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SSEF inaugurates new laboratory in Basel
The inauguration was graced by select representatives of the gem, jewellery and watch industries
By: Diamond World News Service
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Feb 19 2015 10:06AM
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Reference: 11184  

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The inauguration of Swiss Gemmological Institute's (SSEF), 720 square-metre state-of-the-art laboratory in Basel, took place on February 12, 2015, amidst a select representation of the Swiss gem, jewellery and watch industries, as well as industry leaders who have travelled in from abroad.

The new facility more than double the size of its previous 300-square metre laboratory, which the organisation occupied since 1994. This new lab enables a massive expansion of its services, and is customised to facilitate the growth of SSEF's diamond, coloured gemstone and pearl grading and testing divisions, and to keep the organisation at the forefront of gemmological research, while at the same time expanding the educational services it provides the Swiss, European and international gem communities. It is located within eyesight of Basel's main railway station.

Greeting the guests, SSEF's Director, Dr Michael Krzemnicki, described the organisation's transformation from a compact but highly respected Swiss laboratory into one of the world's leading gemmological authorities, with a team of 25 specialists.Dr Krzemnicki paid tribute to his predecessors, George Bosshart, who served as SSEF director from 1974 to 1990, and Prof. Henry A. Hänni, who was director from 1990 to 2009 and who was present at the ceremony.

In his address, Marc-Alain Christen, the President of the SSEF Board, traced the growth of the organisation from a laboratory that focussed on the local market into one operates internationally. "Frequent on-site testing in Hong Kong, Bangkok and Paris by SSEF specialists, as well as efficient and secure transportation of valuable items from all over the world to Basel have greatly contributed to the internationalisation of SSEF's work."

From its very early days, SSEF has served as touchstone for the gemmological sciences and was charged with the responsibility of being the custodian of the CIBJO Diamond C1 master set. It has since served as the source for colour master sets used by diamond grading laboratories around the world.

Present at the inauguration ceremony CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri said, "SSEF is a true gem in our trade, and an asset that needs to be valued and respected," he said. “This is a facility from which not only SSEF, but also the entire the jewellery and gemstone business, will continue to draw strength for many years to come."

A highlight of the inaugural event was the public presentation of SSEF's Automated Spectral Diamond Inspection (ASDI) system. SSEF's role as a service provider at the very highest echelons of the business was confirmed by the presence at the inauguration ceremony of representatives of the world's leading watch manufacturers, including the Swatch group the Richemont group, and auction houses, for whom SSEF has long provided expert grading services. Throughout his long collaboration with SSEF, Simon Lawson, the head of De Beers Technology said, "I have been constantly impressed with the lab's commitment to developing practical solutions for the challenges that face our industry." Dr Krzemnicki added, "The trade is constantly challenged by new and difficult developments, and old values such a trust and confidence nowadays need a backup by an independent gemmological report," he said. "Thus it has been and will be our foremost mission to provide you with the best gemmological services, as a world-wide leader in gemstone and pearl testing, based on our three main pillars - a highly experienced team of scientifically educated gemmologists, state-of-the-art instrumentation, and continuous research to be able to answer all challenges the market is facing, today and tomorrow."

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