The Art and Science of Identifying Gemstones


Step 3: Practical Gemology

Lesson 24

One of the biggest mistakes beginning gemologists make when identifying gemstones is over-relying on data. After conducting some initial tests, they consult long lists of potential species. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of data and overlook important clues. Gemology is as much art as science, and relying strictly on analytical skills can hamper your work. Learning gemology requires not just practicing testing techniques but also improving your deductive reasoning.

Below you’ll find an outline that combines traditional gem testing techniques with the possibilities modern gemology software offers. This step-by-step procedure also emphasizes developing your deductive reasoning as an essential skill for identifying gemstones.

Gemology Tools Software

The Gemology Tools software makes the gemstone identification process more efficient. Enter your test results in the database program and let your computer cross-reference the data and search for possible matches. (Read our Gemology Tools review for more details).

The data searching features of Gemology Tools are so powerful you can do things never before possible. I have developed new procedures to take advantage of this inexpensive software that simplify the identification process and reduce the lab work and time required.

In …

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Full Article Details


Content Length 2815 words
Reading time 14 min 4 sec

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

  • Gemology Tools Software
  • Identifying Gemstones: The Initial Exam
    • Step 1: Clean the Gem
    • Step 2: Loupe Examination
      • Cut
      • Color
      • Inclusions
      • Physical Characteristics
    • Step 3: Microscope Examination
    • Step 4: Check for Color Change
    • Step 5: Deductive Reasoning
      • Cut Observations
      • Color Observations
      • Inclusion Observations
  • Identifying Gemstones: Further Exams
    • Step 6: Refractive Index Testing
    • Step 7: Polariscope Testing
    • Step 8: Search The Gemology Tools Database
  • Reviewing Your Results
  • Identifying Gemstones: Practice Makes Perfect

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  • Exclusive access to other premium articles and courses
  • Unlimited access to our gem pricing guide
  • Participate in our member-only forums
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