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Article: Gemology


History and Background of Gemology

  • Rudimentary education in gemology began in the 19th century.
  • The Gemmological Association of Great Britain (Gem-A) was established in 1908.
  • The first US graduate of Gem-A's diploma course was Robert Shipley.
  • Gemological Institute of America (GIA) and American Gem Society were established by Robert Shipley.
  • Gemological laboratories serving the jewelry trade were established in London in 1925.
  • Expert judgment from a neutral laboratory is often difficult to obtain.
  • Gemologists and gemstone buyers use mobile laboratories for on-site analysis.
  • Gemstones are categorized based on crystal structure, specific gravity, refractive index, and optical properties.
  • Gemological microscopic study is used to determine if a gem is synthetic or natural.
  • Spectroscopic analysis allows gemologists to identify the origin of a gemstone.

Gemological Instruments

  • Gemologists use tools such as a corrected 10× loupe, microscope, refractometer, polarizing filter, and magnifying eyepiece.
  • Other instruments include a dichroscope, spectroscope, penlight, tweezers, stone cloth, and color filter.
  • Immersion cell and ultraviolet lamp are also used for gemstone identification.
  • Gemologists may use a gemmological travel lab for convenience.
  • These instruments allow for accurate tests to identify gemstones.

General Identification of Gems

  • Gem identification is a process of elimination.
  • Non-destructive optical testing is used to determine gemstone identity.
  • Specific gravity is a useful property for distinguishing gemstones.
  • No two gems are identical due to geological environment and structural imperfections.
  • Chemical impurities and substitutions create individual gemstones.

Identification Methods

  • Refractive index is measured using a refractometer or microscope.
  • Specific gravity is determined by comparing the weight of a gem in air and in water.
  • Spectroscopy analyzes selective absorption of light to identify the gems' color.
  • Inclusions help determine if a gemstone is natural, synthetic, or treated.
  • Flaws and striations can indicate whether a gemstone is lab-created or natural.

Introduction to Gemology and Importance

  • Gemology is the study of gemstones.
  • It involves examining the physical and chemical properties of gemstones.
  • Gemologists use various tools and techniques to identify and grade gemstones.
  • Gemology is important in the jewelry industry for determining the quality and value of gemstones.
  • Gemology can also involve the study of gemstone history, folklore, and cultural significance.
  • Gemology plays a crucial role in the gemstone industry by ensuring transparency and authenticity.
  • Gemologists help consumers make informed decisions when purchasing gemstones.
  • The knowledge and expertise of gemologists contribute to the overall quality and value of gemstones.
  • Gemology is essential for gemstone appraisals and certifications.
  • Gemology also contributes to the preservation and understanding of gemstone heritage.

Gemology Data Sources

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