Scientific Diamond Course (SDC)

(5 days, 4000.- Swiss Francs)


This one week course will detail the spectroscopic investigations that enable to separate:

  • Diamonds of natural colour from diamonds of artificial colour
  • Natural diamonds from synthetic diamonds.


These methods include Fourier Transformer InfraRed (FTIR) absorption spectroscopy, Ultra-Violet and visible spectroscopy at low temperature (ca. -120°C), near infrared absorption spectroscopy at low temperature and photoluminescence spectroscopy at low temperature. These techniques and instruments are all on site at the SSEF laboratory and attendees will practise them all.

Aims of this course:

Course participants learn how to use different analytical instruments in order to analyse diamonds at a scientific level. An emphasis is also placed on teaching participants how to correctly interpret and compare data. This course is only for experienced gemmologists or scientists with a sound education in gemstones. 

Course structure:

Day 1:

  • Natural diamond types
  • Synthetic diamonds, HPHT & CVD processes
  • Optical centres, irradiation process, HT process
  • Typical features of a diamond of natural colour

Day 2:


  • Workshop with diamonds of natural and artificial colour
  • Infrared spectroscopy: transmission mode, absorbance and absorption coefficient, baseline correction
  • Short presentation of how to determine the concentrations of the various forms of nitrogen


Day 3:


  • UV-Vis spectroscopy at low temperature
  • Photoluminescence at low termperature
  • Near-Infrared spectroscopy: transmission mode, absorbance and absorption coefficient, baseline correction
  • Understanding the relationship between the infrared spectrum of a diamond and its UV-vis spectrum
  • Introduction to H2, H-related peaks, H1a, H1b


Day 4:


  • Practical training with diamonds of natural and artificial colour of type II
  • Low temperature photoluminescence spectroscopy induced with the green laser (514.5 nm) of a Raman microprobe
  • Theory, unit conversions, normalisation of a spectrum based on the Raman peak intensity, saturation of PL peaks
  • Full Width at Half Maximum (FWHM), NV- to NV° ratio 


Day 5:

Synthesis of knowledge

  • Q & A session
  • DiamondView™
  • Practical training with diamonds of 'unknown' colour origin

A Scientific Diamond Course Manual - more than 30 pages - is delivered to all attendees. It describes the analytical techniques illustrated by many diamond spectra. It is completed by a "Defect Induced Vibrational BandsTable" and an "Optical Bands Table" describing the major spectroscopic features of diamonds useful for gemmological purposes. A comprehensive bibliography completes the manual.

Finally all attendees will receive the SSEF Scientific Diamond Certificate (SDC).

Information on dates & prices of courses

For additional details on the content of the course please do not hesitate to contact us.