Lucerne, Switzerland, 1854, Jakob Josef Mauritz Breitschmid opens a watchmaker's shop. Jakob's apprentice, Eduard Jakob Gübelin, marries his daughter Bertha Breitschmid and in 1899 assumes command of the business. In 1919 the business passes to their son, Eduard Moritz Gübelin.
Gübelin expands the business creating a jewelry division and opening an "in house" gemological laboratory in 1923. Eduard and Walter, sons of Eduard Moritz Gübelin, take over the business in 1945. Eduard assumes command of the laboratory and Walter presides over all the remaining business. In 1988 Thomas Gübelin takes control of the business working until 2010 when Raphael and Sara Güebelin begin their time running the company.
In 2004 the company celebrated 150 years in business.
With the introduction of the first truly synthetic gemstones and cultured pearls, near the beginning of the 20th century, the jewelry industry was in need of a reliable and trustworthy method for identification of such material. Eduard Gübelin, Sr. received training in gemology from Professor H. Michel in Vienna, Austria. Mr. Charles Salquin, and employee of Gübelin was also trained by the Professor. Gübelin equipped himself with everything he needed to open a gemological laboratory, equal to the most advanced gem lab of its time.
Edward Gübelin was the pioneer of inclusion studies, a field which changed modern gemology completely. Gübelin's son, Eduard J. Gübelin became a leading figure in the world of gemology, pioneering this new field of gemology as one of the world's most renowned gemological specialists. Gübelin's devotion to the study of gemstones and his work in gemstone inclusions resulted in great advances in the world of gemology. He traveled to many mine localities, created new gemological instruments, published continually and endeavored to promote gemology whenever possible.
During the 1960's, ceding to pressure from the auction houses Christies and Sotheby's, Gübelin began produce reports on major stones being offered at auction. Soon the lab was servicing the entire gem and jewelry industry. Gübelin Gem Lab has become one of the world's most respected gemological laboratories.