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A Comparison of Diamonds and Colored Stones: Geographic Origin to Geology and More

DATE: Thursday, September 10 at 10:00 a.m. PDT

Diamonds and colored stones are often considered to exist in entirely different realms in the gem and jewelry industry. This might partly be due to the fact that they are mined and brought to market so differently. Diamonds are primarily mined in large, industrial-scale operations, while colored stones such as rubies, sapphires and emeralds are typically produced by smaller-scale, often artisanal, operations. Their quality is also assessed very differently. Nonetheless, both diamonds and colored stones have helped scientists unlock secrets about Earth’s geology. Tune in as GIA Research Scientist Dr. Karen Smit and GIA Senior Manager of Research Dr. Aaron Palke reveal why these gems have more in common than you may have imagined.


Dr. Karen V Smit received her Ph.D. in geology from the University of Alberta. She is currently a research scientist at GIA New York where her work is focused on diamonds and mantle geochemistry.


Dr. Aaron Palke is the senior manager of research at GIA. His research is mainly focused on using inclusions, trace element chemistry and spectroscopy to understand the geological origin of gems.