Research & Development

Elemental separation process for the geochemical analysis of minerals.

Research & Development

R&D Projects

Many challenges remain in gemmology: treatments detection, origin determination, durability of precious materials, etc… GeoGems was built around the desire to find new solutions to meet these challenges, by taking advantage of its skills in the management of Research and Development programs. The objective is to respond to issues raised by the sector by developing new tools that can be applied in practice. GeoGems sets up research projects by linking market players and academic research, making it possible to identify new methods or tools to meet needs.

GeoGems works with you to set up, manage or facilitate the links between academic research and your needs. If you are a business operating in the colored gemstones sector, and have to deal with scientific or technical obstacles affecting your daily work, do not hesitate to contact us. 

GeoGems travaille en collaboration avec les entreprises et organismes privés désireux de collaborer sur des sujets de recherche. GeoGems permet d’accompagner ces acteurs afin de faciliter les liens entre les organismes de recherche publics (ex. universités) et le secteur industriel. GeoGems works in collaboration with companies and private organizations wishing to collaborate on research topics. GeoGems facilitates the links and collaboration between public research organizations (e.g. universities) and the industrial sector.

Are you face scientific obstacles affecting your daily business?

Ongoing project

Destabilization of opals

In the gemstone market, opal is a very special and unique gem, thanks to its play of color. But the opal has a significant defect, some can destabilize, with a loss of transparency (whitening) or integrity (fracturing). This phenomenon of destabilization is correlated with dehydration, the loss of water being contained in the opal.

The destabilization of opal can only be understood by studying how water integrates into amorphous silica. Thanks to the latest developments in spectroscopic and thermal analysis methods, it is possible to assess the size of the pores containing water in the microstructure of the opal. By applying these measurements with destabilization experiments on a range of samples, the physical mechanisms driving the destabilization were identified. The theoretical tools allowing to model these mechanisms open the possibility of predicting the destabilization of an opal.

This research, still in progress, will make it possible to put in place practical tools to evaluate the sensitivity of each opal to destabilization.


Solutions brought by GeoGems:

From this understanding of the destabilization processes of opals, GeoGems is working to develop an analysis to be able to predict the probability that an opal will crack. This project may result in marketable analysis and/or gemological equipment. This project also focuses on the search for a potential treatment.

To go further:

Fissured opal, photo @F.Mazzero

Phénomère de fissurration dans une opale, photo issue de Mollé (2017)

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