GIA launches virtual gemstone museum

Carlsbad, Calif.–The Gemological Institute of America (GIA) has launched the Gem Project, an online resource for colored gemstone information that is free and open to both the trade and the public.

Comprised of data collected from gemstones in the Edward J. Gübelin collection, which GIA acquired in 2005, the virtual resource includes a photo, description and gemological properties for each sample, according to a press release.

The GIA Gem Project can be accessed via the Internet at any time from anywhere in the world. The gemological information included in the project is also available in PDF format.

“The Gem Project can act like a virtual museum but instead of standing in front of a display case, users see a photo of a gemstone and key pieces of information about it,” GIA Museum curator Terri Ottaway said in the release. “This also makes it easier to compare the similarities and differences between types of stones at an advanced level.”
 
According to the release, the Edward J. Gübelin collection consists of more than 2,800 samples representing 225 minerals and gem materials from 48 countries.

One of the world’s pre-eminent gemologists, Gübelin spent 40 years amassing gemstones from all over the world.

His lifelong study of inclusions in gemstones revolutionized the science of gemology and helped lay the foundation of identifying gemstones microscopically, the release states.

GIA Distinguished Research Fellow James Shigley said many of the gemstones in the Gübelin collection are extraordinary examples in terms of color, weight and geographic origin.

“I’m not aware of any other online resource with this type of gemological information. It significantly enhances the educational and display potential of GIA’s gem collection and supports the colored stone trade,” he said.

To date, the release states that GIA has compiled data on about 1,000 of the 2,800 stones in the Gübelin collection, focusing on corundums, spinels, garnets, beryls and tourmalines.

Information on 50 select stones from the collection is currently available through the Gem Project, and the GIA said it plans to add more stones over time.

In the future, an online database will make it easier to browse and study the gems in the GIA Project, and the database will be expanded to include other stones in the GIA collection and possibly historical and important gems from other collections.

Courtesy of: National Jeweler

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