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Image of Alan Hodgkinson


Gemmologist, Educator, Author and Lecturer

Alan is dedicated to bringing gemmology to a wider audience and awakening an interest in all the intrigue, wonder, fascination and historical role which gemstones play and have played throughout history, particularly for the younger generation. By themselves, gemstones are inanimate objects until brought to life in the human context and not just on earth. Yes, there are diamonds on the moon, and the Venus Explorer had Type IIa diamond windows to monitor the surface of that planet.

Image of Alan Hodgkinson

Alan continues to lecture in, and teach, gemmology with trips to Tucson (Tucson Gem and Mineral Show), the GemQuest conference in Mallorca and further gemmological visits to Loughborough, Holland, London and Vancouver all scheduled for 2015.


Alan's Credentials and Accreditations

Alan Hodgkinson has lectured in many different countries on gemmology and is the recipient of several awards relating to his dedicated study of the gem world over half a century, including:

  • President, Scottish Gemmological Association
  • Freeman of The Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths
  • Honorary Registered Valuer − Institute of Registered Valuers
  • Honorary Member − Canadian Gemmological Association
  • Honorary Life Member − Gem-A
  • Honorary Life Member − Scottish Gemmological Association
  • Honorary Life Member − Accredited Gemologists′ Association
  • Honorary Life Member − American Gem Traders′ Association
  • First winner (in 2000) of the Antonio C. Bonanno Award for Contributions to Gemmology
  • Freeman of the City of London
  • Author of ‘Visual Optics’

I first began teaching gemmology as the Training Officer for Jewellery Training Scotland Ltd, Glasgow, in 1969. I found that sharing my limited knowledge as an FGA of eight years was none the less a privilege, especially as all the students passed their exams that first year. Then came the running of practical, ‘Hands on’ Gem Identification courses in London (sponsored by the late Eric Bruton) and later the increased satisfaction of running the courses with a stimulating team of friends; the students and lecture team staying on in the workshop until past midnight, such was the mutual enthusiasm raised by this combustible gemmological environment.

Yet strangely, while the delegates were limited to 12, with five or six of us as the lecture team, I was always conscious of trying to intrude and help the least experienced delegate catch up with the fastest, while trying to encourage the most knowledgeable, to push even further ahead, and this really did create a problem of conscience.

The answer I knew deep down was that ultimately, the best way of imparting gemmology is by tutoring in a one-to-one situation. As I can′t reach you all individually, my answer is Gem Testing Techniques. Enjoy your gemmological journeys in life and bear in mind, that, ‘Going the extra mile’ always brings its own reward, especially if it is a shared journey.

Image of Alan Hodgkinson receiving award - Courtesy of Gem-A
Alan receiving his Honorary Life Membership of Gem-A with his wife Charlotte