Editorial Gems & Gemology, Fall 2014, Vol. 50, No. 3

Supporting the Researchers of Tomorrow

Duncan Pay
In our recent print issues, you’ve likely noticed an ad on the journal’s inside cover promoting postdoctoral research opportunities. This is part of a GIA initiative to attract new research scientists. We recognize that sustaining future research is fundamental to all of GIA’s core gemological laboratory and education services that support the industry and our mission to safeguard consumers.
As part of this effort, we’re delighted to announce that GIA will be the principal sponsor of the International Diamond School (IDS), to be held January 27–31 in Brixen, Italy. The school will be led by three leading diamond geoscientists: Fabrizio Nestola of the University of Padova, Italy; Steven Shirey of the Carnegie Institution in Washington, DC; and Graham Pearson of the University of Alberta, Canada. The school brings together leading academics and practicing members of the diamond geoscience community—including our own Dr. Wuyi Wang—with the next generation of postdoctoral and masters-level researchers. It’s a fantastic opportunity for attendees to network with the leaders in diamond exploration, advanced research-level analysis, diamond morphology, inclusion chemistry, and geologic occurrences in a way that will inspire their future studies. GIA’s contribution will directly benefit these up-and-coming research scientists by reducing the attendance fees for the conference. The IDS website is at http://www.indimedea.eu/diamond_school_2015.htm
Our lead article in this edition, a collaboration between GIA and Sri Lankan authors, presents an illuminating survey of Sri Lanka’s gem and jewelry industry based on firsthand visits to mining, cutting, jewelry manufacturing, and retail centers. They document a revitalized industry that’s blending hard-won traditional skills with innovative strategies and technologies to gain a stronger presence in global markets.
Our second paper, by Nicholas Sturman and his colleagues from GIA’s Bangkok laboratory, provides a gemological characterization of 22 non-nacreous pen pearls. This study reveals not only the porcelaneous nature of these pearls, but also the unusual beauty of their surface textures and inner structures.
Next, noted author and corundum expert Richard Hughes delves into a basic gemological property: pleochroism. His intriguing paper—aimed at practicing gemologists as much as researchers—examines this property’s impact on the appearance of faceted gems and looks to demonstrate that pleochroism is always visible to some degree, even when viewing a gem along an optic axis.
In the final article, Dr. Zuowei Yin from the China University of Geosciences in Wuhan heads a study of pale-colored nephrite jade from a new deposit in Guangxi Province with interesting banded or dendritic patterns.
In addition to the four feature articles, you’ll find our regular Lab Notes and Gem News International sections, along with the winners of the 2014 G&G Challenge.
For all our print subscribers: You’ll notice that your copy of journal was delivered inside a new recyclable (polyhydroxyalkanoate, or PLA) wrapper. We’d like to thank Dr. George Rossman of G&G’s editorial review board for this suggestion.
Please enjoy the Fall 2014 edition!