It is always a pleasure for our team to analyse gemstones which are not so common, or sometimes even very rare, but which may compete in beauty and quality (but often not in hardness) with the most prestigious classic gemstones.

Since about three years, we see at SSEF occasionally chrysoberyl samples of very dark purplish to purplish brown colour, sometimes of quite impressive size (>10 ct). Based on chemical composition, these chrysoberyls show distinct concentration of chromium, but no evident change of colour, thus do not fit the cr

Opal comes from the Sanskrit upala and the Latin opalus, meaning “precious stone”. The Roman naturalist Pliny the Elder (A.D. 23/24 – 79) wrote that: “In the opal you will see the refulgent fire of the carbuncle (red gems), the glorious purple of amethyst, and the sea green of the emerald, and all these

first published in Facette 22 (February 2016) The Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF received two blue translucent samples, a water-worn pebble, and a faceted stone of 1.72 ct cut from the same piece (Figure 1). The material was bought in Arusha (Tanzania) in December 2013 by Mr. Farooq Hashmi. Standard gemmolo