Maria Katharina Schenk
CEO SIRIUS GEMS
I am a graduate gemologist from GEMOLOGICAL INSTITUTE OF AMERICA (GIA) with expertise and detailed knowledge in diamonds, sapphires, rubies and other colored gemstones. I am also an AJP-accredited jewelry professional from GIA London. In addition, I am an authorized appraiser from Norges Gullsmedforbund.
To be able to evaluate a gemstone today, it is not only necessary to be able to see the difference between a synthetic and a natural gemstone, but also to recognize the treatment methods the stone is exposed to. (Over 95% of sapphires and rubies are heat treated to intensify the color and they are commercially traded). A great deal are also treated with chemicals and dyes that can make the stone less durable. There are large price differences between synthetic, heat-treated, untreated natural, and beryllium-treated gemstones.
To be updated on the latest developments in the gemstone industry, I continue enrolling to international workshops each year. I have taken a workshops at Asian Institute of Gemological Science (AIGS) and an advanced course at Gemlab Themelis - Research & Development (2015) in Bangkok, Thailand where I myself performed "treatments on rubies & sapphires" . In 2017, I passed the GIA's "Continuing Education 2017" annual course, which focuses on current changes in the jewelry industry during the year. One of the biggest challenges today is the use of synthetic diamonds in jewelry. These diamonds have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as natural ones. Only the use of advanced gemological instruments can distinguish the natural from the synthetic. Therefore, I participated at the workshop "Synthetic Diamond" in September 2018 at GIA. In 2019 I enrolled at Gem-A, London for more updating.