GL Newsletter July 2015

Man-made diamonds are fascinating objects. There are probably more scientists involved in diamond research than for all other gemstones combined. The Athens gem conference had several diamond growers in attendance and the latest information about methods to screen and detect synthetic diamonds were shared.

I received encouraging responses from several FGAs about my concerns over the misuse of the FGA designation by non-diploma holders (as expressed in the CIGem News  Summer 2015 newsletter). We will obtain clarification about the proper use of the F.G.A. (Hon) designation after the new Council is in place.

Again I urge all Gem-A members to cast their vote in the upcoming election for Trustees. The choice is between a trade association headed by  “Seven Disgruntled Members”  or candidates who have and will support the high educational standards Gem-A has been known for decades and are able to run a modern UK professional association.

Wolf Kuehn, F.G.A. (diploma holder since 1985), F.G.G.

Upcoming events: Vancouver Gem & Mineral Show, Aug 14 -16 and GEM 250 Advanced Gem Identification, Nov, 14 – 17 (more info below)

How to quickly identify CVD grown diamonds

During the Athens gem conference Dr. Joe Yuan from  Taidiam Technology  described the growth and detection methods of the most recent synthetic diamond products. I tested a Taidiam CVD grown diamond in my lab with the GL Gem Spectrometer, GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC using liquid nitrogen (LN) immersion and a binocular microscope with polarizing accessory.

I found that the SiV– optical center at 737 nm as commonly seen in CVD grown synthetic diamonds appears to be unstable. Taidiam, IIa company and Apollo/SCIO may show 737 nm line (including very few natural diamonds), Element 6, Washington and Taidiam (after my own experiment by immersing it in Liquid Nitrogen as described below) have NO 737 nm peak. Dr. Yuan confirms my findings by explaining that CVD growth is dependent on conditions of quartz bell or plate, quantity of doped Si and its detection by the type and precision of spectrometer used; even the same product may give different results.

Cape Diamond

CVD grown diamonds, however, can be quickly identified with a hand spectroscope or preferably with the GL Gem Spectrometer in order to detect any “Cape lines”.

If not present inspect the diamond under a microscope with crossed polarizers and look for abnormal birefringence and/or coarse parallel or crossed column lines indicating CVD.

According to Dr. Yuan “this approach is  100%” and I believe him. Please download more instructions here (PDF).

Usefulness of Liquid Nitrogen in Spectroscopy

For several days I have been testing diamond and gemstone samples immersed in LN (liquid nitrogen) to determine whether there are any benefits for users of the GL Gem Spectrometer and the GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC. The answer is: not really.

LN setup

Low-cost LN setup for use with spectrometers.

Always follow instructions about proper use of liquid nitrogen. 

A common problem is the icing up of the used low-cost glass device causing signal loss. There is no easy solution unless someone is willing to spend a larger amount of money for a dedicated LN accessory. For that reason I believe that increasing exposure times and controlling background noise is a better alternative; TEC for the Raman spectrometer makes sense when exposure rates are higher than 1,000 ms. LN will reveal stronger PL and additional peaks not seen at room temperature and narrows spectral width which can be seen only with scientific quality spectrometers.

The following show results obtained from a Taidiam CVD grown diamond before at room temperature/during and after LN immersion.

GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC

GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC (in real time)

GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC (in real time)

GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC (in real time)

The Future of Man-Made Diamonds

During the round-table discussion there were opposing views whether synthetic diamonds have a future in jewellery stores; looking back 25 years many of the diamond producers have been unsuccessful. Now with production costs coming down considerably it will be possible to produce a diamond at 1/3 price or less than its natural counterpart.  The question remains whether a young couple will accept a lab grown diamond in their engagement ring instead of the traditional solitaire. The growers are investing heavily in presses and cutting equipment; but without an effective marketing campaign to attract more jewellery buyers I am somewhat pessimistic. However, we must educate ourselves to identify these new materials for the obvious reason!

I  had a chance to briefly test the largest HPHT grown and cut 10.02-carat, E, VS1, type IIa, square, emerald-cut  stone produced by New Diamond Technology LLC  of St. Petersburg, Russia. It is certainly a spectacular piece and displayed some orange fluorescence both under the UV lamp and a strong LED light which could be an identifying feature.

Vancouver Gem & Mineral Show, August 14 – 16

Vancouver Gem Show Visit us a the C.I.G. (Canadian Institute of Gemmology) booth; books and small gem testing instruments will be on sale.

