Gem Science Research Group

Dr. Phil Belley - Earth Sciences - Memorial University of Newfoundland

Solving challenges in the gem industry with geological research

The Belley Gem Science Research Group at Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's, NL, Canada) is tackling key challenges in the colored gemstone industry through mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical research. Other areas of interest include Rare Earth Element deposits and metacarbonate rocks. For potential government or industry collaborations, please contact Dr. Belley directly.

Gem Deposit Modelling

Developing and improving our understanding of gemstone formation through models is a crucial part of advancing gem science. The factors that control gemstone formation, coloration, inclusions, and geochemistry are highly complex. Only with a robust scientific foundation can we develop reliable exploration or origin-determination methods.

Field-Based Research

Field-based data and sample collection are critical to understanding gemstone formation. Experienced in conducting field-based research and gemstone exploration, we go where the science takes us.

Detrital Corundum Geology Pioneer

We conduct pioneering research on corundum (ruby and sapphire) in sedimentary environments, which has significant implications for understanding placer deposits and conducting mineral exploration. We are actively developing novel approaches and applying them in the field.

Image: Corundum crystal from a placer deposit shown with the tip of a needle. Field of view 1 mm.

Exploration Method Development

The discovery of new coloured gemstone deposits is crucial. And yet, new deposits are primarily discovered by chance. We are conducting cutting-edge research to develop new ways of finding colored gemstone deposits.