Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Opals set to shine with new grading technology

01.09.2009
CSIRO and a consortium of Australian Opal miners (Opal Producers Australia Limited) have unveiled the world's first automated device to grade opals using image analysis, at the 2009 National Council of Jewellery Valuers forum in Sydney.

CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences image analyst Leanne Bischof helped develop the Gemmological Digital Analyser (GDA).

Ms Bischof said that opals have a unique range of colour characteristics that makes them by far the most difficult gemstone to appraise.

"Qualities such as 'flash', the way an opal reflects light and colour as it is rotated, can vary with human eyesight and lighting conditions," Ms Bischof said.

"A person's judgment of an opal's colours, the brightness of those colours and the area each of them covers is a really difficult task, even for a skilled opal assessor. You really need objective image analysis and automation to assist with that."

Incorporating the expert knowledge of over 60 opal industry professionals, CSIRO designed a GDA prototype with Australian company Applied Robotics.

CSIRO then developed the complex mathematical algorithms to drive the image analysis system behind the GDA.

A small camera inside the GDA takes 871 images of the stone as it rotates on a stage which moves 360 degrees horizontally and tilts 90 degrees vertically.

High powered computers linked to the GDA analyse the images and quantify the opal's gemmological characteristics, providing a classification grade based on colour, clarity, carat, cut and character and a summary graph showing proportions of the opal's colours.

A database of information on the GDA graded opals will allow participating jewellers and industry organisations to accurately assign a dollar value to a particular grade of stone depending on the daily market price.

Director of Opal Producers Australia Limited and Lightning Ridge Opal miner Peter Sutton said the value of the Australian opal industry is estimated to be worth around $50 million a year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

"We suspect this figure is grossly underestimated because valuations for a single stone can sometimes vary by thousands of dollars," Mr Sutton said.

The demand and trade for other Australian commodities like wheat, coal and gold have benefited from the introduction of an independent grading system, ensuring fair prices for producers and the supply of a consistent quality product to customers.

"We wanted to create an objective grading system that would improve the demand for and value of the Australian Opal industry, giving miners a fair price and consumer's confidence to trade with grade quality assurance," Mr Sutton said.

"This will be an independently-graded Australian opal product, which we will brand as Opallia."

Image available at: http://www.scienceimage.csiro.au/mediarelease/mr09-156.html

More Images available from CSIRO Communications Officer Sarah Wood: +61 0423 350 515

Further Information:

Leanne Bischof, CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences
Ph:+ 61 2 9325 3206
Mb:+61 0400 994 192
Peter Sutton, Director, Opal Producers Australia Limited
Ph:+61 2 6885 6312
Mb:+61 0418 969 650
Background information available at: www.GDAcertified.com.au
Media Assistance:
Sarah Wood, CSIRO Mathematical and Information Sciences
Ph:+61 2 9325 3227
Mb;+61 0423 350 515
E:Sarah.Wood@csiro.au

Sarah Wood | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.csiro.au

More articles from Information Technology:

nachricht Deep Learning predicts hematopoietic stem cell development
21.02.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Sensors embedded in sports equipment could provide real-time analytics to your smartphone
16.02.2017 | University of Illinois College of Engineering

All articles from Information Technology >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

From rocks in Colorado, evidence of a 'chaotic solar system'

23.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

'Quartz' crystals at the Earth's core power its magnetic field

23.02.2017 | Earth Sciences

Antimicrobial substances identified in Komodo dragon blood

23.02.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>