First annual Vancouver Gem and Mineral Show

Please bring interesting gems and minerals (2 per visitor) and have them identified with our GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC while you wait and watch.

Location: Kitsilano Rink
2690 Larch St, Vancouver, BC V6K 4K9

Friday, August 14th 2015, 12:00-8pm
Saturday, August 15th 2015, 10am-6pm
Sunday, August 16th 2015, 10am-5p
Adults: $7, Seniors/Students: $5, Children 12 and under free (with adults)

In this advanced 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. Max 5 participants.

  • Fee: $ 995 includes comprehensive study guide and materials (copy of Gemstone Inclusion Library), use of lab equipment and study stones. Recommended text-book: Gemology by Peter Read. Download course flyer (PDF).
  • GEM 250 – 3: Mon – Thu, November 9 – 12, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. RESERVED
  • GEM 250 – 4: Sat – Tue, November 14 – 17, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. SPACE AVAILABLE
  • Location: Sandman Signature Hotel – Vancouver Airport, Richmond B.C. (special room rate).  Please register by October 15.
  • To keep costs down no lunch or beverage services are offered, lunch break 12:30 – 1:30 p.m
  • Prerequisites: A.G. (C.I.G.) diploma or equivalent (please contact us)

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, synthetic CVD and HPHT grown and treated diamonds and many others. Gem enhancement techniques such as polymer impregnation (jadeite), heat-alteration, surface colour diffusion, irradiation, HPHT and glass filling are studied.

Hands-on exercises with our portable in-house developed GL Gem Spectrometer and GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC system. Practicing gemmologists may use this lab class to up-grade their skills.

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

GEM 270 GL Gem Spectrometer and Raman Workshop

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

Using PowerPoint presentations the development and use of advanced spectrometers is introduced.
Learning step-by-step testing method for the GL Gem Spectrometer and use of the GLGemRaman software and searchable database.

Practical testing of a number of interesting gem materials by the participants under supervision of the workshop facilitator; most up-to-date information on synthetic diamonds including CVD, HPHT and irradiation treatments and their detection.
Prerequisite: previous practical experience with spectroscope/spectrometer and good understanding of advanced spectroscopy.

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

GEM 270-3 Friday, Nov 13 from 9:00 – 1:00 p.m. (4 hours); limited to 3 participants.

GEM 270-4 Friday, Nov 13 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. (4 hours); limited to 3 participants. RESERVED

Sandman Signature Hotel – Vancouver Airport, Richmond B.C. (special room rate). Please register by October 15.

Fee: $ 295 (free for purchasers of the GL Gem Spectrometer or Raman PL532 TEC*); to keep costs down no lunch or beverage services are offered.

Please wait with travel arrangements until final confirmation.

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

*Participants who  will purchase the GL Gem Spectrometer or GL Gem Raman system within one month will receive a $ 295 refund/discount.

_________

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

© 2015 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 Summer 2015

ISSN 0846-3611 GEMMOLOGY CANADA – Wolf Kuehn, F.G.G., F.G.A.(diploma holder since 1985), Editor

From the Editor:

The summer is in full swing with record high temperatures; I wish everyone a relaxing holiday season.

The 1st Mediterranean Gem and Jewellery Conference in Athens was a great success with several diamond manufacturers in attendance. I will report about interesting contributions in the next Gemlab Newsletter.

Of great concern to me is an ongoing campaign by a Facebook group  attacking the current administration of Gem-A; the matter is now out in the public and should be further investigated (see below). For the upcoming AGM on July 29 I urge all FGAs with voting rights to elect Trustees who will serve the Association in a competent and professional manner.

Please mark August 14 – 16 for the Vancouver Gem & Mineral Show; the Canadian Institute of Gemmology and Gemlab Research & Technology will exhibit there and offer gem identification services demonstrating our newest GL Gem Spectrometer,  GL Analyzer PL405 Kit and the GL Gem Raman PL532 .

