GL Newsletter October 2013

From the Editor

AGTA 2014

After travelling in Brazil for three weeks and giving presentations to various university groups including the Federal Police of Brazil during the “II Seminario Iberoamericano de Geologia Forense”(Brasilia, Oct. 2 -4) we are already  preparing for the next AGTA Gemfair Tucson, Jan. 4 – 9, 2014.

The GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC is now being used for scientific research at the University of St Andrews, Scotland (see below) and at The Mineral Technology Center (CETEM) – a research institute of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

 

Understanding Fluorescence 2013, August 31

I attended the one-day Professional Development Course at the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of St Andrews, Scotland; the workshop was part of a series of events associated with the UK Luminescence and ESR meeting and immediately followed it.

The course was targeted at gemmologists, valuers and jewellery professionals and all individuals interested in gems and minerals. It provided a unique opportunity to expand understanding and use of fluorescence in gemmology and other mineral sciences.

GL Gem Spectrometer reviewed in French Journal

An article about the GL Gem Spectrometer appeared in the French Revue de gemmologie AFG N 183 (2013) (PDF 1.7 MB, with permission by the author)

Developments for GL Gem Spectrometer and GL Gem Raman PL532

We are working on several projects exploring the PL (photoluminescence) features of the GL Gem Raman PL532 for detection of HPHT treatments in diamonds and colour enhancements of gemstones.

I highly recommend a recent publication HPHT-Treated Diamonds – by Springer; you can download the complete Chapter 2 on Diamonds Used for HPHT Treatment.


It provides an excellent overview of the types of diamonds including their atomic models and describes testing methods for coloured diamonds.

Of concern is the statement on page 16 that “HPHT-treated cape-yellow diamonds are also something to encounter within the gem diamond market” as confirmed during a workshop at the September Hong Kong Jewellery Show. Until now we assumed that the cape lines (which are easily detected in the GL Gem Spectrometer) indicated “untreated”.

For a limited time we offer again the GL Gem Raman PL532/Gem Spectrometer Combo (until October 31). We also have one GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC unit for sale in Brazil; please contact me for details.

Identification of Jadeite Treatments with the GL Gem Spectrometer

The light holder of the GL Gem Spectrometer can easily be removed and uses with external light sources; as the halogen and Xenon light have very similar emission spectrum normalized reference spectra can be used for comparison.

First turn light on and take a "reference" (lamp) spectrum

First turn light on and take a “reference” (lamp) spectrum without any sample

XenonSetup2

Remove the light holder and put some “blu-tack” to level the sample with the entrance port

Place the sample area over the entrance port

Place the sample area over the entrance port

XenonSetup4

Shine the GL Xenon Flashlight from above onto the sample and observe the spectral graph

If you see the 690 nm peak the jadeite is naturally coloured; if the 690nm peak is missing the jadeite is either dyed or treated. The Chelsea filter reaction may indicate presence of dye.

Identification of dyed jadeite (PDF) from The Journal of Gemmology, 2009, 31(5-8)

Jadeite Untreated Jadeite Treated

The GL Gem Raman PL532 is needed to confirm polymer impregnated jadeite.

Advanced Gem Identification

cig100This 4-day workshop is offered as part of the A.G. Professional Development Program (AG-PDP). Also recommended as an upgrade course for practising gemmologists.

Students will learn state-of-the-art techniques (including immersion-scope, gemstone magnetism, IR-VIS-NIR and Raman spectroscopy), etc. designed to identify confidently any gemstone encountered in the market place.

Between 100 and 120 challenging gems including the most recent synthetics and treatments are available for testing.

  • Fee: $ 995 includes comprehensive study guide, Gemstone Inclusion Library, use of lab equipment and study stones.
  • Date: Sat – Tue, Nov 16 – 19, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Vancoucer (YVR Airport Hotel), Richmond, B.C.
  • Please register by October 17, 2013

Here a brief list of man-made gems in our study collection: Chatham, Kashan, Ramaura, Knischka, Lechleitner, Regency, Biron, Lenix, Gilson, Tairus rubies, sapphires, emeralds, alexandrite, opal, moissanite, CVD, synthetic diamonds and many others. Gem enhancement techniques such as heat-alteration, surface colour diffusion, irradiation, HPHT and glass filling are studied.

Day 1: Review of gem testing instruments; introduction to advanced identification techniques using the GLGemSpec and GL Gem Raman PL532 spectrometer.

Day 2 and 3: Routine testing with microscope and selected gemmological tools to identify difficult gem materials loose and set in jewellery.

Day 4: Identification of challenging gem materials and their treatments.

GL Gem Raman Workshop

Gemlab LogoThis course is recommended for future users of the GL Gem Raman PL532 system.

  • Using PowerPoint presentations the development and use of Raman spectrometers is introduced.
  • Procedure of proper calibration with Laser Glasses (190-548nm); learning step-by-step testing method with GLGemRaman software and searchable database.
  • Practical testing of a number of interesting gem materials by the participants under supervision of the workshop facilitator.

Fee: $ 295 (limited to 4 participants. To register on-line go here.

Date: Fri, Nov 15 from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m. (4 hours), Vancoucer (YVR Airport Hotel), Richmond, B.C. Please register by October 17, 2013

Participants who purchase a GL Gem Raman PL532 within one month after the workshop will receive a $ 295 discount.

We reserve the right to cancel courses if there is insufficient enrolment; upon return of all course materials students will receive a full refund for the tuition paid but no other compensation can be offered. Please wait with travel arrangements until final confirmation.

View/Download and read carefully our refund policy (PDF).

