Feature Gems & Gemology, Winter 2000, Volume 36, No. 4

Technological Development in the 1990s: Their Impact on Gemology

In the last decade, technology has improved how we synthesize, process, identify, and otherwise study gem materials. Significant trends include: the widespread availability of computerized communication; the application of synthesis techniques to gem treatments; the increased prominence of treated synthetics; the greater need for expensive instrumentation to solve gem problems in general, and the broader availability of small dedicated instruments to solve specific problems; and the adaptation of techniques from other sciences. Potentially applicable technology must be evaluated critically to assess its usefulness and appropriateness to solve a particular gemological problem.