In 2022, an international research group led by scientists from the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF and the University of Zurich’s Institute of Forensic Medicine (IRM) reported a breakthrough in precious coral jewellery traceability, through the use of a novel forensically validated genetic technique called
Pearl testing was long limited to determining whether a pearl is natural or cultured, and whether a pearl has been treated or not. As we have considerably invested in pearl research in recent years, we have achieved significant breakthroughs, namely DNA fingerprinting for species identification and radiocarbon
We recently tested a pearl jewellery set that consisted of 63 natural pearls, with 61 of them being strung on a thread and two additional loose natural pearls. To our knowledge, this is the first time that pearls from Pinctada persica have been reported.
DNA fingerprinting of ivory involves a scientific method that can provide valuable information about the species of ivory being used in jewellery and ornamental objects, in order to determine whether it is CITES- listed elephant ivory or non-listed mammoth ivory. DNA fingerprinting, together with a morphologica
SSEF pioneered DNA fingerprinting of pearls in 2013, in collaboration with scientists from ETH Zürich. This was the first published report of oyster DNA extraction from a pearl, allowing us to trace and fingerprint pearls of unknown origin and match them to the specific oyster species in which they formed.
A Case Study of Ivory Species Identiﬁcation Using a Combination of Morphological, Gemmological and Genetic Methods
A Case Study of Ivory Species Identiﬁcation: Using a Combination of Morphological, Gemmological and Genetic Methods. Published in Journal of Gemmology, 2020, 37 (3), 282-297.
DNA fingerprinting: an effective tool for taxonomic identification of precious corals in jewelry. Published in Scientific Reports, 10(1), 1-12.
New frontiers in pearl analysis: Age dating, DNA fingerprinting and novel radiographic methods (2019)
Presentation by Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki and Jean-Pierre Chalain at the Pearl Symposium in Bahrain in November 2019.