Latest research

Our dedication to scientific research is an important foundation to our expertise and reliability in gemstone testing and certification. We have contributed to a number of important developments in gemmology since 1974 (Discoveries & Milestones). We remain committed to pursuing research projects in collaboration with universities, laboratories and companies to advance gemmological knowledge. Research findings enrich the gemmological courses we offer and have largely contributed to our expertise as one of the leading gemmological laboratories in the world.


Current and ongoing research programs carried out at the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF are:

Origin determination of gemstones

  • Origin determination of ruby and sapphire using LA-ICP-MS
  • Research on spinel from worldwide occurrences
  • Paraiba tourmalines
  • Detection of heat treatment in corundum using zircon inclusions and Raman microprobe.


  • Developing new methods (e.g. tomography) to separate natural from cultured pearls.
  • Colour authenticity of pearls.


  • Analytical instrumentation

Our emphasis on research is not only to publish in reputed international scientific journals but also to share findings with members of the trade and consumers in the form of popular publications and presentations.