Difficult Gemstone Separations
Step 3: Practical Gemology
While some gems are fairly easy to distinguish, others present greater challenges to gemologists. Two of the most difficult gemstone separations to make are scapolite from citrine and apatite from tourmaline. The good news is there are tricks to telling them apart. Both separations begin with a thorough examination.
Scapolite and Citrine
Say you were given a light yellow gem to examine. Your basic refractive index (RI) test yielded two readings on the table 90 degrees apart. The results were 1.545 and 1.552. A polariscope reading tells you the stone is uniaxial.
You enter this information in Gemology Tools Pro: color, yellow; optic character, …