Colored Stones / Industry

Gübelin Awards Annual Scholarship


The House of Gübelin has given its annual Dr. Eduard Gübelin Research Scholarship to Sebastian Schmidt (pictured), for his research project on the development of reference materials for gem corundum.

Schmidt, a graduate student with the Institute of Earth Sciences at the University of Heidelberg, Germany, won the $30,000 prize for his research project “New oxygen isotope reference materials for gem corundum with an application to detrital sapphire from the Eifel, Germany.”

He will also receive access to the Gübelin Reference Stone Collection, which contains over 28,000 gemstones from every commercially relevant mine.

Schmidt’s project examines how to measure oxygen isotopes—a key geochemical indicator—in the gem corundum. Understanding how corundum’s intra-crystalline zonation can point to its origin will “provide a core contribution to isotope geology and geochemistry,” Gübelin said in a statement.

The samples analyzed will be shared worldwide with laboratories that use secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS).

The Dr. Eduard Gübelin Association for Research & Identification of Precious Stones, named after the House of Gübelin’s late founder, offers the research scholarship annually to an innovative project in mineralogy, gemology, materials sciences, or other related fields of research in the natural sciences. The association is a nonprofit entity of the House of Gübelin. This year’s scholarship committee consisted of eight scientists from around the world.

(Photo courtesy of the House of Gübelin)

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By: Rob Bates

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