SSEF admit participants right

Sep 18, 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. 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.

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.

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