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Penny Lecture: Gemstones have an ‘ology too: the Science Behind the Sparkle

Gemmology – the science of gemstones – is a science that, although practiced since 300 BC, wasn’t fully recognised until the 19th century. It is, however, an essential discipline in the context of the jewellery industry – or indeed, for anyone working with gems. It is the work of the gemmologist to ensure that every stone sold is exactly what it pertains to be – that every ruby is a ruby and not a red garnet, or that your diamond is not a white sapphire in disguise. It is also an incredibly rich and interesting subject, traversing crystallography, mineralogy, geology, physics, chemistry, history, art and design. 

In this talk, Beth West from Gemmological Certification Services (GCS), the UK’s leading gemmological laboratory will introduce her subject, as well as enlightening the audience with the many stories a gemstone can tell us; about the universe, our planet and, often, the nature of humanity itself. 

Speaker Biography

Beth West is a gemmologist, educator and writer with over fifteen years’ experience in the industry across varying senior roles. As a Fellow and Diamond Fellow of the Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Bruton Medal winner) and a member of the Federation of European Education in Gemmology, she has a wealth of knowledge and buckets of enthusiasm for her subject which, outside of her immediate professional responsibilities as the Education Director at Gemmological Certification Services laboratory, she is committed to share. Her belief in the importance of gemmological education within the industry and at every step along the supply chain also informs her work as a trainer and volunteer for the NGO, Diamonds for Peace and as a member of the Fair Luxury Group