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Pre-Conference Workshop | WS01    View all workshops

Applied Mineralogy: Luminescence Applied to Gems and Ore Minerals

Date: August 25, 2023

Time: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Location: Hilton London Metropole | London, United Kingdom

Presenters: Adrian Finch and Richard Shaw

Attendee Maximum: 25

20% of spaces are reserved for students and offered at a discounted rate.



Luminescence is a powerful mineralogical tool that encodes the geochemistry and growth history of a mineral, including many in ore deposits. It can be used as a petrographic tool, exploring the distribution of defects and states of order in minerals across rocks and individual crystals, or spectroscopically, identifying the wavelength profiles and lifetimes of individual defect types. Since luminescence is an exceptionally subtle probe of composition and structural state, it is often profoundly changed during geological, including ore-forming, processes. It is also an important aspect in the identification and value of gems.

The purpose of this short course is to take participants through the fundamentals and practical applications of luminescence phenomena in mineral systems, focusing particularly on those of relevance to mineralizing and gem-forming processes. We will begin with some of the fundamentals of the process, and explore different types of excitation with their pros and cons. This includes, particularly, Ultra-Violet Fluorescence in minerals, cathodoluminescence (i.e., excitation by electron beams) as well as more unusual forms such as x-ray and ion-beam luminescence methods.

We will include flood-gun and electron-microscope hosted cathodoluminescence methods. The course will include both petrographic analysis of the data, as well as spectroscopy methods, including spectroscopic lifetime data. We will then explore the luminescence behavior of several rock-forming minerals and the geological information one can obtain from such data.

Attendees will receive certificates of participation. View all workshops.

About the Presenters


Adrian Finch

University of St. Andrews

Adrian is Professor of Geology at the University of St. Andrews, specialising in the mineralogy, petrology, and geochemistry of rift-related magmas. His research focusses on describing the mineral deposits which form in rift environments, which include rare earths, niobium, and tantalum. He works by explaining the shape and grade of the deposit and by developing models of how they formed. He has worked on alkaline rocks from all over the world (Mongolia to Malawi to Greenland) with a particular reputation for fieldwork in the Arctic.

Adrian is an advisor to the Government Office in Science at Westminster (GOScience) on resource issues and member of the University advisory panel on Sustainability. He is a member of the St Andrews Centre for Energy Ethics and consults to exploration companies. His geochemical work is underpinned by access to some of the best analytical facilities available worldwide.

Adrian has a B.Sc. degree from University of Durham and a Ph.D. in mineralogy and petrology from the University of Edinburgh, and was awarded a personal fellowship from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2000. He is a Fellow of the Society of Economic Geologists and a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society.


Richard Shaw

British Geological Survey

Richard Shaw is an Economic Geologist at the British Geological Survey. His research interests include critical raw materials (CRMs) and the formation of CRM-bearing ore deposits. His recent research has largely focused on the formation of rare-metal (Lithium-Cesium-Tantalum) pegmatites, but also the role of fluids in rare earth element mineralization in alkaline rocks. He has been involved in a number of EU projects focused on CRMs (e.g. the 2017 EU CRM Assessment), and is author of the BGS Risk List. He has also worked on a number of projects looking at CRMs in waste materials, such as fly ash from coal-fired power stations and slimes from silica sand processing.

Schedule (Preliminary)

Friday, August 18

  • Morning: Fundamentals of luminescence in minerals; different luminescence methods and instrumentation.
  • 12:30pm - 1:30pm: Lunch
  • Afternoon: Case studies of luminescence in ore-forming systems, demonstrations of luminescence methods and instruments; final Q&A session with experts.


Early Deadline: June 30, 2023
Regular Deadline: August 11, 2023

  Early Regular
SEG Professional Member US$495 US$495
SEG Student Member US$145 US$145
Non-member US$595 US$595
All prices are in United States dollars (USD). SEG reserves the right to cancel this event should minimum attendance numbers not be met by June 30, 2023. All registrants will be given a full refund should SEG cancel the course. Cancellation policy, event photography, dietary restrictions, and more are detailed in the SEG Conference terms and conditions.