Gübelin Opens Colored Gemstone Museum in Switzerland

GradingJul 07, 2023

Gübelin Opens Colored Gemstone Museum in Switzerland

The exhibits offer a look into stone creation and origin, as well as Gübelin family history.

Gübelin Gem Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland
The House of Gübelin’s new museum in Lucerne, Switzerland, features multi-media exhibits on the creation, origin, and appeal of colored gemstones.
Lucerne, Switzerland— The House of Gübelin has opened the Gübelin Gem Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland.

The compact museum is host to a variety of multi-media displays exploring the creation, origin and appeal of colored gemstones, as well as the history and innovations of the six-generation family business.

Gübelin Gem Museum
The House of Gübelin has opened the Gübelin Gem Museum in Lucerne, Switzerland.

Combining innovation and tradition, the exhibits expand on the House of Gübelin’s pioneering achievements.

Founded in 1854, the company has launched many influential projects, such as the Gem Lab, the gemological laboratory started in 1923.

The museum’s opening honors the Gem Lab’s 100th anniversary. Inside, exhibits offer an overview of technology history, starting at the lab’s beginnings and exploring up to the latest analytical possibilities, including Gübelin’s other projects, the blockchain-based Provenance Proof and Gemtelligence, a gemstone analyzation tool that uses AI.

Gem Lab’s success and eventual development into a renowned institution is credited heavily to the late Eduard Josef Gübelin.

The Lucerne gemmologist, considered by many as one of the fathers of modern gemology, is known for his research in gemstone inclusions and the role they play in determining the stone’s identity, authenticity, and origins.

Gübelin Gem Museum emerald display
The emerald case is one of many displays in the newly opened Gübelin Gem Museum, which focuses on the creation, origin and appeal of colored gemstones.

While visiting mines around the world, the gemologist collected stones. Though it has been continuously expanded, the original reference stone collection formed the basis for the work of the Gem Lab and proved central to Gemtelligence as well. 

The collection is considered the most complete of its kind in the world, according to Gübelin, currently comprising more than 28,000 gemstones from all commercially relevant mines, as well as stones from exhausted sources.

Located in the heart of the exhibit, 174 selected gemstones from the collection are on view at the museum. Nearby, other artifacts and instruments from Gübelin’s travels are displayed as well.

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Along with loose stones, a selection of more than 50 watches and jewelry pieces from key historical and cultural style-defining moments are on view.

Gübelin Gem Museum Jewelry and watches
The Gübelin Gem Museum features a display of vintage jewelry and watches alongside its loose stone exhibits.

Thomas Gübelin, who ran the company from 1988 until 2007, began expanding the company’s collection of watches and jewelry early in his career.

Raphael Gübelin and Thomas Gübelin at Gübelin Gem Museum ribbon cutting
House of Gübelin President Raphael Gübelin (left) and his predecessor, his father Thomas Gübelin (right), cut the ribbon at the opening of the Gübelin Gem Museum.

“With this museum, we want to create a living forum for interaction and inspiration,” said Raphael Gübelin, the current president of the House of Gübelin.

“At the very heart of Lucerne, the museum invites visitors to discover exciting information about gemstones and gemology, jewelry and watches, as well as the innovations and pioneering spirit of our House. This is where we choose to share our passion with interested persons.”

The museum will also serve as the new home of the Gübelin Academy, the house’s institution for professional courses and certifications.

The museum is located at Schwanenplatz 7 on the upstairs floor of the “Haus zum Stein” building, which aptly translates to “The House of Stones.”

Gübelin curated the museum with jewelry expert Beatriz Chadour-Sampson, who works with the Swiss National Museum in Zurich and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. Gübelin staged the museum with Atelier Ingold Raschke.

Edward Boehm, the grandson of Eduard Josef Gübelin and a gemologist himself, contributed to the conception and execution and provided some exhibits.

The exhibitions will be continuously expanded.

More information is available on the museum’s website.

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