Gemstone Magnetism: The Forgotten Property


Step 3: Practical Gemology

Lesson 18

Some time ago, I became interested in gemstone magnetism. While researching this property, I found that some gemology schools had little to say on the subject. (Many gemology books fail to list magnetic attraction as a gemstone property at all). Most think magnetism testing is not reliable enough to use with any success in gemstone identification. I disagree with that position. However, I think this property should be used as a confirmative test only, not a determinative one. Gemstone magnetism is a very complex subject, so I decided to test this property in the simplest of ways in order to find an easy way to measure it. I hope someday there will be an accurate and easy way to measure magnetic susceptibility or magnetic characteristics in gemstones. Until then, we will have to use what is available to us as front-line gemologists. I also hope more research will be conducted on this subject.

Past Research On Gemstone Magnetism

I was unable to find any instruments designed to measure the magnetic properties of gems. I did find that Dr. D.B. Hoover, FGA, FGAA (Hon), and Bear Williams, CG, had researched and …

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