Gem Testing Laboratory
Gem Testing Laboratory a laboratory that is used to test and authenticate a cut and polished precious stone or jewel. Intrinsic colour of a stone will often tell experienced jewellers what the stone is. The lustre and nuances of diamond, the characteristic colour of emerald, sapphire and a ruby could tell them much, and in the past they were rarely wrong. However, in the beginning of the 19th century, the development of science and technology successfully brought about commercial production of synthetic gemstones. Today, with all the synthetics and other stimulants, it is less easy to be sure and accurate identification could be made only by scientific methods. So, the necessity for scientific laboratories for testing and verification of gemstones (natural, synthetic or false) was felt all over the world.
In compliance with the trends in the developed countries, the first ever scientific laboratory for testing gemstones in Bangladesh was set up in 1992, as a non-government enterprise. The Gem Testing Laboratory has the latest equipment made by the famous German company System Eichorst. These include a microscope specially designed for gem testing, a polariscope to determine optical properties of gemstones, a refractometer for direct measurement of refractive indices by the reflectivity method, an absorption spectroscope, longwave and shortwave ultraviolet lamps and other relevant equipment. An experienced geologist monitors the overall activities of the Laboratory. All precious and semi-precious gemstones (excluding pearls and corals) are actually cut and polished minerals of geological origin. The gem materials are tested at the laboratory, by a non-destructive testing system, ie using light ray. The actual aim for carrying out these tests is to identify and differentiate real gemstones of natural origin, having aesthetic and substantial monetary value, from the numerous masses of synthetic and false gemstones of very low or almost no value. Since its establishment, the Gem Testing Laboratory has been providing the public with testing services for nominal fees. It is situated at Kamal Ataturk Avenue, Banani, Dhaka. [Arif Mohiuddin Sikder]