Press Releases

Trade alert: ‘Kashmir-like’ sapphires from Madagascar
are entering the gem trade in large sizes and quantities

This trade alert focuses on those sapphires from this new source in Madagascar which have a ‘Kashmir-like’ visual appearance. They are characterised by a subtle and fine milkiness, which results in a velvety blue colour as is known from top-quality Kashmir sapphires. Unfortunately, many of these new sapphires are accompanied by gemmological reports describing them as being of Kashmir origin. Having recently tested an important number of such ‘Kashmir-like’ sapphires submitted by clients and ranging in weight from 5 to 50 ct, we have to conclude that many of these gems of so-called Kashmir origin actually originated from the new deposit near Bemainty/Ambatondrazaka in Madagascar.


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SSEF launches PearlScan®

The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF is introducing to the market a new system for scanning both single and multi-strand pearl necklaces. Called PearlScan®, it is able to count large quantities of pearls on strands and measure their dimensions. Consisting of an A4 scanner, computer and proprietary software, the system offers the pearl industry a new and efficient way of documenting pearl necklaces.


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SSEF introduces age dating of natural pearls as a client service

The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has become the first gem laboratory worldwide to introduce, as an additional service to clients, age dating of pearls using carbon-14 (14C). This scientific method can provide the pearl industry with new valuable information about the age of loose pearls and pearls in jewellery.


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SSEF introduces GemTOF to gemstone testing

The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has become the first gem laboratory worldwide to introduce into its facility the ground-breaking GemTOF instrument, which conducts chemical analysis through laser ablation, thereby providing more information about the origin of a variety of gems, as well as precisely identifying almost all elements in coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls.


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New SSEF reports and platform for report verification and download

SSEF has revamped the design of their reports. Furthermore, owners of a SSEF report can now verify the authenticity of reports and also download PDF scans of their reports on the newly launched website. Reports issued after July 11th 2016 are available on this platform for download. Verification of older reports can also be carried out on this same website. 


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Switzerland’s SSEF and Gübelin Gem Lab agree to harmonise ‘pigeon blood red’ and ‘royal blue’ standards 

The Swiss-based Gübelin Gem Lab and Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF, recognised as the leading laboratories for coloured stone testing, have agreed to harmonise their standards for the colour terms “pigeon blood red” and “royal blue.” Their goal is to standardise the usage of these terms for the benefit of the international gemstone trade.


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SSEF inaugurates new state-of-the-art laboratory in Basel, enabling massive expansion of research, education and grading services

The Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF), one of the world's most respected gem research, education and grading institutions, has inaugurated a state-of-the-art laboratory in Basel, more than doubling the size of its previous facility and enabling a massive expansion of the services it has provided the gemstone, jewellery and watch industries for more than 40 years.


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SSEF introduces the Automated Spectral Diamond Inspection

The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has developed the Automated Spectral Diamond Inspection (ASDI) - a device which can analyse very large quantities of melee diamonds at low cost. The development of the instrument is all the more important following concerns expressed by members of the global diamond industry in the past year after undisclosed lab-grown diamonds were mixed in with parcels of natural diamonds.


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Link to ASDI video

SSEF - ETH Zurich collaboration achieves major breakthrough in pearl research: DNA fingerprinting and age dating of pearls

For the first time, a group of SSEF - ETH Zurich researchers has succeeded in isolating DNA from pearls and used their genetic material to identify the specific species of oyster that produced the pearl. In a parallel project, researchers used radiocarbon dating to analyze the age of pearls, opening up new avenues for determining the origin and age of pearl jewellery.


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Link to PLoS ONE article "DNA fingerprinting of pearls to determine their origins"

Link to Radiocarbon article "Age Determination of Pearls: A New Approach for Pearl Testing and Identification"

New SSEF- Gem-A collaboration

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has enlisted the help and support of the Swiss Gemmological Institute (SSEF) to contribute toward a new look Journal of Gemmology in 2014. Gem-A also appointed editor, geologist and gemologist Brendan Laurs as its new editor-in-chief of The Journal of Gemmology. The move signals greater editorial cooperation across the U.K., U.S. and Europe in the publication of the most-circulated academic journal on gemology.


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SSEF launches GemExplorer

GemExplorer, a recently launched iPhone application, now offers users the possibility to plan their next gemstone holidays or just to navigate the world’s major sources of coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls. This app can be downloaded free through iTunes.


Download the press release (pdf)  Link to GemExplorer in iTunes

SSEF and Bahrain sign research partnership agreement

Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki, Director of the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF, and Mr. Ali Safar, Director of the Directorate of Precious Metals & Gemstone Testing, Ministry of Commerce Bahrain (GPTLB), have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that formalizes the labs'  collaboration in pearl research that began  some years ago. The MoU was signed during a working visit by Dr. Krzemnicki to Bahrain in August 2010.


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Trade alert: "Keshi" cultured pearls on the market

"Keshi" cultured pearls are entering the natural pearl trade

- and its addendum - "new" beaded cultured pearls.



Download the press release (pdf)  Download the addendum (pdf)