11th International GeoRaman Conference

“The 11th International GeoRaman conference in St. Louis, June 15-19, 2014 will focus on two major aspects of laser Raman spectroscopy: (1) The most advanced technologies and instrumentation, from laboratories to a wide variety of field applications, e.g., industrial and security monitoring, geo-fields, deep ocean, and on other planets; (2) The newest applications in studying inorganic, organic, and bio-genetic materials in Earth Sciences, Planetary Sciences, Environmental Science, Forensic Science, Archaeology and Archaeometry, Gemology, and Astrobiology.”

During the Xth GeoRaman in Nancy France in June 2012 several gemmology related issues were covered and will be further addressed in St. Louis.

_________

Wolf Kuehn, B.A., M.A., Dipl.oec, F.G.A., F.G.G. – GLR&T Project Manager

© 2013 Gemlab Research & Technology, Vancouver, Canada

The name and logo GEMLAB GROUP is a registered trade mark (Registration # TMA407372 with the CIPO)

Gemlab Research & Technology.

CIGem News Spring 2013

ISSN 0846-3611 GEMMOLOGY CANADA

From the Editor:

Since my return from a very successful AGTA GemFair in Tucson, Arizona we have been busy shipping orders and answering questions about our courses and products. There are several activities scheduled for April and May; see below. We will be attending the Las Vegas Antique Jewelry & Watch Show at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel, May 30 – June 2, 2013. You will find more information in the next GL Newsletter.

BC Gem & Mineral Show, Abbotsford – April 12, 13 & 14

Visit us at the Ag-Rec Building, Central Fraser Valley Fairgrounds, 32470 – Haida Drive, Abbotsford, British Columbia

BC Gem Show 2013

Colourful World of Minerals

  • Friday: 10:00 am – 8:00 pm

  • Saturday: 10:00 am – 6:00 pm

  • Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Admission: Adults – $6.00, Students (6 – 17) – $2.00, Under 6 – Free

At the C.I.G. booth we have our full line of gem testing tools and several new titles of gem books on display; buy at the show and save on taxes and shipping costs. The new Handbook of Gemmology DVD will be available for sale.

We are also demonstrating the new GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC system and the GL Gem Spectrometer with an innovative attachment. There is a special show price for the GL Gem Raman PL532/Gem Spectrometer Combo system available.

Please bring any gems or minerals for quick identification (even set in jewellery; max. 5 pieces per customer); we are particularly interested in jade, treated gemstones and diamonds of any kind (synthetic, coloured, HPHT, irradiated, etc).

We also have for sale a used (but in perfect working condition) Kyowa Zoom Stereo Trinocular Microscope with dark field attachment; asking price: SORRY ALREADY SOLD.

Kyowa SDZ The optical quality of the Kyowa Stereo Zoom microscopes is well established. The highly corrected optical system is a parfocal twin zooming design with objectives inclined at 12 degrees.

The SDZ head has a zooming range of 0.7x to 4.5x which can be extended by using auxillary lenses and 10x, 15x, 20x wide field eyepieces. The wide field image is sharp and erect; no refocusing is required throughout the zoom magnification range.

The trinocular head is designed for use with digital imaging systems. A push/pull lever transfers the left side image to the photo tube. The right side image is retained and can be viewed simultaneously with photography.

Far East Gem Travel 2012

Mandalay markets

I posted several YouTube videos with highlights of my trip to Myanmar (Burma) and the GIT 2012 Post Conference Tour to Chanthaburi (Thailand) and Pailin (Cambodia).

Go to Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia Gem Travel.

The GIT 2012 website has a large photo gallery and the eProceedings from the 3rd International Gem and Jewelry Conference can be downloaded; the latter provides the practising gemmologist with the latest information about current issues in the jewellery trade.

The Handbook of Gemmology (eBook) Released

Handbook-of-Gemmology-Book

Features include:

  • State of the art ‘Flipping Book’ technology (Win/Mac Versions)
  • Powerful Search Engine
  • Post-its
  • Highlighting
  • Interactive Table of Contents
  • Zoom in/Zoom out
  • Thumbnail Images
  • Full Index & Printable PDF Index

Geoff Dominy will be at the C.I.G. booth for a “Meet the Author” event on Saturday, April 13 during the BC Gem & Mineral Show in Abbotsford.

Covering all aspects of the science of gemmology and gem identification this innovative and interactive e-Book consists of 654 digitized pages and over 700 colour photographs, diagrams and illustrations in a DVD format.

A must buy for any gemmologist, student or jeweller who demands the latest technology and the most up-to-date information.

Available in .exe (Windows), .app (Mac), ePUB or Mobi file formats. Purchase your DVD ($ 49.95) on-line at Gemlab Books & Instruments.

GEM 250 Gem Identification II (Advanced)

In this course students will learn state-of-the-art techniques (including immersion-scope, gemstone magnetism, IR-VIS-NIR and Raman spectroscopy), etc. designed to identify confidently any gemstone encountered in the market place.

