The Gem Passport is a new service of Gübelin Gem Lab, available for a selection of rubies, sapphires and emeralds below 3ct weight only, focusing on a few key value drivers, specifically the country of origin and the presence or absence of treatment.
Gem Passports are issued on the basis of a standardized and automated testing protocol and a novel type of data interpretation handled by a custom-built software, Gemtelligence™. This software, an innovation of the Gübelin Gem Lab, applies the most recent machine-learning concepts and software architecture. Gemtelligence™ is trained on data from a large number of gemstones studied by the Gübelin Gem Lab over many decades, including data collected from reference stones of known identity and provenance. Gemtelligence™ is capable of identifying and evaluating meaningful patterns from different sets of raw data, reaching a higher accuracy than what can be achieved with the traditional approach of data interpretation.
By applying this new system of tests and data interpretation, Gem Passports differ significantly from other Gübelin Gem Lab services such as Gemmological Reports. For example, the testing protocol to determine the identity, authenticity, country of origin and treatment status of a gemstone, applied for Gem Passports, does not include a detailed microscopic assessment and description, which traditionally was considered the base of gem lab reports. Gem Passports differ from Gemmological Reports in regards to the completeness, depth, breadth, details and numbers of analyses, as well as the evaluation and interpretation of the collected data. This difference also gets reflected on the respective documents: Gemmological Reports show signatures of two gemmologists, and the Gübelin Gem Lab Seal, to represent the breadth and depth of the analytical scrutiny. Gem Passports, however, do not feature any signature, nor the Gübelin Gem Lab Seal, reflecting their different standard of testing. Due to this different level of analysis and disclosure, the findings stated in a Gem Passport might not always be consistent with the findings stated in a Gemmological Report or any other Report for the same stone.
For Gem Passports, the probable geographic origin of a gemstone is determined mainly based on the spectroscopic and chemical properties collected from a stone, evaluated by Gemtelligence™. For blue sapphires, Gemtelligence™ is trained only on data of stones from the four main origins related to metamorphic host rocks, namely Burma (Myanmar), Kashmir, Madagascar and Sri Lanka. Blue sapphires from origins other than these four are excluded from the Gem Passport service. For rubies, Gemtelligence is trained on stone data from the commercially most relevant origins, including Burma (Myanmar), Mozambique, Vietnam, Thailand, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kenya and Madagascar. Likewise for emeralds, the scope of Gemtelligence is restricted to the origins of main commercial relevance, including Colombia, Zambia, Afghanistan, and Brazil.
The detail of disclosure - specifically regarding authenticity and treatments - used in Gem Passports is also limited and simplified compared to Gemmological Reports. In the context of a Gem Passport, no attempts are undertaken to determine the exact type or extent of treatment. In particular, the assessment and disclosure of treatment for ruby and sapphire is restricted to the presence or absence of indications of heat treatment. The possible presence of any other treatment, or details on heat treatment, such as the presence or extent of residues in fissures, the possible presence of indications of diffusion treatment, lead glass treatment, clarity enhancement or irradiation, is neither assessed nor disclosed. For emeralds, the treatment disclosure is reduced to the presence or absence of indications of clarity enhancement. The exact extent of clarity enhancement, a possible presence of cavity fillings, or the type of filling material is neither assessed nor disclosed.
Any comments made regarding the presence or absence of treatment will therefore only reflect Gübelin Gem Lab’s findings based on the restricted testing protocol and the automated evaluation of the collected data by Gemtelligence™, excluding most of the basic gemmological tests such as a detailed microscopic assessment and description. A more complete assessment and disclosure of the exact type of treatment can be undertaken by the Gübelin Gem Lab in the scope of a Gemmological Report.
Furthermore, unlike Gemmological Reports, Gem Passports do not include any additional statements or features relating to the quality of a gem, such as trade colour terms, Gemstone Rating, Information Sheets, or Appendices.