Press Release

Gems & Gemology Fall 2019 Issue Showcases Gem Art of the Taj Mahal

The Fall 2019 Gems & Gemology issue features an examination of the gem art of the Taj Mahal, an iconic architectural treasure erected at the pinnacle of the Mughal dynasty. The seventeenth-century necklace on the cover features seven spinels from Tajikistan, pearls and a pear-shaped emerald cabochon drop. The spinels are inscribed with the names of various Mughal emperors. The necklace was sold by Christie’s New York in June 2019 for more than $3 million. Photo courtesy of Christie’s.

Quarterly journal features contributions from around the world

CARLSBAD, Calif. – Nov. 18, 2019 – Combining the science and beauty of gemstones, the Fall 2019 Gems & Gemology (G&G) – GIA’s quarterly professional journal – is full of dazzling imagery and detailed research. This issue features gem art of the Taj Mahal, a detailed study of Fancy white and Fancy black diamonds, vanadium-rich emeralds from China, a first look at unique inclusions in corundum from Thailand, characteristics of hydrothermally treated beeswax amber, and more. The Fall 2019 G&G is available in print by subscription and in the GIA Store, and digitally – at no cost – on
The lead article illustrates the intricate gem inlay that graces the architecture of one of the seven wonders of the modern world, the Taj Mahal. Dona Dirlam and co-authors share the gem connoisseurship of the Mughal dynasty and how it influenced global gem commerce in the seventeenth century.
GIA research scientists Sally Eaton-Magaña and Christopher M. Breeding take an in-depth look at Fancy white and Fancy black diamonds in an article from their series on colored diamond characterization. Using GIA data for approximately 500 Fancy white and 1,200 Fancy black diamonds, this is the first systematic study on these rare diamonds.
The issue then transitions to colored stones, beginning with analyses of emeralds from Malipo, China that show a unique composition. The next article identifies mineral inclusions in corundum from Chanthaburi, Thailand – several of which are reported for the first time in Thai corundum.
That is followed by a pair of studies on organic gem materials. Researchers explore hydrothermally treated “beeswax” amber to reveal the enhancement process and means of detection. The final feature article follows the operations of a pearl farm in Phuket, Thailand to determine methods for maximizing production and quality of cultured half-pearls.
The issue also features two brief notes: a discovery of a complex multi-step treatment process in a green diamond and a new rhodochrosite simulant composed of pressed gibbsite and calcite powder. The issue concludes with the regularly occurring Lab Notes, G&G Micro-World and Gem News International columns. The 2019 G&G Challenge quiz winners are also announced.
This and every issue of G&G since 1934, including full contents, photo galleries and exclusive video footage, is available at no cost on GIA’s website

Additional research articles are available at

Print subscriptions and copies of back issues are available at

About GIA

An independent nonprofit organization, GIA (Gemological Institute of America), established in 1931, is recognized as the world’s foremost authority in gemology. GIA invented the famous 4Cs of Color, Clarity, Cut and Carat Weight and, in 1953, created the International Diamond Grading System™ which is recognized around the world as the standard for diamond quality.
Through research, education, gemological laboratory services and instrument development, the Institute is dedicated to ensuring the public trust in gems and jewelry by upholding the highest standards of integrity, academics, science and professionalism.