The House of Gübelin opens the Gübelin Gem Museum in Lucerne, launching an exciting journey for gemstone aficionados. This multifaceted location offers visitors an opportunity to experience more about the creation, origin and fascination of coloured gemstones as well as the history, pioneering spirit and innovations of the Swiss, family-owned business, founded in 1854.
100 years of Gem Lab
Gemstones have been a source of fascination for millennia. But what are gemstones, how and where are they formed and how can we establish and verify their identity, authenticity and origin? Gübelin has been working on the answers to these questions for the last century. In 1923, the House of Gübelin laid the cornerstone for the gemmological laboratory in order to learn more about gemstones. In honour of the Gem Lab’s 100th anniversary, Gübelin has created a place to share its knowledge about gemstones as well as the history of the family-owned company, founded in 1854.
Six generations of pioneering spirit
The Gübelin Gem Museum is located in the very heart of Lucerne and invites visitors to immerse themselves into the fascinating world of gemstones and the history of the House. For six generations, the family’s pioneering spirit has been central to the company and has led to such projects as the founding of the Gem Lab, the Academy and of Provenance Proof. In the museum, you will learn more about the innovations of the gemmological laboratory. And it presents the technology of the Provenance Proof start-up. With the first blockchain for coloured gemstones, Provenance Proof allows for more transparency in the entire gemstone and jewellery industry.
Eduard Josef Gübelin
The museum offers an insight into the ground-breaking research conducted by Eduard Josef Gübelin (1913–2005). The Lucerne gemmologist is considered one of the fathers of modern gemmology and is especially known for his research into the inner world of gemstones and the role their inclusions play in determining their identity, authenticity and origins. Under the aegis of Eduard Josef Gübelin, the Gem Lab has developed into one of the most renowned institutions in the field of gemmology and continues to set milestones in gemstone research.
Innovation and tradition
The museum combines innovation and tradition. It visualises the House of Gübelin’s pioneering achievements – from its founding to the present and into the future. In doing so, the exhibition offers exciting glimpses into the work of the Gem Lab from its beginnings up to the latest analytical possibilities and the development of Gemtelligence, which employs artificial intelligence and deep learning to analyse gemstones in order to further heighten the consistency of the results.
Unique reference stone collection
The Gem Lab’s reference collection is considered the most complete of its kind in the world and is absolutely unique, currently comprising more than 28,000 gemstones from all commercially relevant mines as well as stones from long-since exhausted sources. From his numerous voyages throughout the world, Eduard Josef Gübelin brought along gemstones from mines that he visited, laying the cornerstone for the collection, which has been continuously expanded and made more comprehensive. In addition, the reference stone collection forms the basis of the work of the Gem Lab. This treasure trove of data is also central to Gemtelligence. In the Gübelin Gem Museum, visitors can discover 174 selected gemstones from the reference stone collection which have been put on display and individually explained. The reference stone collection is the very heart of the exhibit, captivating gemstone aficionados as well as researchers.
A journey through time
Selected watches and jewellery creations set the scene for key style-defining moments in the history of jewellery and culture. Thomas Gübelin, who ran the House from 1988 until 2007, started early on to expand the company’s own collection of watches and jewellery, of which more than 50 objects are on display and accessible to the public.
The museum is also the new home of the Gübelin Academy. The Academy offers courses amid the inspiring atmosphere of the museum. The objects on display and multi-media information make the contents of the classes immediately tangible. The goal of the Academy is to share knowledge and enthusiasm for coloured gemstones. This makes the Gübelin Gem Museum the perfect setting.
In the heart of Lucerne
The Gübelin Gem Museum is located in the very heart of Lucerne. The imposing building is found at Schwanenplatz 7 with the fitting name of “Haus zum Stein” (The House of Stones). The museum in the upstairs floor, the mezzanine, directs its appeal to both residents of Lucerne along with visitors to the city who wish to learn more about gemstones and gemmology. The exhibition is designed to address both aficionados without any specific previous knowledge as well as gemstone experts.
The museum embodies the company’s Deeply Inspired philosophy, which pervades the entire House of Gübelin. The Gem Museum brings this philosophy to life and makes it tangible for visitors. Raphael Gübelin, President of the House of Gübelin, explains: “With this museum, we want to create a living forum for interaction and inspiration. At the very heart of Lucerne, the museum invites visitors to discover exciting information about gemstones and gemmology, jewellery and watches as well as the innovations and pioneering spirit of our House. This is where we choose to share our passion with interested persons.”
The multi-media exhibition offers visitors an exciting way to discover the world of gemstones and to deepen their knowledge. This is aided by the digital and interactive elements, which generate inspiring experiences within the compact area of the museum, conceived and appointed with a great deal of love for detail. The museum was curated by the House of Gübelin together with the jewellery expert Beatriz Chadour-Sampson and staged together with the Atelier Ingold Raschke. Beatriz Chadour-Sampson works with institutions such as the Swiss National Museum in Zurich and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Edward Boehm, the grandson of Eduard Josef Gübelin and likewise a gemmologist, contributed to the conception and execution as well as providing some of the exhibits. The exhibitions will be continuously expanded, which promises new, exciting experiences.
Gübelin Gem Museum
Schwanenplatz 7 / Haus zum Stein
Wednesday – Friday: 9:00 a.m – 5:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m – 5:00 p.m.
Adults: 15 CHF
Young persons up to age 15: 10 CHF
Children up to age 5: free