Gem Science Research Lab

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

Solving challenges in the gem industry with geological research

The Belley Gem Science Research Laboratory at Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's, NL, Canada) is specialized in the economic geology of colored gemstone deposits. We are tackling key challenges in the colored gemstone industry through mineralogical, petrological, and geochemical research. The research group is actively conducting field-based research in the Arctic, Montana (USA), Asia, and other regions. 

Detrital Corundum Geology Pioneer

We are conducting pioneering research on corundum (ruby and sapphire) in sedimentary environments, which has significant implications for understanding placers and exploration method development. Stay tuned for some exciting new research in progress.

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

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.

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. Some of these new developments will be made public over the next several years.