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The Three Microteers
Photomicrography, or photographing gemstone inclusions using a microscope, can reveal a plethora of important information about a stone. Photomicrographs are also gaining popularity as their own form of art. Join National Jeweler as we talk to three experts who refer to themselves as “The Three Microteers” about how they got into it, how they approach the photos, why photomicrographs are important to gemology and more. Hosted by Brecken Branstrator, Senior Editor, National Jeweler.

Sep 29, 2020 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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Speakers

Nathan Renfro
Manager of Gem Identification @GIA
Nathan Renfro developed an interest in minerals during his late teens, sparked by his grandfather’s rock collection. In 2006 he completed his undergraduate studies in geology and went on to enroll at GIA for the resident Graduate Gemologist (GG) program as a recipient of the William Goldberg Diamond Corporation scholarship. After finishing the program, he was hired by the GIA laboratory as a diamond grader and transferred to the Gem Identification department in 2008. Since then, Mr. Renfro has authored or co-authored more than one hundred gemological articles and lectured internationally. His primary areas of gemological interest are photomicrography and identification of inclusions, gemstone cutting and defect chemistry of corundum. He is currently the Manager of the gem identification department and a microscopist in the Inclusion Research Department. Mr. Renfro is the editor of G&G’s Microworld quarterly column in Gems and Gemology, and a member of the editorial review board.
Billie Hughes
Gemologist @Lotus Gemology
Billie Hughes visited her first gem mine (in Thailand) at age two and by age four had visited three major sapphire localities in Montana. A 2011 graduate of UCLA, she qualified as a Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (FGA) in 2013. Billie's photographic work has been published in Terra Spinel, Ruby & Sapphire: A Collector's Guide, Ruby & Sapphire: A Gemologist's Guide and Inside Out, as well as Forbes and the Wall Street Journal. To date, she has visited scores of countries for research on gems and has delivered lectures globally. Her articles, gemological images and photomicrographs have appeared in Gems & Gemology, The GemGuide, The Journal of the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong, and InColor magazine. She is a talented photomicrographer winning prizes from the Nikon Small World, Gem-A, Clemson University, and Close-Up Photographer of the Year competitions. In 2020 the Van Cleef & Arpels’ School of Jewellery Arts exhibited her photos in Paris and Hong Kong.
Danny Sanchez
Gemologist and Artist @Danny Sanchez photography
Danny is a Los Angeles-based gemologist and artist, specializing in photomicrography. He’s a graduate of the Gemological Institute of America in Carlsbad, California and is self-taught in the art of photomicrography. Initially inspired by the Photoatlas of Inclusions in Gemstones by Eduard Gübelin and John Koivula, Danny’s images are thoughtfully created, leveraging his gemological knowledge through meticulously-tuned photography tools. His work has been shown at Art Basel Miami and publications include Cartier, Wired, Vice and Smithsonian Magazine.