Here Is the Winner of Gübelin’s 2021 Research Scholarship
Sebastian Schmidt will receive $30,000 toward his research project developing reference materials for gem corundum.
Each year, a scientist in gemology, mineralogy, or another related field is awarded a $30,000 endowment to put toward their research project.
The recipient is chosen by the Dr. Eduard Gübelin Research Scholarship’s Scientific Committee, a panel consisting of eight top scientists from across the world.
This year, they chose Sebastian Schmidt, who works for the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Heidelberg, Germany.
Schmidt’s project looks at the development of reference materials for measuring oxygen isotopes in gem corundum. (Isotopes are atoms of the same element with the same number of protons but a different number of neutrons.)
The composition of oxygen isotopes is a key geochemical indicator for the material, and SIMS (Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry) analyses—a technique that provides information about the elemental and isotopic composition of samples—are vital to determining origin, the lab said.
But more well-researched materials necessary to ensure the comparability and precision of isotope analysis are needed, and Schmidt’s project will help fill a gap, the lab said.
His research project will “provide a core contribution to isotope geology and geochemistry,” Gübelin said.
The samples analyzed through his work will be shared with SIMS labs around the world to allow the research community direct access to the research.
In addition to the $30,000 scholarship, he will also be able to exchange knowledge with the experts at Gübelin and gain access to the lab’s reference stone collection, comprising more than 28,000 gemstones.
“Our house has always believed on promoting and sharing knowledge because it is very important to us,” said House of Gübelin President Raphael Gübelin. “With this scholarship, we are supporting research to allow new findings and innovations. We want to contribute to supporting the work of young scientists.”
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