About SSEF

The Swiss Gemmological Institute, part of the Swiss Foundation for the Research of Gemstones (SSEF: Schweizerische Stiftung für Edelstein-Forschung) was founded by trade organisations (UBOS: Union de la Bijouterie et Orfèvrerie Suisse) in 1974 and works independently on a scientific basis.

This Foundation comes under the aegis of the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs. The SSEF is supervised by a foundation board with the members: M.A. Christen (President, Bern),  Charles Abouchar (Geneva), Bernhard Berger (Geneva), Niklaus Bieri, Horst Edenhofer, Martin Häuselmann (Bern), Adrian Meister (Zürich), Nicky Pinkas (Geneva) and Ronny Totah (Geneva). The laboratory is directed by Dr. M.S. Krzemnicki.

The function of the SSEF laboratory is to analyse precious stones and issue test reports for diamonds, coloured stones and pearls. It was recognised in 1978 by the World Jewellery Confederation – CIBJO. It is also a member of the International Colored Stone Association – ICA and the Laboratory Manual Harmonisation Committee (LMHC).

All laboratory gemmologists have a scientific and gemmological education and work on a high level of experience and integrity. The laboratory is equipped with the most modern analytical instruments. This ensures that the authenticity of gemstones, origins, and possible treatments can be tested in the most scientific and reproducible manner.

After having worked for the benefit of the Swiss gemstone and jewellery trade from the beginning, the SSEF laboratory started offering its services also to private clients. Because our results are reliable, the laboratory soon gained international recognition. Today, SSEF is one of the world’s leading gemmological labs, especially for high-end coloured gemstones, diamonds and pearls. SSEF provides independent expert advice in the field of precious stone analysis to a wide clientele. Among them are precious stone dealers, jewellers, auction houses and private customers from many countries. The SSEF laboratory primarily examines loose cut stones, but set stones in jewellery pieces are also tested. Test reports are written in English, French or German, with an option of providing Chinese versions too. However, the test reports issued are for identification only and do not provide a commercial evaluation.

Besides the above described activities, the members of SSEF Laboratory are also engaged in research and education, collaborating with universities, gemmological laboratories and research institutions worldwide.

INNOVATING GEMMOLOGY SINCE 1974 –

THE SCIENCE OF GEMSTONE TESTING™

The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF has contributed to a number of significant discoveries and developments in the world of gemmology since its founding in 1974. This is a testament to our commitment and drive to pursue research and offer our clients first-rate expertise in coloured gemstone, diamond and pearl certification.

  • 2017
    SSEF becomes first gem lab in the world to introduce radiocarbon age dating of pearls as a service to clients.
  • 2015
    SSEF moves to new facilities and inaugurates state of the art lab facilities in Basel.
  • 2014
    SSEF unveils the ASDI instrument (Automated Spectral Diamond Inspection), the first industrial scale automated solution for keeping synthetic diamond melee out of the supply chain.
  • 2013
    SSEF announces a breakthrough in succesfully extracting DNA from pearls and thereby enabling DNA fingerprinting of pearls.Submit pearl for testing
  • 2011
    SSEF introduces the Cut Grade for round brilliant diamonds on diamond grading reports. These reports now also mention the type of diamond as an additional comment.
  • 2008
    We develop a customised small-diamond quality control routine for the Swiss watch industry.
  • 2004
    SSEF develops the LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy) method for Be-treatment detection of sapphires and is the first laboratory to offer this reliable identification service to clients.
  • 2003
    A blue-diamond tester, helping to identify type IIb diamonds, is developed and brought to the market.
  • 2001
    The SSEF Education department is created. It is the only institution worldwide to offer scientific gemmology and scientific diamond courses. Courses are offered for both novices and experts in the gem world.
  • 2001
    SSEF achieves a breakthrough by coming up with a method for identifying HPHT treatment of diamonds.
  • 2000
    The SSEF spotter is developed and brought to the market as a simple means of identifying type II diamonds.
  • 1990
    Significant contribution to scientific characterisation of Kashmir sapphire.
  • 1988
    George Bosshart, formerly of SSEF, was the first gemmologist to ever record low-temperature UV-Vis and IR spectra of the famous ‘Dresden Green’ diamond.
  • 1978
    SSEF has been the custodian of the original CIBJO Diamond Master Set C1 since 1978. We have been setting standards in diamond research and certification since.