Gem-A Annual General Meeting, July 29

For some time developments at Gem-A have given rise to concern; more recently a Facebook group has started publicly slandering existing Gem-A board members with the intent to bring the whole board of trustees down and replace it with their own nominees. [Editor: many posts at the offensive ‘Friends of Gem-A’ Facebook page have been selectively removed; however, carefully evaluate the posters who are either nominees or have endorsed them]

I am asking all F.G.A.s to make their voices heard and vote in the upcoming AGM; members in good standing should soon be receiving a list with nominees and instructions of how to vote by proxy. Please check and question the backgrounds, agendas, competence in UK association law and potential conflict of interest (Gem-A is the sole UK agent for “nominee’s” company, etc.) of those named for election by the above Facebook group: Ronnie Bauer, Alberto Scarani, Guy Clutterbuck, Michael Hoare, John Bradshaw, Kathryn Bonanno and Greg Valerio. Do not believe anything on mere hearsay!

On another matter: For some time Gem-A has started to bestow Honorary Fellowships to members of the trade who made major contributions to gemmology. Unfortunately a number of individuals awarded with the F.G.A. (Hon.) designation do not display this fact with their credentials; I consider this practice unprofessional and damaging to the standing and reputation of all FGA diploma holders who have EARNED this prestigious membership designation. In the past candidates had to pass rigorous and challenging examinations before being admitted into the Association as a Fellow.

Further Information about iPetition

I agree fully with Dr. Jack Ogden, previous CEO of Gem-A  in his response to allegations by the above Facebook group (Note: it was first published for Gem-A members on Gem-Talk but has since been released to the public by Sara Abey):

Dear all,

Like most of you I await details of the AGM (soon please) and hope to hear what has really been happening, as much as any legal processes allow.

Also like many of you I despair at the appalling way this whole campaign in support of the CEO has been managed. It seems to have started with the iPetition and gone downhill since then. The Petition itself was so poorly thought-out that it seems extraordinary that it swept up so many in its wake.

Let’s start with the iPetition, with comments

  • Postponement of the AGM without explanation or an alternative date

If there is any aspect of the finances that the Board considers prevents them from ‘signing off’ the Annual Accounts, the AGM has to be postponed. Straightforward. Happened a few years ago with no outcry.

  • All staff members instructed to have no contact with the CEO, without explanation.

If there is a potential disciplinary action in the offing, this is hardly surprising.

  • Withdrawal of Corporate Social Responsibility programme from recent prospectus and website, without explanation (note CSR/ ethics and sustainability are core to the Charity’s Aims and Objectives …. )

If the Board considers that a CSR programme is not appropriate, then this is one way of dealing with it. Maybe a bit unusual? Obviously one has to ask whether the CEO had not stopped it sooner despite requests from the Board to do so? The Petition shouldn’t have quoted that Charity Commission stuff – I wrote it and the intent was simply to say the Gem-A had to retain a watching brief on what was happening in the whole ethical field. I never considered it right for a Gemmological education body to provide courses in the area. Perhaps better questions from Members are whether Greg Valerio was being paid by Gem-A to be involved in this (if so I’d understand him being peeved) and why the CEO hasn’t completed the required Charity Return forms for 2011, 2012 and 2013 (the requirement was scrapped in 2014). Transparency please.

  • Alleged resignation of the Chairman, without formal announcement or explanation

The Chairman is and has always been appointed by the Board at a ballot at a Board meeting. The Members have no say. In theory the Board could appoint a different Chair for every meeting. Chairs come and go (for various reasons) and in the past no communication was issued unless some thanks were later expressed in Gems and Jewellery magazine.

  • Board has been non-responsive to formal enquiries and concerns, resulting in a lack of transparency and communication

Can’t comment on this, but if at heart there is some potential disciplinary action (or investigation to see if one was needed) discretion is unavoidable.

  • Lack of treasurer in recent months

Really? A ‘Treasurer’ in an organisation with a CEO and elected Board is viewed as a vestigial organ – totally unnecessary. There never was one my time as CEO (9 years) and if they did appoint one, I imagine a CEO would be deeply insulted. There is an Audit Committee which includes at least one Board member and the independent Auditors for the Annual Accounts.

  • Refusal by the Board to sign Conflict of Interest forms

All of the Board? This is a bit of a side-show anyway, conflict of interest forms are seemingly not a necessity, even just having a Conflicts of Interest policy is optional (according to the Charity Commission). The provisions in the Gem-A Memorandum and Articles of Association and Charity regulations regarding Board Members’ conflicts of interest are sufficiently robust to make individual forms redundant. This is not one-sided, the Charity Commission recommends similar Conflict of Interest considerations for the CEO of an organisation such as Gem-A.

