards

NAJA’s Winter Education Conference Returns to Tucson in 2023

Events & AwardsDec 08, 2022

NAJA’s Winter Education Conference Returns to Tucson in 2023

The 59th Ace It event is scheduled for Jan. 29 and 30 at the Tucson Convention Center.

Rego Park, N.Y.—The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers’ annual in-person conference held during the Tucson gem shows will return in 2023 after a three-year hiatus.

The 59th Ace It Winter Education Conference is scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 29 and Monday, Jan. 30 at the Tucson Convention Center.

The first day will kick off with Richard Hughes of Lotus Gemology speaking on “Jade: China’s Gift to the World,” reviewing the major sources of jade around the world, touching on its identification, and exploring the modern movement in contemporary Chinese jade carving.

Billie Hughes of Lotus Gemology and GIA’s Wim Vertriest will then present “A Canary in the Ruby Mine: Low Temperature Heat Treatment Experiments in Burmese Ruby.”

In it, the two presenters will share the latest information from their current research on low temperature heat treatment. Attendees will also get to see before-and-after photomicrographs, spectroscopy, and fluorescence results that are important in recognizing treated material.

This will be followed by gem cutter Justin Prim giving a session titled “Beauty, Value, and the Power of Gem Cutting,” exploring how to distinguish a well-cut stone from a poorly cut stone and how cutting can affect the gemstone’s final color, which plays a huge role in its final value, among other topics.

Then mineralogist and archaeogemology expert Çiğdem Lüle will speak on “The Evaluation and Interpretation of Gem Carvings,” and independent jewelry appraiser and NAJA Education Chair Deborah Finleon will discuss “Communication, Consulting, and Contracting: 3 Cs That Can Make or Break an Assignment.”

The day will close with a session from Stuller’s Guy Borenstein called “Lab-Grown Diamonds—Screening Challenges.” This presentation will discuss various aspects of screening, the common screening techniques and technologies used for separation, and each technique’s weaknesses, limitations, and blind spots.

 Related stories will be right here … 

The second day will start with the “State of the Industry—Post-COVID” by industry analyst Harold Dupuy from Stuller and follow with GIA’s Aaron Palke presenting “Demantoid Garnet: Gemology, Origin, and Treatment,” to give an overview of sources, methods for origin determination, and discussion of treatments.

Author and researcher Renee Newman will then discuss “Diamond Cuts & Qualities in Jewelry from 1300 until Now.”

This will be followed by Danusia Niklewicz of the HallMark Research Institute diving into hallmarks with “What in the World are These Marks?”

The penultimate session will be Warren Boyd from Potentate Mining updating attendees on the world of Rock Creek Montana sapphires, and finally Samantha Lloyd from Gem-A will close the day with a hands-on session about using the spectroscope.

“We really wanted this program to be extra special. After all, it’s our first in-person conference since January of 2020. In looking at program, I’d say we aimed for the ceiling but hit the stars,” said NAJA Executive Director Gail Brett Levine.

Registration is priced at $425 for NAJA members and $650 for non-members until Jan. 15. It then goes up to $525 for members and $750 for non-members.

For more information about the sessions or ways to register, visit

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