Between 100 and 120 challenging gems including the most recent synthetics and treatments are available for testing.

cig100

  • Course Type: Four-day/week-end practical class in major cities. Certificate after written and practical exam.
  • Prerequisite: “Gemmologist” certificate or similar gemmological qualification.
  • Fee: $ 995 ($ 200 exam fee for A.G. Diploma not included); comprehensive study guide, Gemstone Inclusion Library, use of lab equipment and study stones. Recommended optional text: Handbook of Gem Identification by Liddicoat (12th ed.)
  • Date/Location: Sat – Tue, May 18 – 21, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m., Vancoucer (YVR) Airport Hotel (special room rate), Richmond, B.C.); spring exam day: Wednesday, May 22

Here a brief list of man-made gems in our study collection: Chatham, Kashan, Ramaura, Knischka, Lechleitner, Regency, Biron, Lenix, Gilson, Tairus rubies, sapphires, emeralds, alexandrite, opal, moissanite, CVD, synthetic diamonds and many others. Gem enhancement techniques such as heat-alteration, surface colour diffusion, irradiation, HPHT and glass filling are studied. Hands-on exercises with our in-house developed GL Gem Spectrometer and GL Gem Raman system. Practising gemmologists may use this lab class to up-grade their skills.

Day 1: Review of gem testing instruments; introduction to advanced identification techniques using the GLGemSpec and GL Gem Raman PL532 spectrometer.

Day 2 and 3: Routine testing with microscope and selected gemmological tools to identify difficult gem materials loose and set in jewellery.

Day 4: Identification of challenging gem materials and their treatment with guest speaker covering the following diamond topics:

Diamond Types, Causes of Colour in Natural Diamonds, Chameleon Diamonds, HPHT-grown Diamonds, CVD-grown Diamonds, Testing and Identification Methods for Lab-grown Diamonds (UV lamp, microscope, UV-VIS-NIR, FTIR, Raman and PL spectrometers, XRF, etc), Clarity Treatments (Fracture Filling, Traditional Lasering, KM Laser Drilling), Colour Treatments (Coating, Irradiation, Annealing, HPHT, Combination Treatments)

Register on-line here.

For more Info please call: 604-530-8569

GEM 370 GL Gem Raman Workshop

  • Using PowerPoint presentations the development and use of Raman spectrometers is introduced.
  • Procedure of proper calibration with Laser Glasses (190-548nm); learning step-by-step testing method with GLGemRaman software and searchable database.
  • Practical testing of a number of interesting gem materials by the participants under supervision of the workshop facilitator
  • Presenter: Wolf Kuehn, B.A., M.A., Dipl.oec, FGA, FGG
logo21-150x150

GEM 360-1 Sat, May 18 from 1:00 – 4:00 p.m. (3 hours)

Location: Vancouver (YVR) Airport Hotel, Richmond B.C., Canada

Fee: $ 295 ; limited to 5 participants. To register on-line go here.

Participants who purchase a GL Gem Raman PL532 system within one month after the workshop will receive a $ 295 discount.

To Register, please call: 604-530-8569

We reserve the right to cancel courses if there is insufficient enrolment; upon return of all course materials students will receive a full refund for the tuition paid but no other compensation can be offered. Please wait with travel arrangements until final confirmation.

View/Download and read carefully our refund policy (PDF).

CGL – Canadian Gemological Laboratory offering Courses

Vancouver based CGL has released their Spring 2013 schedule for one-day workshops covering several gemmological topics and rough diamonds; go to their website for further information.

Participants in the ADVANCED PROGRAM – DIAMONDS April 26 (Friday) and May 4th (Saturday) and COLOURED STONES April 27 (Saturday) and May 3rd (Friday) have an opportunity to work with the GL Gem Spectrometer and the GL Gem Raman PL532 systems; other advanced testing instruments are demonstrated as well.

SPAM Mail and other Nuisances

Are you receiving messages like the following:

Hi, I am here in Tanzania with Tones of gemstone names Felisper (Ruby type). Will you kindly direct to the possible buyer!
We are the distributors for industrial Olympus, and othe prime brands in Colombia, we know that many of our customers will be interested in 
your products, we would like to be distributors in Colombia of your products.

You probably are and you are not alone. We receive dozens every day as it is easy to figure out the possible e-mail accounts for a particular domain. And there is no way to stop it even with an elaborate SPAM filter (suggestions are welcome). We are also being attacked by silent/hoax and/or soliciting phone and fax calls as people can use Skype and other means to reach us from anywhere in the world for free.

As a consequence we are sometimes unable to answer our phone; we have implemented an answering service asking you to leave your name and a message and we will call you back as soon as possible. We apologize for this inconvenience.

The Canadian Institute of Gemmology is a member of the World Gem Society.

For a nominal fee you can access a variety of resources available on-line.

GL Newsletter January 2013

Wolf Kuehn, F.G.G., F.G.A., Editor

AGTA GemFair

From the Editor

If you are visiting the Tucson gem shows please drop by at the C.I.G. booth #31 right next to Gem-A at the Galleria Level of the AGTA GemFair from February 5 – 10.

Have a look at the new GL Gem Raman TEC 532PL; the GL Gem Spectrometer will be on display as well. You can read more about new developments in this newsletter.

There will be a special Tucson price for the GL Gem Spectrometer; please go to the on-line store to see more details.

GL Gem Raman Developments

After intensive testing we have finalized the GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC and will introduce this new unit during the Tucson AGTA GemFair.

We modified the Raman spectrometer to increase the range from approx. 75 to 5,400 cm-1 at better than 10 cm-1 FWHM. There is always a trade-off affecting resolution but we were able to stay within the margins required for matching the Raman references in the RRUFF database.

We also expanded the software to allow for photoluminescence studies which may play an important role in identifying possible treatments of diamonds and gems in the future.

Another improvement for the GL Gem Raman was the addition of a thermoelectric cooling (TEC) element. The CCD (3648 pixel CCD Toshiba TCD1304AP linear array) can now be cooled down by – 35 degrees Celsius resulting in up to 150 times lower dark current.

