Stefanos Karampelas

DANAT’s Research Director works with University of Nantes to deliver the Advanced Gemmological Diploma

4th February 2018

DANAT’s Research Director Dr. Stefanos Karampelas, amongst his many qualifications, obtained the Advanced Gemmological Diploma from the University of Nantes in 2007. A number of years later he now represents DANAT as a lecturer for the Advanced Gemmological Diploma at Nantes university.

The Diploma is designed for professionals with material experience in the gemmological and jewellery industries who have obtained core qualifications with various international gemmological institutions (e.g. Gem-A and GIA) and/or scientists with relevant background (e.g., geology, mineralogy, material science, chemistry). The Diploma is taught in English and French and attracts a wide variety of attendees from around the world with backgrounds including gemmological academia, jewellery buying and design and even those seeking a change in career and work in the gemmology and jewellery industry. Typically, a maximum of 12 places are available on the Diploma each year.

Dr. Karampelas is responsible for teaching the Diploma’s classes relating to pearls and coloured stones (e.g., origin determination) and expertise in the laboratory, using methods such as EDXRF and LA-ICP-MS for chemical analysis as well as X-ray microradiography and micro-computed tomography. The Diploma also covers more general gemmological topics such as geological genesis of gems, crystallography, crystal growth, gem treatments and synthetics difficult to identify.

The Diploma lasts one year and culminates in practical and theoretical examinations, which include each student presenting a gemmological memoir to the Diploma Committee before being awarded their Advanced Gemmological Diploma. Dr. Karampelas sits on the Diploma Committee, alongside six other academics and industry experts.

The University of Nantes has a strong reputation in gemmological studies and is one of only a few universities in the world that enables students to study gemmology at PhD level. It is DANAT’s pleasure to help train the next generation of gemmologists and jewellery industry professionals by sharing the expert knowledge and experience of Dr. Karampelas with the student of the Advanced Gemmological Diploma. Reflecting on the course, Dr Karampelas commented ‘Teaching for the Advanced Gemmological Diploma is rewarding as the students have various background and most of them with great knowledge on gems.’

In addition, DANAT conducts several scientific projects with scientists at the University of Nantes, using the university’s sophisticated and high-cost instruments, with limited applications on gems (e.g. NMR –Nuclear Magnetic Resonance and AFM –Atomic Force Microscope) in order to better understand and characterise gem materials.’