Gem-A North West Branch

Wilson55 Auctioneers & Valuers are proud to host the Gem-A North West regional group. Relaunched in 2020 with the aim of creating a network for jewellery and gemstone enthusiasts, members, students and non-members of the Gem-A are all welcome to get involved with our meetings.


The Gem-A or the Gemmological Association of Great Britain is the world's oldest provider of gem education, having taught the science of gemmology for over 110 years. With a base in London, the Gem-A features ‘regional’ groups in the Midlands, North East and the North West. The current committee is made up of auction professionals, insurance valuers, jewellery makers, retailers and gem enthusiasts!

We are aiming to host a mixture of private jewellery viewings, talks, demonstrations, get-togethers and social events for the gemmology enthusiasts of the North West! For the remainder of 2020, we are set to host a series of Zoom talks with industry-leading professionals, with the view to conducting in-house meetings here at Wilson55's saleroom in 2021 (if not sooner, COVID dependant).

We are constantly adding to our line-up of events, so join our mailing list to keep up to date with our latest news! Join our mailing list or find out more about the North West Branch by contacting Liz Bailey



Upcoming Events




Monday 8th March: 6:30pm - Rebecca Tucker - Zoom Talk - The History of Whitby Jet

Rebecca Tucker - The History of Whitby Jet

Join us for a Zoom talk with Rebecca Tucker.
Enjoy a fascinating insight into one of history’s most intriguing jewellery industries. The story of a gemstone which perfectly encapsulates an era dominated by social hierarchy, symbolism and death.
From its humble beginnings as a seaside souvenir, to being worn by some of Europe’s most important and influential women, the fluctuating success of Whitby Jet is a compelling step back in time from ancient man, right up to present day.
Rebecca Tucker studied as a jeweller and silversmith at the Birmingham School of Jewellery, before joining award winning British company C.W Sellors, a jewellery manufacturer specialising in British gemstones. She relocated to the beautiful seaside town of Whitby, where she honed her skills in the manufacture of Whitby Jet jewellery at the company’s North Yorkshire boutique W. Hamond, The Original Whitby Jet Shop Est. 1860. Her fortunate position within the heart of the Jet trade has also allowed her to indulge in her passion for the gemstone’s history and heritage and her dedicated research has seen her become a specialist on the subject, appearing on various documentaries for the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, as well as a regular conference and after-dinner speaker and lecturer around the U.K and the U.S.A.
Thursday 6th April: 7pm - Charlie Bexfield - Pink Diaspore - Zoom Talk
Charlie Bexfield - Pink Diaspore
Hello, I’m Charlie (Charles) Bexfield. I am a tutor at Gem-A London, where I have taught gemmology and diamond diploma students for nearly 3 years. I have a great passion for gemstones, minerals and everything gemmology. I am always keen to learn more; taking opportunities as they come. This talk came about because a miner from Afghanistan contacted me explaining he had an exciting new find: pink diaspore. I tentatively sent him my money and a few weeks later the material arrived on my desk. In this talk we are going to cover what diaspore is; its known localities; issues with faceting and finally identifying features of the new pink diaspore. I have a good selection of both rough and faceted specimens, of which I will share imagery with you all.
If anybody has any questions in advance or would like more information regarding the material as well as how to source some, please do contact me. My email is
Wednesday 9th June: 7pm - Maureen Carswell - Talk - What is Enamel? A Brief History - Please RSVP to


An illustrated brief history of enamelling leading to contemporary developments, both modern ways of working with ancient techniques and new innovative ways of enamelling on metal.
Maureen started enamelling over forty years ago, very simply, with a small hot plate kiln. She experimented with all the traditional techniques such as cloisonné, champlevé, plique a jour, painting, but on being introduced to the use of sgraffito in liquid enamels she has followed an experimental, innovative path since then. This led to working in 3D on very thin copper.
Her work is to be found in private collections and in collections such as that of the Enamelist Society, U.S.A., and the Museum of Decorative Arts, Moscow. She has exhibited widely, her work being commended at the Ueno Royal Museum, Japan.
Her interests include both historical and contemporary enamels. She has been a member of the jury for international enamelling exhibitions such as L’Art de l’Email, Limoges, France, EMAIL 2 and 3, Cobourg, Germany and international exhibitions in La Coruna, Spain.
She has also had the pleasure of being invited to attend international workshops in Palanga, Lithuania and Kecskemet, Hungary, working with enamellers from many countries.

