Find your diamond
Find your jewelry
shape
carat
color
clarity

Anyone own or use a digital refractometer?

colorluvr

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
1,683

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,966
Digital Refractometer sounds like a rather unpleasant test that a proctologist would administer. :lol:
 

lelser

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
261
I believe these are reflectometers rather than true refractometers. I own an older version, that also has an electrical impedance tester which is pretty useful for rough material. It's "accurate-ish." I don't think I'd feel comfortable doing an appraisal for a client, but I might be tempted to use it for myself.

That said, I AM a gemmologist and much of the stuff they put into software is information I have in my head. Filling in the forms would only slow me down 99% of the time. If you're just looking to do casual IDs every month or so it's probably pretty handy.

Cheers,

Lisa
www.lisaelser.com
 

colorluvr

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
1,683
Thanks Lisa - totally just for my own very ameturish use - to try to "check to see" if some stones that I bought (without certs) are what they are supposed to be.... anything of any value or question would go to a lab or professional....
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Yes, they are reflectometers.

I've used one and prefer my normal one by a mile. For a start the digital ones won't give you the birefringence or tell you if a stone is uniaxial or biaxial (all of which are crucial in an accurate ID). If the stone doesn't have a good polish you also won't get a good or accurate result as the machine basically tests the quality of the stone's lustre. Oh, and they can't do cabochons either.

The only plus point is that they can test stones over the limit of a normal refractometer (if you trust them).

So, I would save your money.
 

colorluvr

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
1,683
Thanks - you guys answered my question... so here's another (if you'd be so kind).

What "standard" refractometer would you suggest if I want to stay within a reasonable budget. I've read the very inexpensive ones aren't that good (but then that could be incorrect also). If I got one, I'd like one with an internal light source (once again to keep things simpler) unless they aren't as good as using an external light sourse.
 

colorluvr

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2010
Messages
1,683
thanks!!!
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
I have this one - http://www.kassoy.com/refractometer.html (I paid about half of what they are asking buying it direct from Gem-A - that price is :-o )

The instrument expert at Gem-A warned me off the cheap ones as they're often very inaccurate, especially the ones from China that you can get on eBay. I don't know anything about the cheaper one that Kassoy have, but having an inbuilt light-source is handy.
 

chrono

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 22, 2004
Messages
37,517

PrecisionGem

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 27, 2004
Messages
1,732
About 5 years ago, while in Tucson, I was pretty much done buying rough, and still had some money in pocket, so I went shopping for some tools, including a refractometer. In the GJX tent, there were maybe 6 or 7 different vendors with different tools to look at. I looked at them all, and tried the same few stones I had on each one. There is a very noticeable difference between a really fine instrument, and the cheap Chinese ones. On some of the smaller stones, I couldn't get a reading, or the line was very fuzzy on the cheap units. I ended up buying the System Eickhorst. It was expensive, but had a resolution on the scale that was twice as accurate as any other instrument and always produced a very clear reading. As with most anything else, you get what you pay for, and the Germans make really good stuff.
 
Be a part of the community It's free, join today!
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    Good Customer Service Goes a Long Way
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    5.5 Carat Diamond Upgrade
    Style File: Julia Roberts
    Style File: Julia Roberts

Need Something Special?

Get a quote from multiple trusted and vetted jewelers.

Holloway Cut Advisor



Diamond Eye Candy

Click to view full-size image.
Top