Gemstone Testing and Identification
All about how to identify gemstones using a number of methods.
Destructive gemstone testing, done carefully, can help gemologists with difficult gem identifications. Learn the right techniques with our 5-part series.
Gemstone scratch testing can help determine the Mohs hardness value of a mineral sample. Learn how to conduct this destructive gem test safely.
Streak testing is a destructive gemstone test rarely used by gemologists. Most gems leave no streak. Learn which gems do and what color they leave.
Gemologists use the hot point test to determine if a piece is a plastic imitation or coated in wax. Learn more about this destructive test here.
Acid testing is a destructive procedure gemologists can use to determine if some pieces are real or fake. Learn how to perform the test safely here.
Gemologists can use dye testing to determine if a gemstone has been dyed to alter its color. Learn how to perform this procedure safely here.
Two of the trickiest gemstone separations to make are scapolite from citrine and apatite from tourmaline. Learn some tips for distinguishing these gems.
Although making gem-quality synthetic diamonds costs more than mining, some lab methods can yield gem-grade materials. Learn to identify these synthetics.
Learn the specific gravity testing methods critical for gem identification. Start here with the basics and key definitions.
Distinguishing between natural and synthetic gems is a critical skill for gemologists. Learn about gem making processes and the telltale signs they leave.
Identifying gems is like detective work, and requires the use of various testing procedures to help you narrow down your list of suspects to just one gem.
Ultraviolet testing can be crucial for gemstone identification. Learn the basics of this technique as well as how to make your own UV viewing box.
Getting lost in the data is very easy when you're learning to identify gems. Take this gem identification quiz and learn how best to conduct your tests.
Gemology is both art and science. Learn how identifying gemstones combines traditional testing techniques, modern software, and deductive reasoning.
Successful tips and guide in identifying Inclusions Found in Natural Gems. Read and learn several ways to identify inclusions found in natural gems here!
This series of What is it? quizzes will help you hone your gemstone identification skills.
Natural rubies clarity enhanced with leaded glass have opened new markets and challenged easy detection. Learn how to identify these treated gems.
When Identifying Inclusions found in Enhanced Gems, you have to be very careful when inspecting your stones. A clue is to find bubbles in the glue layer.
No one to date has a total inventory, or a complete database, of gems and all their properties. Gemologists need to be cautious about relying on any one data source.
Using heavy liquids to measure a gemstone's specific gravity poses some health hazards. Learn the techniques and precautions that gemologists take.
Factors like liquid temperature and inclusions can affect a gem's density reading. These specific gravity testing techniques can improve your accuracy.
Learn how to use an electronic scale for calculating specific gravity. A simple hanging basket accessory lets you weigh gems underwater.
Using a balance scale to test specific gravity is a recommended practice in gemology. Learn to make your own scale or buy a Hanneman specific gravity scale.
Learn how to modify a powder scale for specific gravity testing. A handmade wire basket will make this easy-to-use scale a great tool for gemologists.
Learning how to conduct a gemstone examination takes practice. Follow an expert gemologist step-by-step through tests of five unknown samples.