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PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 10:57 pm 
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i think burapha university is where the lab is located, tudor2.

jett suggested for jason to e-mail the university to find out if they take gems from vendors for testing:

headbuu@buu.ac.th

here's the link to the burapha university in english:

http://www.buu.ac.th/webeng/english.html

i think the e-bay link is the one that doesn't work?
hope this helps!


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 12:50 am 
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Hi Gingerkid.

I found the link to the University, but the link to the lab is gone. There is no trace of the lab on the net.

Regardless, if they do exist, how good is their equipment to determine synthetics and treatments?


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:55 am 
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No idea what the university or the lab are, but... it may be worth reminding at this point that it is NOT impossible for someone to add a page to a university's domain for a little while. Depends on the university and the fellow, of course. Some times it is not even difficult, or resented.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 10:21 am 
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Is there a link for this lab anywhere? There used to be on on that University page, it's not there anymore. I guess I'm trying to highlight this because this cert is used ALL OVER ebay, and now the lab, or any important information on it, is gone from the internet. In fact, if you google it, the top responses are in GO.


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 Post subject: the lab
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:13 pm 
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Burapha is the only gem lab here in Chanthaburi. While the seller may be a scumbag, I sympathize with his plight regarding testing options. The lab is still open and operating as usual.

I have used them on occasion when a customer wants corundum tested for beryllium, or if I sell an unusually large or rare stone. The certificate puts the customer at ease that an independent third party has given an identification. It is not the marketing powerhouse that a GRS Swisslab or GIA certificate is, but it is substantially less expensive and I have found them to be 100% accurate.

I doubt you will get any response via email. Likewise, many of the other labs here in Thailand (including the big names) are poor answering mail. With Burapha people tend to walk in the door with the stone- they have no internet business and no other intake facilities other than the two locations in Chanthaburi.

I know they have LIBS but don't have any details on other testing equipment that they have. The word on the street is that they have come under considerable pressure in the past to be more "dealer friendly" but they do everything by the book according to their reputation here in town.

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 Post subject: Re: the lab
PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:22 pm 
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davegimchee wrote:
Burapha is the only gem lab here in Chanthaburi. While the seller may be a scumbag, I sympathize with his plight regarding testing options. The lab is still open and operating as usual.

I have used them on occasion when a customer wants corundum tested for beryllium, or if I sell an unusually large or rare stone. The certificate puts the customer at ease that an independent third party has given an identification. It is not the marketing powerhouse that a GRS Swisslab or GIA certificate is, but it is substantially less expensive and I have found them to be 100% accurate.

I doubt you will get any response via email. Likewise, many of the other labs here in Thailand (including the big names) are poor answering mail. With Burapha people tend to walk in the door with the stone- they have no internet business and no other intake facilities other than the two locations in Chanthaburi.

I know they have LIBS but don't have any details on other testing equipment that they have. The word on the street is that they have come under considerable pressure in the past to be more "dealer friendly" but they do everything by the book according to their reputation here in town.


Thank you for that great response. My other question is their ability to detect synthetics, in particular some of the newer ones that are extremely difficult to detect. Also, if they do not have a readily available website, how do you verify the authenticity of a lab report?

What is a LIBS?


Last edited by tudortwo on Sun Jul 26, 2009 3:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 26, 2009 1:41 pm 
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LIBS=Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy.
It's primary use, gemologically, is for detecting beryllium (Be), lithium (Li) and boron (B) in untreated and treated rubies-sapphires, chrysoberyls and beryls.

LIBS is not considered as diagnostic as LA-ICP-MS and SIMS methods but it is still an extremely useful tool. (Wish I had one)
LA-ICP-MS=Laser Ablation Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry
SIMS=Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:38 pm 
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Can a LIBS be used to determine some of the better made synthetics out there?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 5:15 pm 
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Synthetics are usually identified with microscopic observation coupled with the results of tests done with other standard gemological instrumentation.
Synthetic ruby, sapphire, emerald, spinel, aquamarine, amethyst, alexandrite, opal and misc. hydrothermal quartzes are usually fairly routine IDs for a gemologist, including the newer ones.

