"I have always been attracted to the splendor and rarity of the art,
  as well as the wealth and melange of gem materials.

Gemstones, with their bold colors and
  unusual external or internal patterns,
 trigger scenes for the imagination.
I've also always been fascinated with the versatility of the art,
  an art that lends to free-standing sculpture and jewelry at the same time.
I'm constantly mesmerized by the numerous lapidary challenges
  that different gem materials pose."




was born Helen Serras in New York City, N.Y.

Helen moved at the age of 5 with her parents to their
homeland of Athens, Greece.
Helen studied drawing and painting
(1973-76) with the late painter Vrasidas Vlahopoulos,
and History of Art in Athens.

Helen holds a Masters degree (MFA) in Sculpture
from the prestigious Hochschuele Der Kuenste
(University of Arts) in West Berlin, Germany,
after 6 years of study with professors Hans Nagel and
Harro Jacob (1976-1983).

During her last two years (1981-1983) at the school,
Helen gathered great experience in molds and casts
working as Tutor of the Plaster Workshop in the Sculpture Division.

In 1983, she returned to Greece 
and worked in bronze and mixed media.

She immediately became a member of the
Greek Chamber of Arts/Sculpture Division,
and of the Sculptors Association.
She worked and exhibited there as a professional sculptor
until 1988. She presented two solo exhibitions and
took part in numerous sculpture group exhibitions.

A trip to Singapore in 1984 left strong impressions
of the gigantic, tropical, eternal trees.
They inspired a series of sculptures,
the "Trees ",
reflecting a parallel course of man and nature.
The two major works from that series,
the "Tree of Life",
a 5.7' tall mixed media sculpture is
today in the "H. Antoniou" collection,
and the "Parallel Lives ",
a 6' tall mixed media sculpture
in the "Hatzisavvas" collection.

While carrying on her large sculpture work ,
she served a long apprenticeship (1984-1988)
in Gem Sculpture [Glyptography]
with the English master
Nik Kielty Lambrinides.
Mr. Kielty Lambrinides,
half Irish and half Greek
from his mother's side,
is the last master of the English School,
the pupil and successor of
Cecil Thomas since 1976.
He moved to Greece in 1980
with the dream to create
a school of gem carving and gemology.

Helen's artistic future would soon
change after the discovery
of the world of carved gemstones.
Helen became the latest artist
in a long line of masters
of the English School.
She took the 3-year course
on Glyptography/Glyptology
at the "Glyptography Center"
in Athens, the school created by
Kielty Lambrinides in 1984
and sponsored by EOMMEX
(Hellenic Organization of Small Industries and Handicrafts).
During that period, Helen also earned
her degree in Gemology ( FGA )
through the
Gemmological Association of Great Britain .

From 1986 to 1988 she also taught Drawing, Glyptography,
Glyptology and Gemology at the "Municipal School of
Glyptography & Jewelry" in Volos, Greece, and
the "Lapidary School" in Agia Sofia,
near Hania, Crete, sponsored by EOMMEX.

In 1988 Helen moved to Maryland,
into the Washington, D.C.
Metropolitan area and established her studio,
the "Glyptography Center".
From that point on she has
completely devoted her work
to the art and science of gem sculpture.

Helen joined the Gem Artists of North America
in early 1997 as an Artist Member.
She has exhibited with the group
at the Lizzadro Museum in Elmhurst Illinois,
several times at the
Carnegie Museum of Natural History
in Pittsburgh, PA,
the Pittsburgh Ballet Opera,
and the Los Angeles County Natural History Museum.

Helen has done research on the lineage of the Masters of the English School.
In 1991 she presented “20th Century Masters of the English School” at
the poster session of the International Gemological Symposium in
Los Angeles , California.

In 1995 Helen worked with Dr. Julia Kagan,
Curator of Post classical Engraved Gems
at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg Russia,
and they combined their similar research on the
lineage of the Masters of the English School,
and created
"Masters of the English School 14th - 20th Centuries"
 into a single new list research, which will be published soon.

