Reginald L. Hulsey
Graduate Jeweler/Gemologist

While 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 Gemological 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 Resident Colored 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. We became 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 good friend, gemology student and dealer of fine art and gems approached me with a need to acquire a 'notable' stone for a private client's new collection. Having been involved in the evolution of the Adiël, I proposed it as a most noteworthy stone with which to begin the new collection. The rest was history. At the conclusion of a purchase agreement, the successful Asian industrialist client requested that I deliver the stone to him personally - it was an extraordinary 'overseas whirlwind weekend'", he recalls. "The collector was delayed for the unveiling of the stone, however, his wife was present and wanted to be the first to see the gem. Her reaction was one of great surprise; she had envisioned a piece of jewelry, 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 "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.

Regarding 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 pipe 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 says. "Organbuilding 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 translates easily to jewelry and gem design. Plus, it is personally gratifying to know that I have been involved in the construction or sound (voicing) of literally hundreds of pipe organs in this country." Speaking of superlatives, he continues, "The organ at Westwood United Methodist Church in Los Angeles is among the largest instruments he has worked with, involving months of work." Reggie continues his association with the organ industry as a mechanical consultant and voicer.

Reggie Hulsey can be contacted at 865.717.3828, or by email:

  Reggie Hulsey


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