Gems are a mystery until you can prove their identity. Once you know the identity, a ruby, a red spinel, or an almandite garnet then and only then can you appreciate it for its true qualities.
At first glance, many gems look alike. Others have a unique appearance. In all cases, the possibility exists that the appearance of one gem may be duplicated by a man-made material or another natural gem material.
The correct identification of a gem is essential before any consideration can be given to quality and value. This process must be worked through carefully to avoid costly errors.
Getting organized before start examining gemstone
You can almost always learn something from a gem’s appearance before you go on to more advances gemological testing. An obvious characteristic speeds up the identification process because it lets you rule out those species and varieties the stone can’t possibly belong to. Knowing what a gem isn’t narrows your choices down to a more manageable number. Here are list of few elements that better get prepared before start examining stones.
A.) The right lighting-You need good light to examine gems with a loupe, one bright enough to let you see what you need, but not so bright that you get too much glare.
Most types of interior lighting will work such as table or desk lights, as well as penlights and sunlight.
Use a neutral background. Avoid any background that shows color: Pure white is best, light gray is second best. There are many possible white and light gray backgrounds, including sorting pads and cloth-covered trays.
For consistent results with different gems, always use the same lighting and background. If that’s impossible, consider the ways different lighting and backgrounds affect a gemstone’s appearance—especially its color—and compensate for that effect. “Just remember never to look directly at a strong light source through your loupe.”
Holding the gem in the right position relative to the light source, your eye and the loupe is important, and easily learnt by trial and error. Sometimes you will want light to shine right through the stone, sometimes reflect off it so you can best see the surface.
B.) Knowing how to use tweezers is essential when examining gems.
Girdle-to-girdle pick up — turn the stone table down on a clean, flat surface. Align the tweezers with the stone’s girdle by resting them on the surface and squeeze the tips together around the stone.
To examine the gem from the side, hold it table to culet.
C.) Cleaning up stones
D.) Examining the Gemstone by using Eye-Loupe
You can think of a gemologist as a gem detective, someone who uses their knowledge, their experience and their observations to identify an unknown gem. As a gem detective you need knowledge and experience, and also certain equipment. We might as well start with that old symbol of detection, the magnifying glass. The large lens that Sherlock Holmes brandished over clues is no use in gemology. You need higher magnification and the standard used by a gemologist is ten times what we call 10x lens or loupe.
Although, the 10X loupe is one of the most basic and essential tools that an industry professional can own. However, it is important to learn to correctly hold and use your loupe, something we’ll look at from below step by step instructions: