The Swiss Gemological Institute (SSEF) founded more than 40 years ago is today one of the world’s most respected gem research, education and grading institutions, based in Basel, Switzerland, providing its much sought after identification and grading services to the gemstone, jewelry and watch industries and reputed auction houses based not only in Europe but the entire world. It is part of the Swiss Foundation for the Research of Gemstones (SSEF : Schweizerische Stiftung fur Edelstein-Forschung) founded by trade organizations in 1974 and works independently on a scientific basis. It is structured as a foundation under the aegis of Switzerland’s Federal Department of Home Affairs. The function of its laboratory is to analyse precious stones and issue test reports for diamonds, colored stones and pearls. Members of the SSEF laboratory are also engaged in research and education, either in collaboration with the University of Basel or with other gemological laboratories.
The organizations first director was George Bosshart who served from 1974 to 1990, and was succeeded by Prof. Henry A. Hanni who served a director from 1990 to 2009. Prof. Hanni was succeeded by Dr. Michael Krzemnicki, the present director who had served SSEF from the year 2009 to date.
The SSEF laboratory had been located since 1994 in a small apartment in the center of Basel. This laboratory had a floor space of only around 300 sq. meters and was hardly sufficient to accommodate the increase in equipment and staff needed to expand the services provided to meet the increase in customer demand. It was with this in view that the SSEF built a more spacious, 720 sq.meter state-of-the-art laboratory in Basel, located within eyesight of Basel’s main railway station, which was inaugurated on February 12, 2015. The new facility would enable the growth of SSEF’s diamond, colored gemstone and pearl grading and testing divisions, while helping to keep the organization at the forefront of gemological research, and to expand the educational services provided to the Swiss, European and international gem communities.
The inauguration ceremony which was held on February 12, 2015 was attended by a select group of representatives from the Swiss gem, jewelry and watch industires, as well as industry and jewelry organization leaders from abroad, that included CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri; representatives of the World’s leading watch manufacturers such as Swatch Group and the Richemont Group; representatives of auction houses such as Christie’s; reputed jewelry designers such as Stefan Hemmerle of the House of Hemmerle based in Munich, Germany; and Dr. Simon Lawson of De Beers’ Technology. Apart from Dr. Michael Krzemnicki who gave the welcome address at the inauguration ceremony, other speakers at the function included Marc-Alain Christen, the President of the SSEF Board; CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri; Daniel Struyf of Christie’s; Stefan Hemmerle of the House of Hemmerle, Germany and Dr. Simon Lawson, the head of De Beers’ Technology.
A highlight of the inaugural event was the public presentation of SSEF’s ASDI machine, and participants watched, the machine sort through a batch of more than 1,400 small diamonds, examining each one individually and accurately separating only the suspect stones.
For the full press release by the Swiss Gemological Institute please click the following URL :-