BETTER and FASTER: The GL Gem Raman PL 532 TEC™ (100 – 5,440 cm-1) and Photoluminescence Spectrometer (530 – 750 nm) 2016/17 model with new motherboard and “Point & Shoot” software version 3.0 (just released)
The GL Gem Raman™ PL532 (with PL and TEC option) is a dual purpose advanced gem testing system for experienced jewellery appraisers, gem dealers, mineral collectors, researchers in geoscience applications and laboratory personnel; it is also an excellent educational tool. It was introduced in 2012 and is the first and fastest (spectra are seen in real time) Raman and Photoluminescence (PL) spectrometer system offered at an affordable price (under US$ 10,000).
The GL Gem Raman quickly can tell the difference between diamond, cubic zirconia, glass and zircon, distinguish natural from polymer treated jadeite and from nephrite, separate real from faux pearls, tell whether it is ivory or plastic; it works great on beads, carvings, gem materials set in jewellery and rough minerals (no preparation necessary). It is very efficient in detecting treatments such as irradiation, HPHT and other colour enhancements in gemstones; it will help in the determination of the nature of diamonds, gemstones and can identify over 3,500 minerals (rough and polished samples).
The spectra can be saved and imported into a searchable database program with over 3,500 edited references; the database is linked to the large on-line mineralogical RRUFF database for Raman spectra. GL Gem Raman users will also have access to the C.I.G. (Canadian Institute of Gemmology) gem reference library which is being compiled from its large gem study collection. Other reference databases can be consulted on-line.
There are already GL Gem Raman users in over 20 countries including Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, Cyprus, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, The Netherlands, Oman, Singapore, Slovakia, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, UK, USA and Vietnam.
The GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC is being used for scientific research in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews, Scotland and at The Mineral Technology Center (CETEM) – a research institute of the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MCTI) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
|Dank des vollständigen Zubehör-Sets konnten wir sofort starten – das war eine große Erleichterung. Die Inbetriebnahme war ein Kinderspiel und die erzielten Spektren sind aussagekräftig. Nun haben wir schon zahlreiche Messungen gemacht und wir sind sehr zufrieden (!) mit den Ergebnissen. Die Edelstein-Identifizierung ist absolut kein Problem und wird im EPI-Labor sicher eine Standardprozedur für alle Fälle, bei denen auch nur der leiseste Zweifel an der Identität auftritt. Es ist ideal, um winzige Steine in der Fassung zu identifizieren. So wie es aussieht, können wir dank der Unterstützung des GL Gem Raman und der mitgelieferten Datenbanken zukünftig auf aufwändige EDX-Analysen verzichten. Das verkürzt den Arbeitsablauf erheblich.– Bernhard Bruder, Dipl.-Mineraloge, EPI – Institut für Edelsteinprüfung, Ohlsbach, Germany||As all required accessories were included we could start immediately – that was a big relief. Start-up was a breeze and the spectra obtained were convincing. We have already made numerous measurements and we are very satisfied (!) with the results. Gem identification is no problem and in the EPI laboratory it certainly will become a standard procedure for all cases in which even the slightest doubt about the identity exists. It is ideal for tiny stones set in a piece of jewellery. Thanks to the support materials for the GL Gem Raman and the supplied databases we can avoid expensive EDX tests in the future. This will shorten the workflow significantly.– Bernhard Bruder, Dipl.-Mineraloge, EPI – Institut für Edelsteinprüfung, Ohlsbach, Germany|
NEW: 2016/17 model with upgraded motherboard and software (version 3.0), GL Gem Raman Band Pass Filter™ (GLBPF) for suppression of fluorescence in Raman mode; please note that this IS NOT a fluorescence spectrometer.
All 2014 models and later have the PL option installed and come with the new band pass filter (GLBPF); TE cooled 3648 pixel Toshiba TCD1304 linear array is now part of the standard configuration.
The GL Gem Raman PL532 is capable to detect the polymer peak in treated B-Jade; it is also useful in detecting HPHT treatments in natural and synthetic diamonds.
