Afternoon talk: Glorious Coloured Gemstones

Date(s) - 20th Mar 2023

St Matthew's Church






Afternoon talk at St Matthew’s Church with Helen Plumb

Very few British high street jewellery retailers are truly knowledgeable about gemstones. At the end of this talk you will know more about most gems than the average local jewellery retailer! This talk will explain some of the key attributes of minerals that make desirable gemstones. There are around 90 gemstone varieties of which many are far more valuable than the traditionally ‘precious’ stones, ruby, sapphire, diamond and emerald. Helen will outline how improvements in gem and jewellery technology have changed the styles of jewellery and the gems with which they have set and detail some interesting features of several different varieties of gemstone with which you may be familiar. Even if you are, you will learn new facts about gems which will intrigue and surprise you.

Helen will bring a selection of loose gemstones for you to handle and will encourage questions about all aspects of gemstones and gemset jewellery. You are welcome to bring gems in jewellery for identification.

Helen Plumb, an internationally recognised gemmologist, is delighted to explain about the fascinating world of gemstones. A true gemstone enthusiast, Helen is keen to promote the importance of education amongst jewellers and their customers. She regularly speaks to audiences large or small on many aspects of gemstones.  She also participates in fund-raising events for local charities, donating her time as an after dinner speaker. She likes to make the subject of gemmology accessible to an unscientific audience.

Graduating with a First in Geological Sciences from the University of Durham in 1985, she has been enthralled by the beauty and complexity of diamonds and coloured gemstones for many years. In 1989 she was awarded the Tully Medal, graduating as the highest achieving student in the Gemmological Association and Gem Testing Laboratory of Great Britain’s (Gem-A) international diploma examinations. After gaining a Fellowship Diploma (FGA) and Diamond Diploma (DGA), both with distinction, she went on to become an examiner for Gem-A, assessing jewellers, valuers, curators, auctioneers and other professionals on their ability to identify natural, treated, simulated and synthetic gemstones. She was recently elected a Fellow of the Geological Society of London (FGS).

Cost per person: £11, to include tea/coffee

Non-members welcome.

If you have any questions please phone Alison on 01242 519413.

Please book using one of the following options:

  • On-line bookings with a debit or credit card can be made using the form below. Alternatively you may reserve your place, select the ‘off-line’ payment option and pay by bank transfer or cheque.
  • Bank transfer – please email and wait for confirmation that places are available before arranging your bank transfer.
  • Cheque – please complete a booking form (download here ) and post it with your cheque.

Places are not confirmed until payment is received.

Bank transfers should be made to Friends of The Wilson (or as much of that as the bank will accept) Sort Code 30-91-87 Account 00005816. The reference must include your surname plus as much of the event title as will fit, for example SMITH Gems.

Please make cheques payable to Friends of The Wilson and send with a SAE or clearly written email address to Mrs Alison Pascoe, 77 Naunton Lane, Cheltenham, GL53 7AZ.



Bookings are now closed for this event.