New gemology students often fuss over inconsequential data when identifying gems for the first time. In the process, they miss important clues. Getting practical experience is vital. In order to help make the transition from the textbook to the real world, I’ve created a gem identification quiz series. These “What is it?” quizzes are designed to be as realistic as possible. Hopefully, they’ll give student gemologists a better idea of how to proceed based on the information at hand. In this manner, they’ll learn not only the process but also time saving shortcuts.

You’ll find the first gem identification quiz below. The rest of the series is available to those enrolled in the International Gem Society (IGS) Professional Gemologist certification course.

Gem Identification Quiz #1: A Green Stone

A customer brings you a green, transparent stone (shown above) and wants to know if it’s an emerald or a peridot. Peridot is her birthstone, but she know emeralds are much more valuable! With fingers crossed, you begin your examination.

Loupe Exam

First, clean the gem and examine it with a 10X loupe. You find a small feather and note the stone is very well cut, but nothing…