  • Staff have repeatedly asked for decisions to be explained and evidenced in writing and have been repeatedly ignored. Board have dictated action without due explanation.

Doesn’t sound great… But maybe we should hear the staff’s point of view in due course (in the spirit of transparency again). In the absence of a CEO in an organisation like Gem-A it is traditional for the Chairman to take over.

  • Coercion of staff members

Ditto – but I remind staff that ‘whistle-blowing’ is protected under UK employment law. I assume the Petition implies coercion by the Board, not by the CEO?

  • The dismissal of the Human Resources manager. The replacement (brought in by the Board) has not been properly introduced to all staff.

Gem-A’s Board started outsourcing HR to a specialist consultancy company many years ago who allocated a guy to it. Of necessity this person develops a very close working relationship, even friendship, with the CEOs since there are many sensitive issues they have to handle together. If and when a problem between Board and CEO arises, a change of HR person is essential if the process is to be seen as unbiased and transparent. Introducing a consultant to all the staff may be a nicety, but with the apparently serious stuff going on neglecting this is hardly a major crime.

So, in all, a bit of a non-starter…

I must admit that I initially assumed that the CEO was behind this ‘revolt’, trying to get friends onto the Board to change the balance of power to best ensure he can remain in place, but the seeming lack of familiarity with Gem-A’s working, Charity requirements and Company law suggest not. If he had, I could understand him wanting support, but it is such a shame that it has all degenerated into an unethical, mud-slinging, ill-informed campaign being played out in public.

One other point, having non-UK Board members for a UK charity is not contrary to Charity Commission guidelines, but they have to be in a minority. Having a handful of non-UK board members is a good idea – it has been raised in the past – but it would be a new thing for Gem-A and raises issues that should have been formally settled in advance. For example, Gem-A pays Board members’ travel expenses to meetings and if we pay one to come from Edinburgh why not Hong Kong? Current individuals may well waive claiming such costs, but procedures need to be properly agreed by Members and documented for the future. Before (or concurrent) with nominating non-UK Board members, the nominators or the CEO might have usefully proposed relevant new clauses for the Gem-A Governing documents so Members understand the ramifications of non-UK Boards members and any potential for future complications reduced. One such clause would be to cover what happens if elections (or Board resignations) result in non-UK Board members no longer being in the minority.

I’m not arguing for one side or the other here, I’d hate to be in James’s position, but I do urge Members and new nominees to the Board not to be caught up in a band-wagon revolt against the present Board that if not intelligently handled could derail Gem-A for a generation.

I’m reminded of Monty Python’s ‘Life of Brian’ where the Popular Liberation Front of Judea demanded nothing less than the complete dismantlement of the Roman Empire.

Dr Jack Ogden FSA

Gem Forum Friday, Nov. 13, 2015
The fall meeting of members of the “Gem Connoisseur Club”, students and friends of the Canadian Institute of Gemmology; all Accredited Gemmologists (C.I.G.) and former C.I.G. students are welcome.  Program TBA soon.

Advanced Gem Identification (GEM 250)

The following course is an up-date course  for A.G. (C.I.G.) diploma holders and graduates of other schools and institutes; it is recommended as an introduction to the use of advanced gem testing equipment.

In this advanced 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.

  • Fee: $ 995 includes comprehensive study guide, Gemstone Inclusion Library, use of lab equipment and study stones. Recommended optional study materials: Gemology by Peter Read, Handbook of Gemmology 2015 (3rd edition)
  • Date: Sat – Tue, November 14 – 17, 2015, 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
  • Location: Sandman Signature Hotel – Vancouver Airport, Richmond B.C. (special room rate). Please register by October 15, 2015
  • Prerequisites: A.G. (C.I.G.) diploma or equivalent (please contact us)

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, synthetic CVD and HPHT grown and treated 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 portable in-house developed GL Gem Spectrometer and GL Gem Raman system. Practicing gemmologists may use this lab class to up-grade their skills.

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

CIGem News Spring 2015

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

From the Editor:

Alphof Faschina The New Year 2015 started right away with the 17th FEEG Symposium in Brussels (Belgium); it was held  in the “Royal Windsor Hotel” on the 17th of January .I had the pleasure to talk to many European colleagues some of whom I met again in Tucson, Arizona  two weeks later.

