CIGem News Winter 2012

ISSN 0846-3611 GEMMOLOGY CANADA – Wolf Kuehn, F.G.G., F.G.A., Editor

From the Editor:

I wish everyone a Happy and Rewarding New Year.

It appears that 2012 will be an interesting year for gemmology and all interested in the fascinating world of gems and jewellery. There may be a decline in activity at the various levels of the gem industry; however, there is a lack of well trained “gem technologists” who are absolutely necessary in this challenging world of new gem discoveries, gem treatments and innovative (and sometimes questionable) marketing schemes. Gemmology is a life long learning experience and perhaps now is the time to look into your professional development.

Tucson February 2012

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. We will have the GL Gem Spectrometer on display and the latest information about the GL Gem Raman.

You may purchase a copy of Robert James’ new Guide to Tucson: Treated and Created Gems; it also can be ordered from the link.

As part of the World Gem Society Tour of Tucson 2012 activities I will be giving a presentation on Colombian emeralds at the Holiday Inn Suites at 1564 W. Grant Road, Tucson, AZ on Wednesday, February 1, 2012 at 7 p.m. Please join us for an evening of fun.

The Truth about Feldspars

Dr. Joel E. Arem, PhD, FGA has completed a new research paper entitled “Obervations On The Occurrence Of Plagioclase Feldspars (PDF)“; please read this scientifically sound report and make your own conclusions.

In several previous CIGem News issues I have openly stated my position and opinion about the “Andesine Scam”. I am happy that a scholar like Joel Arem (PhD, Harvard University) has written a convincing article about the geological facts surrounding feldspar localities.

The whole story about large gem quality andesine from Congo combined with questionable research on specimen supposedly coming from Tibet and Mongolia appears to me an elaborate, well planned and executed hoax! I will change my opinion as soon as I read a scientific report of an independent geological research team verifying a gem quality producing mine in Congo or Tibet.

Emerald Controversy

National Jeweller, CNN and a number of media outlets reported about the world’s largest cut emerald, a commercial-quality, 57,500-carat stone, mined in Brazil and purchased via the Internet from a dealer in India.

Read the article Huge emerald digs up controversy, the “emerald” weighs 11.5 kilograms, or about 25 pounds.

Gemstone Forecaster

I highly recommend reading the Winter 2011 issue of the Gemstone Forecaster newsletter published by R. Genis. This edition contains an eye-opening interview with Cap Beesly (formerly AGL) about the current gem laboratory situation, an interesting video by Al Jazeera about Burma and several other newsworthy items.

GL Gem Raman Spectrometer

System layout of the GL Gem Raman

Download info sheet (PDF)

We have finished testing the proto-type of the GL Gem Raman™ spectrometer and started with the manufacture of a commercial unit. We hope to have the first GL Gem Raman spectrometers for sale by mid-February 2012.

Please note that the export of a Raman spectrometer to certain countries may require an official safety certificate; please contact us for more information.


The GL Gem Raman quickly can tell the difference between diamond, cubic zirconia and zircon, distinguish jadeite from nephrite, separate real from faux pearls, tell whether it is ivory or plastic. There is great potential for detecting treatments and colour enhancements in gemstones; it will help in the determination of the nature and colour origin of diamonds and other gemstones.

More inforation about the GL Gem RamanTM spectrometer system here.

New Version for GLGemSpec Program

We just finalized and tested version 2.5 of the GLGemSpec software. All GLGemSpec users should have received their update package by now. Please visit the GL GemSpec Support area for more information.

The update version includes a normalization feature; the spectrograph can be saved and used as a reference in the GLGemSpec data-base for other users to compare.

GEM 350 GLGem Spec Update Workshop

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

  • Using PowerPoint presentations the development and use of modern spectrometers is introduced.
  • The actual use of an Ocean Optics USB 4000 spectrometer and the GL Gem Spectrometer is demonstrated and compared.
  • Practical testing of a number of interesting gem materials will be conducted by the participants under supervision of the workshop facilitator.
  • Introduction of the GL Raman Spectrometer released in February 2012.

Participants are encouraged to bring their own gem materials for testing. To register on-line go here.

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

Time: Tue, May 22, 2012 from 6 – 9 p.m. (3.0 hours)

Location: Richmond, B.C., Canada

Limited to 5 participants

Fee: $ 295 (free for current GLGemSpec users)

Participants who purchased the GL Gem Spectrometer system and future purchasers (within one month) will receive a voucher in the amount of $ 295 which can be applied towards upgrade and calibration services, book and instrument purchases in the Gemlab store.

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.


Wolf Kuehn, B.A., M.A., Dipl.oec, F.G.A., F.G.G. – Director of Education

© 2012 Canadian Institute of Gemmology, Vancouver, Canada –

Canadian Institute of Gemmology