there are only a handful of professional gem artists in the United
States, Mr. Hulsey has in
common with his peers his origins as a self-taught “rockhound” during
the hobby lapidary explosion of the 60’s and 70’s. At that,
the commonality ends and singularity begins.
Driven by a desire toward expertise, Mr. Hulsey honed his skills
and expanded his knowledge through the diplomate courses of the
Institute of America in Santa Monica, California. His appetite
first being whetted by completing the Jewelry Retailing Course in 1984,
Mr. Hulsey then earned the Graduate Gemologist Diploma, in residence,
finishing top in his class in the autumn of 1985. Rounding out
his education in the comprehensive courses of Jewelry Manufacturing,
Colored Stone Grading, and Pearls, Mr. Hulsey returned to his native
Tulsa, Oklahoma where he began work as a custom jeweler and appraiser.
Such expertise was not destined to stay in Tulsa for long, as less than
one year later Mr. Hulsey was offered the prestigious position of
Stone Instructor at the GIA to which, in 1986,
he returned having accepted the offer.
An excellent and admired instructor, it was there that Mr. Hulsey
met his current partner, Richard Homer, who was also working as
a GIA Colored
Stone Instructor at the time. “Reggie brought a high degree
of intelligence, wit, integrity, and commitment to his teaching.
immediate friends and have been ever since,” recalls Mr.
Homer. In addition to his classroom responsibilities, Mr. Hulsey’s
expertise was instrumental in GIA’s GemFest program and in
helping to develop the Colored Stone and
Gem Identification courses. Both he and Mr. Homer resigned
their positions for independent
careers in 1988.
Mr. Hulsey and Mr. Homer continued their friendship and professional
association working together in numerous joint ventures, not
the least of which was the cutting and sale of the 20,769ct Adiël
Topaz – the
second largest faceted gemstone in the world at that time.
“The Adiël experience was one of those rare and wonderful events of
a lifetime.” Reggie says in recalling the events surrounding the sale of
the Adiël. "A
dealer of fine art and gems approached me with a need to acquire a 'notable'
for a private client's new collection. Having been involved
Adiël, I proposed it as a most noteworthy stone with which to begin the
collection. The rest was history. At the conclusion of a purchase agreement,
Asian industrialist client requested that I deliver the stone to him personally
'overseas whirlwind weekend'", he recalls. "The collector
was delayed for the unveiling of the stone, however, his
present and wanted to be the first to see the gem. Her reaction
was one of great surprise; she had envisioned a piece
but quickly decided that a topaz of just over 9 pounds might
be a little too heavy for a ring or pendant!"
An excellent gem cutter in both flat faceting and concave faceting
techniques, Mr. Hulsey is a member of The Gem Artists of
North America (GANA)
and brings a wealth of experience and resources, to ConcaveGems.com. "Though
the gems Reggie cuts are highly valued and sought after, it is
his commitment, honesty, and integrity in all aspects of his
work that I value the most,” adds
Mr. Homer. "Therein lies
not only beauty, but true value and one’s unparalleled
confidence in their personal gem purchase of Mr. Hulsey's
gem artistry." Mr. Hulsey's
industry associations include professional assistance to appraiser
Shelley Sandler, ISA, GG, of Houston, Texas.
large gems, Mr. Hulsey's largest faceted stone to date is an optical
grade, high-lead crystal cushion-cut weighing
in at around 1,000ct. "The stone was a commissioned work
for a collector here in east Tennessee", he states. "It was
quite an undertaking and consumed many, many hours at the cutting wheel.
It is displayed
proudly among other collectible items in her home."
Prior to attending GIA in 1985, Mr. Hulsey was a full-time
organ builder and voicer, having been on the
staff of some of the most
prestigious organbuilding firms in the country. "My
interest in the arts has taken many turns; jewelry,
design, gem cutting, music (having studied
piano and clarinet since early childhood) and organbuilding." he
is a visual, mechanical and aural art form that can
be enjoyed by nearly everyone. A
very ancient and time-honored craft, in many ways organbuilding
demands the attention to detail and symmetry that
and gem design. Plus, it is personally gratifying to
know that I have been involved in the construction
literally hundreds of pipe organs in this country."
Speaking of superlatives, he continues, "The organ
United Methodist Church in Los Angeles
is among the largest
instruments he has worked with, involving months
Reggie continues his association with the organ
industry as a mechanical consultant
Reggie Hulsey can be contacted at 865.717.3828, or by email: