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Occasionally, we encounter synthetic stones at SSEF that are submitted to us by our clients. Usually they are quite surprised by our result, as the issue of synthetic stones – at least in the coloured stone market – has very much vanished in peoples’ minds,...

first published in Facette 22 (February 2016)Figure 1: Water-worn pebble and cut stone, both polycristalline kyanite.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). ...

first published in Facette 22 (February 2016)Figure 1: Sapphire from Andranondambo (Madagascar). Photo: SSEFIn 2016, the SSEF received a sapphire of exceptional quality and size for testing (Figure 1). The sapphire of 33 ct was characterised by a saturated blue colour, - poetically also known...

Recent developments have brought‚ due diligence, along with tracking and traceability, to the forefront of discussions and requirements in the diamond, coloured stone and pearl industries. To address this trend, certification mechanisms and technologies (such as blockchain) are being developed to solve inherent traceability challenges....

by Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki, first published in Facette 22 (February 2016)Figure 1: Rubies from Mozambique, from left to right: untreated, heated, heated, and fissure filled with lead glass. Photo: M. S. Krzemnicki, SSEFHeating of rubies from Mozambique at rather low temperatures is nothing...

by SSEF, first published in Facette 20 (January 2013)Although pearls, as organic gems, are commonly less stable than polished gemstones, we don’t often see pearls with obvious features of surface damage as a result of unfortunate care.A few months ago, however, we received for...

Figure 1: Baroque-shaped beaded cultured pearls examined during the BaselWorld 2012 show. The sample on the left has a diameter of 23 mm. Photo: L.E. Cartier, SSEF.by Dr. Laurent E. Cartier, first published in Facette 21 (February 2014)We were presented with samples of...