Presentation at the 2022 Rendez-Vous Gemmologiques de Paris Conference by Jean-Pierre Chalain (original version of this presentation was in French, this version has been translated into English)
As in the past, the SSEF is regularly asked by the Swiss police authorities to act as a gemmological adviser in criminal cases. Usually, these are fraud cases, involving undeclared or mislabeled gemstones or their imitations. In a recent case with about 20 stones submitted by the police, we not only found diamo
In 2020, a novel light source for the colour grading of diamonds was developed in a collaboration between SSEF and the Department of Physics, University of Basel (see Figure 1). In contrast to many of the models on the market, the new light source uses state-of-the-art LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights instead
by Dr. L. Speich & J.-P. Chalain, first published in Facette 27 (June 2021) Recently, SSEF received two so-called asteriated diamonds for authentication. Asteriated diamonds are rare and highly prized amongst collectors for their beautiful and unique appearance. The two stones received in our lab
by Dr. L. Speich, first published in Facette 26 (May 2020) Diamond is valuable as a gemstone but it is also a mantle geologist’s best friend because it provides a rare opportunity to study processes that occur deep in the Earth. Most diamonds form in the so-called lithospheric mantle within a fairly narr
Comparing the absorption spectra of type IIa and type IIb diamonds greatly helps to better understand why a diamond of type IIb is blue to greyish blue.
by J.-P. Chalain, first published in Facette 21 (February 2014) In 2013, numerous trade-press articles and gemmological laboratory alerts warned the diamond industry about the presence of synthetic diamonds mixed together with, or presented as, natural diamonds. These announcements pointed out that not onl
by J.-P. Chalain, first published in Facette 22 (February 2016) In 2016, our Diamond Department acquired a parcel of small colourless synthetic diamonds produced in Europe by the HPHT method. The complete study of these series of melee size synthetic diamonds (SSEF Research project 80602) is part of our co
by J.-P. Chalain, first published in Facette 20 (January 2013) Synthetic diamonds have been present in the gem trade for over two decades. Recent financial investments and advances in technology have now made them more affordable both in terms of price and availability. The SSEF has been following synthetic di
In 2000, SSEF announced that it was able to identify the HPHT treatment of type II diamonds. About 20 years later, this article summarizes how we were able to achieve this breakthrough and which people from the trade and other research institutions were involved in this important step.