Why Does a Gemologist Need a Microscope?
If you can afford the best, you should certainly consider a top-of-the-line microscope. But more likely than not, novices will have to make some compromises to stay within their equipment budget.
For gemologists, microscopes have two general purposes. If you go into a jewelry store, you’ll usually find a high-end scope on a counter where customers can use it. Showing a customer a gemstone under magnification is one of the jeweler’s best sales tools. If you’re selling gemstones, you’ll need a microscope with an appearance that will impress customers and that’s also easy for them to use.
Microscopes are also needed for gem identification and grading. You don’t need a high-end model for this. The value you’ll get from the instrument has more to do with your own experience rather than its quality. Of course, optics and performance are still important, but you can get a lot of practical use from an inexpensive microscope.
The Achiever Microscope
While searching for practical and affordable tools for novice gemologists, I had a chance to review the Achiever Microscope. I was immediately impressed. Despite its low price of $259 (in 1999), this is one of…