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Anyone have gem ID equipment?

Laurainthesky

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
241
I love science, and I think it would be fun to be able to identify the gem types and differentiate synthetics for eBay adventures.
From my research, I think I would need a specialized UV light, a refractometer, and a 10x loupe.
Any suggestions on what to buy?
 

Mrs_Strizzle

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 14, 2018
Messages
997
All of the above. I recently bought my refractometer and entertained myself while in quarantine looking at my stones with it. It confirmed what I thought about stones hubby brought back from Afghanistan. It didn't fill in all the holes. It confirmed one of my green stones isn't a peridot, but could not tell me if it is a green zircon or chrome sphene. It is fun to play with though!
 

MissSarah

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Mar 13, 2014
Messages
224
What I've got is a refractometer, long wave uv, 30x loupe (or use a microscope when it's available), a super strong magnet, and a precision scale & beakers for specific gravity. As well, I have a set of "knowns" in case I want to test hardness, but I'm kind of scared about scratching the unknown item.
 

Laurainthesky

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
241
Any recommendations of where and what to buy? I was looking at Amazon. The equipment sold on the GIA website was cost prohibited due to being professional equipment.
 

Laurainthesky

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
241
Dichroscope!

43782CFE-628F-4950-B476-A513D684A27A.png

Photo of how to use it, and what it looks like looking into it (with an Iolite specimen)
27CD0F44-77AD-4702-8C8C-57BCDE64C88C.png

video instruction:

Helpful for seeing pleochroism of a gem, which can be helpful for identification (garnets, spinel, and glass not having pleo)

Thank you!!!
 

LilAlex

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Mar 3, 2018
Messages
1,028
I think it would be fun to be able to identify the gem types and differentiate synthetics for eBay adventures.

Once it's in your hands, it's too late!

Only an unscrupulous vendor would misrepresent what they are selling. Those are also the folks who do not accept returns.
 

icy_jade

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 1, 2009
Messages
4,174
For loupe I think a 20x one is better? Mine comes with led light and uv light (or you can go without as well) which I prefer as it’s easier to use when lighting is bad

D29A77DA-BBAD-4095-B9EB-1B28C96D0CD8.jpeg

this is what I use. Bought mine via a local website but I had a look and there are many loupe options on Amazon, and all fairly inexpensive. I think I spent around $20 a few years ago
 

Bron357

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 22, 2014
Messages
5,156
Yes I have a nice assortment. I even bought a gem microscope. I can’t tell you how much fun that has been, inclusions are fascinating.
I think the best items are a good pair of gem tweezers (if you are viewing loose gems) a good loupe (x20 is better) a UV light and a dichroscope.
Refractometers aren’t all that easy to use and it needs to be a loose gem. Likewise calculating Specific gravity (you need a loose gem).
I also have a Presidum gem tester. This is only really useful for quickly IDing CZ. I buy at auction (in person ones) and often times things are described as “white stone” i check to see if they are glass/CZ or something else.
The big problem is identifying between natural and lab grown material. Lab grown rubies fluoresce like natural ones, they have the same specific gravity, same refractive index, the only difference is the inclusions.
When it comes to treatments, a good loupe and knowing what to look for can help you know if it’s unheated or heated or glass filled but you can’t ID beryllium diffusion with any “at home test”.
so on the surface it seems fairly straightforward but once you start getting into the nuances, it becoming more complicated. And value varies significantly when it comes to treatments. Heat only is one value, heat with evidence of residues is another value and heat with diffusion is another value.
however, it’s a lot of fun learning.
 

Laurainthesky

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 14, 2021
Messages
241
Once it's in your hands, it's too late!

Only an unscrupulous vendor would misrepresent what they are selling. Those are also the folks who do not accept returns.

I have read a number of stories of trusted vendors making honest mistakes. The seller I am mainly ordering from has free returns.
 

Nancewbl

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 9, 2020
Messages
27
Dichroscope!

43782CFE-628F-4950-B476-A513D684A27A.png

Photo of how to use it, and what it looks like looking into it (with an Iolite specimen)
27CD0F44-77AD-4702-8C8C-57BCDE64C88C.png

video instruction:

Helpful for seeing pleochroism of a gem, which can be helpful for identification (garnets, spinel, and glass not having pleo)

Dichroscope!

43782CFE-628F-4950-B476-A513D684A27A.png

Photo of how to use it, and what it looks like looking into it (with an Iolite specimen)
27CD0F44-77AD-4702-8C8C-57BCDE64C88C.png

video instruction:

Helpful for seeing pleochroism of a gem, which can be helpful for identification (garnets, spinel, and glass not having pleo)

Could you tell me where you purchased the Dichroscope?
 

joycece

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
37
I think I'm getting a cheap gem/diamond tester on amazon and see how it goes. Is there a tool to test solid gold from gold plated and other material too?
 

joycece

Rough_Rock
Joined
Feb 22, 2021
Messages
37
Can't wait to try it so here's what I tested on the video.

1. GIA diamond
2. Sapphire melee
3. Madagascar pink Sapphire
4. Synthetic spinel
5. Custom sparkle

So far all my other diamonds are tested real (which I already know without questions ), but I'm very new to sapphire and want to see if I can use this tool to help me be more confident with identifying sapphires. I see that it read all sapphires around 7 to 8. One melee on my new opal ring actually read as diamond and that melee does look different compared with other haha well, I won't complain.

It can't ID lab from natural. A loupe will then comes in handy.

 
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