JEWELLERY EDUCATION – Gem-A launches final issue for 2023 of The Journal of Gemmology focusing on colouration in iron-bearing beryl


Respected scientific resource for Gem-A Members is available online now, with printed copies arriving in the New Year, to facilitate continued professional development for gemmologists.

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has launched the latest issue of its academic publication, The Journal of Gemmology (Volume 38, No. 8).

Released digitally on 18 December 2023, this issue contains news and research from the international gemmological community, including an article discussing the origin of aquamarine (blue to green) and yellow colouration in iron-bearing beryl by Dr Lars Olov Andersson. Past studies disagree on the locations of iron ions in the crystal structure, and the present article proposes mechanisms for the various blue-to-green and yellow colours of Fe-bearing beryl that are consistent with changes in colour due to heating and irradiation.

Additional feature articles examine the gemmological characteristics and origin of basalt-related pyrope from Southeast Vietnam, the characteristics of the colour zones and inclusions in unusual multicoloured quartz from Brazil, an historical 42.54 ct faceted alexandrite from the Mineralogy Museum of Paris School of Mines, and a third-century CE sapphire and gold ring housed in the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki in Greece.

JEWELLERY EDUCATION – Gem-A launches final issue for 2023 of The Journal of Gemmology focusing on colouration in iron-bearing beryl

This issue’s cover photo highlights aquamarine to accompany a feature article reviewing the causes of colour in blue-to-green and yellow iron-bearing beryl. The etched crystal weighs 63.31 g, and the smaller faceted stones range from 2.36 to 6.15 ct (all from Zambia and/or Mozambique), while the largest gem weighs 58.57 ct and is from Santa Maria, Brazil. At the top-left is a 38 ct aquamarine set in an antiquarian ring with natural pearls. Courtesy of Pala International, Fallbrook, California, USA; photo by Mia Dixon.

Editor-in-chief Brendan Laurs FGA says: “Authors of the articles in this issue of The Journal have put considerable effort into researching, writing and sharing their results for the benefit of the gemmological community, on topics ranging from causes of colour to new gem materials and important historical objects in museum collections. The diversity of these topics shows the many different directions being taken by contemporary gemmological research.”

In addition to the 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, among the many items covered are blue cat’s-eye apatite from Brazil, a rare assemblage of lazurite, sulphur and bystrite inclusions in a ruby from Mogok, Myanmar, and new production of topaz from an alluvial deposit in Thanh Hoa Province, Vietnam.

JEWELLERY EDUCATION – Gem-A launches final issue for 2023 of The Journal of Gemmology focusing on colouration in iron-bearing beryl

Yellow beryl (1.69 ct, locality unknown) and blue beryl (7.26 ct, from East Africa) owe their colours to iron ions of different valences, but the locations of these ions in the beryl crystal structure have been the subject of debate. Courtesy of Pala International; photos by Mia Dixon.

The What’s New column highlights recent publications, online resources and museum displays of interest to gemmologists, while the Learning Opportunities section contains a detailed listing of upcoming conferences and educational events to further the professional development of its readers. Finally, the New Media section compiles information on new gem- and jewellery-related books.

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 gem materials. It is published quarterly in collaboration with the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF.

Gem-A CEO Alan Hart FGA adds: “As 2023 draws to a close, I am pleased to be able to present another fantastic issue of The Journal of Gemmology before the Holiday Season starts. Our international community of gemmology professionals really values continued learning and development, which is why The Journal of Gemmology is such a vital resource for Gem-A Members. I hope you enjoy reading this issue and once again feel inspired by our fast-paced, globally significant and ever-evolving trade.”

Issues published in the past two years are accessible to Gem-A Members nationally and internationally. Previous issues are freely available to anyone via The Journal’s online archive. A cumulative index covering all issues from 1947 to 2022 and 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. Visit the Gem-A website to find out more.