A seminar titled “Breaking News of the Discovery of a New Testing Method for Identification of Copper-bearing Gemstones”, co-organised by Litto Gems Co, Hong Kong, UBM Asia Ltd and the Gemmological Association of Hong Kong (GAHK), was held during the September Hong Kong Jewellery & Gem Fair 2009.
The speaker, Dr A. Peretti, director of GRS Gemresearch Swisslab AG (Switzerland) took the audience through the new method for identifying copper-bearing gemstones using copper isotopes ratio determination by femtosecond LA-MC-ICP-MS. He also cited studies on authenticity of colour of copper-bearing andesine from Tibet based on chemical analyses and copper-isotopes, as well as the potential of this new method in confirming the authenticity of “Paraiba”-type tourmalines.
Talking about the importance of finding this new method, Dr Peretti said, “There has been controversy over diffusion treatment of copper andesine, which has also led to a meltdown in the andesine market. Similar controversies have also surfaced regarding copper-bearing tourmalines, especially Paraiba tourmalines from Mozambique. There is no conclusive test determining their authenticity. Hence we came up with this new approach.”
The second part of the seminar included an update on important recent findings on rubies and sapphires throughout the world. There was also a movie presentation: Expedition to the ruby mines of Tanzania.