Gem-A Launches Latest Edition of The Journal of Gemmology Spotlighting the Historic Banjarmasin Diamond Featured



Respected scientific resource for Gem-A Members is available in print and online to facilitate continued professional development for gemmology community.

Press Release: 25 September 2023

Gem-A, London, United Kingdom

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) has launched the latest issue of its academic publication, The Journal of Gemmology (Volume 38, No. 7).

Released on 25 September 2023, this issue contains news and research from the international gemmological community, including an article dedicated to the historic 38.23 ct Banjarmasin diamond, which is in the collection of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. This diamond was cut from a 70+ ct octahedral crystal that was reportedly mined in southern Borneo. The rough material was confiscated by the Dutch from the Sultanate of Banjarmasin in 1860, and it was faceted in Amsterdam in 1870.

While past publications have focused mainly on the colonial history of the diamond, the authors of the present article (Suzanne van Leeuwen and J. C. Hanco Zwaan) have uncovered archival information about its faceting and efforts to sell it and have also documented the stone’s gemmological properties. As one of the few large diamonds from the alluvial deposits of Kalimantan, the results of this study contribute to the recognition of Borneo as an historically small but important diamond source.

Additional feature articles unravel the cause of the unusual three-rayed asterism seen in ‘Mercedes-star’ quartz from Brazil, examine the mining and gemmological properties of moldavite from Chlum in the Czech Republic, and investigate the origin of colour and dichroism in laurentthomasite—a relatively new gem material that was first described in 2020.

Editor-in-chief Brendan Laurs FGA says: “This issue of The Journal covers subjects ranging from history and mining to the origin of unusual optical phenomena and colour behaviour in gem materials. Readers will indulge their gemmological curiosity while learning about some fascinating topics presented by researchers from respected gemmological laboratories, universities and museums.”

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 ‘Aquafire’ beryl from Brazil, new emerald and green beryl from Shaanxi Province in China, and tourmaline recently produced from Calabar in Cross River State, Nigeria, which was not previously known as a significant source of gem material.

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: “We are proud to see another fantastic issue of The Journal of Gemmology published for our international community of gemmology professionals. The articles in this edition are a testament to the countless hours of research and analysis that our authors and reviewers put into producing exceptional content and providing the wider industry with academically rigorous insights. I hope you enjoy reading this issue and once again feel inspired by our fast-paced 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 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 Gem-A 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. Membership costs just £145 per year and comes with a host of benefits. Visit the Gem-A website to find out more.


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For further information, please contact:

Nysa Pradhan
+44 0207 404 3334


Notes to editors:

About Gem-A 

The Gemmological Association of Great Britain, or Gem-A, is the world’s longest established provider of gem and jewellery education. Our Gemmology Diploma evolved from the first gem course proposed for the UK jewellery trade in 1908, and our prestigious Gemmology and Diamonds Diplomas — taught in seven different languages and 26 countries around the world — are recognised globally.

Gem-A forms an international community of gem professionals and enthusiasts. We serve the interests of the gem and jewellery industries through high standards of education in our courses and our support for global gemmological research. We also provide various membership opportunities, offer high-quality gemmological instruments, and host a number of educational events throughout the year, as well as two internationally distributed publications, The Journal of Gemmology and Gems&Jewellery.

About The Journal of Gemmology

The Journal of Gemmology has been the official scientific journal of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain since it was incorporated in 1947. It is published quarterly in print and electronic formats. All Individual and Gold Corporate Members of Gem-A receive The Journal as part of their membership package. Institutional subscriptions are available for laboratories, libraries, museums and similar organisations. 

To contact the Editor-in-Chief, please direct correspondence to Brendan M. Laurs FGA at

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