Connect with us

Press Releases

SSEF Scientists Author First Published Study of New High-Quality Emerald Type

It is from Afghanistan.

mm

Published

on

Afghan-Colombian emeralds
A specimen of the newly available emerald type from Afghanistan (left), pictured alongside an emerald from Colombia. Photo: SSEF

(PRESS RELEASE) BASEL, SWITZERLAND — The first detailed study characterising an emerald type from Afghanistan that has recently become available in the gemstone trade has been prepared by a team of scientists from the Swiss Gemmological Institute SSEF, and published in the most recent edition of Journal of Gemmology. One of the challenges posed by such emeralds is that they are on occasion mislabeled as being Colombian, for they closely match South American specimens not only visually, but also in terms of their gemmological properties.

To conduct the study, the SSEF research team tested and analysed more than 100 gem-quality emeralds from the Panjshir Valley in Afghanistan, ranging in size from 1 carat to more than 30 carats.

To develop reliable means of distinguishing the Afghan emeralds from others in the marketplace, the research team compared hundreds of emeralds from different origins using a machine learning statistical algorithm (t-SNE: t-distributed stochastic neighbor embedding). Through a compilation of 56 elements in the t-SNE calculation, the emeralds from Afghanistan could be further characterised and differentiated from Colombian samples.

Gemmologically, the research team reported that the new emerald type from Afghanistan is characterised by spiky to tubular fluid inclusions (multiphase) and very fine and parallel hollow channels, both quite similar to inclusion features observed in Colombian emeralds. Although the team occasionally observed some chevron-like growth features, the honeycomb-like pattern (“gota de aceite”) that is characteristic of emeralds from Colombia emeralds has not been observed to date in these new emeralds from Afghanistan.

The chemical composition of these Afghan emeralds is astonishingly similar to Colombian emeralds. Only a careful trace element analysis of the stones revealed differences, with the most frequent being a higher iron concentration in the new-type Afghan samples, when compared to emeralds from Colombia. However, the iron concentration in Afghan materials is still much less than that found in emeralds mined in Zambia, Brazil and Russia, to name a few.

“This research project perfectly shows how the science of gemstone testing is constantly evolving, and we are proud to be at the forefront of such efforts in providing gem labs and the trade with new scientific knowledge about these fascinating new emeralds,” said Dr. Michael Krzemnicki, Director of SSEF and one of the authors of the study.

Advertisement

To download a PDF copy of the report published in the Journal of Gemmology, click here.

Advertisement

SPONSORED VIDEO

Wilkerson Testimonials | Zadok Master Jewelers

Stick to the Program — And Watch Your Sales Grow

When Zadok Master Jewelers in Houston, Texas, decided to move to a new location (they’d been in the same one for the 45 years they’d been in business), they called Wilkerson to run a moving sale. The results, says seventh-generation jeweler Jonathan Zadok, were “off the charts” in terms of traffic and sales. Why? They took Wilkerson’s advice and stuck to the company’s marketing program, which included sign twirlers — something Jonathan Zadok had never used before. He says a number of very wealthy customers came in because of them. “They said, ‘I loved your sign twirlers and here’s my credit card for $20,000.’ There’s no way we could have done that on our own,” says Zadok. “Without Wilkerson, the sale never, ever would have come close to what it did.”

Promoted Headlines

Most Popular