The Author's
Current Presentation Offerings

For Audiences of All Sizes and Levels of Interest
(seminars and lecture series are also available)

  • The Fabled Viking Sunstone
    The intriguing theory of the Vikings' use of a coveted stone to find their way in arctic waters has its roots in the ancient Viking Sagas, optical mineralogy, and in practical application by modern navigators. This "gem" of the past has captured the imaginations of sailors, scientists, history buffs, children, and people smitten with the beauty and lore of gems and minerals (for complete description, see: PDF).

  • The Natural History of Quartz
    It might be overstating a wee bit to say that if one could understand all there is to know about quartz, then everything else in the universe would make sense. Without doubt, this mineral has profoundly impacted many sciences and technologies which we rely upon today. So begins the author's booklet, Quartz: a Bull's Eye on Optical Activity, published by the Mineralogical Society of America. (for complete description, see: PDF).

  • From Gemology to Mineral Physics & Back Again
    Including an Update on a Gem of the Future: Nano-Polycrystalline Diamond (NPD)

    A taste of the complex scientific efforts which directly or indirectly support the day-to-day gemological science on which the gem industry relies, but which often remain relatively invisible (for complete description, see: PDF).

  • Blue Minerals: Exploring Cause & Effect
    From its vast expanses of cerulean waters to its azure heavens above, our world is dominated by blue, so it is no wonder that the color blue is favored by many across cultures and throughout the ages. This opens the paper Blue Minerals: Exploring Cause & Effect which the author was invited to write for the special blue minerals issue of Rocks & Minerals magazine in 2016 (for complete description, see: PDF).

  • The Edward Arthur Metzger Gem Collection: a Peek Behind the Curtain
    A splendid way to experience such a treasure - that is, short of handling the gems themselves (for complete description, see: PDF).

  • Dr. Allen M. Bassett and the Ruby Mines of Nepal
    The pioneering adventures of an early Field Gemologist (for complete description, see: PDF).

  • Scholarly Treasure: the Role of Gems in a University Setting
    Gems are ideally suited for use as teaching models, for attracting scholarship through research activities, and for educating the public through community outreach (for complete description, see: PDF).

Elise A. Skalwold.

Elise A. Skalwold
Accredited Senior Gemologist
Independent Researcher, Educator, Author, and Photographer
More Information
Keynote Speaker at The Scottish Gemmological Association 2018 Conference

Keynote Speaker
The Scottish Gemmological Association 2018 Conference
Dullatur, Scotland

Photo: Kim Rix Photography official photographer for the SGA; with permission.
The Fabled Viking Sunstone Presentation

AGA Conference, Tucson, Arizona

Rochester Mineralogical Symposium

Cornell University
Speaker Line-up.

Speaker Line-up for the 11th Annual Sinkankas Symposium (Ruby)
April 6, 2013
The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Robert Mouawad Campus, Carlsbad, CA
(L-R) Manager of Photography and Visual Communications, GIA, Photographer and Gemologist Robert Weldon; Explorer, Author and Gemologist Gary W. Bowersox; Lotus Gemology Laboratory (Bangkok), Author and Gemologist, Keynote Speaker Richard W. Hughes; Consulting Gemological Curator, Cornell University, Gemologist Elise A. Skalwold; Head Curator, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, American Museum of Natural History (NYC) Dr. George E. Harlow; Lead Analytical Specialist, GIA, Mineralogist and Gemologist Nathan Renfro; Laboratory Identification Services Director, GIA, Mineralogist and Gemologist Shane McClure; Symposium Convener Roger Merk; Pala International owners, Jeanne and Geological Engineer William F. Larson; Distinquished Research Fellow, GIA, Dr. James E. Shigley; (missing: Professor of Mineralogy, California Institute of Technology, Dr. George R. Rossman)


"...Elise Skalwold of Cornell University, a respected contributor and editor for multiple trade and scientific journals, presented for the first time at the Sinkankas Symposium Dr. Allen M. Bassett's remarkable career as a geologist and the three decades he spent in Nepal studying the geology and developing an integrated jewelry industry for this country. Inspired by the specimens in Cornell's Heasley Mineralogical Museum, Skalwold started her research on this partially mystic life story, and she will unfold it in her upcoming [article in pre-publication]." Source: InColor, Summer 2013, pages 26-27, "Ruby Takes Spotlight at 11th Annual Sinkankas Symposium" by Dr. Tao Hsu, Technical Editor of Gems & Gemology (GIA) (PDF)

Recent Speaking Engagements Include:
  • Fall 2019 Speaker-in-Residence Eastern Federation of Mineralogical Societies week at Wildacres (6 lectures TBA)

  • Keynote Speaker at The Scottish Gemmological Association 2018 Conference - Dullatur, Scotland

  • Speaker 2017 Annual Banquet, New York Mineralogical Club (co-founded by George F. Kunz in 1886) - New York City

  • The Scandinavian Gem Symposium - Kisa, Sweden (Upcoming)

  • The Accredited Gemologists Association (AGA) Conference- Tucson, AZ

  • New York Mineralogical Club (co-founded by George F. Kunz in 1886) - New York City

  • 11th Annual Sinkankas Symposium (Ruby) - Carlsbad, CA. Review of the Symposium (PDF)

  • 40th and 43rd Annual Rochester Mineralogical Symposium - Rochester, NY

  • Cornell University Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Spring Graduate Seminar Series

  • Manhattan Chapter of the GIA Alumni - New York City

  • Washington GIA Alumni Chapter, American Gem Society Guild (AGS) and Women's Jewelry Association (WJA) - Seattle, WA

  • Washington, DC Chapter of the GIA Alumni Association (review )

Presentations For Audiences of All Sizes and Levels of Interest:

These titles are suitable for gem and/or mineral oriented audiences of all levels of interest, including industry-related professionals, academics, scientists, artists, and hobbyists. Presentations typically run one hour to an hour and a half (including Q/A) and have been enthusiastically received by groups ranging from 50 to 300 people and of mixed backgrounds and experience.

For a review from the perspective of a local mineral club whose members attended a presentation given to a large and academically diverse Cornell University audience see: PDF

Costs for Presentations:

Speaker's Fee or Honorarium to be discussed with the hosting organization or venue, including:
  • Travel Expenses (to and from location)

  • Per Diem (local rates)

  • Lodging (minimum 2 nights)

email: elise at nordskip dot com

More About the Author


Manhattan GIA Alumni Chapter
Dr. Allen M. Bassett and the Ruby Mines of Nepal
The lucky winner holds a signed copy of
Ruby & Sapphire A Collector's Guide
(donated by the speaker
in memory of Allen M. Bassett
for the Eunice Miles Scholarship Fund Raffel)

See Nepal page spread

Ruby & Sapphire A Collector's Guide
A book by Richard W. Hughes (details)


A Full House

The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) Robert Mouawad Campus, Carlsbad, CA