edward Blomgren, PhD

Our Gemologist

Our gemstones are tested by GIA-trained Graduate Gemologist Edward Blomgren, PhD, who has completed formal studies in diamonds, colored stones, gem identifications, and appraising in New York, Montreal, and California. He’s written over 40 pieces for the prestigious Gems & Gemology journal, is a published author, and a gem and jewelry appraiser and broker.

“Are your gemstones real?”

Gemstone Testing Process

To begin our gemstone testing process, Edward documents some general observations about the gemstone, such as coloration, inclusions, and clarity (diaphaneity). He then inspects for the following measurements: how light reflects off the gemstone (density and luster), its heft (weightiness), its ability to hold cold or warmth, and its hardness on the Mohs scale.

Next Edward uses a refractometer to measure the gemstone's reflective index, how light behaves when projected through a gem. He then assesses a gemstone’s chemical composition using a spectrometer. And using a dichroscope and polariscope he measures advanced refraction characteristics. Lastly he uses a 10X and 60X gem microscope to look deep into the gemstone.

Together this data informs him whether the gemstone is natural, man-made, or an imitation, as well as if any enhancements have been made to the gemstone.

Dyed, Heat-Treated, & More

Gemstone Treatments & Enhancements

Gemologists use the terms "treatments" and "enhancements" interchangeably. Treatments have become a major part of the colored gemstone world because they’ve made a huge, positive difference in the beauty, wearability, durability, and availability of gems worldwide. The American Gem Trade Association estimates that 95% of all colored stones are treated.

There are about a dozen commonplace, trade-approved treatments. Two of the most often used and known by the public are heat treatments and dyes. Heat treatment involves using high temperatures to further enhance color and clarity. Similarly, dyes can be used to enhance natural colors within gemstones. Neither of these treatments impact the authenticity of a genuine gemstone. Other treatments include various fillers, infusions, coatings, molecular-level diffusion with elements like beryllium, and extremely low dose, totally safe, irradiation.

These enhancements have long been accepted by the FTC, the world-wide CIBJO Confederation, and the gem marketplace as long as they’re disclosed. All SoulKu gemstones that are heat-treated, dyed, or manmade are labeled as so on their product page.

Have questions about how to care for your SoulKu jewelry? Check out our Product Care page to learn more.

product care