Identification of gemstones involves examining the gemstone's color, hardness and light intensity and the way the gemstone reflects light. According to the Gemological Institute of America, identification requires the use of a refractometer, a microscope and other equipment.Continue Reading
Look at the brightness and intensity of the color, and note the tone and hue. Use a jeweler's loupe to see if foreign matter appears in the stone. It may appear as a bubble, crack or crystal. Place the stone under a microscope. Certain gemstones, such as emerald or diamond, show specific types of flaws that appear clearly under magnification and make identification easier.
Measure the angle of light and its speed with a refractometer. Determine the density and hardness of a stone by measuring the specific gravity using a set of premeasured liquids. A gemstone heavier than the liquid sinks to the bottom, while a gemstone lighter than the liquid floats. A gemstone whose density matches the density of the liquid hangs suspended in the middle. Measure the intensity of light passing through a gemstone, which shows up in a characteristic rainbow pattern, with the spectrometer.
Combined together, these test results compared to charts with predetermined values narrow down the type of gemstone. If no clear answer emerges, perform additional tests to supply an exact identification.
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Minerals share the common physical traits of color, streak, density, hardness, luster, cleavage, fracture, tenacity and crystal habit. These properties vary widely among minerals and, in fact, serve as primary tools for giving minerals their unique individual qualities. However, this group of characteristics enables minerals to be classified as such.Full Answer >
The uses of topaz are as a gemstone and for collecting. When using the mineral as a gemstone, jewelers cut it to add facets. Collectors prefer topaz that is still in the matrix.Full Answer >
Lab-created diamond rings are finger jewelry that use synthetic diamonds as gemstones. Synthetic diamonds are much less expensive than mined diamonds, and they are virtually indistinguishable. Both kinds of diamonds are a special crystalline form of carbon that develops under immense temperature and pressure to create strong bonds.Full Answer >