RAPAPORT... Howard Rubin passed away on January 17 at the age of 86. His gem trade experience, which spanned 64 years, touched every facet of the jewelry industry.
After serving in World War II as an infantry soldier, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill to hone his skills as a diamond and color-stone setter. He studied gemology in the 1950s to become a better artisan by learning the properties of the stones he worked with, and then, in 1982 he enhance his knowledge of the science of color so he could develop a system that would allow jewelers to “talk” to each other. This became GemDialogue, a system for description and color notation of gemstones and fancy color diamonds that made a permanent impact on the jewelry industry. GemDialogue will remain active and continues to support the industry.
Howard was the president of the AGS New York Guild from 1976 to 1977. From 1979 to 1988 he was the vice president of Leer Gem Ltd., the color stone division of M. Fabrikant & Sons Diamond Company. This was followed by an enriched career as a consultant to companies such as QVC, Walmart, I.B. Goodman, Charles & Colvard.
In 1990 and onward, Rubin acted as an independent consultant, appraiser and educator. In 1993 he joined his wife Gail Brett Levine’s appraisal practice company, Timeless Inc., as senior evaluator and appraiser.
He was a senior member and the national secretary for the National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) and was NAJA’s representative at The Appraisal Foundation serving on the industry advisory council since 2004. Rubin recently received the 2011 Manhattan Chapter Gemological Institute of America Alumni Chapter Achievement Award.
He is survived by his wife, Gail, four children, and one grandchild.