In 2003, Helen served as the
President of the Gem Artists of North America (GANA).

Helen is a Fellow member of the
Gemological Association of Great Britain ,
a member of the
Greek Chamber of Arts/Sculpture Division,
member of the
GIA Alumni Washington DC Chapter
and of several Gem & Lapidary Societies.
She is a past president of the
Gem Lapidary and Mineral Society of Washington DC
and has received many awards
for her contribution to the clubs,
especially for hereducational efforts.
The Eastern Federation of Mineralogical and Lapidary Societies
awarded her its highest award
in the Each One, Teach One competition in 1994.

Helen is a Firm Member of AGTA (American Gem Trade Association).

Helen Serras-Herman Inducted in the Lapidary Hall of Fame !


Carolyn & Steve Weinberger

 Becoming an inductee in the
National Rockhound and Lapidary Hall of Fame
is a singular honor bestowed on only
 six individuals each year !
The Hall, housed in Murdo, SD, was the brainchild of
June Culp Zeitner the well-known author.
 Categories for awards each year are
Education, Fossils, Jewelry, Lapidary and Minerals.
There is also a general category
 for honoring deceased individuals.
Formal announcement of the
newest inductees will be made via
The Lapidary Journal
(see February 2004 issue).

 Inductees are chosen from nominations
sent by individuals each year.
We’re pleased to announce that
one of our own members,
was selected by the
Hall of Fame Committee for induction for 2003!!!!
 Congratulations to Helen!

 Helen joins past recipients,
who include Henry Graves,
Sharr Choate, George Kunz,
Washington Roebling,
June Culp Zeitner,
John Sinkankas,
Benjamin Schmidt,
Bob Jones, Paul Desautels
and Dr. Peter Bancroft.

 (from the
“Chipper’s Chatter”,
Chesapeake Gem and Mineral Club
June 2003,
“Gem Cutters News”,
Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore
September, 2003)

 Visit the “National Rockhound & Lapidary Hall of Fame” website:

Helen is married to Andrew Herman,
a retired aeronautical electrical engineer,
lapidary and GIA graduate gemologist.


Helen has exhibited her work in every country that she has lived and worked.

In Germany, she exhibited her work
in three sculpture group exhibitions:

In Stuttgart (1981), Lemgo (1981),
and in the Freier Berliner Kunstaustellung, Berlin (1982).

In Greece from 1983 to 1988
she presented two solo exhibitions, and
participated in over 30 sculpture group exhibitions
in the “Athens Odeon”,
in Municipal Halls and in private Galleries
(Forum, El Greco, Skironio
Museum, Kreonidis Art Gallery, Bouziani Hall,
Museum Borre, the “Pleiades
Gallery” and Christos Kyriazis Art Gallery).
She also participated in the
GOLD & SILVER” Annual Trade Jewelry Show”
in Thessaloniki, and the
“GEMINI " Annual Mineral Show in Athens.

Today all of her large works in
bronze and mixed media are in various
private collections in Greece,
in the “Haris Antoniou Art Collection”
in Athens,
in the “Municipal Art Gallery of Pireus”,
and over seventy works
are housed in the
“Hatzisavvas Sculpture Collection” in Athens.

Also, in the “Steglitz Cemetary” in
Berlin, Germany, there is a Bronze
Tombstone Relief Sculpture,
which was created as a special commission.

Here in the United States,
Helen has participated in Gem Art exhibits at
the “Lizzardo Museum of Lapidary Art”,
Elmhurst, IL,
five times at “The
Carnegie Gem & Mineral Show”,
“Carnegie Museum of Natural History”,
Pittsburgh, PA, at the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre
for ballet performance “Jewels”,
Pittsburgh, PA,
the “Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County”,
and in the 1991 “International Gemological Symposium”
at Los Angeles, CA.

Helen returned to Tucson in
February 2003 at the “Gem Galleria” Gem
Art Show, at the Historic Manning House.

