A presentation by our Women Chemists Committee
Saturday, March 13th, 2010
2:00-3:00 p.m. Social
Pioneering the Development of Cultured Ruby
The Research and the Entrepreneurial Sides of the Story
Judith Osmer and Virginia Carter
Los Angeles City College, Room Science 132
855 N. Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles California 90029
Abstract: Judith Osmer, founder and CEO of the J.O. Crystal Co., Inc., manufacturer and distributor of the Ramaura™ Cultured Ruby, will begin with a discussion of the history of synthetic gems. The talk will be illustrated with a collection of slides and will include a brief description of the technique Osmer developed to grow her Ramaura Cultured Ruby. Slides of the beautiful natural forms of Ramaura Cultured Ruby along with facetted rubies will be shown. The J.O. Crystal Co., Inc. caused a major stir in the gemstone world and forced a reexamination of what constitutes value in gems. Virginia Carter, president of the J.O. Crystal Co., will discuss the evolution of the Company. Points of interest include the glass ceiling for women in science, the discovery of the many crucial elements which go into the creation of a corporation, the origin of the word “Ramaura”, the war with the Jewelers Vigilance Committee over the use of the word “Cultured”, and the joy of seeing the Ramaura on display in the Gem & Mineral Hall in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
Biographies: Judith A. Osmer began her career in crystal growth research in 1958. Her expertise includes laser materials, electro-optics, semiconductors and window and substrate materials. Osmer did some of the early work on the growth and properties of ruby at Hughes Research Labs in the 1960s after the first laser was invented in the laboratory next to hers using a ruby crystal. In 1983, Osmer started the J.0. Crystal Co. and served as its CEO until retirement in 2002. The company produced and marketed the Ramauratm Cultured Ruby. All major gemological institutions have studied the Ramaura and declare it the most “natural” appearing synthetic gemstone on the market. Ramaura is so difficult to distinguish from natural ruby that Osmer developed a chemical dopant to aid gemologists and jewelers in determining its synthetic origin. Ramaura is the only lab grown gemstone on display at the Gem & Mineral Hall in the Smithsonian Natural History Museum.
Osmer majored in chemistry in her early college years and went on to major in Physical Science-Mathematics at UCLA. She has published more than two dozen papers on crystal growth. Judith Osmer has a long history of work for Women’s Rights and has taken pleasure in encouraging young women to aspire to careers in science.
Virginia L. Carter began her career as a research physicist at the Aerospace Corporation. During her 10 years there she became the first woman to successfully design and fly a satellite based experiment measuring properties of the high atmosphere. With a B.Sc. from McGill University, and an M.S. from USC, Carter authored 20 papers in the fields of high atmospheric studies and spectroscopy. In 2002 she received an honorary Doctorate in Science from McGill University.
In 1973, Carter changed careers becoming VP Embassy Television, in Hollywood. Productions under her supervision included All In The Family, Maude, Good Times, The Jeffersons and many others. As Senior VP, she established a Movie For Television division and served as executive producer of many highly rated shows. Carter is the recipient of a number of Emmy and Peabody awards.
In 1987, Carter joined Judith Osmer at the J.O. Crystal Company. She is currently active on the Board of the Population Media Center, working to elevate the status of women and to reduce population growth and the spread of disease in third world countries, through the broadcast of long running radio or television soap operas.
Refreshments and RSVP: There is a $5 donation for desserts and refreshments. Students are free. Reservations are requested so we know how much food to get. Please call Nancy at 310 327-1216 by Wednesday, March 10, 2010.
Directions: The meeting will take place in Science 132 in the Science and Technology Building (Quad I5). For directions to the campus as well as a campus map, please go to www.lacitycollege.edu/public/cmap/map.html. Free parking is available in Parking Lot #5. Parking Lot #5 is on Heliotrope Drive just south of Willowbrook (northwest corner of campus) and the Science building is on Vermont just south of Willowbrook (northeast corner of campus).