Product Review, GL Spectroscope Lite

Spectroscopes are one of the most difficult gem instruments to master. They come in two varieties: prism and diffraction grating. There is no clear preference between the two, as each has its advantages and disadvantages.


Diffraction grating spectroscopes are the least expensive. Their primary shortcoming is that the display is so dark you cannot get a reading on some stones. Prism spectroscopes have a brighter display and some have a calibrated scale. Their spectrum is spread out unevenly, making it hard to read in the blue end.

Both are difficult to use. Prism spectroscopes have an adjustable light opening and a focusing control. It requires two hands to make these adjustments. To accomplish this, the stone needs to be in a fixed position and most gemologists prefer the instrument attached to a stand as well.

Diffraction grating spectroscopes are usually hand held. Not having to …

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