Natural History Society of Maryland
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Natural History Society of Maryland

The Chemistry of Gemstones with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)

  • 21 Oct 2021
  • 7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
  • Online via Zoom


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NHSM is celebrating National Chemistry Week in high fashion as we learn from the scientists at the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) about the chemical signatures of gemstones.

Chemical analysis of gemstones is crucial to advanced gemological research. Knowing the chemical makeup of gemstones helps GIA scientists to detect gem treatments and distinguish natural stones from synthetics and imitations. Chemical analysis is conducted primarily through three advanced instruments: the Ultraviolet-Visible spectrophotometer, the Energy-Dispersive X-ray Fluorescence spectrometer, and the Laser ablation-Inductively coupled plasma-Mass spectrometer. Tune in as GIA Senior Research Associate, Ziyin Sun, explores how chemical analysis performed through these instruments are used to solve complex problems in modern gemology.

Established in 1931, GIA is the world’s foremost authority on diamonds, colored stones, and pearls. A public benefit, nonprofit institute, GIA is the leading source of knowledge, standards, and education in gems and jewelry.

Ziyin Sun is a GIA Senior Research Associate. His area of research includes chemical analysis of colored stones and minerals by LA-ICP-MS and ED-XRF as well as colorimetric analysis of different types of chromophores in colored stones and minerals using UV-Vis-NIR spectra.

The Natural History Society of Maryland is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation and contributions are tax-deductible.

The mission of the Natural History Society of Maryland is to foster stewardship of Maryland’s natural heritage by conserving its natural history collections, educating its citizenry, and inspiring its youth to pursue careers in the natural sciences.

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