This course is a new experimental course.
It can be used as a lab science or as an
elective. It is offered Fall & Spring semesters.
The course gives an overview of gems and focuses
on the minerals and samples themselves, but also on the gem
The goal is to give students a survey of what is going on today
gem industry, and provide a good historical background.
You will learn a log of Geology as well. Learning
about gems has both aesthetic and practical value for
gems and precious stones (including precious metals) will bring
and appreciation of the finer things in life that are becoming
more accessible to the average person as globalization makes
The laboratory exercises are part of a studio
environment that gets students involved in learning and
discussing lab material in both the lab and the lecture.
Lab and lecture topics overlap and blur.
Though the course is science, it also covers industrial applications from prospecting for valuable minerals to making synthetic gemstones. The course has minimal chemistry and math, neither of which is necessary to do well, but will allow you to understand what you see and why you see it. Science is used to understand the beauty and wonder of gems, and every day you will see beautiful things in class. Slide shows, videos, and samples are used to illustrate a wide variety of phenomena and you’ll learn what the best gems look like.
A trip to the American Museum of Natural History’s Morgan (J. P. Morgan) Memorial Hall of Gems will allow you to see some of the world’s greatest gems in one of the nation’s best collections.
As always, I look forward to seeing you in class soon.
Prof. Roland Scal