Editorial Gems & Gemology, Spring 2015, Vol. 51, No. 1

Colored Gems, Chinese Jewelry Designers, and Colored Diamond Spectra

Duncan Pay
Welcome to the first Gems & Gemology of 2015!
Spring is always an especially busy time, because our first issue comes hard on the heels of the annual Tucson gem shows. This event always provides an illuminating window into the world of colored gem supply and demand. Indeed, articles in this G&G provide a flavor of that worldview, featuring Vietnamese blue spinel, Moroccan amethyst, ruby from Mozambique, and a survey of contemporary Chinese jewelry designs featuring a wealth of colored gemstones.
Our lead article, by French researcher Boris Chauviré and his coauthors, offers geological context and a gemological characterization of the vivid blue spinel from Luc Yen, northern Vietnam, which owes its remarkable color to traces of cobalt.
Next, GIA’s Andrew Lucas and Merilee Chapin partner with Chinese coauthors Moqing Lin and Xiaodan Jia to survey the tremendous progress this country’s jewelry designers have made in the last decade. Informed by their civilization’s rich cultural roots and driven by the power of a rapidly growing domestic consumer market, the artistic prowess of Chinese designers is increasingly evident on the global stage.
Our third article, by a joint Moroccan-Italian team headed by lead author Fabrizio Troilo, provides an introduction to amethysts from Boudi, Morocco. Their study outlines the geology, mining, and the internal and external features of this attractive material.
Our fourth paper, by GIA’s Dr. Jim Shigley and Dr. Mike Breeding, bucks this issue’s colored-gem trend. Their article provides a review of colored diamond spectra, including a foldout chart, which we trust many practicing gemologists will find illuminating.
In addition, we’re delighted to present G&G’s third field report. GIA authors Merilee Chapin, Vincent Pardieu, and Andrew Lucas report on the geology and mining practices at Mozambique’s Montepuez ruby deposit, currently the world’s most important commercial source of ruby.
After these five feature articles, you’ll find our regular Lab Notes and Gem News sections. This issue contains in-depth coverage of the February 2015 Tucson Gem and Mineral shows, along with reports on the recent Gemstone Industry & Laboratory Conference (GILC) and the GIA-sponsored International Diamond School for natural diamond researchers held late January in Brixen, Italy.
We’re also delighted to present the results of the 2014 Dr. Edward J. Gubelin Most Valuable Article Award. Our sincere thanks to everyone who participated—we had an excellent response this year. Please see the results on page 31. Also, please don’t forget to take the G&G Challenge, our annual multiple-choice quiz!
Finally, as many longtime contributors know, Stuart Overlin has been the editorial backbone of our journal for a number of years. I’m very pleased to announce Stuart’s promotion to G&G’s managing editor. I’d also like to thank former managing editor Justin Hunter for his contribution. Justin is moving to an important new role at GIA.
We hope you enjoy this edition!