INDUSTRY NEWS – Gem-A launches latest edition of The Journal of Gemmology with a focus on emeralds and turquoise


This quarter’s respected scientific resource for Gem-A Members and professional gemmologists is now available in print and online.

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has launched the latest issue of its academic publication, The Journal of Gemmology (Volume 38, No. 3).

The Journal of Gemmology

Cover image for this issue of The Journal of Gemmology. This emerald-bearing pectoral cross (12.5 × 5.8 cm) was donated to St Peter’s Archabbey in Salzburg, Austria, in 1786. Although oral tradition has assumed the emeralds came from Austria’s Habachtal deposit, microscopic examination and portable EDXRF chemical analysis indicate they are from Colombia, as described in the article on pp. 272–283 of this issue. Courtesy of St Peter’s Archabbey, Salzburg; photo by N. Urban.

Released in mid-September, this latest issue contains news and research from the international gemmological community, including a cover article dedicated to the origin of emeralds in a late 18th-century pectoral cross from St Peter’s Archabbey in Salzburg, Austria. The authors of the article, Drs Karl Schmetzer and H. Albert Gilg, were given behind-the-scenes access to this valuable item, as well as an emerald-set ring, and studied them on-site with mobile instrumentation to decipher the origin of the emeralds they contain.

Other feature articles include a description of emeralds from a new deposit in the Chitral region of northern Pakistan and a characterisation of turquoise from Hami in Xinjiang, China. Pakistan is a well-known source of emeralds, and the recently discovered deposit near Chitral adds another significant locality for these gems. Across the border in China, and near the border with Mongolia, two turquoise localities near Hami have been known for the past 3,300 and 2,400 years based on archaeological evidence, but they were only rediscovered in modern times in the 1980s. Although mining is currently forbidden as archaeological studies continue, the deposit area is known to contain high-quality turquoise, including the so-called raindrop variety.

Editor-in-chief Brendan Laurs FGA says: “Readers have always relied upon The Journal of Gemmology as a primary source of high-quality gemmological information. In this issue, we continue to span diverse topics like analysing gemstones from historical objects, characterising popular gem materials such as emerald and turquoise, and reporting on new gem deposits.”

In addition to feature articles, each issue of The Journal of Gemmology contains a Gem Notes section providing brief reports on diverse items of gemmological interest from around the world. In this issue, readers can explore record-breaking laboratory-grown CVD diamonds (weighing ~20 and 30 ct), manufactured specimens imitating rough emeralds from Zambia, new finds at the Tourmaline King mine in California, USA, and much more.

The What’s New column highlights new publications and online resources useful for gemmologists, while the Learning Opportunities section contains detailed listings of upcoming conferences and educational events to further the professional development of its readers. Finally, the New Media section reviews new books and the Literature of Interest section lists recently published articles from sources worldwide that gemmologists can use to develop their knowledge further.

A leader in its field, The Journal publishes original research articles on all aspects of gemmology, including natural stones and their treatments, synthetics, and simulated gemstones. It is published quarterly in collaboration with the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF and with support from American Gemological Laboratories (AGL).

Gem-A CEO Alan Hart FGA adds: “The Journal of Gemmology is a fantastic resource for gemmology professionals and students who are looking to expand their knowledge and stay up to date on the latest developments in the field. This most recent issue has an array of insightful features and Gem Notes that highlight how our sector is continually advancing and challenging itself to know more about the unique world of gems.”

Issues published in the past two years are accessible to Gem-A members both nationally and internationally. Previous issues are freely available to anyone in the Journal’s online archive. A cumulative index covering all issues from 1947 to 2021, as well as bibliographies of Journal articles covering specific subjects, can also be freely downloaded from the Journal’s website.

Start receiving The Journal of Gemmology today.

Anyone can become an Associate Member of Gem-A and receive printed and online access to both Gem-A publications: The Journal of Gemmology and Gems&Jewellery. Membership costs just £135 per year and comes with a host of benefits. Visit the Gem-A website to find out more.

The Journal of Gemmology

Turquoise from Xinjiang, China, is represented here by two cabochons (13.8 × 10.0 × 4.0 mm and 14.6 × 9.4 × 5.0 mm) and a rough specimen that shows how the turquoise occurs as veins in siliceous rock. Photo by Yanhan Wu.