L. Bruce Jones, G.G., F.G.A., D.Gem.G.

 
 
I graduated from Culver Military Academy in 1974 with a casual interest in rocks and minerals that lead to my learning to cut cabochons in a small closet in my first apartm
ent at Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas. The cab machine was soon replaced by a Facetron faceting machine in 1976, and that summer I discovered geology which lead to my declaring that as a major in 1977. A family friend offered me a part time job working at the precious jewelry salon at Frost Brothers in downtown San Antonio and I also took a course in Gemology from Dr. Robert Freed at Trinity. Those two seminal experiences cemented my interest in gemology joining my fascination with hard rock geology (e.g. mineralogy and igneous and metamorphic petrology) and I graduated with a degree in Geology in 1978 and by the Spring of ’79 I was a residence student at the Gemological Institute of America, then in Santa Monica, California, where I earned my Graduate Gemologist Diploma.


In 1980 I started a gemological laboratory in Seattle c
alled Pacific Gemological Services. The lab, owned by myself and my wife at the time, also a gemologist, provided colored stone and diamond certificates and appraisals for the local market and for national and international clientele, and I also had the opportunity to provide some gem mining consulting services at various gem mines overseas. The lab developed an extraordinary group of trade clients and we specialized in very high-end goods, many of which are now in the world’s foremost public collections.


In 1980 I challenged the exams and became a Fellow of the Gemological Association of Great Britain (#D4683) and I spent time in Idar Oberstein, Germany where I earned my D.Gem.G. credentials. Following that I had an opportunity to work briefly with Dr. Eduard Gubelin.


My main interest was in the scientific, as opposed to the commercial, aspects of the trade and so I entered graduate school specifically to do gemological research.


My initial research interest included the paragenesis of gem corundum and most of the work I did involved either trace element analysis correlated with advanced optical mineralogical techniques or inclusion research and identification utilizing the electron microprobe. Gem inclusion research was in its infancy at that time and there was still much to be discovered. There is a direct relationship between the geologic environment and the chemistry, inclusions and properties of the daughter gemstones, and as a geologist/mineralogist I found this to be a fascinating subject.

 

My gemological background

Me as the President ot Pacific Gemological Services in 1980. The photo below is of a Wild photomicroscopy setup at the lab to record cathodoluminescence from gem samples in the electron beam of a Nuclide Luminoscope.