Buying Gems: Test Your Identification Skills


Step 3: Practical Gemology

Lesson 30

In this set of gemstone identification quizzes, I’m placing you in a familiar setting. When we’re buying gems, our excitement can sometimes get us into trouble. Experience doesn’t necessarily help, either. I hate to admit it, but I still struggle with temptation when I see a gemstone deal that seems too good to be true. Of course, as gemologists, we need to temper our enthusiasm with research skills and common sense. These two quizzes will help improve your research skills, at least.

Buying Gems, Quiz 1: Pawn Shop Finds

You find yourself at a pawn shop with your loupe as your only tool. You look at four stones, all priced at $25.

Which stones would make a good purchase at that price?

First Stone: Maybe Emerald?

The first stone you pick up looks like an emerald. It has rich green coloring (better than these photos show) and looks to weigh close to a carat.

First, you examine it face up, with overhead lighting.

buying gems - green stone face up

Next, you examine the pavilion with overhead lighting.

buying gems - green gem pavilion

When you hold the stone to a window for backlighting, you see this.

buying gems - green stone backlit

Is this gem worth the price?…

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Content Length 1651 words
Reading time 8 min 15 sec

Here's what you get if you unlock this article:

  • Buying Gems, Quiz 1: Pawn Shop Finds
    • First Stone: Maybe Emerald?
    • Second Stone: A Medium Blue Gem
    • Third Stone: Emerald, Again?
    • Fourth Stone: An Opal
  • Buying Gems, Quiz 2: A Gem Show Find
    • Examining the Stone
    • Should I Purchase This Stone?
    • Post Script
  • Gemstone Identification Quiz Series

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