The Gübelin Gem Lab is celebrating its 100th anniversary by presenting Gemtelligence, which ensures consistency in analyses of coloured gemstones and, for the first time, determines the origin of emeralds, rubies and sapphires using artificial intelligence and deep learning.
A new century, a new milestone
As part of the AGTA GemFair in Tucson, Gübelin Gem Lab presented a new milestone: Gemtelligence. In cooperation with the Swiss technology innovation center CSEM, the Gem Lab developed a platform determining the origin and treatment of coloured gems using machine learning. With this innovative technology, which serves the entire industry, the Gem Lab revolutionises the way that gemmology interprets data by employing artificial intelligence. The increased analytical consistency and precision promise enhanced security and trust. This is a major benefit for end customers as well as jewellers, jewellery brands, collectors, investors along with the entire gem trade.
For the first time, an algorithm based entirely on artificial intelligence (AI) determines the country of origin of rubies, sapphires and emeralds. In addition, Gemtelligence also recognises heat treatments in rubies and sapphires. In this process, the deep learning architecture relies on the latest scientific concept: a comprehensive AI system for evaluating a wide variety of analytical data. This system uses and validates the analyses which the Gübelin Gem Lab has collected over decades.
A treasure trove of data
Here researchers can draw on an unparalleled treasure trove of data. The Gem Lab’s reference stone collection comprises more than 28,000 gemstones from all commercially relevant mines, and together with analyses of tens of thousands of high-grade customers’ stones which the lab has analysed since the 1970s, forms the backbone of Gemtelligence.
The algorithm, based on the latest deep learning architecture, recognizes significant patterns among various data modalities, which, compared to gemmologists, provides heightened precision and robustness. For most of the gemstones examined, this means that both the work-intensive visual (microscopic) examination by human experts as well as the expensive ICPMS laser ablation analytical step can be avoided.
Gemtelligence is being successfully implemented step by step in the three laboratories in Lucerne, Hong Kong and New York. Currently, each stone there is still tested by human experts.
The advantages of Gemtelligence are apparent: the algorithm offers greater precision compared to human experts, a thorough consistency of assessments while allowing increased efficiency. Whereas up to now algorithms were used only for particular types of data, Gemtelligence, with its comprehensive assessment of multimodal data, opens new horizons. This progress makes it possible to fully delegate data interpretation to a software program. Gemmologists are free to increasingly concentrate on producing plausible results, leaving them more time to invest in research and development.
With Gemtelligence, the Gem Lab is performing pioneering work. Because of the simplicity and general applicability of the basic principle, and especially in light of the variety of data structures which Gemtelligence can process, the application can be conceived for use beyond gemmology in other fields where information is drawn from highly heterogeneous multimodal data, such as in medical diagnostics. On this basis, the joint project between the Gem Lab and CSEM was generously funded by Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency for the promotion of science-based innovation.
In 1923, the House of Gübelin founded the Gem Lab to test the quality of stones it was using for its own jewellery pieces. Under the direction of Dr Eduard Josef Gübelin, the laboratory developed into one of the leading institutions in the field of gemmology and achieved widespread renown. He also founded the laboratory’s reference stone collection and is considered one of the fathers of modern gemmology.
The Gübelin family and the Gübelin Gem Lab are known for their pioneering spirit and their passion for coloured gemstones, always searching for innovation and new discoveries. Now, the Gem Lab is presenting the “digital super-expert” in the form of Gemtelligence, setting a new milestone in the analysis of coloured gems, which will shape the future of gemmology.
Raphael Gübelin, President of the House of Gübelin, runs the Swiss, family-owned firm founded in 1854 in its sixth generation, explains: “For the Gem Lab’s 100th anniversary, we are presenting a further innovation with Gemtelligence. With this milestone, we are setting out in a new direction in gemmology and perpetuating our pioneering spirit. My great-uncle Eduard Josef established the discipline of determining the origin of gemstones and developed it into a service. With Gemtelligence we are transferring this task to a new authority to ensure the consistency of results. Gemtelligence allows for higher precision, which leads to deeper trust.”
Daniel Nyfeler, Managing Director of the Gübelin Gem Lab and Project Manager for Gemtelligence: “The fascinating aspect of this project is not just the improved precision and consistency of the data evaluation but also the ability to simply dispense with time-consuming and expensive analyses. This is something the entire industry will profit from.”