Synthetic diamonds usually need additional testing, unless there is still the laser inscription on the girdle, identifying it as synthetic.

Which gem(s) are you specifically referring to that you believe would need additional testing?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 9:32 pm 
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The newer synthetic red spinels such as these, in particular if they're inclusion free.

http://midtenn-gia-alumni.carrienunes.c ... spinel.php


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:52 pm 
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The natural spinel I have encountered has always had several diagnostic inclusions.

If a spinel is very free from inclusions, it would immediately arouse suspicion.

Flux and metallic residue from a crucible are not difficult to detect and identify with an immersion microscope.
Therefore, I think one would not have a problem making the call with microscopic observation.

If one could NOT find anything in the stone (very very unlikely in a natural spinel) a Raman would be helpful for positive ID.

As Dorian said in his post, synthetics can often be identified by microscopic characteristics, and variances in RI, SG, UV, and spectrum.

Separation of natural and synthetic gems is part of the curriculum in every gemological school, and students are taught to do it using standard gemological equipment.

Detecting and identifying treatments is much more of a challenge and in many cases, even with access to sophisticated instruments, interpreting the results of the tests can be open to debate.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 12:09 pm 
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In my reading of the various articles, it appears to be the consensus that the traditional gemological methods such as the SG, RI, UV and spectrum testing cannot be used to distinguish flux grown synthetic spinel from a natural spinel because the results are identical, and that only a microscopic investigation might reveal the tell tale signs such as jagged flex residue, metallic flakes and small parallel hollow channels unlike natural red spinels which are often very included with healed fissures consisting of octahedral negative crystals. Raman testing appears to be a foolproof method. As I am not familiar with the equipment a GG or appraiser might own, I’d like to know if every appraiser usually has the capability of doing a Raman test?


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 5:47 pm 
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A couple of thoughts on the synthetic red spinels. We've actually discussed this somewhere else on the forums?.. but I echo what Barbra and Dorian stated in that first you often do the ID based on the use of regular gemological instruments. There are those times that heavier duty equipment is employed such as Raman.

The results that Michael Krzemnicki came up with using the raman actually can be done using a regular spectrometer and a UV light. I did this over 10 years ago when the red flux grown spinels first appeared. One might even be able to do it with a spectroscope, but careful with looking at any UV close up.

That every appraiser has the capability of doing a Raman test can be answered by asking first, if they have a Raman, which appraisers generally do not. But that does not mean they (or anyone) can't have a test done for them. As Barbra stated it really comes down to the proper interpretation of the Raman readings which is no easy task even for seasoned geo-chemists.

bear


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 Post subject: easy!
PostPosted: Sat Aug 01, 2009 2:26 pm 
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"Also, if they do not have a readily available website, how do you verify the authenticity of a lab report?"

I am here so if the seller would send you a jpg or scan of the report I would be happy to print it out and walk it into the lab for you. It's not out of my way. I might even be able to get a cell phone number for you if you want to talk to them.

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 Post subject: Re: Burapha University Gem Lab
PostPosted: Tue Oct 23, 2012 3:33 pm 
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I have an opinion about this lab, but am very reticent to share it on a forum... :)
I too had questions concerning the validity of this lab. so I went searching...

this is the only relevant piece of information that I found;

http://bgl.chanthaburi.buu.ac.th/#

in the navigation bar near the top of the page there is a link to check the validity of a certificate number. most of the page will have to be translated, I did not go that far.


I have simply come to the conclusion that if the Gemological report does not come from an internationally acclaimed laboratory, then it is probably in my best interest to pass on the certification. I personally test every gemstone I receive. since my lab has only the basic gemological tools, I rely on my knowledge of common treatments, as certain gem types are more commonly treated than others.
currently I am looking into various Geiger counters that I could reasonably incorporate into my practices.


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