CIGem News Winter 2014

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

From the Editor:

Mt. Fitz Roy, Patagonia

Mt. Fitz Roy, Patagonia

After a busy fall season the year 2014 is coming to a close. With several talks and workshops in Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro my Brazil trip ended with an exciting excursion to the Ametista de Sul mining are. I also had the opportunity to visit one of the destinations  on my wish list: Patagonia, Argentine with 2 days of trekking in the Monte Fitz Roy (3,405 m) range .

I am writing this while still in Thailand after attending GIT2014 Conference in Chiang Mai and “recovering” from the post-conference journey to sapphire mines and a trip to the Golden Triangle bordering Burma and Laos.

On January 17, 2015 I will be at the FEEG Symposium in Brussels with a presentation; next is Tucson for the annual AGTA GemFair from February 3 – 8. Early in the summer planned is the first Mediterranean Gem Conference in Athens, June 17 and 18.

I wish you all a Healthy and Happy New Year 2015. 

Brazil Tour 2015

During my annual visit to South America I  could meet many old friends;  all the Raman units installed In Brazil last year have been performing well. The itinerary included Sao Paulo, October 29 at IBGM, Porto Alegre, November 4 – 5 at Instituto de Geociências – UFRGS followed by a field trip and Rio de Janeiro, November 10 – 12 at CETEM.

Amethyst Geode

Amethyst Geode

Amethyst Shop, Ametista Brazil

Amethyst Shop

Ametista Church

Church in Ametista do SUl

Wein Keller

Wine cellar in Ametista mine

IBGM SaoPaulo

Spectrometer presentation at IBGM, Sao Paulo

Cetem Workshop

Workshop at CETEM, Rio de Janeiro

Ametista do Sul, Brazil 

After completion of the 3-day seminar at the Departamento de Mineralogia e Petrologia do Instituto de Geociências da UFRGS in Porto Alegre  a small group went on a 3-day field trip to the amethyst mines and other gem and mineral localities in Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.
I want to thank Prof. Dr. Pedro Juchem  for the invitation to participate in this amazing tour. We also visited the Ametista Parque; for your information please download field trip guide (PDF).

GIT 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand

The conference was well organized and a great success with many attendees visiting the GL R&T booth where the new GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405 was on display; download our poster “Raman and Photoluminescence Spectroscopy in Mineral Identification (PDF, 856 KB)”

You can also download the Proceedings with all abstracts from here (PDF). Following are a few images from the Facebook page of The Gem and Jewelry Institute of Thailand.

Elephant Conservation

Thai Elephant Conservation Center (TECC)

Sapphire Mine

Phrae Sapphire Mines – Sukhothai

Northern Thailand Dance

Dinner Party at Phrae Governor’s House

As always both the pre- and after-conference excursions were lots of fun and interesting. We are already looking forward to participating in GIT 2016.

FEEG Symposium Brussels, Belgium, January 17


FEEG Conference

The Societe Belge de Gemmologie of Brussels (SBG) has the pleasure to invite you to the 17th FEEG Symposium in Brussels (Belgium) that will be held on the 17th of January 2015 in the “Royal Windsor Hotel”. For more information go to the FEEG Symposium website.

My presentation will demonstrate the the usefulness of Raman and introduce low cost photoluminescence (PL) spectrometry for gemmologists using blue (405 nm) laser excitation. 

Gemlab Research & Technology has sponsored the event and will have a demonstration table for the GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC system.

Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference June 27/28

The National Association of Jewelry Appraisers (NAJA) has posted a first announcement of this important conference on their Facebook page. You can download the tentative program from here (PDF). For further information and registration go to the GemConference website.

News from Gemlab Research & Technology

GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405 available now.

GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405

GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405

Introduced during the 4th International Gem and Jewelry Conference (GIT2014)  the GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405 is a dual purpose spectrometer for photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy.

It can be used for VIS-NIR spectroscopy (550 – 1,000 nm) as well as the GL Halogen Gem Holder is included.

The new spectrometer has a higher resolution than our regular unit, a Long Wave Pass Filter (LWPF) and is optimized for the NIR range.

GL Analyzer PL405 Kit

PL 405 Kit

GL Analyzer Kit PL405

Now available  – for those who do not want to assemble a similar kit on their own – a complete package which includes proper laser safety goggles. 

The GL Analyzer PL405 kit converts the GL Gem Spectrometer into a “poor man’s version” of a PL spectrometer as found in the GL Gem Raman PL532 system .

The results for obtaining luminescence spectra from ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, alexandrite, etc. are very good. It has great potential for diamond characterization; work with a liquid nitrogen (LN) attachment has been started.

Upgrade for Spectrometer

Upgrade Kit

GL Gem Spectrometer Upgrade Kit

All 2014 and newer models of the GL Gem Halogen Light holder mounted onto the spectrometer come with a thicker base plate which allows easier positioning of the sample on the Teflon disk (it cannot not slip off ). This upgrade kit may be of interest to purchasers of the GL Gem Spectrometer prior to 2014.

The upgrade kit with all necessary parts is available for $ 40 (includes shipping anywhere in the world).


After air travel or strong temperature changes I noticed that the  GL Gem Spectrometer may become slightly out of calibration. Though not a critical problem users should check the accuracy of their instrument with the supplied synthetic ruby. A service program can be downloaded from the GLGemSpec user section to re-calibrate the instrument quickly and safely.

GL Gem Raman PL532 Laser Options

We decided to offer a 200 mW and 300 mW laser option for the GL Gem Raman system. We found that some users did not take the warning seriously to use care when dealing with amber and pearls. We recommend the 200 mW option for appraisal work and gem labs and the 300 mW laser for testing minerals and samples with rough surfaces.

GLBPF (filter) Upgrade


GL Band Pass Filter for Raman

As a reminder the GL Gem Raman Band Pass Filter (GLBPF) for suppression of fluorescence in Raman mode is now available as a kit.

It consists of a holder with a dielectric filter which is inserted into the GL Gem Raman case when needed.

This simple solution allows the upgrade of all GL Gem Raman units previously sold for a reasonable price (dielectric filters are not inexpensive!). 

GL Gem Raman users should note that the TEC option is beneficial only for exposure times over 1,000 ms; for regular work with gemstones it does not need to be turned on.

Raman Spectrometer Setup and Tutorial

We are providing this  important service package for purchasers of the GL Gem Raman PL532 system who may need assistance in setting up and operating the Raman spectrometer.

The cost of this service is based on average travelling expenses including airfare, accommodation and a reasonable amount of remuneration for the tutor/instructor.

The total cost will include a six (6) hour presentation/tutorial which can be attended by up to 5 persons; additional time can be added at $ 125 hourly rate. This package could be of interest to conference organizers as well.

Please contact us for an estimate. This service is also available to previous buyers of the GL Gem Raman and GL Gem Spectrometer.

For Europe, South America and Far Eastern countries the total price will be around US$ 2,000; for North America US$ 1,000 (assuming fuel prices remain low).

AGTA GemFair Tucson 2015


AGTA Tucson 2015


It is not too late to plan for the Tucson gem shows; please drop by at the C.I.G. booth #31 at the Galleria Level of the AGTA Gemfair in Tucson, February 3 – 8, 2015.

I will be present at the booth every day from 9:00 a.m. until 5:30 p.m.

To register follow this link.