 

After the conference I spent a week skiing near St. Anton am Arlberg  in Austria where the Haute-Volée (High Society) spends their winter holidays; less than 70 km away in Faschina-Fontanella I had the lifts to myself and spend less than US$ 80 per night (breakfast and dinner included) at the Hotel Alphof  which I can highly recommend.

The  AGTA Gemfair in Tucson, February 3 – 8 was better attended than in past years; however, the high value of the US$ limited the buying power of foreign visitors. We had many old friends from around the world drop by the C.I.G. booth and have a look at the new GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405 unit.

BC Gem Show, Abbotsford BC, April 10, 11 & 12, 2015

BC Gem Show 2015 Many Club Displays, Demonstrations, Grab Bags, Children’s Creative Workshop, Gold Panning & Door Prizes.

  • Friday: 10:00am – 8:00pm
  • Saturday: 10:00am – 6:00pm
  • Sunday: 10:00am – 5:00pm

 

The  GL Gem Raman PL532 will be demonstrated; like last year we will test gems and minerals during the show (2 items per visitor) with our advanced spectrometer equipment (only oral opinions will be given). We also have books, basic gem testing equipment, study stones and some used items, etc. for sale.

A new Vancouver Gem & Mineral Show is scheduled for later in the summer (August 14 – 16) which we will also attend.

Photoatlas of Gemstone Spectra for Gemology Students

Photo Atlas Spectra This new book with gemstone spectra has been published by Richard D. Armstrong, RGA, GG, GP.Please read a review by the The Practical Gemologist blog; we highly recommend this valuable reference book.

Mark your calendar for these upcoming gem conference

Mediterranean Gemmological and Jewellery Conference

Athens Athens, Greece, June 27th and 28th, 2015Take in a conference of incomparable atmosphere and learn from some of the world’s top independent lab gemmologists, appraisers and gem experts who are highly trained and equipped with the best tools for testing, grading and appraising.

We are getting ready for this exciting meeting; the GemConference website with registration page is now up. More details to follow soon.

News from Gemlab Research & Technology

GL Gem Spectrometer™ – 2015 edition

Detection of polymer treated jadeite
Ruby

Comparison of various rubies

Pink Diamond

Pink Diamond, HPHT treated, irradiated (405 nm laser excitation, room temperature)

Many GL Gem Spectrometer users have been asking whether their instrument could be used with UV LEDs or inexpensive laser pens. Using UV excitation sources not only requires solarization-resistant fibers and  protective eye glasses (also important for lasers) but could cause diffraction problems in the spectrometer. Former spectrometer users (up to model 2014) can purchase the  GL Analyzer PL405 Kit  which includes a filter to eliminate some of these effects caused by the blue laser (405nm).

We have now installed a diffraction order sorting filter for elimination of second order effects; this will work with SW and LW UV light sources and lasers. For the 2015 models we offer a GL Analyzer PL 405/GL Xenon Flashlight combo for the same prize (Long Wave Pass Filter not included as it is not necessary in the new model).

GL Analyzer PL405 Kit again in stock

PL 405 Kit Now available  – for GL Gem Spectrometer (up to model 2014) owners 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 GL Gem Spectrometer in PL mode can be used to identify gems and minerals by their chromophores; there is also great potential for diamond characterization. It will detect the GR1 center for irradiated diamonds, the Si center often seen in CVD grown diamonds (in some cases without LN cooling) and polymer treatment in jadeite.

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 tutorial which can be attended by up to 5 persons; additional time can be added at $ 75 hourly rate.

Please contact us for an estimate or if you want to incorporate this workshop into your conference program, meeting, etc. 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).

Gem Forum Friday, Nov. 13/14, 2015
The fall meeting of members of the “Gem Connoisseur Club”, students and friends of the Canadian Institute of Gemmology; all Accredited Gemmologists (C.I.G.) and former C.I.G. students are welcome.

There will be several workshops available. Program T.B.A. soon.


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

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).

Calibration

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

GLBPF

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

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.

CIGem News Fall 2014

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

From the Editor:

As last year I spent 10 days mountaineering in the Dolomites mountains in South Tyrol, Italy. The weather was not the best with daily thunderstorms as Europe had probably one of the worst summers. This time I was interested in the area around the Falzarego Pass (Passo di Falzarego) which was the object of heavy combat in World War I. I hiked a trail secured with steel ropes and bridges up to the summit of the  Lagazuoi (2762 m) and could only imagine the terrible sacrifices the parties involved made. The tunnel that the Italians built under the Austrian lines is open to the public.