For a gemmological lab doing appraisal work this option is not absolutely necessary as most cut and polished gemstones are fairly good Raman scatterers. However, I encountered several mineral samples which had extremely weak Raman signals and after switching on the TEC (it takes 2 minutes to reduce temperature by -30 C and another 8 minutes to stabilize at – 35 C) I was able to identify the sample. The spectral graphs look much “cleaner” and professional which is important for publication.

The TEC option is recommended for research and can be turned on when required. For up-to-date information go to our special page for the GL Gem Raman.

Nephrite

Extended range of the GL Gem Raman

For gems and minerals the typical Raman fingerprint range is from 145 – 1,500 cm-1 (as in the RRUFF database). The GL Gem Raman PL532 has now an extended range to detect Raman signals up to the 5,400 cm-1 limit (click on image to see more details).

The GLGemRaman program has the option to save both ranges as a [name].rruff file which can be directly loaded into the provided search program.

The Raman spectrum for nephrite above shows features (water band) in the above 1,500 cm-1 range which could not be seen in the previous version of the GL Gem Raman.

The RRUFF project provides for a “broad scan” database with over 1,100 references. However, due to significant increase in search time we recommend to use this database separately from the regular one.

The newest edition of Spekwin32 (revised version 1.71.6.1 from Nov 05 2012, file size: 1.3 MB by F. Menges) will import .rruff files and .fak files from the GL Gem Spectrometer.

Alexandrite Synth PL

PL option for the GL Gem Raman

The GL Gem Raman has a high quality regulated 532nm laser as an excitation source and a proper calibration system to allow scientific research. For PL studies the output of the laser has to be reduced to 50 – 100 mW.

Synthetic and natural alexandrite show the same PL peaks (click on image to see more details).

PL Option: 530 – 750 nm (broad scan) is included for experimental studies (please note that this IS NOT a fluorescence spectrometer).

With the extended range of the GL Gem Raman the PL option is already included. Users can switch the software from a [cm-1] to a [nm] scale which is commonly used for photoluminescence studies. A simple calibration procedure allows for consistent measurements.

Very limited scientific research has been done in this area. This will change in the future as we and others have started conducting studies on diamonds and selected gem materials. However, the GL Gem Raman was designed for Raman and not as a fluorescence spectrometer. We are also working on a laser PL attachment for the GL Gem Spectrometer.

An excellent overview in the interpretation of Raman and PL spectra is given in Jasinevicius, R. (2009) Characterization of vibrational and electronic features in the Raman spectra of gemstones (PDF) (MS thesis, unpublished).

Initial Photoluminescence Studies with the GL Gem Raman

The claim that photoluminescence can be diagnostic for the identification of a gemstone has to be taken with caution – in particular for the detection of HPHT treated diamonds and gemstones. With the PL option now available for the GL Gem Raman I looked at several studies to repeat and verify their testing and results. I have also tested synthetic diamonds of early Russian production in the C.I.G. gem collection.

Some of the results have already been documented in our poster “Raman Spectroscopy – A Powerful Tool in Gem Identification” (PDF, 948 KB). For further information download the GIT 2012 E-Proceedings PDF document from here (over 500 pages, .zip file, 90 MB).

PL reaction of spinel

PL studies to separate synthetic flux grown spinel from natural red spinel

The graph shows (click on image to see more details) the PL main peak for natural red spinel slightly shifted to the left.

The SSEF (Swiss Gemmological Institute) obtained a similar PL reaction using their UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer and a 312 nm LED excitation source as shown in their “Spinel: A Gemstone on the Rise” presentation (PDF)”.

Also read  “Element Analytical and UV-Vis-NIR Study of Natural Untreated Vietnamese and Synthetic Spinels” presented by Tobias Haeger during GIT 2012 (see E-Proceedings, pages 179ff).

Emerald Comparison

PL studies for emerald characterization

Comparing a synthetic flux grown emerald with a natural Colombian emerald one can see a definite shift in the luminescence peaks for chromium (click on image to see more details).

For further information read Le Thi Thu Huong’s thesis “Microscopic, chemical and spectroscopic investigations on emeralds of various origins” (pages 68ff, PDF, 2.2MB).

Origin studies for emeralds have been done based on inclusion characteristics; as a matter of fact the gemmological microscope is still the most important tool to separate natural from man made gemstones. However, with access to advanced instrumentation other approaches will become a possible.

PL Diamond

First PL studies on synthetic diamonds

The unusual PL centre (click on image to see more details) most probably originates not from a point defect in diamond, but from crystalline Al2O3:Cr3+ (ruby) inclusions or impurities in the diamond.

See “Luminescence study of defects in synthetic as-grown and HPHT diamonds compared to natural diamonds” (abstract, last sentence).

GL Gem Spectrometer Developments

The Gl Gem Spectrometer has a user base of over 100 people around the world. Already during the last Tucson gem show several visitors at our booth came up with some new ideas.

P1040540

GL Gem Spectrometer for chromaticity studies

With a firmware modification and extra software module the GL Gem Spectrometer can be used as a colourimeter displaying XYZ colour space coordinates.

For exact measurements an integrating sphere is recommended which mounts right on top of the spectrometer unit.

We are also working on a GLGemSpec laser attachment which would allow PL studies with the GL Gem Spectrometer as a low cost alternative to the GL Gem Raman PL532 unit.

Tucson Specials from the Gemlab Online Store

During January 2013 we will offer the GL Gem Spectrometer to attendants at the Tucson Gem Shows at a reduced price of $ 1,295.00 with free delivery if picked up at our booth # 31 in the Tucson Convention Centre (during the AGTA GemFair from February 5 – 10). More details here.

