JUNE 30, 2017

Bangkok--There’s a new gem lab open for business. By Brecken Branstrator (National Jeweler)

The Federated International GemLab (FIG) has launched in association with the International Colored Gemstone Association in Bangkok, a city which already has a number of them. 

But rather than jumping in that all-important gem market to compete, it’s there to “aid” a market which finds itself with more gems that need a report than there are labs for, ICA Executive Director Gary Roskin told National Jeweler. 

“With the number of treatments that are possible and the detection of them no longer a simple desk gemology test, we need professional gem laboratories,” Roskin said. “FIG is on the path to becoming one of the important names in the industry. We all look forward to seeing it grow.”

FIG got its start when an ICA member wanted to establish a new gem lab and asked the organization for its help establishing credibility, Roskin said. The ICA agreed, and lent its help in the building of the lab, from the equipment to the team. 

The partnership also means that ICA members receive a 10 percent discount on FIG services as well as priority service. 

FIG offers four reports--the Identification Report, the Origin Report, the Special Report and the Monograph Report--for colored gemstone testing.

FIG is headed by renowned colored stone gemologist Dietmar Schwarz, who has joined as research manager. 

His career in gemology includes four decades of teaching and research activities, including teaching at the Universidade Federal de Ouro Preto in Minas Gerais, Brazil and working as a gemologist and research manager at the Gubelin Gem Lab in Lucerne, Switzerland, and as director at the Asian Institute of Gemological Sciences in Bangkok. 

He currently is a part-time professor at the Tongji University in Shanghai and a guest lecturer at the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan and Beijing.

Schwarz also has published the books “Esmeralda” (1987) and “Geographic Origin Determination of Colored Gemstones” (2012) in addition to a number of gemological research papers.

The team at FIG will offer four reports for gemstone testing. 

The Identification Report ($90) assesses authenticity, identifies possible treatments and determines color when possible, while the Origin Report ($150) adds origin specifics to the previous list. 

The Special Report ($700), meanwhile, provides all of that in a folder, along with a high resolution photograph, flash drive with additional images, and an appendix with the gemologist’s comments. 

The Monograph Report provides all of the Special Report’s information in a folder along with two high resolution photographs of the stone from different angles, the gemologist’s comments and a map on an A4-size page for illustration. 

This is priced anywhere between $3,000 and $7,000, depending on the conditions and qualifications of each stone. 

FIG said it will use master sets for ruby, sapphire, emerald, pink sapphire and yellow sapphire that are certified by ICA. 

The lab does not provide diamond and pearl testing services at this time since the conditions and processes for testing colored stones, diamonds and pearls are completely different from each other, but adds that they will expand to include the last two eventually.

Read more here.

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The ICA is a worldwide body specifically created to benefit the global colored gemstone industry by advancing and promoting the knowledge and appreciation of colored gemstones.
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