Katya and I made a quick visit to the biggest gem and jewellery show in London, the IJL at Earls Court. This show runs every September from Sunday to Wednesday and is strictly a trade-only show.
We had registered in advance and were able to pick up our badges effortless at the front desk.
The entrance to the show
Inside the show is well draped out, oozing style. There is no doubt a great amount of money spent by exhibitors at the show.
A view inside the hall
Our first stop was to visit Gem-A (The Gemmological Association of Great Britain), where we met with Andrew Fellows and Jack Ogden and had a long helpful chat about the forthcoming launch of gemdat.org.
Andrew Fellows at the Gem-A booth
We also took the opportunity to pick up some of their excellent Gems and Jewellery magazines and the Journal of Gemmology.
Katya also admired the Encyclopedia of Inclusions in Gemstones three-volume set, but these were outside of our budget for the show.
Katya examining Photoatlas of Gemstone Inclusions
There was plenty to admire even for window-shoppers such as us.
Katya admiring some pearl jewellery
We also had a good useful discussion with Edward Johnson, director of the London branch of the GIA (Gemologial Institute of America) about gemdat and about the Weardale Giant
fluorite found recently in County Durham, England.
Finally, the International Gemological Institute (IGI) were also exhibiting and running a diamond testing lab hidden behind their booth. I spoke with Francois Smolders, Senior Gemologist at the IGI, and he explained that IGI were considering opening a new gem testing lab in London - something the UK has been missing since Gem-A closed down their testing labs in 2008. Here is a view of Francois working at his microscope in the lab.
Francois Smolders, Senior gemologist at IGI
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