The detection of the SiV– optical center at 737 nm is commonly seen in CVD grown synthetic diamonds but 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 immersion in Liquid Nitrogen) diamonds have NO 737 nm peak.
For proper identification of CVD grown diamonds we recommend the use of a spectroscope or preferably the GL Gem Spectrometer to detect any “Cape lines”. If not present inspect the diamond under microscope with crossed polarizer for abnormal birefringence and/or coarse parallel or crossed column lines indicating CVD; download more instructions here (PDF) and/or Identification of Natural and Synthetic Diamonds (PDF). Also download poster Discovery and Distribution of the [Si-V] Defect (PDF) from 2015 GSA Annual Meeting.
- Download our poster “Raman and Photoluminescence Spectroscopy in Mineral Identification” (PDF, 856 KB)
- Click here to download Promotional Flyer (PDF, 985 KB).
- Download jadeite info sheet (PDF, 540KB).
- For more Raman spectra go here.
Gemlab R&T Development and Support Team
- J Wolf Kuehn, B.A., M.A., PDP (SFU), Dipl.oec, F.G.G. – GLR&T Project Manager, Vancouver, B.C., Canada
- Stanislav O Konorov, Ph.D. (Laser Physics), Research Scientist, Michael Smith Laboratories (UBC), Vancouver, B.C., Canada
- Matthew Stockinger, B.A. (Chemistry, Mathematics), M.S. (Teaching), St. Cloud, MN, USA
- Jean-Marie Dereppe, Ph.D. (Professor Emeritus, Physical Chemistry Department), University of Louvain, Belgium
Specifications of the GL Gem Raman™ PL532 TEC:
- Spectral range: 130 – 5,800 cm-1 Resolution ~ 16 cm-1 FWHM; RRUFF range 145 – 1500 cm-1 switchable
- PL Mode: 530 – 750 nm (broad scan) is included for PL studies (please note that THIS IS NOT a fluorescence spectrometer)
- Signal-to-noise ratio: 500:1, 16 bit A/D resolution; onboard averaging
- For 2016 NEW upgraded spectrometer with TE cooled (TEC) 3648 pixel Toshiba TCD1304 linear array. TEC is recommended for minerals with rough surfaces and experimental studies.
- OneFocus Optical System, Spot size: 10 – 20 micron at 10x magnification – use of dielectric mirrors to increase stability and decrease signal loss; no internal fiber connections
- Sample stage adjustment with micrometer screw gauge horizontally for focusing
- For 2016 IMPROVED LASER: fanless, confocal, 532 nm regulated 300 mW, Class 3B
- Removable GL Gem Raman Band Pass Filter™ (GLBPF) for suppression of fluorescence in Raman mode
- UPDATED Software (version 3.0): real-time (no additional software installation required) with built-in 3 point calibration feature and search engine
- Fully secured system (mechanical “laser safety lock”) with sampling stage (max. 90 x 90 x 50 mm) covered by observation lid – no need for goggles
- Size: 33 x 33 x 7.6 cm (13 x 13 x 3″) Weight: approximately 8 kg (18 lbs) including power supply
- Operational system: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/8/10 and 32/64 bit, fully powered USB compliant port (no additional drivers required)
- Power supply: 110 – 240 Volts (for laser), 12 V DC (adapter included) for TE cooling unit and USB connection to computer.
- Recommended room temperature between 15 and 25 C and relative humidity below 80%.
We have fine-tuned the hardware and software of the GL Gem Raman PL 532; it now is slightly smaller and lighter due to a honeycomb optical breadboard. For the 2013 model and later we have chosen a new sensor which provides a better and more stable Raman signal. The TEC option with GLBPF is now part of the standard configuration.
The GL Gem Raman software does not require additional installations as it is USB based, allows fast real-time spectral acquisition and can be used together with the GL Gem Spectrometer making them a powerful combination for advanced gemstone/mineral identification and research. WE DO NOT BELIEVE IN FULLY AUTOMATED GEM TESTING TOOLS and a certain amount of experience with spectroscopy is recommended; however, the GL Gem Raman PL532 is very easy to operate.
