GL Newsletter June 2012

From the Editor

I attended a very informative Geo-Raman conference in Nancy, France and learnt about the most advanced research from many young and aspiring scientists. We are looking forward to attending the XIth meeting which will be held in St. Louis, MO, USA in 2014.

We are now preparing for the GIT 2012 conference in Bangkok, Thailand (December 12 – 13) with a paper on the use of the GL Gem Raman in gemstone identification.

On a negative note – on several occasions I have been contacted by a group “of respected gemologists and dealers ….. ” with malicious and damaging allegations. In general I do not react to this type of  “anonymous crap” supposedly representing this industry.

I wish everyone a pleasant summer (or winter if you live in the wrong place!).

Brief Report from the Geo-Raman Xth Meeting

The Geo-Raman Xth Meeting was held in Nancy from June 11-13; over 50 presentations and close to 100 poster sessions were attended by more than 130 participants from around the world. The conference covered Raman spectroscopy applied to Earth Sciences and demonstrated the rapid developement of this technology in numerous applications; see program (PDF).

From 3D Raman units with imaging systems costing $100k+ to proposals of UV gated Raman spectrometers  reducing luminescense by a factor of 100 (which caught many participants by surprise). The instrument shows the typical Raman diamond feature only for type IIa; it would be a valuable instrument for CVD detection. However, the parts needed to be UV capable and a 244nm pulsed laser still costs $ 20,000.

Another interesting study about mesocrystal poymorphism in nacre demonstrated the potential of Raman spectroscopy; see preparatory studies “Nano-Composite Structure of Nacre Biocrystal” (PDF) and “Voronoi Growth Model of Sheet Nacre ” (PDF). The authors believe that AFM and Raman spectroscopy is ideally suited for studying mesocrystals and their polymorphic growth.

Raman spectroscopy can be used for provenance studies of heavy-minerals. The study has been extended to Feldspars and may expand Joel Arem´s observations on plagioclase feldspars (PDF). We will make the poster containing numerous Raman graphs of Labradorite found in the Himalaya–Tibet orogenic belt available in the next GL Newsletter.

Very interesting research is being conducted by the German Research Centre using a hydrothermal diamond-anvil cell resulting in growth of jadeite, albite, paragonite in an assemblage silicate glass and aqueous fluid heated to 600 degree Celsius.

Gemlab Research & Technology submitted an abstract and a poster “The GL Gem Raman- a powerful tool in gem and mineral identification” (950KB,PDF). The unit was demonstrated to interested parties and well received.

A selection of papers presented at the GeoRamanX Conference will be published as a thematic issue of the European Journal of Mineralogy (EJM). In the meantime several gemmology related studies were presented during the 6th International Congress on the Application of Raman Spectroscopy in Art and Archaeology (RAA 2011) in Parma, Italy; download the Abstracts (PDF) here.

Raman spectroscopy is an ideal technology for gems and mineral identification. The GL Gem Raman quickly can tell the difference between diamond, cubic zirconia, glass and zircon, distinguish jadeite from nephrite, separate real from faux pearls, tell whether it is ivory or plastic; it works great on beads, carvings and gem materials set in jewellery. For more info go to the product page.

Update for GL Gem Raman Software

Version 1.3 of the GLGemRaman software has now a base-line correction feature. Based on a similar algorithm as used in the CrystalSleuth software the raw GLGemRaman spectrum can be “forced down” making it easier to compare with reference spectra in the data-base; the corrected Raman spectrum will be saved both as a complete .fak file and can be directly imported into Spekwin32 for further editing and as a .rruff file for quick search in the RRUFF database.

GL Professional Refractometer available again soon

Our new professional refractometer sold out quickly. We will have new supply by mid-July.From GL Newsletter April 2012: Very impressive is the performance of the new and redesigned GL Professional Refractometer (on-line price $ 369.95); it comes in a white plastic casing and was actually properly calibrated.

The refractometer has a high hardness CZ (cubic zirconia) hemicylinder and a built in LED-based yellow light source that is powered by either two AA batteries or a small 110-240V power supply with 3VDC output.

Anonymous “Andesine Perpetrators” resort to cyber-bullying

Since the conclusion of the “Art Garabedian/DSN vc Robert James Andesine case ” (Court document, PDF) I have been approached several times by an anonymous group “of respected gemologists and dealers on three continents dedicated to gemological integrity and full disclosure of all treatments” with malicious allegations about our school, our products and questioning my personal integrity. I believe I know who these people are and I think it is time to distance one-self from these unprofessional members of the gemmological community. I also reserve the right to take legal steps to stop this personal bullying and libel.

As a member of the World Gem Society I agree fully with the response of Robert James (can be read here); also his article on Wikipedia & Internet Cyber Bullies (PDF).


© 2012 Gemlab Research & Technology, Vancouver, Canada