Gem Testing Procedures


Step 3: Practical Gemology

Lesson 24

“Looking For Clues (188 / 365)” by Casey Fleser is licensed under CC By 2.0
“Looking For Clues (188/365)” by Casey Fleser is licensed under CC By 2.0

Identifying gems is like detective work. You begin with a full list of “suspects” and, using “clues,” you narrow down the list by  process of elimination. You may begin with as many as 3,000 possible gems, but you can quickly narrow it down to a small handful with solid detective work. Much of the detective work in gemology involves testing the gems for specific characteristics and properties and then eliminating those gems that do not have these properties until you are left with only one possible option. When learning the various gemstone testing procedures, it is best to start with the tests you will perform most often and that will help you eliminate the largest number of suspects.

Visual Inspection

The first step …

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