Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

A question about gem scales

Hi Folks,

Gerry recently brought up the subject of scales (for Tucson), and as
timing would have it, I’ve been thinking recently I need a good gem
scale. My triple beam Ohaus isn’t quite accurate enough. In shopping
the jewelry tools catalogs, I see a wide range of prices (all too
high) and features. I’m curious about which features are “must have”
and if anyone has any alternate vendors aside from the jewelry trade.

I know that one can convert from grams to carats by multiplying by
five. It seems that those scales that actually have a carat settings
are significantly more expensive than those that don’t. Do most
people just buy a .01 gram accuracy scale and do the math, or are you
actually using carat scales? Are there other features I must insist
upon, or some I should avoid?

Last, I’ve found its usually to my advantage to find a non-jewelry
source for my tools if possible. Based on the answer to the questions
above regarding the need for a carat setting, does anyone know of a
place to get a good deal on a good scale?

Thanks in advance!


Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)

I bought my scales and other tools from Dallas Supply House
800/346-5397. They had some hard to find things and are reputable and
very good prices.

Sharon Perdasofpy

Dear Dave, I use scale that is used for reloading ammunition, it
measures in grains, with 3 grains = 1 carat with an accuracy to .1
grain. The best part is most of these scale’s are about 30 to 50
dollars. I picked up a lyman ohaus scale for 25.00 on ebay location
"reloading". Sincerely, James

Attn Dave Scales manufactured for Carat measurement are usually much
more sensitive than gram scales. The inexpensive carat scales are
Portable with 50 carat or 100 carat capacity (that is 10 grams or 20
grams & they are accurate to three decimals .001 in grams).

Yes you can multiply grams with 5 to get carat weight but what is
the accuracy of the grams (for most gold scales it is usually 0.1
gram hence your accuracy will be .5 carat)

When you look for gram scales in .001 (3decimles) then you are back
to square one “Expensive”. The answer to your question is that
Portable scales made for carat weight are your best bet & jewelry
supply houses carry these more than others.

If you would like to save money and you do not use the scale
everyday. The old fashion two pan carat scale that comes in a wooden
box 50 carat capacity which has an accuracy of about 0.05 carat can
be bought for about $28.00

If you need a digital then you have Four portable models to choose
from. Nexus, Acculab, Dendretics, Tanita. Nexus & Acculabs are made
in China. Dendretics is made in USA. Tanita is made in Japan.

I would recommend Tanita as it is moderatly priced and it has the
best Warranty and Track record. These are available in 50 carat and
100 carat capacity. The approximate cost of the 50 carat is $220.00
and 100 carat is $240.00. I would be able to assist you if you need
these. Tucson Booth 442 - 444 Holidome Palo Verde

Regards Kenneth Singh.

HI Dave - I got what I think is a great little scale that weighs up
to 250 gms at an accuracy of .1gm. It weighs in grams, dwt, ounces,
and ozt’s (whatever that is). It has tare and count functions. and
it came with a calibration weight too! Size is 3x5 inches.

I can’t find my invoice right now, but it is a Proscale 250 made by
MyWeight, and I purchased it online - here is a link to the scale at
around $60.00, which sounds like what I paid for it.

They have lots of models at this site, and the prices look pretty


Dave I should add that all four models that I have suggested are not
legal for the Tuson show in Arizona.

Kenneth Singh.

Ivy, This may be a great scale for weighing metal or other items but
it would not be nearly accurate enough to weigh gem stones. It claims
an accuracy of +or- 0.1gm. 0.1gm is 1/2 carat. I don’t think that
anyone buying or selling gems would accept that level of inaccuracy.

Joel Schwalb

All, In Arizona the State is not going to check your scale for
weighing accuracy. They make sure that your scale is manufactured
by a certain manufacturer and that the model of the scale has been
tested in the Arizona testing laboratory. Then they charge you a fee
and place a tax sticker on your scale.

Gerry Galarneau