CIGem News Spring 2013


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


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.


  • 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

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.