Specific Gravity Testing Part 3: Calculating Specific Gravity with an Electronic Scale

Step 3: Practical Gemology

Lesson 9

You can use an electronic scale for calculating specific gravity if you have the right accessory, a hanging basket for measuring the weight of gems in water. We’ll take you through the testing process step-by-step.

Step 1: The Equipment

calculating specific gravity - electronic scale and basket
A scale designed for specific gravity measurements. Scale is set on a raised stand that allows access to a hanging basket suspended from the underside of the scale. Weight measurements may be taken with either the standard balance pan or the suspended basket. Photo and caption by C. Williams of Stone Group Labs. Used with permission.

Step 2: Measuring Dry Weight

calculating specific gravity - dry weight
To calculate the specific gravity, an item is first placed in the balance pan and the “dry” weight is recorded. For beads or items with difficult to wipe surfaces, it is important to weigh the item prior to putting it

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