Editorial Gems & Gemology, Winter 2013, Vol. 49, No. 4

Looking Ahead to 2014

Welcome to the Winter 2013 Gems & Gemology. In this issue, we’re privileged to present a significant paper reviewing the current state of knowledge about diamond geology. The article’s lead author is Dr. Steven B. Shirey, a noted isotope geochemist from the Carnegie Institution of Washington and a leader in the field of inclusion-dating techniques as applied to diamond. Recent research in this area has helped date the oldest known diamonds back to 3.5 billion years—more than three-quarters the age of the earth. This article, which updates the landmark Spring 1991 G&G paper on the same topics by Melissa Kirkley et al., is co-authored by GIA’s Dr. Jim Shigley.

We hope this is the first of many articles chronicling the new frontiers of diamond research from Carnegie’s scientists. In the near future, we look to forge other active collaborations with institutions and researchers working in gem-related fields.

The Winter issue also includes excellent papers on blue sapphires from the Baw Mar area in Mogok, Myanmar; an update on gemstone mining in Luc Yen, Vietnam; and the characteristics of coated jadeite jade.

As always, we would be delighted to hear from our readers on any of the papers in this issue, or previous 2013 issues.

Now that we are on the cusp of G&Gs 80th anniversary in 2014, this is a fitting time to review some of the innovations we’ve brought to our readers during 2013. In April, we launched the Research & News section of the new GIA website and made every issue of G&G, from the current issue back to the journal’s launch in 1934, free to all users as PDF downloads at http://www.gia.edu/gems-gemology.

In the Fall issue, we introduced a new G&G article category: the field report. In upcoming issues, we aim to bring our readers more of these “direct from the mine” articles, particularly from GIA’s dedicated field gemologists, Vincent Pardieu and Andy Lucas.

With G&G now at the center of GIA’s Research & News portal, we have the opportunity to complement our articles with supporting media. In our Fall issue, we supplemented the Cheapside Hoard and Oregon sunstone papers with video interviews, image slideshows, and additional articles. This is a trend we intend to expand on in 2014. In the print version of this issue, in fact, you’ll notice a QR (quick response) code at the end of our lead article on diamond geology. This takes users with enabled smartphones and tablets directly to videos and related online content.

We also started integrating G&G into GIA’s gemology curriculum, beginning with the Diamonds & Diamond Grading course. Students can now directly access and download relevant articles via links from their eLearning course assignments. In 2014, we will extend this initiative to the remaining gemology courses.

May I take this opportunity to wish all our contributors, subscribers, reviewers, and online readers the very best for 2014.

Duncan Pay