(For upcoming shows and exhibits click on "Events" below)


Since 1988, Helen has given over 40 lectures on Historical and practical
aspects of Gem Sculpture. Besides presenting Gem Sculpture and
describing her own work, Helen has given lectures and workshops on

“The Criteria for Evaluating a Gem Carving”

“Greek Mythology in Jewelry”

“The Art & Science of Glyptography- Selecting Gem Materials for

“Gem Sculpture: from the ancient world to the 20th century English

“Gem ID instruments”

“Gem Sculpture - The art of Creating Seals”

“Carving - What is an original piece and what a duplicate"

“Ivory- History and its use”

“Faberge, His Life and Work”

“Gem Sculpture over the Ages”

“Wonders of Nature- Facts & Lore about gemstone beads”

“Ancient Greek Ivory Carvings”

 “Reflections of the Past, Inspirations for the Future”
 “Sunstone, the beautiful gem from Oregon"
  “The Fine Art of Gem Sculpture”
  “Mining Opal in Nevada & Sunstone on Oregon”

Helen has given lectures to the following Societies:

"The Weinman Mineral Museum,   White, GA"

“AGTA Tucson GemFair Seminar”

“Bead Society of Washington, D.C.”, Chevy Chase, MD

“Gem, Lapidary & Mineral Society of Washington, D.C.”, Chevy Chase, MD

“RAP Smithsonian Institution”, Washington, D.C.

“GIA Alumni Chapter, Washington D.C.”

“Patuxent Lapidary Guild”, Fort Meade, MD

“Chesapeake Gem & Mineral Society”, Catonsville, MD

“Gem Cutters Guild of Baltimore”, Baltimore, MD

Annual Lecture Series “Gem, Lapidary & Mineral Society of Washington, D.C.”,
New Carrollton, MD

“Gem, Mineral & lapidary Society of Montgomery County”, Rockville, MD

Nov. 1994 Lecture, “Chesapeake Gem & Mineral Society”, Catonsville, MD
“Caldron Crafts”, Baltimore, MD

“Maryland Hall”, Annapolis, MD

“Southern Maryland Rock & Mineral Club”, Clinton, MD

“Tuscarora Lapidary Society”, Springfield, PA

EFLMS Geology Tour, Silver Spring, MD

‘Beadazzled’ store, Workshop, Tysons Corner, McLean, VA

“Carroll County Carvers”, MD

“International Ivory Society”, MD

“Delaware Valley Gem & Mineral Club”, Springfield, PA

“Delaware Mineralogical Society”, Wilmington, DE

Please click on Events below for upcoming lectures.


Helen often writes articles, and has received many awards
for her contribution to the area lapidary clubs,
especially for her educational efforts.

Helen's work and articles have appeared in
Lapidary Journal, Rock and Gem,
The District of Gemology,
the GANA (Gem Artists of North America) Newsletter,
the International Ivory Society Newsletter,

[click the LJ cover to read
"Carving a Theme Series" by HSH]

 the American Gemcutter Magazine,
Australian Metal Stone & Glass magazine,
The Guide-Gem Market News,
Colored Stone magazine

JCK magazine,
and others.


[click the Cameos cover to read
about the book
"Cameos, Old and New"]

In the book "Cameos, Old and New" by Anna Miller,
3rd edition 2002 [2nd edition 1998]
Chapter 9, p.193-198,
Helen discusses the
"Criteria for Evaluating a Gem Carving  "
( )

Read Helen's article on
"Evaluating a Gem Carving"

[click the Article button above
to read
"Evaluating a Gem Carving"]

Helen’s Hallmark 

is included in the “Art Guide Source”

 an online Hallmark/Trademark Directory
 of North American artist/metalsmiths.




All text and images on this website are Copyright © 2003
to the Gem Art Center and Helen Serras-Herman.
All rights are reserved. No part of this website can be used or
reproduced in any way, anywhere, without the written permission
of the artist and author Helen Serras-Herman.

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