Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Tools Used For Gemstone Identification

Today I am going to post, about my Xmas wish list. A set of tools to help identify gemstones. I am saving my pennies, and hopefully will save enough, to get the set for Christmas. Why identify your gemstones? Well, if you buy parcels of gemstones, very often, they are not identified. You can sort of figure out, what some of them are, but if you sell you have to be sure to tell buyers that the stone has not been officially identified. Also if you buy stones, from like Ebay, or other websites, and you are unsure whether, the stone has been misrepresented, these tools will help you identify if the stone is actually what they said, or even a simulant or synthetic. These are the tools I want to get:

1- Refractometer, with RI fluid- In my opinion this is the most important tool you can own, if you want to identify gemstones. It will test and show the refractive index, of the stone. Once you know the refractive index, you can refer to your resource books, and decide which stones fit under that RI. Each stone has a very specific RI.

2- Microscope- Now there are very expensive gemstone microscopes, on the market, and I mean expensive. We do already own a microscope, that we use for homeschooling, and it doubles for me to examine gemstones. I paid maybe 25 dollars for it at Walmart. Each gemstone, has a fingerprint if you will, internal characteristics, seeing them under the microscope will allow you to identify your gemstones. You will need a resource book, to tell you what the characterisitcs are, for each stone. I will be getting Gemstone Identification Made Easy, I do not yet own this book, that is why it makes this list.

3- Handheld Polariscope, now it doesnt technically have to be handheld, but it does make it easier to handle. This tool is used to show if a gemstone is single or doubley refractive. It is used mostly to identify diamond simulants, that are usually doubly refractive, where a genuine diamond is singly refractive.

4- 10x Loupe- No I cant believe I do not yet own one of these. They are not that expensive, but because I have a magnifying glass, and the microscope, I just never bought one. It really is an essential tool though.

5- Calcite Dichroscope- Dichroscope show whether or not a stone is dichroic (reflects 2 colors). I personally dont think this instrument is all that useful, given the price charged for it, but it is one of the tools listed.

6- Spectroscope- Another tool, that I dont personally identify, as a need, but it is listed on the tools list. A handheld spectroscope for visible light shows the absorption lines of the elements involved in producing its color. For instance, it helps to separate ruby (chrome) against red or pink sapphire (iron).

7- Chelsea Filter- This tool is used mostly in identifying genuine Emeralds, from fakes, synthetics, and doublets. It can be used with other colored gemstones as well.

So those are the more common tools, needed to identify your gemstones. They are very expensive, and can sometimes be purchased in packages.

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