Celebrating our 2nd Anniversary

“No valleys, no mountaintops.” – B.C. Forbes

On 1 June 2017, we celebrated The Gem Museum’s 2nd Anniversary. We are grateful to everyone who has been supporting us in various ways since we opened in 2015.

For the purpose of our 2nd anniversary, we have invited the press and media from various publishers in Singapore and around the region to grace a special event on 10 unique diamonds.

10 unique diamonds showcased on our anniversary
Setup for the 10 unique diamonds

Before the 10 unique diamonds were presented, we brought our guests through a journey from “Mine to Market”. Special thanks to Mr. Tay Thye Sun for contributing many of the gems and rock samples to educate about geology and gem formation, the first section of the museum. Here, we have a “Rock Garden”, featuring some of our collections from different countries such as Australia, China, Indonesia and Madagascar.

Geology & Gem Formation
Geology & Gem Formation

Of the 10 unique diamonds, the most special diamond is a 1.5ct heart-shaped Chameleon Diamond. We also want to give a special shoutout to our friends from Hong Kong, who are avid diamond collectors, Mr. Si and family. Without which we would not have such great fun showing a beautiful piece of diamond to our guests.

Chameleon Diamond
Heart-shaped chameleon diamond

At the end of the event, there was good interaction with questions and answers. Some of the questions include “How does one become a gemmologist?”, “Which is the most valuable gemstone or diamonds we have seen?” etc. It was a great time of sharing knowledge and experiences.

exhibit demonstration
Mr. Tay Kunming speaking with the guests

Once again, we sincerely thank everyone who had helped us and supported us in one way or another throughout the last two years.

The next exciting event coming up would be the “Moons & Stars” exhibition that we will be setting up during the Singapore’s Night Festival along the Bras Basah and Bugis (BBB) district. Do look out for updates in the next few months!

Exhibition: Galaxy of Glowing Gems

An Exhibition of a Galaxy of Glowing Gems

As part of the 2016 Singapore Night Festival showcase, The Gem Museum and Far East Gems and Jewellery put together a special exhibition of gemstones and minerals that come to live in the dark!

Here’s what we did: We turned off all the lights in the museum, turning the entire space into a wonderland of glowing gemstones.

So nice, they are glowing gems!

amber under UV light exhibitionAn Amber fluoresces blue under long wave UV light.

petroleum-quartz-under-uv-light

Petroleum in Quartz from Pakistan. The petroleum flouresces yellow!

spinel-in-marble-under-uv-light-3

A beautiful pieces of spinel in marble matrix. The spinel fluoresces red under long wave UV light.

For visitors to the museum, it was a sight to behold. And I was delighted to see more than a hundred people attended the event – many are at the museum for their first time! On display were over 200 gemstones and mineral samples from Far East Gem Institute’s collection that showcases the natural fluorescent and properties of the gems, crystals and minerals. Additionally, we have put together a special presentation explaining how and why certain types of gemstones and minerals react under specific lighting conditions that dramatically transform the way they look.

Some interesting facts about glowing gemstones

  • Only about 15% of minerals have a fluorescence that is visible to people and some specimens of those minerals will not fluoresce.
  • Fluorescence usually occurs when specific impurities known as “activators” are present within the mineral.
  • These activators are typically cations of metals such as: tungsten, molybdenum, lead, boron, titanium, manganese, uranium and chromium.
  • Rare earth elements such as europium, terbium, dysprosium, and yttrium are also known to contribute to the fluorescence phenomenon.
  • Fluorescence can also be caused by crystal structural defects or organic impurities.

  • In addition to “activator” impurities, some impurities have a dampening effect on fluorescence.
  • If iron or copper are present as impurities, they can reduce or eliminate fluorescence.
  • Furthermore, if the activator mineral is present in large amounts, that can reduce the fluorescence effect.

  • Most minerals fluoresce a single colour. Other minerals have multiple colours of fluorescence.
  • Calcite has been known to fluoresce red, blue, white, pink, green and orange.

Pic: Calcite fluorescing in different colours.

  • Some minerals are known to exhibit multiple colours of fluorescence in a single specimen.
  • These can be banded minerals that exhibit several stages of growth from parent solutions with changing compositions.

Pic: Banded rock materials that fluoresces different colours under UV.

An important aspect…

  • In the early 1900s, many diamond merchants would seek out stones with a strong blue fluorescence.
  • They believed that these stones would appear more colourless (less yellow) when viewed in light with a high ultraviolet content.
  • This eventually resulted in controlled lighting conditions for colour grading diamonds.

Getting ready for next year!

This year, we had a successful exhibition on a Galaxy of Glowing Gemstones. Coming up next year, Singapore 10th Night Festival 2017, we are going to exhibit the theme of Galaxy of Moons and Stars! Do keep a lookout!

Pic: Star Sapphire

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