Renée Newman became passionately interested in pearls in the early 1980's while conducting tours to Tahiti, Australia, China, Hong Kong and Japan. Her passengers wanted to know how to judge the quality of the pearls and other gems they saw. After searching in bookstores and libraries for this information, Newman discovered that little had been written on the subject of gem quality evaluation, so she decided it would be worth creating books with photos that showed how to judge gems.
After receiving a graduate gemologist diploma from the GIA, she was hired as a gemologist at Josam Diamond Trading Corporation in downtown Los Angeles. Besides diamonds, her boss had a large inventory of pearls; he’d discovered that he could sell more diamonds and at a higher profit if he mounted them with pearls or colored gems. Because of her continual exposure to a wide variety of pearls, Newman decided to write the Pearl Buying Guide in 1992. It was the first book to provide detailed information on evaluating the quality of Akoya, South Sea and freshwater pearls.
Newman has spent the past 25 years writing gem and jewelry books and doing continual research in order to keep her books updated. A new Sixth edition of her Pearl Buying Guide has a publication date of February 2017.Written for both consumers and professionals, it shows how to identify, evaluate, test and care for pearls and pearl jewelry.
Many new types of pearls have been introduced to the market in the past fifteen years. At the AGS conclave, Renée will show how designers such as Erica Courtney are using these pearls together with colored gems to create unique pearl jewelry. Renée will also provide basic tips on detecting imitations and some pearl treatments. Additional information about Renée and her books is available at www.reneenewman.com.