This is the sixth in a series of annual conferences that will roam throughout the Mediterranean, allowing delegates to experience new and exciting locations each year.
The Met Hotel
26is Oktovriou 48
Thessaloniki 546 27,
Welcome to the 6th Mediterranean Gem and Jewellery Conference
Thessaloniki, Greece – August 12-14, 2022
The MGJ Conference is a ‘trade-technical’ conference that exposes current trade problems and offers solutions through workshops with standard and advanced affordable instruments. 75 participants from 27 countries attended the 2019 MGJ Conference in Cyprus. There are great reviews of MGJC 2019 in “IDEX Magazine“, “The New Jeweler” (pages 100-101), and September’s ‘Journal of Gemmology’. The 6th annual MGJ Conference will be organized by CGL Canadian Gemlab and the main theme will be “ORIGIN of DIAMONDS and GEMS”.
About Thessaloniki, Greece
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece. It is in the north of the country and is the capital of Central Macedonia. Thessaloniki’s rich cultural and historical heritage takes its visitors on a wonderful journey back in time. The city was founded in 315 BC (Hellenistic period) by King Cassander of Macedonia who gave it his wife’s and Alexander the Great stepsister’s name – Thessaloniki. City. Today, Thessaloniki is a dynamic city full of energy that honors and respects its history. Some parts of the city truly resemble outdoor museums, surrounded by Byzantine walls, countless Byzantine churches, and monuments of times long gone. However, it also boasts pedestrian streets with top fashion houses, boutiques, and exquisite local cuisine that tempts connoisseurs and those looking for its famous nightlife! The promenade along the waterfront and the elegant cafes are just minutes away from the hotel.
Thessaloniki City Tour (Half Day Tour)
Thursday, August 11th
Tour will give you the opportunity to admire the castles (Ano Poli – Upper Town), visit the Byzantine church of Agios Dimitrios, see the Arch of Galerius (Camara) and the Rotunda, the White Tower, the statue of Alexander the Great and the historical centre, the Archaeological Museum (ticket included) and the Serbian, Greek, Russian, French, British and Italian cemetery from World War I, Zeitenlik, the largest military cemetery in Greece. Afternoon tour from 13:00 to 18:00 including bus and English speaking guide.
Mount Athos Cruise (Full Day Tour)
Monday, August 15th
Mount Athos, also known as the “Virgin Mary’s Garden”, is internationally recognized as a holy land for Christian Orthodox faith. An independent monastic state inhabited by monks for more than a thousand years, observing the rules of the Church and the Byzantine traditions. The pirate boat takes you on a journey in time, along the shores of Mount Athos, where you can admire the unique scenery and magnificent architecture of the monasteries. You will have the opportunity to see eight monasteries, on the west coast of the Athos peninsula, listen to its unique history and, if you are lucky, also see many dolphins! The route includes a stop in beautiful Ouranoupolis, for lunch or a swim.
North Macedonia Gem Tour
Marble and Pink Sapphire Mine at Prilep, Skopje, August 16th
The group will leave at 8.30 am from the Hotel Mediterranean by mini-bus heading north to Prilep and to a nearby marble deposit at Sivec where is big world class marble deposit corundum crystals are mined as by-product. A guided tour of the mine will be given and a visit to a mineral exhibition. Lunch will be at a local restaurant in Prilep with traditional local specialties. In the afternoon, there will be a 1.5 hr drive to Skopje with some sightseeing of the town in the afternoon. Dinner will be in a restaurant at a 4-star hotel with live music.
Geology: Rubies from the neighbourhood of Prilep (North Macedonia) are found in marbles belonging to the central part of the Pelagonian Massif. They have been formed through metamorphism of carbonate rocks. The main mine of rubies is the Sivec Quarry, which is situated 8 km northwest from Prilep at the foot of Sivec Hill and in which high quality and often completely snow-white dolomitic marble is extracted. Special attention has always been drawn by specimens of corundum and diaspore visible to the naked eye, and other accompanying minerals such as fluorite, rutile, micas, dolomite, zoisite, achroite, pyrite, muscovite, illite, margarite, chlorite and kossmatite.
In the dolomitic marble, corundum as a mineral is bound to calcite nests. Morphologically, they are diversely shaped and can develop flat, barrel-like, prismatic and even rhombohedral crystals.
Gemmology: They are usually light pink, less often intense red, while the rarest are blue. The pink to red colour of the Prilep corundum is influenced by the mixture of chrome, vanadium and iron, whereas the blue colour is influenced by titanium. Owing to these mixtures, particularly chrome and vanadium ions, the corundum of Prilep dolomitic marble fluoresces red, orange and yellow.