The GL Xenon Flashlight

This portable Xenon flash-light is ideal for use with the GL Gem Spectrometer as an external light source. Users have experimented with various setups to illuminate samples bigger than can be accomodated in the GL Gem Halogen Holder ; using a fiber probe with the GL Gem Spectrometer requires a customized setup with external lighting and will change several parameters for obtaining a spectrum.

With the Xenon flashlight I was able to clearly resolve the 415 nm line of a Cape series type Ia diamond and produce the typical 437 nm line in green jadeite.

Comparison of emission curves for halogen and xenon light source

GL Gem Spectrometer with the halogen light holder removed

Jadeite, Burma – naturally coloured with typical absorption (edited in Spekwin32)

Read Identification of dyed jadeite (PDF) from The Journal of Gemmology, 2009, 31(5-8). You can buy the GL Xenon Flashlight in our on-line store.

A Mini Microscope for Inclusion Studies

I am a collector of all kinds of gyzmos – amongst them loupes, magnifiers, USB microscopes and lately these small mini-microscopes. I tried quite a few of them and they are becoming better and better.

The best one so far costs less than US$ 5 (please e-mail me for store weblink) and has switchable LED/UV illumination.

Which one is the best?

Which one is the best?

There is a LED/UV switch

There is a LED/UV switch

Inclusions in garnet

Inclusions in garnet

Handbook of Gemmology

The Canadian Institute of Gemmology and Gemlab Research & Technology is a sapphire sponsor of the soon to be published Handbook of Gemmology. Containing over 675 colour photographs, illustrations and diagrams from 130 different contributors in thirty-six countries, ‘The Handbook of Gemmology’ is truly a global project and will be available as an eBook publication through the Gemlab Books & Instruments on-line store  in late February 2013.

GEM 250 GEM IDENTIFICATION II (Advanced Upgrade Course)

Gemmologist

- Course GEM 250-1: Sat – Wed, May 18 – 22, 10 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (5 days, Richmond, B.C.)

- Fee: $ 995 ($ 200 exam fee for A.G. diploma not included); comprehensive study guide, Gemstone Inclusion Library, use of lab equipment and study stones.

In this course students will learn state-of-the-art techniques including immersionscope, konoscope, gemstone magnetism, IR-VIS-NIR and Raman spectroscopy, etc. designed to identify confidently any gemstone encountered in the industry. Between 100 and 120 challenging gems including the most recent synthetics are available for testing.

Here a brief list of man-made gems in our study collection: Chatham, Kashan, Ramaura, Knischka, Lechleitner, Regency, Biron, Lenix, Gilson, Tairus rubies, sapphires, emeralds, alexandrite, opal, moissanite, CVD and synthetic diamonds and many others. Gem enhancement techniques such as heat-alteration, surface colour diffusion, irradiation, HPHT and glass filling are studied.

Hands-on exercises with our in-house developed GL Gem Spectrometer and GL Gem Raman TEC PL532 system.

Prerequisite: “Gemmologist (C.I.G.)” certificate or similar gemmological qualification. Practicing gemmologists may use this lab class to up-grade their skills. It is also part of the C.I.G. Professional Development Program (AG-PDP).

To Register, please call: 604-530-8569

GEM 370 GL Gem Raman Workshop

This course is for current or future users of the GL Gem Raman system.

ramandesk - Using PowerPoint presentations the development and use of Raman spectrometers is introduced.- Learning step-by-step testing method with GLGemRaman software and searchable database

- Practical testing of a number of interesting gem materials by the participants under supervision of the workshop facilitator.

Presenter: Wolf Kuehn, B.A., M.A., Dipl.oec, FGA, FGG

  • GEM 370-1 Tue, May 21 from 6:30 – 9 p.m. (2 1/2 hours)

Location: Vancouver Airport Hotel TBA, Richmond B.C., Canada

Fee: $ 295 (limited to 5 participants). To register on-line go here.

We reserve the right to cancel courses if there is insufficient enrolment; upon return of all course materials students will receive a full refund for the tuition paid but no other compensation can be offered.

Please wait with travel arrangements until final confirmation.

View/Download and read carefully our refund policy (PDF). View/Download Application Form (PDF) or call: 604-530-8569

Discovering Gems and Jewellery

UBC Continuing Studies at Robson Square is offering as part of their CULTURAL ENRICHMENT program:

ubc – An Introduction (offered in the fall 2013)- For Connoisseurs (offered in the spring 2013)

To register contact UBC Continuing Studies.

WD511W13A Sat, March 2 – April 13, 2013, 12:30-2:30pm; UBC Robson Square. $360+tax

WD510 W13 A Sat, March 2 – April 13, 2013, 3:00 – 5:00pm; UBC Robson Square. $380+tax (Interpreted in Mandarin)

CIGem News Winter 2013

CIGem News Winter 2013 – ISSN 0846-3611 GEMMOLOGY CANADA

From the Editor:

Bagan

From Bagan, Myanmar

I wish everyone a Happy and Rewarding New Year 2013.

Myanmar was on my travel list for many years. I finally managed to organize a trip to this fascinating country on my own. During GIT 2012 I was able to meet many old and new friends; see GL Newsletter Special GIT 2012 edition.

Afterwards we went on a fabulous Post Conference Excursion to Chanthaburi and Pailin, Cambodia. An on-line slide show about my travels will be available soon.

And last but not least the annual Tucson 2013 shows are approaching. I am looking forward to meeting you personally very soon.

Wolf Kuehn, F.G.A., F.G.G.

