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Learning in the Lab
Among my other projects here, one of the things I’ve gotten the opportunity to do is to train in our new Gemological Laboratory! Here in the Lab, we check to make sure that all the stones we buy for our customers are as authentic and natural as we thought they were when we bought them. This adds an extra layer of protection and security for our customers whether they’ve purchased a Sapphire Engagement Ring, Sapphire Earrings, a Sapphire Wedding Band, or even a beautiful loose yellow sapphire.
In order to do our job as well as possible, we make use of the latest in Gemological equipment – computerized machines using lasers, xrays, mirrors and advanced detectors to get all the information hidden inside a gem. These valuable machines analyze the chemical composition and optical properties of gems like Blue Sapphires and breakdown what they discover into graphs and tables. With these, the Lab Gemologists can find out everything from whether the stone has been heated to where in the world it originated.
I was first trained to use the FTIR machine. FTIR stands for Fourier Transform InfraRed. This machine shines a laser through the gem and based on the difference between what goes in and what comes out of the stone, the machine creates a graph recording how the light interacted with the stone. This graph has a telltale places the Lab Gemologists look at to – for example – confirm that the gem has not undergone any heat treatment.
The other machine I’ve been trained on so far is the EDXRF machine. EDXRF stands for Energy Dispersive X-Ray Fluorescence. This machine shines different X-rays on the stone. These cause certain elements inside to glow depending on the type of x-ray used. Tabulating how the stone glowed based on which rays it was exposed to, the machine is able to tell us what elements make up the stone. Knowing what elements make up the stone, the Lab Gemologists can tell whether the stone is synthetic, what kind of stone it is, and where in the world the stone comes from.
I’m very excited to be able to learn to use this equipment here at The Natural Sapphire Company. No other private company in America has this kind of facility available to its customers in-house. Other companies have to send out and pay a hefty fee for information we now have immediate access to. Also, with our focus on Natural Sapphires, we will quickly become experts in all aspects of Natural Sapphire analysis since unlike other Labs, we will not have to divide our attention between all the other kinds of gemstones in the world. Our customers will be able to rest assured that their Sapphire Rings and loose stones are coming from a company with access to information about Sapphires unrivaled by any other company in the jewelry industry.