Product Review: No Name Refractometers

Size Comparison - Duplex II and No Name Refractometers
Left, a Duplex II refractometer. Right, a “No Name” refractometer.

You may find inexpensive, Chinese-made, no brand, “no name” refractometers for sale online for around $150. With some new refractometers costing more than $500, these will certainly appeal to the cost conscious.

I’ve been anxious to try one of these. Fortunately, one of our IGS members lent us a unit to test.

Initial Impressions

When I opened the package, one difference was apparent immediately. The “no name” instrument was much smaller than my GIA Duplex II refractometer. (See the photo at the top of the article for a comparison). The hemisphere, lens, and light opening were less than half the size of the GIA unit. I expected this would cause problems. However, once I started my tests this turned out not to be the case.

The Good

First, I tested a number of identified faceted gems with established refractive

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