APPRAISAL OF DIAMONDS AND GEMSTONES : How to facilitate the separation of natural and synthetic gemstones

University essay from Luleå tekniska universitet/Institutionen för ekonomi, teknik och samhälle

Abstract: One major problem in the gemstone industry is that it is difficult to determine whether if a gemstone is natural or synthetic. Natural gemstones are found in the interior of the earth while the synthetic gems are created by people. The company Gemometrics has come across a product that makes it possible to distinguish these gemstones from each other, thus it solves the problem. This portable product is called GemPen and it is a lamp with a special wavelength that makes it possible to see which gems that are natural or synthetic. Gemometrics have chosen to focus on diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds. For the product GemPen, there is a protective case included, this case also works as a blackout that enables you to investigate these gemstones. To examine the gemstones, place the gems in the dark non-reflective case and direct the light from the GemPen on the gemstones. There is a visual difference between the natural gemstones with the synthetic ones which makes it possible for the user to elucidate a result. When using the object GemPen, the gemstones that are natural has a natural clarity while the synthetic gemstones will shine by themselves (fluorescence). A prerequisite to be able to see the difference when using the GemPen, the gems that are about to be investigated should be placed in a darkening whereas little light as possible may come in. The GemPen reveals its best result of this study if you are in a dark surrounding or turn of the lights in a room. This could be an issue if you’re outside and don’t have access to a dark space. Gemometrics wants the product to work outside during the daytime and this is where my study comes in. The task of this master thesis was to examine how one can strengthen the proof of the difference in synthetic and natural gemstones. The design of the GemPen was not to be changed while it was said that the design of its case was possible.  My role as a design engineer was to solve this dilemma and design a conceptual solution for people and the environment. An information gathering was completed and it was collected from articles, websites, interviews within the area of geology and optics. This resulted in three different solution suggestions: 1. To be able to use the same type of technique that can be found in cameras in the shape of a charged coupled device (CCD). A device that would be able to perceive wavelengths as the human eye can’t and therefore see the fluorescence which we can’t see when it is bright outside. 2. To use a band-pass filter. This would make it possible to let the wavelengths you want to see in, and the ones you do not want to see out. 3. Some sort of portable darkening that makes it possible to examine the gemstones while using the GemPen. The idea of a portable darkening device was chosen since darkness is proved that is worked from the beginning compared with the other two concepts wish would need more evidence that it really could work. During the remaining part of the design process, a number of different approaches have been used to achieve the final result. I have worked on developing a Moodboard, coordinated a workshop and gathered pictures for inspiration. A portable darkening that is now called “GemHood” is the result after 20 weeks. The details that make this GemHood unique are that it darkens your surroundings while it enables you to have your hands free for investigation. It is a folding hood that works as a darkening. It is easy to carry around and works as a complement for the GemPen and its associated case.

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