Debra - I’m not sure why you are looking at a dental microscope. The
dental industry uses a lot of jewelry type tools - for example
abrasive discs- and because the supplier is to dentists, the
materials seem to be quite a bit more than what we pay as jewelers.
Charles Lewton Brain has written a good article on gemology
microscopes that is in the Orchid archives - here is the link -
While Charles is a creative and resourceful person and can make
pretty much anything work, as you start down the path of gemstone
id, my advice is to buy something that will work conveniently out of
the box. You have a lot of learning to do and don’t need to build or
modify an instrument before you discover what you need it to do.
When I had to purchase a microscope for my gemology studies, I
bought the least expensive one that GIA supplied. It was a lot more
than $600. Being a lot older and wiser, and with the web search
available now, I would search for gemstone microscope. Here is one
that turned up on that search that would probably do what you need.
The listed price is US$282 with free shipping. I don’t know this
device or the seller,
I doubt the optics are wonderful. It has the basics you need
however. 10 and 30 power, adjustable interpupilary dimension along
with the very necessary darkfield illumination option. It lacks
overhead illumination. I much prefer a zoom option, but you really
can get by with the fixed 10-30 option.
I am familiar with the GemOro microscope however. It too is very
basic. The optics are acceptable and the device is set up for gem
identification. I found one on www.findingking.com for $398. I don’t
know anything about findingking.com. I have used this model of GemOro
microscope and it works.
While I appreciate your husbands concern on costs, I encourage you
to buy something designed for the job at hand. More than 20 years
ago, when I got set up with instruments for my GG, they cost nearly
$3000. The lessons were a lot more. I still wish I had bought a nicer
microscope, but my original one works and I’m not going to replace it
any time soon. Whatever you purchase now, you will have for the
Judy Hoch, GG