EOSC 118 (3 cr): Earth’s Treasures: Gold and Gems

EOSC 118

Course Description

Origin, properties, valuation, prospecting and geology. Gold, platinum, silver, diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and other precious metals and gems. A survey course to introduce students to concepts in materials science (such as crystal structures and physical properties), geology, and geophysics through the study of precious metals and gems. The course takes advantage of current research in EOS with respect to mineral exploration, especially gold, diamond, and coloured gems. It will be directly relevant to learners via their purchases of valuable jewelry during their lives, and it relates to important industries in British Columbia.

Brief outline of curriculum

  1. Introduction to Mineralogy and Gemology
  2. Gemstones
  3. Precious Metals
  4. History
  5. Mining
  6. Environmental and Social Impacts
  7. Jewelry Manufacturing
  8. Jewelry Consumption
  9. Significant People and Groups
  10. Famous Stones and Jewelry

Student assessments

  • Online quizzes
  • Invigilated final exam




Bonewitz, Ronald Louis, Rock and Gem (paperback), 2005, ISBN: 9780756633424

Available from:
Pacific Museum of the Earth Gift Shop
6339 Stores Road,
EOSC Main Bldg.
University of British Columbia
Hours: 11 – 3PM
Contact: Mackenzie Parker 604 822-6992 or pme@eos.ubc.ca

The UBC Bookstore also has some copies of the textbook available. Please check the form below:
EOSC118 Textbook Order Form

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