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Forensic gemology


#1

Thanks for your letter. Forensic gemology deals primarily with the
inclusions within a gemstone and often indicate the type of enviroment
that the stone formed within or treatment processes to which it might have
been exposed. Sometimes, the types of inclusions are geographically
specific and help to indicate where they may have occurred. This area
really deals a lot with mineralogy. There are often slight variations in
the structure of a stone and its chemical composition. With the help of
various analytical techniques these anomalies can help identify where the
stone originated and the type of geologic environment it formed in. An
excellent (though expensive) book that delves into this field is

PHOTOATLAS OF INCLUSIONS IN GEMSTONES, by Eduard J. Gubelin and
John I. Koivula.

Forensic gemology is in its early stages and has a long way to
go before a gemologist can authoritatively state that a stone definelty
comes from a specific place. An example of this type of work is exhibited
in a Country of origin report, such as those done by Cap Beasley at the
American Gem Trade Lab. Good Luck!

Sincerely,
Greg Duncan