Identifying Gemstone Material

by Kathryn on December 21, 2013

in Gemstone Identification

Learning to Identify Gemstone Material

You don’t need a gemology degree to facet gemstones but the more knowledge you have the easier it gets. It’also s very important to know what material you are working with before you begin faceting as that helps in determining the optimal way to cut and polish the stone. One great resource is a software program called “Gemology Tools.” Read the explanation from The International Gem Society on how Gemology Tools is used to quickly help identify material.

Gemology Tools Software Gemology Tools Software

Steps in Identifying Gem Material

  1. Clean the Gem (always clean your gems, fingers are icky and have tons of gunk even if you can”t see it)
  2. Examine with Loupe (the naked eye is rarely going to see as well as you will with a magnified loupe)
  3. Microscope examination. Don”t have a microscope? The club has one 🙂 available for members to use just ask Cora, our Librarian.
  4. Check for color change (do this by looking at the stone through different lighting, i.e. outdoors vs indoors vs. incandescent, etc.)
  5. Refractive Index (another tool, the refractometer is used here, and yes the club has one!)
  6. Polariscope Testing (yup, we have one of these too, clubs are great, eh?)
  7. Search the Gemology Tools database. This may seem complex but as shown in the article linked above, it usually takes less than 10 minutes start to finish.

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