Tucson February 2013

AGTA GemFair

If you are visiting the Tucson gem shows please drop by at the C.I.G. booth #31 right next to Gem-A at the Galleria Level of the AGTA GemFair from February 5 – 10.

We will have the new GL Gem Raman TEC PL532 and the GL Gem Spectrometer on display and the latest information about our photoluminescence studies.

As part of the World Gem Society (WGS) Tour of Tucson 2013 activities I will be giving a slide presentation “Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia Gem Travel 2012 – with visit to the jade market in Mandalay, news from GIT 2012 Bangkok and Chanthaburi, sapphire mining in Pailin” on Friday, February 8, 2013 (time and location TBA). Please join us for an evening of fun.

A Fascinating trip to Myanmar

Travelling to Myanmar has not been easy. There are no ATMs, no credit cards or reservations for flights to be made from outside the country. All has to be done upon arrival unless you take a package tour which can be quite expensive. I was able to do my travel preparations on my own after checking with the Lonely Planet Thorn Tree forum for Myanmar for several months. Or read this Myanmar Blog.

Most tourists need a visum which may take one month to process as there is a dramatic increase in the number of tourists. For the coming months many hotels are full and flights sometimes overbooked, changed and/or cancelled. Roads are quickly being upgraded but train and bus travel is still very slow. I saw areas without electricity and in great need of better infrastructure. But it is changing quickly.

You have to bring cash to pay for goods and services. Don’t expect to change any rumpled, torn US dollar bills. Moneychangers accept only crisp, clean (and mostly uncreased) bills, and tend to only take the ‘new’ US dollar bills (with the larger full-frame heads). I have heard that $100 bills starting with the serial number ‘CB’ have been turned down. Read Monetary Mayhem From Myanmar.

But all went smoothly and for me it was one of my most exciting trips to Asia. Below some images which will provide a first impression.

Yangon is a former capital of Burma and the capital of Yangon Region. Although the military government has officially relocated the capital to Naypyidaw since March 2006, Yangon, with a population of over four million, continues to be the country’s largest city and the most important commercial centre.

Although Yangon’s infrastructure is undeveloped compared to those of other major cities in Southeast Asia, it has the largest number of colonial buildings in the region today. While many high-rise residential and commercial buildings have been constructed or renovated throughout downtown and Greater Yangon in the past two decades, most satellite towns that ring the city continue to be deeply impoverished (source Wikipedia).

Shwedagon Pagoda

Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon

Bogyoke (Scott) Market

Bogyoke (Scott) Market, Yangon

"Mogok" ruby filled Glas

“Mogok” ruby filled Glas

Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay

Kuthodaw Pagoda, Mandalay

Mandaly Hill

Mandalay Hill

From Mandalay Hill at sunset

From Mandalay Hill at sunset

Mandalay, the capital of Upper Burma, is located 600 km north of Yangon, on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River. As the second largest city in Myanmar, Mandalay has slightly over 800,000 inhabitants.

It is the capital of Upper Burma that was immortalized in Rudyard Kipling’s The Road to Mandalay, the 1887 poem that refers to the Ayeyarwady. In a country where the cities are a thousand years old or more, Mandalay is surprisingly young in comparison – “just” over 150 years old (source Wikipedia).

Jade Markets in Mandalay, Myanmar

Mandalay Jade Market

Mandalay Jade Market

Polishing jadeite

Polishing jadeite

Selection of jadeite

Selection of jadeite

A visit to the jade market in Mandalay is a must for anyone interested in gemstones. Covering several acres on a site between 38th and 39th streets west of the city centre the bustling market features countless rows of small stores, each about two metres wide, laid out in a grid. Managed by the Mandalay City Devlopment Committee, it provides an insight into the working of the larger jade industry, which is developing into an increasingly lucrative foreign income earner.

Nobody was there to collect the $ 1 entrance fee for foreigners as I was perhaps the only Western tourist surrounded by hundreds (if not thousands) of local traders in the incredible heat and noise that is hard to capture by camera.

Exploring Bagan Temples

Bagan (formerly Pagan), is one of the most famous ancient city in Myanmar. It is the place in Myanmar to admire ancient ruins. Bagan ranks alongside Angkor and Luang Prabang as one of the most amazing sights in Southeast Asia.

If you’re into ancient ruins, there’s more in Bagan than you could ever bargain for. Bagan is located on a dusty plain 300 km from Yangon.

Bagan temples

Bagan temples

Ananda Temple

Ananda Temple

View from Shwesandaw Pagoda

View from Shwesandaw Pagoda

GIT 2012 Post Conference Tour to Chanthaburi and Pailin

Chanthaburi is a province of Thailand. It is located in the east of Thailand, at the border to Battambang and Pailin of Cambodia and the shore to the Gulf of Thailand. Together with the neighboring province Trat, Chanthaburi is the center of gemstone mining, especially rubies and sapphires.

Tropical fruits are also among the main products of the province. In 2000, it produced nearly 380,000 tonnes of durian, which was 45.57% of Thailand’s durian production and approximately 27% of the world production of this fruit (source Wikipedia).

Sapphire mine

Operating sapphire mine near Chanthaburi

Bangkaja Sapphire Rough

Sapphire

Sapphire Jewellery

Pailin temple

Wat Phnom Yat, Pailin

Pailin mine

Sapphire mine in Pailin, Cambodia

Pailin sapphires

Pailin sapphires

Pailin is a small municipality in the West of Cambodia very close to the border of Thailand. The provincial capital is called Pailin City and is known to much of the world as being the area where many of the Khmer Rouge leaders came from and retreated after their fall.

