Respected gemmologist and GemDialogue founder passes away ages 86.

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) has announced the sad passing of its senior member and national secretary Howard Rubin on January 17.

His wife Gail Brett Levine made the announcement and said: “In a month’s time he would have been 87 years old; in two days’ time we would have celebrated out 19th wedding anniversary.”


Rubin has trained in gemmology in the 1950s and had a career than had spanned more than 60 years.

In 1982 he launched a system that would enable jewellers to share information about coloured gemstones, called GemDialogue, which has since become a widely-used tool among jewellers in the U.S.

Rubin has also held roles as president of the American Gem Society New York Guild from 1976 to 1977 and vice president of Leer Gem Ltd. from 1979 to 1988. He also worked as a consultant for companies including QVC, Walmart and Charles & Colvard.

He became an independent consultant and jewellery appraiser in 1990 and in 1993 became a senior evaluator at his wife’s appraisal company, Timeless Inc.

He was a senior member and the national secretary for the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) in the United States. Rubin recently received the 2011 Manhattan Chapter Gemological Institute of America Alumni Chapter Achievement Award.

The Tucson conferred will be dedicated to him and his GemDialogue program will continue to remain active.

“He was patient, compassionate and endlessly understanding. He is so missed now and will be more so as the years go on,” said Brett Levine of her late husband.