Step 3: Practical Gemology

Lesson 31

By now, you know that gemstone identification is like detective work. As a gemologist, you gather clues and eliminate possibilities through a variety of tests and observations. However, keep in mind that those testing procedures cost time (yours) and money (your client’s). You usually don’t need to run every test under the sun to identify a specimen. In some cases, you’d be wise to determine quickly before starting whether a gemstone identification even makes economic sense.

I’ve designed these next three quizzes not just to test your knowledge of gem properties but also to help you learn how to choose your next move. Based on the given test results, try to determine what testing procedures would help you identify the specimen most efficiently.

You’ll also have chances to consider how your choices can affect your customer relationships.

Quiz 1: Diamonds and Emeralds?

A customer brings you this piece of jewelry and wants you to identify the stones. In particular, she wants to know if the green center stone is an emerald. She’s willing to pay for a complete examination and wait for its completion.

ring - gemstone identification

On examining the ring, you see it’s…