Wednesday 7th July: 7pm - Kim Rix - The Highlights and Pitfalls of Gemstone Tourism - Zoom Talk 

Kim Rix - North West Gem-A

Since qualifying as a Graduate Gemmologist in 2017, Gemstone Detective Kim Rix has spent her time travelling around the world visiting countries rich in gemstones. During this time Kim has written seven tourist guide books to buying gemstones and jewellery abroad and built up a large body of expertise on how tourists experience the gem trade in each country… and vice versa.
Kim will talk about her hugely diverse experiences and findings in six countries: Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, India, Myanmar (Burma) and the USA. From venturing down shaft mines, to travelling the Outback solo, to road trips across the USA, Kim will highlight the gemstones she has encountered, introduce the endlessly fascinating people she has met along the way and uncover some of the tricks played by unscrupulous criminals on naive and unsuspecting tourists.
Kim Rix, the Gemstone Detective, is a gemmologist, champion of consumer rights and the author of the Gemstone Detective series of travel guides to buying gemstones and jewellery abroad. Kim studied at the GIA in London, where she met renowned Field Gemmologist Vincent Pardieu. Shortly after qualifying in 2017, Kim ventured into the field with Vincent, on an expedition to the gem mines in Chanthaburi, Thailand.
Since then, Kim has travelled extensively worldwide, researching the gem trade in a number of countries and gathering local knowledge to help consumers make informed choices when purchasing gemstones and jewellery.
As well as writing the Gemstone Detective series, Kim leads gem tours for hobbyists, collectors and those new to the trade. The sell-out inaugural tour to Mogok, Valley of the Rubies, in February 2020 was a huge success.
Kim is a regular speaker at gemstone and jewellery events, and is a contributor to Gemmology Today, The London School of Jewellery and the famously-indispensable Tucson EZ-Guide and regional Gem Show Directories in the USA.

Tuesday 7th September: 7pm – Maggie Campbell Pedersen FGA ABIPP - Talk and Practical Session - Organic Materials - Please RSVP to

Join us for an evening’s talk and practical session on organic materials with Gem-A president and expert Maggie Campbell Pedersen. Expect a fascinating talk on the subject of organic materials, as well as a chance to enhance your practical skills with a world-leading expert on this subject!

Maggie is the President of the Gem-A, and an Associate of the British Institute of Professional Photography. She is an accredited lecturer for The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS). 

​Her work includes identifications, teaching, writing, and constant research into all aspects of the subject of organics. She has given lectures and seminars world-wide, Master Classes in museums, and has appeared on television.  She has also worked in various places as a research assistant in animal conservation, studying elephants, turtles, and other animals. Maggie Campbell Pedersen is the author of Gem and Ornamental Materials of Organic Origin (2004, reprinted 2010), and 'Ivory ' (2015).


Thursday 25th November: 7pm - Gwyn Green - Talk and Practical Session - Pearls - Please RSVP to

Join us for a talk and demonstration on pearls with Gwyn Green. The talk will take place at Wilson 55's Saleroom in Nantwich, with a preview viewing of their Fine Jewellery & Watches Sale, as well as Gwyn's talk and demonstration with pieces from her own collection.
Gwyn Green needs no introduction to the North West Gem-A branch, having taught and guided many industry professionals and gemstone enthusiasts through their gemmological diplomas over the years. A gemmology course tutor and examiner for the Gemmological Association many years, Gwyn also started the Diamond Practical qualification certificate for Gem-A in Birmingham. Gwyn was the Chairman of the Midlands Gem-A branch for ten years, with countless booklets, seminars, articles and lectures on the subject.