Grading

Gübelin Gem Lab Debuts ‘Emerald Paternity Test’

GradingMar 28, 2017

Gübelin Gem Lab Debuts ‘Emerald Paternity Test’

The new technology introduced at Baselworld can trace an emerald to the mine of its origin.

The world’s largest emerald mine, the Kagem Mine located in Zambia, was the site of Gübelin Gem Lab’s preliminary Emerald Paternity Test. Kagem Mine is majority-owned by Gemfields.
Basel, Switzerland--When developing a method to make emeralds completely traceable, Gübelin Gem Lab looked to DNA. 

Introduced at Baselworld 2017, Gübelin’s “Emerald Paternity Test” involves applying DNA-based nanoparticles directly onto rough emerald crystals at mining sites.

Nanotechnology deals with particles less than 100 nanometers large. The particles aren't visible to the naked eye or even under an optical microscope, so a stone’s properties and grading won’t be affected by the application.

Gübelin’s application process is designed to withstand all steps of an emerald’s journey, from cutting to cleaning, polishing, transporting and setting, so that the nanoparticles will act as a permanent origin tag.

Just like a human's DNA is specific to each individual, the tag will be unique to each mine. 

This is an image of the DNA-based nanoparticles applied directly to rough emerald crystals as part of the emerald paternity test. The particles are invisible to the human eye and even to optical microscopes. At any point in time, the particles can be decoded to reveal a stone’s origin.
This is an image of the DNA-based nanoparticles applied directly to rough emerald crystals as part of the emerald paternity test. The particles are invisible to the human eye and even to optical microscopes. At any point in time, the particles can be decoded to reveal a stone’s origin.

“This technology offers all stakeholders along the entire supply chain, from the miner to the final customers, proof of the exact source of emeralds, instilling confidence and creating trust,” said Daniel Nyfeler, managing director of Gübelin Gem Lab. “It enables a new level of transparency for the gemstone trade.”

Gübelin worked with Gemfields, majority owner of the world’s largest emerald mine, the Kagem Mine in Zambia, to test the new technology. 

“Partnering with Gemfields for the feasibility study was an obvious choice,” Nyfeler said, “as it is not only an industry leader, but a forward-thinking company, and hence a perfect partner to test a ground-breaking idea such as this paternity test for emeralds.”

The results were a success and Gemfields told National Jeweler it would "continue to tag emerald production coming through the auction system."

Gemfields CEO Ian Harebottle explained, “Embracing innovation, technology and increased transparency is at the heart of our approach. We were therefore thrilled to assist Gübelin in the testing of this new technology, and we are very excited about the outcome as it offers a multitude of benefits to the industry and the consumer.”

For now, the paternity test will only work for emeralds, as the DNA-based nanoparticles are able to adhere to the fissures unique to the gemstone, and remain there through all processing.

Gübelin, which analyzes diamonds, color gemstones and pearls at its laboratories in Lucerne, Switzerland, Hong Kong and New York, said that the nanotechnology could offer transparency across the industry, to large and small mining companies, governments, trade organizations, industry watchdogs, jewelry brands and customers.

Gübelin is "looking to develop relationships with all stakeholders in the supply chain," they said to National Jeweler. 
Ashley Davisis the senior editor, fashion at National Jeweler, covering all things related to design, style and trends.

The Latest

SourcingAug 05, 2022
Rare Earth Mining Co.’s Bill Heher Dies at 72

The passionate gem lover helped bring more than 300 different varieties of stones to the gem trade.

TrendsAug 05, 2022
Piece of the Week: Storrow Jewelry’s ‘Emblem Rosa’ Charm

The brand has attracted attention for its colorful, vintage-inspired pieces.

MajorsAug 05, 2022
Former Nike Executive Joins Team at David Yurman

Marcelo Tau is the company’s new chief operations officer.

Brought to you by
The American Mined™ Collection: Ethical Sourcing That Matters

Rio Grande provides a pathway to responsibly sourced gemstones.

Policies & IssuesAug 05, 2022
Satta Matturi Joins RJC Board

The jewelry designer founded her eponymous brand in 2015 after nearly two decades in the diamond industry.

