The Swiss Gemmological Institute, part of the Swiss Foundation for the Research of Gemstones (SSEF: Schweizerische Stiftung für Edelstein-Forschung) was founded by trade organisations in 1974 and works independently on a scientific basis. This Foundation comes under the aegis of the Federal Department of Internal Affairs. The function of the SSEF laboratory is to analyse precious stones and issue test reports for diamonds, coloured stones and pearls. It was recognised in 1978 by the International Confederation of Jewellers and Goldsmiths (CIBJO). It is also a member of the International Colored Stone Association (ICA).

The SSEF is supervised by a board of seven members, the laboratory being directed by Dr. Michael S. Krzemnicki. All laboratory gemmologists have a scientific and gemmological education and work on a high level of experience and integrity. The laboratory is equipped with the most modern analytical instruments. This ensures the detection of the authenticity of gemstones and gem treatments on a scientific and reproducible basis.

After having worked for the benefit of the Swiss gemstone and jewellery trade from the beginning, the SSEF-Laboratory started offering its services also to private clients. Because our results are reliable and follow the CIBJO rules, the laboratory soon gained international recognition. Today the SSEF Swiss Gemmological Institute provides independent expert advice in the field of precious stone analysis to a wide clientele. Among them are precious stone dealers, jewellers, auction houses and private customers from many countries. The SSEF laboratory primarily examines loose cut stones, but set stones in jewellery pieces can also be tested. Test report are written in English, French or German. However, the test reports issued are for identification only and do not provide a commercial evaluation.

Besides the above described activities, the members of SSEF Laboratory are also engaged in research and education, either in connection with the University of Basel or with other gemmological laboratories.