- How to obtain a spectrum with the GL Gem Raman – (video 3 MB, no sound), quick identification of nephrite
- How to match the Raman spectrum in the database – (video 3.2 MB, no sound)
The GL Gem Raman™ PL532 TEC and the GL Gem Raman Band Pass Filter™ (GLBPF) is an exclusive design by Gemlab Research & Technology (a subsidiary of Canadian Institute of Gemmology) and is protected by copyright laws.
The GL Gem Raman is an ideal addition to the GL Gem Spectrometer which has over 200 users world-wide. The operation of the Raman unit is easy to learn; for daily work a quick and automatic calibration feature is built into the software.
- The package comes with a support CD (including video) for proper operation of the GL Gem Raman; a trained gemmologist or mineralogist should be able to follow and execute the step-by-step instructions including the 3 point calibration procedure (built into software version 2.x).
- GLGemRaman operating software and support materials (including videos) on CD and USB stick (for portability) with single user license; for educational purposes an interface is provided to search a dedicated gemstone related database (280 references, no internet connection required) and a mineral related extended database (over 3,500 edited references, including PL spectra linked RRUFF project, no internet connection required). NEW for 2015: customized rapid search database.
- Detailed “How to get started” instructions and access to C.I.G. (Canadian Institute of Gemmology) spectral database of gem study collection. Skype video-conferencing for assistance is also available.
- GL LN (liquid nitrogen) Accessory for experimental diamond luminescence studies (under development)
- The GL Gem Raman system is upgradable and can be integrated into research network solutions via LabView interface.
Testing of samples can be done without safety goggles; however, the user will assume complete liability as to any consequences if the unit is not operated in compliance with instructions provided. In case the unit has been exposed to physical/thermal shock a more comprehensive optimization/calibration procedure should be conducted by a laser technician.
Purchase and Delivery
The GL Gem Raman PL532 TEC is sold as an OEM unit and must be pre-ordered by making a deposit by certified cheque or direct bank transfer of Can$/US$ 5,000 or 4.000 €uros directly into our bank. All wire transfers must follow FINTRAC Guidelines (will be provided in the pro forma invoice) or they will be rejected. Due to fluctuating currency exchange rates and foreign bank transfer charges shipments to destinations outside of Canada a purchase price of US$ 9,995 will be used in the pro forma invoice; for payment in Can$ or €uros the current exchange rate will be applied.
The balance including shipping costs is due prior to delivery. If item is in stock the full amount of the purchase price has to be paid before the pro forma invoice expires; the unit will be shipped within 3 days of receipt of payment. We cannot accept payment by credit card for this item.
We supply documents such as Commercial Invoice, B13A Export Declaration, NAFTA Certificate of Origin (please contact us if further documentation is required); the GL Gem Raman has proper labeling for class 3B laser and safety features which will satisfy FDA or similar requirements.
Note: The GL Gem Raman PL532 contains a Class 3B Laser device; please inquire about restrictions for the import and use of such a device in your country before ordering. We sell the GL Gem Raman as an OEM device; i.e. the buyer assumes responsibility for the import and operation of the Raman unit. Buyers purchasing on-line or by requesting a pro forma invoice accept our Terms and Conditions of Sale (PDF) and will comply with the safety instructions provided.
Our Warranty and Commitment
The GL Gem Raman™ is an advanced gem testing instrument for users who are capable to conduct the calibration procedure as described. A match in the reference data-base is not a 100% guarantee that the sample has been properly identified. The instrument should be used with other testing tools before arriving at a conclusion. If you are not satisfied with the performance of the spectrometer we will accept returns within 21 days but have to charge a restocking fee of 5% to cover our expenses of shipping/handling and recalibration if necessary. The purchaser is also responsible for the shipping and insurance to return the item.
We package the Raman unit very carefully but cannot assume any liability as soon as the unit is out of our hands. If the package shows signs of damage or the GL Gem Raman appears inoperable please contact us and file an insurance claim with the shipper immediately. If it is a serious calibration problem which cannot be fixed by the user we have a procedure in place which should be conducted by an experienced technician; these specialists usually service university and medical laser equipment. The purchaser is responsible to contact this person; presently we have support staff in Germany (for Europe), Canada and the USA.