Weekly QuizAug 04, 2022
This Week’s Quiz
Test your knowledge of the latest jewelry news with this quick test.
Take the Quiz
Supplier BulletinAug 04, 2022
Unusual Jewelry Finds Eager Buyers In Online Auctions

Sponsored by HiBid

WatchesAug 04, 2022
4 Takeaways from Chrono24’s Analysis of the Luxury Watch Market

The watch seller comments on future demand, how the crypto crash impacted Rolex and Patek Philippe pricing, the supply recovery, and more.

Brought to you by
Knowledge and Skills for Today’s Hot Topics

From laboratory-grown diamonds to design to country-of-origin, GIA's Alumni Collective™ has a seminar to suite your needs.

CollectionsAug 04, 2022
The Rest of De Beers’ 2022 High Jewelry Collection Is Here

It features fives sets of jewelry.

Lab-GrownAug 04, 2022
Lab-Grown Diamond Co. Plasmability Partners with HRA Group

Through the collaboration, HRA will exclusively cut, polish, and distribute Plasmability’s lab-grown diamonds in the market.

IndependentsAug 04, 2022
TJA to Offer ‘Texas Tours’ at Upcoming Round-Up Event

They include a tour of a museum’s gem collection and demonstrations of diamond cutting and polishing.

TechnologyAug 03, 2022
Tiffany Introduces CryptoPunk NFT Pendants

The limited-edition pendants, available in digital and physical form, retail for $50,000 and are exclusive to holders of CryptoPunks NFTs.

AuctionsAug 03, 2022
Elvis and Colonel Tom Parker’s ‘Lost’ Jewelry Coming to Auction

The sale includes pieces “The King” gifted to his longtime manager, as well as jewelry Elvis owned and wore on stage.

WatchesAug 03, 2022
Breitling’s Latest Ambassador Is an NFL Star

Trevor Lawrence is the quarterback for the Jacksonville Jaguars.

SourcingAug 03, 2022
Gembridge Launches Reseller Program for Colored Stones and Jewelry

It gives trade members full access to its catalog of products so they can sell listings on their own online platforms.

IndependentsAug 03, 2022
Day’s Jewelers Announces New VP of Merchandising

Julie Collins succeeds Kathy Corey in the role.

ColumnistsAug 02, 2022
Why Passing on Lab-Grown Diamonds Might Be a Risky Bet

Retailers would be wise to embrace this growing segment of the market instead of shunning it, Peter Smith writes.

SourcingAug 02, 2022
AGTA Names John Ford as Its New CEO

He’s the owner of The Lightning Ridge Collection but will pivot to focus on his new role.

TrendsAug 02, 2022
Marvel Debuts Gem-Set Infinity Gauntlet

East Continental Gems provided more than 150 carats of gemstones for the project.

SurveysAug 02, 2022
Consumer Confidence Falls for Third Month in July

Rising prices and interest rate hikes are expected to weigh on consumer spending and economic growth over the next six months.

TrendsAug 01, 2022
Amanda’s Style File: Peridot That Pops

To kick off August, Amanda Gizzi is sharing jewelry featuring the month’s OG birthstone.

CrimeAug 01, 2022
Joseph DuMouchelle Sentenced to 12 Years Behind Bars in $12M Fraud

The Michigan auctioneer and appraiser also has to pay restitution totaling $25 million for other victims of his fraud scheme.

MajorsAug 01, 2022
GIA Appoints First Vice President of Sustainability Programs

Johanna Levy will oversee the environmental, social, and governance programs.

EditorsJul 29, 2022
The Jewelry Industry Remembers Castro: A Complicated, Magical Designer

Before his sudden death last week, the designer had reached new creative heights.

SourcingJul 29, 2022
De Beers Sales Rise 23% YOY in July

Despite unusually high summertime sales, the company’s CEO said the industry remains “watchful.”

MajorsJul 29, 2022
Jewelers of America Elects 4 New Directors to Board

Joseph Corey, Krystle Craycraft, Sue Hopeman, and Sherry Smith will each serve three-year terms on the board.

TrendsJul 29, 2022
Piece of the Week: Zahn-Z Jewelry’s ‘Gem Pop’ Ring

A lab-grown ruby makes the perfect nostalgic treat.

×

This site uses cookies to give you the best online experience. By continuing to use & browse this site, we assume you agree to our Privacy Policy