Dolomites

Dolomites, South Tyrol

Trail

Trail to Lagazuoi (2762 m)

Nuvolau

Refugio Nuvolau (2575 m)

Exhibitor at the 2014 GSA Meeting in Vancouver, B.C. (19–22 October 2014)

GSA 2014 I would like to invite you to the GSA2014 meeting (October 19 – 22) in Vancouver, B.C. which will attract over 7,000 geoscientists from around the world.

Please download and print out your VIP pass which will allow a one time entrance into the exhibit hall.

The Canadian Institute of Gemmology (C.I.G.) and Gemlab Research & Technology (GLR&T) will be exhibiting at booth #552 (next to Networking Lounge) at the Vancouver Convention Centre, 1055 Canada Place during the Geological Society of America annual meeting (GSA 2014).

“Discover new science in the 247 topical sessions, trips, courses, and events. GSA is where geoscience professionals come to get engaged, get educated, get inspired, and enjoy each moment.”

There are many gemmology related events on Monday, October 20.

GL Analyzer PL405 Kit

On the facebook page for the GL Gem Spectrometer we introduced – 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 . The results for obtaining luminescence spectra from ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, alexandrite, etc. are very good.

The GL Gem Spectrometer in PL mode can be used to identify gems and minerals by their chromophores; there is also great potential for diamond characterization. It will detect polymer treatment in jadeite (see below).

Detection of polymer treated jadeite with the GL Gem Spectrometer

The GL Gem Spectrometer™ is very efficient in detecting whether green jadeite has been treated or not.

Jadeite Polymer Treated Jadeite Untreated

With a blue laser (405 nm) excitation source (GL Analyzer PL405 Kit recommended) a strong luminescence band appears in the green wavelength range of polymer treated jadeite which is absent in untreated green jadeite.

You can use your own blue laser pointer (use safety goggles!) to test your green jadeite samples; detailed instructions are in the user section.

Download jadeite info sheet (PDF, 540KB).

For your own protection always use laser safety goggles when operating any type of laser equipment.

Workshops in Brazil

I have planned several workshops and presentations both about advanced spectroscopy and visits to gem mining areas in Colombia, Australia and Myanmar/Thailand/Cambodia in Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; if you want to participate please contact me or the institutions.

Sao Paulo, October 29 at IBGM

Porto Alegre, November 4 – 5 at Instituto de Geociências – UFRGS followed by a field trip to mines near Soledade.

Rio de Janeiro, November 10 – 12 at CETEM

Gemlab R&T Official Sponsor of GIT 2014, Chiang Mai, Thailand

We have submitted an extended abstract for a poster session, download  “Raman and Photoluminescence Spectroscopy in Gem Identification” (PDF), 358 kB

GIT2014 Official Sponsor 4th International Gem and Jewelry ConferenceChiang Mai, Thailand Dec. 8 – 9, 2014

In our booth will be releasing and demonstrating the new GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405.

GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405 RELEASE SOON

Planned for release during the 4th International Gem and Jewelry Conference (GIT2014)  in Chiang Mai, Thailand Dec. 8 – 9, 2014 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 (the GL Halogen Gem Holder is included).

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

GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405

GL Gem Spectrometer NIR PL405

Red Spinel, Burma

It allows identification of many gemstones such as ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, alexandrite, etc. based on their PL response and also has great potential for diamond characterization. It can be used in addition to the GL Gem Spectrometer or on its own as a dedicated PL and transmission spectrometer as many gem materials have important features in the VIS-NIR  range.

For instance it will identify untreated or treated jadeite (it will not show the PL band for polymer treated jade though due to the built-in LWP filter). Diamond irradiation, copper content in “Paraiba” tourmaline will be visible in the spectrum. First studies indicate that heat treatments such as in red spinel can be determined.

In PL mode it is almost as sensitive as the GL Gem Raman PL532 and can serve as a low-cost PL spectrometer.

We will have a display booth at  GIT2014; more info http://www.git2014.com/index.php

GL Gem Raman PL 532 Demo Unit FOR SALE

We still have a GL Gem Raman PL 532 demo unit (without TEC) for sale. This instrument with its extended range has been upgraded and equipped with the GLBPF (see band-pass filter upgrade) and is ideal for a small laboratory or as a teaching instrument in a college or university.

AGTA GemFair Tucson 2015

AGTA It is time to get ready 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.