Identification of gemstones using portable sequentially shifted excitation Raman spectrometer and RRUFF online database: A proof of concept study

  • Adam CulkaEmail author
  • Jan Jehlička
Regular Article
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Focus Point on Scientific Research in Conservation Science


Portable Raman spectrometers offer a good option for fast in situ analyses and discrimination of gemstones in the cultural heritage and gemmology applications. Their relative affordability and ease of use makes them ideal tools able to complement traditional instruments in a gemmology lab. A test scenario of blind study based on identification of cut gemstones solely using their Raman spectra and online RRUFF database is proposed. A portable Raman spectrometer equipped with a sequentially shifted excitation (PSSERS) that allows recording of Raman spectra with supressed fluorescence background was used for acquisition of Raman spectra of a series of 20 previously unidentified cut minerals in gemstone quality. Obtained spectra were loaded into the freeware CrystalSleuth program that permits to search in the online database of Raman spectra of minerals RRUFF. In this way 19 out of 20 (with the exception of apatite) cut minerals or gemstones were correctly identified based on multiple similar matches of their Raman spectra in the database. These findings and the straightforward process described in this study suggest that a highly practical application such as basic gemstone discrimination using only portable Raman spectrometer and a free online spectral library is feasible even for a user not experienced in Raman spectroscopy and traditional spectroscopic references in the literature.

Supplementary material

13360_2019_12596_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (1.1 mb)
Supplementary material


  1. 1.
    P. Vandenabeele, K. Castro, M. Hargreaves, L. Moens, J.M. Madariaga, H.G.M. Edwards, Anal. Chim. Acta 588, 108 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    P. Vandenabeele, H.G.M. Edwards, J. Jehlička, Chem. Soc. Rev. 43, 2628 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    D. Lauwers, A.G. Hutado, V. Tanevska, L. Moens, D. Bersani, P. Vandenabeele, Spectrochim. Acta Part A 118, 294 (2014)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    J. Jehlička, A. Culka, P. Vandenabeele, H.G.M. Edwards, Spectrochim. Acta Part A 80, 36 (2011)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    J. Jehlička, A. Culka, M. Baštová, P. Bašta, J. Kuntoš, Phil. Trans. R. Soc. A 374, 20160042 (2016)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    J. Jehlička, A. Culka, D. Bersani, P. Vandenabeele, J. Raman Spectrosc. 48, 1289 (2017)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    K. Osterrothová, L. Minaříková, A. Culka, J. Kuntoš, J. Jehlička, J. Raman Spectrosc. 45, 830 (2014)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    A. Culka, J. Hyršl, J. Jehlička, Appl. Phys. A 122, 959 (2016)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    J. Jehlička, A. Culka, F. Košek, J. Raman Spectrosc. 48, 1583 (2017)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    A. Culka, J. Jehlička, J. Raman Spectrosc. 49, 526 (2018)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    A. Culka, J. Jehlička, J. Raman Spectrosc. 50, 262 (2019)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12., accessed on 9 January 2019
  13. 13.
    P. Vandenabeele, H.G.M. Edwards, J. Jehlička, Chem. Soc. Rev. 43, 2628 (2014)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    B. Lafuente, R.T. Downs, Y.H. Yang, N. Stone, The power of databases: the RRUFF project, in Highlights in Mineralogical Crystallography, edited by T. Armbruster, R.M. Danisi (W. De Gruyter, Berlin, Germany, 2015) pp. 1--30Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    D. Bersani, G. Azzi, E. Lambruschi, G. Barone, P. Mazzoleni, S. Raneri, U. Longobardo, P.P. Lottici, J. Raman Spectrosc. 45, 1293 (2014)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    E. Fritsch, S. Karampelas, J-Y. Mevellec, J. Raman Spectrosc. 48, 1554 (2017)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    G.A. Waychunas, Rev. Mineral Geochem. 48, 701 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    M. Gaft, G. Panczer, R. Reisfeld, E. Uspensky, Phys. Chem. Miner. 28, 343 (2001)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    C. Knutson, D.R. Peacor, W.C. Kelly, Am. Miner. 70, 829 (1985)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Società Italiana di Fisica and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of Geochemistry, Mineralogy and Mineral Resources, Faculty of ScienceCharles UniversityPraha 2Czech Republic

Personalised recommendations