Microscopy and Photomicrography

Monday 16th March 2020



Workshop overview


The day will start with a journey into the centre of gemstones and the features that gemmologists can see with a microscope. Billie will present the audience with an overview of gemmological microscopy and discuss the most suitable lighting conditions for a variety of scenarios. This will include examples of frequently overlooked features in gems and how to spot them with appropriate lighting setup. Then we will provide an overview of how to use Lotus Gemmology’s Hyperion inclusion database, an online resource with over 1,000 inclusion photomicrographs with a strong focus on ruby, sapphire, and spinel. Attendees can search Hyperion to learn how to separate natural and synthetic gems, treated from untreated material, and gain an insight into origin determination. 


During the practical session, each delegate will be provided with their own workstation, complete with microscope and varied lighting to look at inclusions and learn more about what they can tell us about gemstones. We will also discuss techniques that can be used to capture photomicrographs. Attendees will learn how to take photos through the microscope, whether with their own cell phone cameras or with a professional photomicrography setup. 


Photomicrography Competition


We are delighted to announce the winner of our Photomicrography competition is Mary Dieu De Bellefontaine. All of us at The Academy of Valuers send our congratulations to Mary, whose microphotograph was selected as the winner from a huge entry of 54 photographs, by Billie Hughes of Lotus Gemology.

Billie said 'I have chosen #24 (the tourmalinated quartz) as the winner! I was really drawn to the composition and clear focal point of this image.

Mary wins a Lotus Gemology Colour Book generously donated by Billie Hughes.

Once again our thanks go to Billie for her fabulous workshop, we very much look forward to seeing you back very soon.

Over the next few days we will showcase some of the other entries we had - they were all amazing - well done 



The Academy of Valuers is dedicated to the continuing development of professional valuers in the United Kingdom and Ireland, offering lectures and practical workshops from some of the world's most respected gemmologists and jewellers.

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