Diaspore in corundum crystals is oriented in three directions intersecting at 60 degrees, resembling an asagenite-like structure. The characteristic silvery glittering of diaspore in corundum is most intense in the direction of the rhombohedron faces. Diasporescence is a kind of silvery glittering, which is manifested as a white reflection on the surface of a cabochon and has been classified as an optical phenomenon. Oriented intergrowth of diaspore and corundum affects gem density, as diaspore has a lower density than corundum. Rubies of the Prilep dolomitic marble thus have a density ranging from 3.53 to 3.93 g/cm3, which is less than the density of rubies (3.97 to 4.05 g/cm3) and more than the density of diaspore (3.39 to 3.40 g/cm3). Rubies from Prilep have been described in professional gemmological literature very rarely, or just individual data are given for their physical characteristics. It is interesting that diaspore is not described as an inclusion in rubies from other localities. This means that diasporescence is not only a new optical phenomenon in the world of gemstones, but also an optical phenomenon that indicates the origin of rubies being from the Sivec Quarry.
- Diasporescence of rubies from Prilep dolomitic marble by Miha Jersek, Slovenia Museum of Natural History, Slovenia, Proceedings of 4th MGJ Conference, Budva, Montenegro, 2018, pp 36.
- Corundum from Prilep Dolomitic Marble (North Macedonia) by Miha Jeršek & Breda Mirtič, SCOPOLIA, Journal of the Slovenian Museum of Natural History, Ljubljana, No. 41, September 1999, pp. 1–22
Serbia Mineral and Cultural Tour
Wednesday to Saturday: August 17-20, 2022
- Geological Wonder, Hot spa Lukovo, Mountain Kopaonik (August 17th)
- Winery, Orthodox Monastery, Serbian Royal House (August 18th)
- Lead and zinc mine Rudnik, mineral collecting, Belgrade by night (August 19th)
- Tour of Serbian capital Belgrade, mineral museum (August 20th)
- Winery at Fruska Gora mountain, Petrovaradin tower at Novi Sad (August 21st)
- Transport to Belgrade airport (August 22nd)
Geological Wonder, Hot spa Lukovo, Mountain Kopaonik (August 17th)
Visit to Devil’s Town (‘Djavolja Varos’), a peculiar rock formation created by erosion and two springs of extremely acidic water with high mineral content.
Lunch in typical Serbian village Brzece with local organic specialties like ‘kajmak’ – cheese spread. Kopaonik, the largest mountain range in Serbia is especially beautiful for its distinctive landscape of spruce and fir forests at higher elevations and mixed beech and oak forests on its slopes, and meadows and 2000m+ peaks with spectacular views. Lukovo Spa is characteristic for its large number of mineral springs, indoor and outdoor pools with thermal water and modern medical and wellness treatments, untouched nature of the wooded Kopaonik and clear mountain air.
Lukovo spa – dinner with live music and accommodation on a dinner and breakfast basis in hotel Jelak.
Winery, Orthodox Monastery (August 18th)
Trip along “Valley of Lilac” to the medieval monastery Zica.
Two hours’ drive through central Serbia region called ‘Sumadija’ (meaning ‘forest area’), the spiritual and cultural capital of Serbia. Here trumpets and pipes provide musical entertainment, the ‘kolo’ dance weaves in and out at major gatherings.
Visit to Oplenac St George’s Church & mausoleum of the Serbian royal house Karađorđević. Visiting vineyards with degustation and cheese at Topola.
Accommodation on a dinner and breakfast basis in a hotel.
Rudnik Mine, Belgrade by night (August 19th)
Visit to lead, zinc mine ‘Rudnik’, learn on “flotation process” to extract minerals from ore and hunt for minerals in the region.
Continue north to Belgrade. Dinner in Belgrade at “Splav” restaurant on the water where Sava meets Danube, with live music.
Accommodation on breakfast basis in a hotel “Bahus” in Belgrade.
Serbian capital Belgrade (August 20th)
Sightseeing in Belgrade by tourist bus! Belgrade’s most significant landmark is the ‘Kalemegdan’, an imposing fortress at the confluence of the Danube and the Sava rivers. The fort is testimony to the city’s strategic importance to the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, Austrian and Serbian empires, and it’s now the site of several museums as well as a vast park.
Lunch at a typical “kafana” restaurant in the city center.
Winery at Fruska Gora mountain, Petrovaradin tower at Novi Sad (August 21th)
1.5h drive to Fruska Gora in Vojvodina province that was under Austrian Hungarian Empire until 1st world war. Visit to famous vineries at Sremski Karlovci, and orthodox church dedicated to the Saint Nicholas, and Roman Catholic church dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Lunch with fish soup at Petrovaradin fortress overseeing Danube and Novi Sad, provincial capital.