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Gemlab Group - Research & Technology - Raman Mineral Identification

14th May 2012

Raman spectroscopy is particularly useful in identifying and characterizing gems and minerals. Recent advances in optical technologies, innovative design of Raman geometry and miniaturisation of spectrometers with real-time software allow for lower production cost and practical applications in geoscience related fields. Due to its non-destructive technique it is very useful for gemmologist appraisers, gem merchants, mineral collectors and others.

After the introduction of a UV-VIS-IR portable spectrometer (GL Gem Spectrometer) as a gem testing tool certain limitations of transmission spectroscopy led to the feasibility study of a compact and portable Raman system for a reasonable price point (under US $ 7,000).

Raman spectroscopy is scattering-based, not transmission/reflection; i.e. no need for sample preparation. The GL Gem Raman has a sample compartment big enough to accommodate larger specimen and single pieces of jewellery. Only a small sample area is required; there are no movable optical parts and maintenance is minimal.

The GL Gem Raman quickly can tell the difference between diamond, cubic zirconia, glass and zircon, distinguish jadeite from nephrite, separate real from faux pearls, tell whether it is ivory or plastic. It is ideal for mineral collectors and gem dealers.

The GL Gem Raman software allows real-time spectral acquisition. The spectra can be saved and imported into a searchable database program with over 2,500 references; the database is linked to the large on-line mineralogical RUFF database for Raman spectra. RRUFF Project Website:

More info about the Raman is found at

The GL Gem Raman will be introduced at the Geo-Raman in Nancy, France (June 11-13)

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