by Richard W. Hughes
The Skin Game • Beryllium Diffusion in Sapphire

The early history of beryllium diffusion in sapphire, starting with the 2001 appearance of large numbers of padparadscha sapphires in the Thai gem market.

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by Richard W. Hughes
Pleochroism in Faceted Gems • An Introduction • Lotus Gemology

The phenomenon of pleochroism in doubly refractive (DR) gemstones is described, as it relates to overall color appearance in the context of faceted gems. With strongly pleochroic gems, pleochroism can be seen in faceted gems, even if the table facet is oriented perpendicular to an optic axis. This is because facets change the direction of light as it moves through the gem.

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by Richard W. Hughes & Fred Ward
Heaven and Hell • The Quest for Jade in Upper Burma

The authors give an account of their epic 1997 visit to Burma's jade mines.

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by Richard W. Hughes, Olivier Galibert, Mark Smith & Dr. Thet Oo
Tracing the Green Line • A Journey to Burma’s Jade Mines

In 1996, several gemologists set off for Burma's remote jade mines, the first visit by foreigners since the early 1960's. This is the story of their epic journey.

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by Richard W. Hughes & Nickolai Kouznetsov
From Russia with Jade

Jadeite jade is a stone intimately associated with Burma (Myanmar). But there are deposits in other countries. This article details Russia's jadeite deposits in the Polar Urals and Khakassia.

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by Richard W. Hughes & U Hla Win
Burmese Sapphire Giants

A brief history of Burmese (Myanmar) sapphires, along with details of some of the major pieces of yore.

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by Richard W. Hughes
Pigeon's Blood • A Pilgrimage to Mogok – Valley of Rubies

The author makes his first pilgrimmage to Burma's Mogok Stone Tract.

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by Richard W. Hughes
Burma's Jade Mines • A History

The history of Burma's jade mines, as seen through Western eyes, from the earliest accounts through World War II.

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by John I. Koivula & Richard W. Hughes
Focus on the Spectroscope


Many gemologists have difficulty mastering the direct-vision spectroscope. This article eases the pain.

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by Richard W. Hughes
Moontown • A History of Chanthaburi, Thailand, and Pailin, Cambodia

The Thai city of Chanthaburi (จันทบุรี) may be small, but it has played an important role in both the history of Thailand and the gem trade. Taking its name from the Sanskrit word for moon ('chan'), this petite town is among the most charming in the Land of Smiles.

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