GRS Aims for Excellence in Research

Since its founding in 1996 by Dr. Adolf Peretti, GRS gemological laboratory’s research has focused principally on three main areas:

  1. The identification and characterization of high-quality gemstones from newly discovered mines, and the determination of origin for gems derived from classic mining regions.

  2. The identification of gemstone imitations, synthetics, and new gem treatments.

  3. Expertise and specialization in color grading and gemstone color branding, such as the well-known GRS-type “pigeon’s blood” and GRS-type “royal blue” color descriptions.

GRS Laboratories pledges to make its results transparent to the public through works published in specialized trade journals, GRS’s proprietary publication series «Contributions to Gemology», producing documentaries, and hosting seminars during trade shows and other industry events. The key competence pillars of GRS can be classified into treatment detection, treatment classification, origin determination, and color terminology.

Treatment Detection

GRS Laboratories has played a key role in treatment detection for decades. All GRS laboratories are fully equipped with state-of-the-art advanced analytical instruments. These include spectrometers, lasers, and detectors such as ED-XRF, UV-Vis-NIR, FTIR, LIBS, Photoluminescence, Raman with additional intra-company located confocal Raman inclusion-microscopes to identify internal gemstone inclusions and a laser ablation research facility (LA-ICP-MS) strategically located at ETH Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology), Switzerland. 

Treatment Classification

Gemstone origin determination has gained enormous significance over the past two decades. GRS laboratories established itself as a global leader for origin determination by applying three important components: gemstone reference collection, compounded research expertise, and state-of-the-art analytical testing methods.

GRS has invested substantial corporate funding into acquiring gemstone reference samples from mining areas, including museum-grade high-value examples. This exhaustive sample library is coupled with Dr. A. Peretti’s and the GRS team's gemological and scientific research of proprietary evaluation and expert interpretation spanning over 30 years. This accumulation of know-how is safeguarded and distributed within the GRS laboratory organization.

Advanced state-of-the-art analytical testing methods form the third component. It is widely acknowledged that advanced analytical testing methods deliver the single most conclusive data towards origin determination. However, they are only considered conclusive when paired with the compounded know-how and an extensive gemstone reference collection.

Color Terminology

GRS color terms truly went global and have evolved into an international standard. Our color system has been embraced by end-users and utilized across all trade levels, including renowned auction houses, laboratories, wholesale markets, and the retail market.

GRS pioneered the discipline of creating a different approach to describing color terms. In doing so, GRS has reshaped the gemstone industry concerning color communication. The primary goal has always been to create simple, clear expressions without vague terms that might confuse the final consumer. GRS bases its color grading system on comprehensive master stone sets, allocating the color grade range according to these guidelines. GRS has trademarked these color terms.

GRS Board of Directors during the general assembly in 2017 at the GRS museum in Switzerland. From left to right: Prof. em. Dr. Josef Mullis (University of Basel, emeritus), Prof. Dr. Bernard Grobéty (University of Fribourg), Dr. Adolf Peretti (President), Prof. Dr. Detlef Günther (Vice President for Research and Corporate Relations of ETH Zurich), Prof. Dr. Eric Reusser (ETH Zurich), Prof. em. Dr. Thomas Armbruster (University of Bern, emeritus).

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