Rare Opportunity: Gemstones from Antarctica

It is not often that a gemmologist gets to see something from Antarctica, a continent that still enjoys the protection of the 1961 international treaty intended to protect and preserve the untapped uniqueness of the biosphere from the rapacious consumption of mankind. This Gem Note, featured in the Journal of Gemmology, covers an exciting opportunity that presented itself when faceted samples from a research trip to Mount Erebus reached the laboratory. I could get the graphs and numbers from the battery of laboratory equipment, but it was Nathan Renfro’s brilliant photomicrography that captured the essence of these samples. 

The Journal of Gemmology is an academic journal that has been curated, assembled and edited, since its relaunch in 2013 by Brendan Laurs in California. Support comes from SSEF and AGL, and a host of the world’s premier gemmologists work to peer-review the papers as the esteemed associate editors. 

In over eight years of running the Gem-A laboratory, I saw countless interesting gem and mineral samples in the lab and some of them made their way into the Journal. What made them interesting was not necessarily what they turned out to be, but more the collaboration and detective work required to get to the bottom of what they were. 

Gem Note on Coloured Stones, featured in the Journal of Gemmology, Volume 36, No.5. Published in 2019.

The latest copies of the Journal of Gemmology are only available to Gem-A Members. To read archived copies dating back to 1947, click here.

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