Two new courses are coming to the Department of Geosciences for the 2021-22 academic year. In the fall, Eric Fritz and Susan Leib of the Gem and Mineral Museum will lead the charge with GEOS 260 Introduction to Gems and Minerals, where students will gain insight into the basics of gem science and its role in geology and mineral resources.
“This course will lay the foundations to understanding minerals, the science of gems, and will track the journey from a gemstone’s development in nature, and all the bells and whistles until it arrives at the jewelry store. This course will cover where and how gems occur in their natural habitat (or their geology), their composition and crystal structure, properties that dictate how they are cut and polished, non-destructive methods used to identify gemstones, as well as gemstone enhancements and synthetics.”
These topics will be expanded upon in the Spring semester course, GEOS 462/562 Petrology of Gems, taught by Ananya Mallik and Joaquin Ruiz. Topics will cover how to determine the geographic origin of gems and why that is an important issue in the gem industry as well as in earth science research and academia as a whole.