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by Dr. M.S. Krzemnicki, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020)Figure 1. Portrait of Hortense Eugénie Cécile de Beauharnais (1783-1837) Queen of Holland and mother of Napoleon III, wearing the talisman with the front side facing out. Painting by Felix Cottreau. Courtesy of...

by Dr. M.S. Krzemnicki, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020)Figure 1: Iconic rubies from Mozambique all tested by SSEF and described below, all of exceptional size and quality. Photo assemblage: M.S. Krzemnicki, SSEF.In the past decade, rubies from Montepuez...

The Queen Mary Pearl in a setting by Cartier. Photo: L. Phan, SSEFFirst published in Facette 26 (May 2020)As a foremost authority in the testing of natural pearls, the SSEF has had the chance in the past few decades to see and analyse the most...

by Dr. M.S. Krzemnicki, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020)Figure 1: Roman sapphire intaglio engraved with the mythical creature hippocamp. Photo: V. Lanzafame, SSEF.In 2019, the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF in collaboration with the Istituto Gemmologico Nazionale IGN Rome (Italy) were...

Figure 1: Cultured pearl necklace containing one natural pearl. Photo: V. Lanzafame, SSEF.Testing pearl necklaces can be rather painstaking work, as at least two gemmologists at SSEF meticulously and individually check a necklace pearl by pearl, with the aim of finding one (or...

by Dr. M.S. Krzemnicki, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020)Figure 1: Sciacca coral item from which beads were selected for age dating. Also in this picture are two pieces of raw corallium rubrum. Photo: M. Bichsel, SSEF.Since 2017, the Swiss Gemmological...

by Dr. L. Speich, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020)Figure 1: Distribution of nitrogen in an elongated diamond from the Mir mine (Siberia) resembling growth rings in a tree. Analysis shows that this diamond has experienced temperatures between 1175 and 1125˚C. Length...

Based on real case studies on sapphire and emerald specimens, we here present how a simultaneous multi-element approach assists origin determination. Instead of pre-defining a list of isotopes in advance, routine analysis of blue sapphires using LA-ICP-TOF-MS detects rarely occurring trace elements such as beryllium...

Figure 1: A sample of rough deep purple Vesuvianite (4 cm) from northern Pakistan and cabochon of 10.73 ct. Photo: H.A. Hänniby Prof. H.A. Hänni, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020)stan has a number of gemstone deposits that are related to the collision of the Indian continent...