Students who sign up for two credits earn the second credit through writing a term paper. This term paper should be approximately 5 pages (double spaced) long.

You should choose one topic from three categories (A,B, or C below). Please note that this will earn you physical science credit so that the content must be scientific (not art, folklore, etc.).

If you wish to propose a topic not listed in any of the three categories, please email me to confirm the subject matter is acceptable.

Please make sure you read the general instructions for preparation of your paper. These appear after the topics lists. Your paper will recevie a lower grade for the following reasons:

(i) the paper is less than 5 pages, double spaced (12 point font) in length

(ii) the source of information in the paper is not referenced. The information must be cited correctly (see below)

(iii) you use fewer references that stipulated (see below)

(iv) information is cited incorrectly

(v) there is no reference list at the end of the paper

(vi) the paper is poorly written

(vii) web-references are not allowed. You must !! use books or journals as source materials. You will loose points for an insufficient number of "proper" references!

Term papers have been a source of some problems in the past, typically when students use papers written by other students. We have a record of catching these problems, so please don't try and put this over us. Academic misconduct will be punished, as stiplulated in University rules and regulations!

Due dates for the Second Credit term paper

The 5 page term paper, consisting predominantly of scientific information, is due by 5 pm, December 3rd, 2003. Appeals for alternative dates will normally be approved if there is a good reason.


TOPIC A Write a paper on the topic of one of the following gems or precious stones:


Beryl (emerald, aquamarine, heliodor, goshenite, red beryl, and others)

Corundum (ruby, sapphire)


Quartz (amethyst, citrine, smoky quarz, etc. This paper could also include opal, agate, etc.)

Jadeite and Nephrite




The links on each gem name above provide some reference information. However, the most important source of information on gemstones is likely to be the journal "Gems and Gemology". You can search the journal for articles of interest on-line. We have many of the issues of this journal in the library in McCone Hall (but not all).

OTHER: please check with me!

Issues to address for Topics 'A':

Topic: B

Write your paper on one of the following topics:

Synthesis of gems
Gemstone enhancement
Gemological instruments and gem testing

Topics C

Write your paper on one of the following Geological topics of importance to gems and gem formation

What is the process of metamorphism? What are metamorphic rocks? How do they form? What sort of changes occur due to metamorphism?

Volcanoes and Volcanism: What are magmas, magmatic rocks? How do volcanic rocks form and what processes lead to crystallization of gems?

What is the process of continental drift? What is the structure of the crust like under oceans and in the continents? What happens when continents collide and how do these processes lead to formation of gems?

What are the industrial uses of gem materials? What valuable materials are extracted from gems?

Precious metals:- Where is gold found and how do gold deposits form?


Referencing source materials

You must cite at least 4 references. These can NOT be websites. Do not extract information from web sites (especially not verbatim) - as the TA has ways to catch you doing this and you will be punished!


Citations should be made in the text in the following manner:

......the green color is most commonly due to iron impurity (Schumann, 1976).


The references used MUST be listed at the end of the paper in a format similar to:

Smith, D. J. (1979) Gemstones of the world. Sterling Publishing Company, New York.

Reference Materials from the UC-Berkeley Library System

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