In the late 1970s, Pailin was a prosperous town stemming from the extensive gem deposits in the surrounding countryside. Because of its resources, it was one of the first cities invaded by the Khmer Rouge when they began their major offensive against the national government. The city offered no resistance and the Khmer Rouge soldiers were greeted as liberators as they marched into town. In recent years a new wave of tourism began depending on its ancient temples, natural forests, animals and especially the precious stones (source Wikipedia).

GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC Spectrometer

We have finalized the GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC with a range from approx. 75 – 5,400 cm-1 at better than 10 cm-1 FWHM. Raman range (RRUFF) is from 145 – 1,500 cm-1 and broad scan range for PL studies up to 5,430 cm-1 (530 – 750 nm). TE cooled 3648 pixel Toshiba TCD1304AP linear array.

All new units have the PL option installed; other configurations available upon request. Please contact us for more information.

The Raman spectrum for nephrite on the left (click on image to enlarge) shows interesting Raman features in the region of 200 cm-1 and below and in the PL region 3,000 cm-1 and above.

Tucson Specials from the Gemlab Online Store

During January 2013 we will offer the GL Gem Spectrometer to attendants at the Tucson Gem Shows at a reduced price of $ 1,295.00 with free delivery if picked up at our booth # 31 in the Tucson Convention Centre (during the AGTA GemFair from February 5 – 10). More details here.

We also will introduce and demonstrate the new GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC.

Discovering Gems and Jewellery

UBC Continuing Studies at Robson Square is offering as part of their CULTURAL ENRICHMENT program:

– An Introduction (offered in the fall 2013)

- For Connoisseurs (offered in the spring 2013)

Gemstones have intrigued us throughout history and are reputed as symbols of wealth, power, healing and love. In this course, students explore the unique properties of gemstones that affect their value and study the locations where they are found. Participants will board a virtual tour of splendid gem collections found in museums around the world and discover the challenges in differentiating between natural and man-made gem materials. In addition, advice will be given for purchasing jewellery at various venues such as at auction.

Instructor: J. Wolf Kuehn, B.A., M.A., Dipl.oec., F.G.A., F.G.G.

WD511W13A Sat, March 2 – April 13, 2013, 12:30-2:30pm; UBC Robson Square. $360+tax

 WD510 W13 A Sat, March 2 – April 13, 2013, 3:00 – 5:00pm; UBC Robson Square. $380+tax (Interpreted in Mandarin)

To register contact UBC Continuing Studies.

C.I.G. Professional Development Program (AG-PDP)

The Canadian Institute of Gemmology is offering a self-guided study program leading to the Accredited Gemmologist (C.I.G.)® diploma for students who have completed a gemmology program with another institution.

Upon successful completion of the AG-PDP credits and fulfillment of other requirements (such as submission of a scientific paper and payment of an annual license fee) graduates are entitled to use the international recognized designation Accredited Gemmologist (C.I.G.)®.

Entrance Requirements

“Fine Jewellery Expert (C.I.G.)”, F.G.A. or equivalent from other institutions; foreign candidates may apply but must enter Canada under a visitor’s visa (no student visas available). If credentials were obtained before 2002 a practical entrance test must be passed.

Course Credits Required

  • All C.I.G. GEM 200-level courses
    • GEM 210 Diamond Grading
    • GEM 220 Advanced Gemmology
    • GEM 230 Gem Colour Grading
    • GEM 250 Gem Identification II
  • For this course it is recommended that students have basic gem testing equipment at their disposal to complete individual projects at home or at their work place; students will also learn the use of UV- VIS – NIR spectrometers. There will be a five-day practical workshop to complete the AG-PDP program.

To obtain certification as an Accredited Gemmologist (C.I.G.)® a scientific paper has to be submitted within 6 months of completion of the A.G. (C.I.G.) diploma exam. See course outline or View/Download brochure (PDF) and View/Download Application Form (PDF). If you have any further questions about the AG-PDP program please call (604) 530-8569.

Individual courses must be completed within 12 months; courses leading to a certificate or diploma must all be completed within 24 months.

For more info about the C.I.G. Professional Development Program (AG-PDP) go to Advanced (GEM 200-level) Courses or download brochure (PDF).

World Gem Society

The Canadian Institute of Gemmology is a member of the World Gem Society.

For a nominal fee you can access a variety of resources available.

GL Newsletter Special GIT 2012 edition

Follow @gemlabNEWS

Wolf Kuehn, F.G.G., F.G.A., Editor

From the Editor

I just returned from SE Asia after travelling in Myanmar, attending “The 3nd International Gem & Jewelry Conference” GIT 2012 in Bangkok and participating in the post-conference tour to Chanthaburi and Cambodia.

More about my travel and news from Thailand in the January CIGem Newsletter Winter 2013.

In this special GL Newsletter I will report briefly about interesting topics presented during the conference as I did 3 years ago for the GIT 2008 conference.

GIT 2012 The 3nd International Gem & Jewelry Conference

GIT 2012

Poster Session during GIT 2012

Held for the third time in Bangkok, Thailand and organized by the The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand GIT 2012 attracted over 500 participants from around the world. It was encouraging to see many young contributors sharing their research and work projects in oral presentations and poster sessions covering a wide scope of topics from gemmology to jewellery design.

Many thanks to Ms. Wilawan Atichat, Director of GIT and her team for a superb job in organizing this event. Over half of the contributions were dedicated to the section “Gem Identification and Treatments”.

