SSEF vindicates gemmologist Jeffery Bergman, SGC

Bangkok, Thailand – September 17, 2023 – In a stunning 180-degree turnaround, SSEF, the Swiss Gemmological Institute, has acknowledged that participants have the right to use SSEF course acronyms BGC, BDC, ATC, and SGC as valid gemmological credentials after their names. This long overdue decision came after a Swiss court ordered a mediation hearing between SSEF and the renowned American gem dealer and gemmologist Jeffery Bergman of Bangkok, Thailand, who had been wrongly denied using these valid gemmological titles since 2021.

Under the threat of a full-fledged civil and criminal lawsuit after stonewalling Bergman for two years, SSEF’s board President Martin Häuselmann and Director Dr. Michael Krzemnicki both attended a mandatory Swiss court mediation hearing held in Basel, Switzerland, on September 8, 2023. Bergman first reached out to SSEF Director Krzemnicki and board member Charles Abouchar in October 2021, seeking justice, but to no avail.

Gemmologist Jeffery Bergman, SGC, of Eighth Dimension Gems, in the SSEF laboratory presenting samples of cobalt diffusion treated spinels to former SSEF gemmologist Sebastian Hänsel, MSc FGA, and former SSEF Director Prof. Dr. Henry A. Hänni, FGA. - SSEF FACETTE Magazine 2016 pg. 24.

Backed into a corner, Bergman had no option but to seek legal counsel in Switzerland. His chosen attorney, Dr. Georg Gremmelspacher of Basel, sent a demand letter to SSEF in November 2021. Twenty-two months later, the compulsory Swiss court mediation hearing resulted in SSEF’s unreserved acknowledgment that Bergman can rightfully use his SSEF course credentials after his name, with SSEF acknowledging that certain staff members have used these very same course acronyms as their only valid gemmological credentials when signing SSEF lab reports.

During the past few years, Bergman has been subject to vicious defamation campaigns conducted by gemstone appraisal scammers based in Europe, the United States, and South America. These defamation campaigns began after Bergman blew the whistle on fraudulent appraisals issued by Brazilian gemologist “Prof. Dr.” Miguel Zenetos GG on behalf of “Dr.” Pietro Bagaini of Italy. Bagaini, in what appears to be coordination with Texas online ISG – International School of Gemology owner Robert James retaliated with vicious smear campaigns that, among other things, accused Bergman of using his SSEF credentials fraudulently.

An untreated 4.15-carat Vietnamese cobalt blue spinel. “This is a fantastic example of a natural cobalt blue spinel. However, while cobalt diffusion-treated spinels are rarely encountered in the market, they do exist and can fool an unsuspecting dealer! With top natural Vietnamese cobalt spinels fetching as much as $50,000/ct, some diffusion-treated stones can look like this top material!” Bergman commented. ”Therefore, laboratory identification reports are critical with this particular gemstone!” (Photo by Geoffrey Watt of AGTA members Mayer & Watt)

Gemmologist Jeffery Bergman spent approximately $20,000 in legal fees and court costs, plus the expenses for five trips to Basel over two years, to motivate SSEF to do what they could and should have done in October of 2021. Despite these significant costs borne personally by Bergman, SSEF offered nothing in the way of financial compensation.

With the SSEF controversy out of the way, Bergman will take further legal steps to counter the defamation campaigns against him. A court case initiated by Zenetos against Bergman was recently suspended. 

Text of email of September 9, 2023, sent by Dr. Georg Gremmelspacher, Advocat, Basel, Switzerland.


My name is Dr. Georg Gremmelspacher, Advocat, based in Basel, Switzerland. 

As the legal representative of Mr. Jeffery Bergman in Switzerland since November 2021, I am pleased to announce SSEF has acknowledged Jeffery Bergman’s right to use SSEF course acronyms BGC, BDC, ATC, and SGC as valid gemmological credentials after his name. Additionally, SSEF has replaced Jeffery’s BGC – Basic Gemmology Certificate with a Basic Gemmology Diploma which he rightfully earned on July 15 2014.

Emails sent by SSEF staff Veronique and Dr. Laurent Cartier in 2021 were both misleading and erroneous in stating SSEF course acronyms are “not professionally qualifying” and “not credentials which can be used after one’s name”. Professional qualification as a gemmologist does not exist in Switzerland meaning none of SSEF’s staff are professionally qualified as gemmologists.

SSEF states in their Facette magazine that in order to take their SGC – Scientific Gemmology Course which Bergman completed in 2017, an “Advanced gemmological education is a requirement”. Additionally, SSEF’s email from Veronique stating SSEF BGC and BDC “are not credentials which can be used behind (after) one’s name” is incorrect since certain SSEF in-house gemmologists have used BDC, ATC, and SGC course acronyms as their only valid gemmological credentials after their names when signing lab reports as acknowledged by SSEF.

Declaring him a “profound expert in gems”, a letter issued by SSEF on September 8 2023 verifying Jeffery Bergman’s valid SSEF gemmological credentials which can be used after his name is personally signed by SSEF President Martin Häuselmann and SSEF Director Dr. Michael Krzemnicki. This two-page comprehensive gemmological endorsement is available on the SSEF database and can be downloaded by entering SSEF Letter No. 132323 and Prooftag Reference Number 0JB00VXTC37730.


Dr. Georg Gremmelspacher, Advokat

Gremmelspacher | Dauag | Ruppanner


Henric Petri-Strasse 9


4010 Basel

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