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The Evolution of Gemology in Southeast Asia

While modern gemological education was started by the GIA in 1931 for the protection and awareness of jewelry buyers, the rest of the world didn't catch up quite as fast. The science of determining the authenticity of gemstones was not funded by the governments of many countries, being selectively directed towards only the luxury sector of consumerism.

Gemological laboratories were created over time to help advise the public against fraud, this led to the gemological report being created. These are evaluation documents that detail the observable specifics of a gemstone or diamond based only on a laboratory's tests and findings at the moment of examination. Laboratories operate under strict terms and limitations even when issuing these documents, since this is the only way they can do so for the minute fees passed on to clients.

Gemological progress in Asia was most likely propelled by the influx of interest from areas like Hong Kong and Thailand. The world's largest international jewelry show now happens thrice a year in Hong Kong, focusing on two large venues that cater to markets directed towards loose stones and jewelry products. Thailand on the other hand, is an integral location for the ruby and sapphire trade. A majority of all sapphires pass through Thailand in order to receive some form of enhancement treatment before being exported to other nations. Thailand used to be a source for the two precious gem varieties long ago, but has now exhausted most of its known mining areas. Their techniques and expertise in gem treatments however, make them invaluable to the entire trade. You'll learn more about gemstone treatments during our educational gemology workshop classes set to start mid-2018.

The Philippines is fairly new to gemology as a science, with many people still finding confusion in the terminologies used by the trade. People are still getting victimized by item fraud, when they don't consider science as the main direction for identifying their items. The advent of unreliable automated diamond testers is also quite rampant in the country. These thermal-based instruments may be better than having no test done at all, but are incredibly inconsistent at best. They're also highly subject to change and alteration based on factors like battery power, internal wire manipulation, surrounding temperature and pressure application.

Be sure to have a gemologist thoroughly look at your diamond for a proper evaluation, as diamond testers have been known to misread several imitations such as moissanite and other materials as diamond.

Gemcamp laboratories specializes in supporting the local populace with proper scientific analysis and evaluations of gem materials, and we are also planning to teach Filipinos about gemology and all its corresponding trade benefits. We're currently developing basic workshop courses to facilitate this, and if you're interested, just send us a message to join our updater's list to receive details when they are finalized.
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