Why Do We Need Advanced Gemology Equipment?

In many cases, advanced equipment isn’t necessary in gemology. Knowledge, experience, and a good microscope are the most important tools for any gemologist. Still, there are cases when the basic tools just aren’t enough to identify a gemstone or the treatments it may have received. These advanced instruments can provide that missing piece of the puzzle.

What is Spectrometry?

If you have an at-home gem lab, you should already be familiar with spectroscopy. A simple spectroscope will let you see the full spectrum of visible light — as well as gaps in that spectrum when you view a gem through it. Since certain elements absorb light at particular wavelengths, a spectroscope can help you identify a gemstone.

Spectrometry is very similar. But, instead of just showing you strong or faint lines in a spectrum, the machine determines how much light is absorbed at each wavelength. So, what you end up seeing on the screen is a graph with peaks and troughs.

In addition, these machines go beyond visible light. While your at-home spectroscope is limited to what the eye can see, advanced detectors in these spectrometers allow you to “see” far beyond the…