Honorary members and prize winners unveiled at annual event.

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) celebrated the success of its students worldwide during its annual graduation ceremony on Monday night (November 3).

Graduates of Gem-A’s Gemmology and Diamond Diplomas were honoured at Goldsmiths’ Hall, with some receiving special awards and prizes due to their contributions to the wider trade.


In particular, awards were presented to Dr Jack Ogden FGA and Mary Burland FGA, who each received an Honorary Lifetime Membership of the Association for their outstanding contributions to Gem-A.

Other Honorary Fellowships were granted to Terry Coldham FGAA, Patron of The Gemmological Association of Australia (GAA), and Dr Gaetano Cavalieri, President of The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO).

The GAA also presented an Honorary Fellowship to Gem-A chief executive officer James Riley FGA DGA, as the first cross-Association Fellow of both the GAA and Gem-A.

In addition to the Honorary Fellowships granted to those who have made outstanding contributions to the industry, Gem-A also grants Diploma by redemption to those people — usually from overseas — who have had a significant influence on the world of gemmology over a number of years.

This year the Board of Trustees elected to grant two diplomas by redemption to Dr Ulrich Henn of the German Gemmological Association and Edward Boehm of RareSource Gems.

Student awards were also given to candidates who achieved an exceptionally high standard in a particular area of study. Awards and winners are as follows:

The Anderson Medal for the best set of papers of the year in the Foundation examination, was awarded to Andrew Barrett, a distance learning student from Sliema, Malta.

The Anderson Bank Prize for the best theory papers of the year for the Gemmology Diploma examination was awarded to Dilyara Khabrieva, an evening student from London.

The Read Practical Prize for the best practical papers of the year for the Gemmology Diploma examination, was awarded to Claire Ito, a distance learning student who works for the GIA in Carlsbad, California.

The Christie’s Prize for Gemmology is awarded to the best candidate of the year for the Gemmology Diploma and was presented by Keith Penton, Director of Christies, to Elie-Anne Caya who studied at the École de Gemmologie in Montreal.

The Deeks Diamond Prize for the best theory candidate of the year in the Diamond Diploma examinations, was awarded to Ching Man Wong who studied at the Asian Gemmological Institute and Laboratory (AGIL) in Hong Kong.

The Mok Diamond Practical Prize for excellence in the Diamond Practical Examination was awarded to Doerte Herold, a Distance Learning student from Switzerland.

The Bruton Medal is a particularly special award which is given to the overall best candidate of the year in the Diamond Diploma examinations and was awarded to Andrea Von Allmen, a distance learning student from Switzerland.

The presentation of awards and prizes was followed by an address from special guest speaker, chief executive of Jewelry Television, Tim Matthews FGA DGA.

Discussing his thoughts on the Graduation Ceremony, Matthews commented: “This is not the end of the student’s journey, but the beginning and I think it’s important for students to be responsible with their knowledge and experience, making an important impact on the frontline of the industry. After all, gemmology is not only about the beautiful products we deal with, but about the people and communities our industry supports across the world.”