Lesson 1: An Introduction to Gem Identification

Step 1: Introduction to Gemology

Lesson 8

Gem identification involves finding clues and eliminating possibilities. What kind of clues? The optical and physical properties of the gem. Each time I measure or observe one of these properties, the “suspect pool” of possible gems gets smaller. I keep gathering more information until I have a set of properties that can only belong to one gemstone.

Gem Identification 101: The Case of the Red Stone

Let’s say someone asks me to identify a red stone. (“Is this a ruby?” is the form that question usually takes). Now, I should know a ruby when I see one, right? Well, sometimes I can be pretty sure if it’s a ruby or not just by a quick observation. However, I can’’t tell if it’s natural or synthetic without a more detailed analysis.

Even if I’m “pretty sure” the gem is a …

Unearth The Secrets Behind The Beauty

Introducing "Discover Gemology" by IGS, the premiere introductory training for those fascinated by the magnificent world of gemology.

  • How to spot the most unique & valuable characteristics of different gemstones
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Course: Discover Gemology: Fundamentals, Tools & Meanings
Purchase Course: $49
Skill Level: beginnner
Lessons: 48
Time: 480 min