You can download the close to 500 pages of the E-Proceedings PDF document from here (zip file, 90 MB). I will refer to them in my comments and observations below; also download our poster “Raman Spectroscopy – A Powerful Tool in Gem Identification” (PDF, 948 KB).

Diffusion of Transition Metals in Gemstones

Three years ago Yong-Kil Ahn and Jong-Wan Park, Hanyang University, Seoul, Korea submitted a research poster to GIT 2008 “Comparative study of Cr3+ diffusion in proton and electron irradiated chrysoberyl” (PDF, 325 KB). It was work in progress and I maintained contact with the authors to stay up-to-date.

In the meantime they published two other articles to be shared: “Diffusion of chromium in sapphire: The effects of electron beam irradiation” (PDF, 960 KB) and “Effects of electron-beam irradiation, a thin-Ti layer, and a BeO additive on the diffusion of titanium in synthetic sapphire” (PDF, 972 KB).

As part of their research several diffusion experiments were performed and various methods for enhancing the diffusity were attempted as demonstrated in their poster “Diffusion of Transition Metals in Gemstones using various Specimen Preparation Methods” (E-Proceedings, page 164ff). Photoluminescence results for the specimens using a 325 nm He-Cd excitation source show a clear difference between the fluorescence of sapphire before and after irradiation.

Ion Beam Treatment and Analysis

Ion beam treatment – a rather expensive method at the present time due to the high cost of the equipment – can be used to not only improve the colour but also the clarity and luster of gemstones. In their “Overview of Ion Beam Treatment of Gemstones in Thailand” (E-Proceedings, page 252ff) the Thai researchers tested and treated a variety of gemstones such as rubies, sapphires, topazes, spinels and garnets from Thailand, Myanmar (Burma), and Africa.

Apatite Treatment

Korean researchers conducted further studies and showed their work in two posters:

“Spectroscopic Characteristics of Electron-beam Irradiated Apatite” (E-Proceedings, page 272ff) and

“The Color Change of Hackmanite from Myanmar by Exposure to UV Rays and Irradiation by Electron Beam” (E-Proceedings, page 276ff).

The ion beam technology has been recently applied for the first time in Thailand for gemstone analysis, particularly, the Proton Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) which is an effective and nondestructive way to quantify trace elements analysis at ppm level.

The Thai researchers conducted an “Ion Beam Analysis of Spinel” (E-Proceedings, page 220ff) and introduced a “Novel Ion Beam Technique for Lead Detection in Rubies” (E-Proceedings, page 244ff).

The ion beam techniques give an advantage over conventional techniques in term of lead content detection. In summary they warned that “Rubies treated by paw-mai method contained remarkable high concentration of lead and they may be harmful to gem consumers” and unsafe for the treaters of these gem materials as well.

New Treated Sapphire

Since early 2012, a new type of treated blue sapphire has been encountered in the trade. During the post conference tour in Chanthaburi Dr. Pornsawat Wathanakul made samples available to the participants and a brochure was distributed as well.

I tested my sample under immersion in methylene iodide and found that it showed colour concentrations along the facet junctions reminding of the old “surface-diffused” sapphires. In addition, in their presentation “Newly Treated Blue Sapphire: a Preliminary Investigation” (E-Proceedings, page 264ff) they detected the presence of beryllium which may play a role in the colouration of this blue sapphire. A “Round up on Gemstone Hot Issues in 2012″ (E-Proceedings, page 264ff) was given by the same group of Thai researchers.

Lithium Treatments

Ted Themelis gave an oral presentation of “Lithium-Treated Gemstones” (E-Proceedings, page 228ff) with first hand knowledge of this type of treatment; it has been applied to blue sapphires, grossularites, tourmalines and other gems to improve their colour, diaphaneity and lustre since 2011.

As the outcome of the treatment in many cases is unpredictable it is difficult to know the exact mechanism involved in this treatment. It would require a complete analysis of the samples before and after treatment.

Lithium Treated A typical rough, untreated African grossularite used in the lithium process (left); after heating
with lithium-based additives, most stones turned reddish-orange (middle, 3.59 carats), rarely intense red (right, 22.71 carats).

Diamonds and Organic Gems

In this section several contributions were made about “CVD Synthetic Diamonds and their Proper Identification” (E-Proceedings, page 301ff) and “Research on CVD Gem Diamonds” (E-Proceedings, page 303ff).

My Canadian colleague Branko Deljanin spoke about “Screening and Identification of Coloured and Colourless Diamonds for the Synthetic Origin using the UV Lamp and the Polariscope mounted on a Microscope” (E-Proceedings, page 308ff).

In summary further research is necessary to properly identify all the treatment combinations applied to both natural and synthetic diamonds. Our own recently developed GL Gem Raman PL532 will become an important tool not only for the identification of coloured stones, but also to check for type IIa HPHT treated stones (IIa with HPHT annealing or without).

There were many more contributions such as from my Russian colleagues on “Identification of the Garnet Chemical Composition and Color Causes by Express Raman and Visible Spectroscopy” (E-Proceedings, page 214ff).

I selected the above contributions as they covered the most interesting subjects and issues for someone working in a gemmological laboratory like myself. Download and read the GIT 2012 E-Proceedings (PDF, 100 MB – large file).

Tucson Specials from the Gemlab Online Store

During January 2013 we will offer the GL Gem Spectrometer to attendants at the Tucson Gem Shows at a reduced price of $ 1,295.00 with free delivery if picked up at our booth # 31 in the Tucson Convention Centre (during the AGTA GemFair from February 5 – 10). More details here.

We also will introduce and demonstrate the new GL Gem Raman PL532.

Bangkok GIT 2012 Pailin, Cambodia