The intrinsic background of a gamma ray spectrometer is significantly reduced by surrounding the scintillator with a second scintillator. This second (external) scintillator surrounds the first scintillator and has an opening of approximately the same diameter as the smaller central scintillator in the forward direction. The second scintillator is selected to have a higher atomic number, and thus has a larger probability for a Compton scattering interaction than within the inner region. Scattering events that are essentially simultaneous in coincidence to the first and second scintillators, from an electronics perspective, are precluded electronically from the data stream. Thus, only gamma-rays that are wholly contained in the smaller central scintillator are used for analytic purposes.