IMPORTANT: We do not recommend to transport the Raman unit in checked luggage for air travel unless the unit is well protected; as a carry-on item IT MAY NOT BE ALLOWED past most airport security checks due to the class B3 laser in the case.
We will repair and replace your GL Gem Raman if necessary due to defective parts (not as a consequence of physical and/or thermal shock while in a vehicle, boat or an aircraft), etc during the first 12 months (for laser) and 24 months (for other optical components) unless other consumer protection regulations exist in your country. The customer is responsible for shipping and insurance to Vancouver, Canada. For maintenance services a processing fee of $ 795 (price may change) will be charged which covers any firmware update, re-alignment and re-calibration, etc. and return shipping charges; other repair services upon request. The Raman unit should be operated in a dust-free environment. Software updates are always free.
Here a few comments about the advantages (and disadvantages) of a Raman over other advanced gem testing instruments such as FTIR, UV-VIS-NIR spectrometer, etc:
1. The GL Gem Raman is built to highest operator safety through fully enclosed and screened optics; see diagram for the optical design of the back-scattering geometry. To achieve best signal strength high quality laser components (we use dielectric non-metallic mirrors, no fiber connections) are being used.
2. We have chosen a 300 mW 532nm laser as excitation source as commercial units are now available at economical prices. These devices use diode lasers to “pump” a Nd-YAG laser which operates at 1064 nm. The light in this laser is frequency-doubled to give green 532 nm light output. This wavelength is about optimum for both Raman efficiency and the detector operating range. The Raman spectral range is from 200 – 2,500 cm-1 (can be extended to 5,200 cm-1 for PL studies) and the output under 300 mW is usually sufficient and safe for the sample.
3. Raman CCD detectors have problems with fluorescence which in some cases “overwhelms” the signal; for example synthetic flame fusion rubies have very strong fluorescence. For those gem materials the included GL Gem Raman Band Pass Filter™ (GLBPF) for suppression of fluorescence or other testing instruments such as the GL Gem Spectrometer UV-VIS-NIR or NIR PL405 have to be used.
4. Raman spectroscopy is scattering-based, not transmission/reflection; i.e. no need for sample preparation as the Raman signal is obtained from the surface. Only a small sample area is required; there are no movable optical parts in the spectrometer and maintenance is minimal.
5. The GL Gem Raman has a sample compartment (max. 90 x 90 x 50 mm) big enough to accommodate larger specimen and single pieces of jewellery.
The GL Gem Raman™ is a fast and powerful testing tool for gemmologists, mineralogists, jewellery appraisers and collectors.
Information about Raman and databases
- Jasinevicious, R. (2009) Characterization of vibrational and electronic features in the Raman spectra of gemstones (PDF) (MS thesis)
- A large reference database and software is available on-line at the RRUFF Project.
- Wealth of information shared by an expert who built his own confocal Raman microscope.
- ISG: The Future of Raman Spectroscopy, an overview of Raman instruments used by gemmologists
After importing the raw spectrum into CrystalSleuth and searching the RRUFF database a match for jadeite was found. Spectral measurements with the GL Gem Raman are usually done using a focused laser beam on the table facet or surface of a gemstone or mineral sample (unless otherwise noted); see the following Raman spectra (click images to see more detail) obtained with the GL Gem Raman spectrometer ( more spectra here on separate page).
The GL Gem Raman saves the spectral file as a .rruff file and can be imported into Spekwin 32 and other software for further editing.
The GL Gem Raman can be used to detect treatment of freshwater cultured pearls: all natural colour pearls show the two mayor Raman resonance features of polyacetylenic pigments assigned to C=C stretching at about 1530cm-1 and C-C stretching at about 1130 cm-1.
Reference: Karampelas S., Fritsch E., Sklavounos S., Soldatos T (2007) Identification of treated-color freshwater cultured pearls, Bulletin of the Geological Society of Greece vol. XXXX, 2007, pp. 794-804