Welcome to the Gem-A Blog. Here, you will find up-to-date information on the latest news and trends, exclusive features and regular reports from a host of gemmology insiders. Each month we will share highlights from our printed publications and take you behind-the-scenes at our popular Gem Central events. Would you like to submit an article for the Blog? Email us on editor@gem-a.com


Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

Understanding Spinel: The Alternative August Birthstone

The varied hues of spinel have been admired for hundreds of years, but this gemstone only recently found its place on the list of ‘alternative birthstones’. Here, Lily Faber FGA DGA EG explores the alternative birthstone for the month of August and some of its synthetic counterparts.

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Birthstone Guide: Peridot for Those Born in August

Birthstone Guide: Peridot for Those Born in August

Those born in August have vibrant green peridot as their birthstone. Lily Faber FGA DGA EG delves into this zesty gemstone to find out more about its physical properties and fascinating history.

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5 Things to Consider Before Starting the Gemmology Foundation Course

5 Things to Consider Before Starting the Gemmology Foundation Course

Do you have a passion for diamonds, gemstones and the science of gemmology but have no idea where to start? Take a look at our guide to the Gem-A Gemmology Foundation and the things you should consider before taking this highly respected beginner’s gemmology course.

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Understanding Tanzanite

Understanding Tanzanite

Our series of discovery into the Gem-A Gemstone & Mineral Collection continues with the brilliantly eye-catching tanzanite. Gem-A assistant gemmology tutor, Charles Bexfield FGA, delves into the history and unique properties of tanzanite and explores what makes this relatively new gemmological find so special. 

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What Career Paths Can Trained Gemmologists Take?

What Career Paths Can Trained Gemmologists Take?

Are you fascinated by a career that utilises a gemmology skill set? Or perhaps you have completed your Gem-A Gemmology Diploma and want to know what’s next? Take a look at our guide to the opportunities open to gemmologists… you may be surprised!

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Top 5 Most Famous Diamonds for Gemmologists

Top 5 Most Famous Diamonds for Gemmologists

Although all diamonds are special, there are some that are historically significant, spectacularly large and hugely important for gemmological research. Here, Rona Bierrum FGA DGA EG pinpoints the five diamonds that stand out from the crowd for gemmologists the world over. 

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Gem-A's Gem Empathy Award Returns for 2019

Gem-A's Gem Empathy Award Returns for 2019

Gem-A is delighted to announce the return of the Gem Empathy Award for 2019, featuring a 12.9 carat precious coral cabochon as the prize stone. Find out more about this year's competition, and how to enter, here...

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The History of Cardinal Mazarin's Extraordinary Diamond Collection

The History of Cardinal Mazarin's Extraordinary Diamond Collection

The Mazarin diamonds were a collection of 18 diamonds left to Louis XIV and the French Crown Jewels by Cardinal Jules Mazarin. Discovering the story of this group of diamonds, the man who collected them and what happened to them is like an incredible work of fiction. Charlotte Pittel FGA DGA takes us through their fascinating history.

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The History of Queen Victoria's Sapphire and Diamond Coronet

The History of Queen Victoria's Sapphire and Diamond Coronet

Queen Victoria famously shared a love of fine jewels and coloured gemstones with her beloved husband, Prince Albert. In fact, one of her most prized possessions - a sapphire and diamond coronet - was designed and commissioned by Prince Albert in 1840. Here, we delve into the story behind this beautiful piece of history.

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Birthstone Guide: Ruby for Those Born in July

Birthstone Guide: Ruby for Those Born in July

Those born in July can call the resplendent ruby their birthstone. To find out more about this historically significant and commercially successful gemstone, we asked Gem-A tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG to share her insights.

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Buying Guide: Saltwater versus Freshwater Pearls

Buying Guide: Saltwater versus Freshwater Pearls

Treasured the world over for their timeless elegance, lustre and iridescent, multi-tonal colours, pearls have for hundreds of years been a favourite of high-end jewellers and collectors alike. But how can you tell the difference between saltwater and freshwater pearls? And what should we look for when buying?

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What Should Be in the Ideal Gemmologist’s Toolkit?

What Should Be in the Ideal Gemmologist’s Toolkit?

Gem-A Instruments manager, Sam Lloyd FGA DGA EG shares her advice on compiling your own gemmology toolkit that’s useful, portable and reliable in the field or at trade events. How many of Sam’s essential items are in your collection? Find out here…

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Gem-A Photographer of the Year Competition Returns for 2019!

Gem-A Photographer of the Year Competition Returns for 2019!

Gem-A’s annual Photographer of the Year competition returns with a new format and exciting prizes. Do you have what it takes to be crowned the winner?

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Understanding Stibnite

Understanding Stibnite

Gem-A assistant gemmology tutor, Dr Juliette Hibou FGA explores the history, origins and chemical composition of the mineral, stibnite, which can be found in the Gem-A Gemstone & Mineral Collection.

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Explore the History of Garnet in Antique Jewellery

Explore the History of Garnet in Antique Jewellery

Jewellery historian and valuer, John Benjamin FGA DGA FIRV explores the cultural significance and history of the use of garnet in jewellery design from Ancient Rome to the 1920s.

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Birthstone Guide: Pearls for Those Born in June

Birthstone Guide: Pearls for Those Born in June

We believe everyone should own at least one piece of pearl jewellery… especially those born in June as pearls are their birthstone! Gem-A gemmology tutor Lily Faber FGA DGA EG considers the history and natural properties of these treasures from the sea.

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What Makes the Alexandrite Colour-Change Effect so Special?

What Makes the Alexandrite Colour-Change Effect so Special?

Sometimes known as ‘emerald by day, ruby by night,’ the gemstone alexandrite is a marvel of nature and the alternative birthstone for those born in June. Here, Julia Griffith FGA DGA EG explores the history, properties and colour change effect of this fascinating gem.

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What Are the Most Important Gemstone Producing Countries in the World?

What Are the Most Important Gemstone Producing Countries in the World?

Gem-A operations manager and seasoned traveller, Charles Evans FGA DGA, considers whether gemmologists can put gem-producing countries into an ‘order of importance’ and offers his thoughts on what would make the perfect gemstone-hunting holiday.

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