I’m getting started in gemology but I think I have a bad problem. I’m red, green, and brown colorblind. I see and enjoy colors but I don’t know what colors I’m looking at. I love faceting stones and have recently completed a new shop building for this purpose. However, if I can’t accurately determine gemstone colors, what impact will it have on learning to make gem identifications?
There are only a few occasions when gemstone colors are determining factors for gemstone identification. As you learn the procedures, you’ll find that you can identify most species without the element of color. However, identifying varieties of a species is a bit different. For example, you could identify the species beryl but would need some help with gemstone colors to determine if a beryl is an emerald or an aquamarine.
I would encourage you to purchase a refractometer (if you haven’t already) and read our series of articles on using a refractometer. That’s a major step in gem identification. While you’ll still have a lot to learn before you can identify gems with authority, you can begin making separations right away. By that, I mean you’ll be able to tell if a stone is or isn’t a topaz, quartz, etc.
Donald Clark, CSM IMG