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Low cost gem microscope


#1

Several times lately someone on the list has asked about a lower
priced microscope for gemological purposes. The IGS thinks highly of
the Achiever microscope. I knew the review had gone into the
archives, obviously I can not post that to this list. However I
noticed something, I have no idea why I missed it. The IGS list of
recommended suppliers

lists Great Scopes, the supplier, on their ad they have- See the IGS
review of our Achiever Stereomicroscope. Click that link and it will
bring up the article. Great Scope also has higher end models. Also
the list (ganoksin, a.k.a. orchid) has a discussion on this topic at


#2

I kind of missed the first posting on this topic but I am going to
throw in my 2 cents worth here. Almost 25 years ago, when I was
working out of my apartment and earning next to nothing, I went ahead
and bought a Gem Microscope from the GIA on my credit card, for what
amounted to a vast sum of money for me at the time (I haven’t got a
clue what I actually paid, but it may have been around $12-1500). At
the time, most people seemed to think it was a foolish purchase and
much too much money for me to be spending on something like that when
I didn’t even have a storefront, no matter enough money to pay for it
in a reasonable amount of time. I am still using that same
microscope today. It has paid for itself 10,000 times over. It has
held up unbelievably well and is still just as good and functional
microscope today as it was when I bought it. When you look at the
cost over a 25 year period it amounts to virtually nothing per year.
So rather than think about getting something that isn’t going to
last as well or as long, you might consider biting the bullet and
just going for a high end, long lasting piece of equipment (frankly I
still like the GIA products). Sometimes that necessity of earning a
little extra money to pay for something like this pushes you to
produce more, better and faster, because, by golly, you have to pay
off those bills.

Daniel R. Spirer, G.G.
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02140
617-491-6000
@spirersomes
www.spirersomes.com


#3

Hello Orchidland,

At the risk of repeating myself, check your state’s list of salvage
for sale (or whatever they call the announcement of used and extra
items being sold). Labs, universities, and schools use these - they
may be listed as a dissecting 'scope. Whenever equipment is
upgraded, the old stuff is usually sold to the public.

Be aware - these things are generally well-used and look it.
However, unless something like an ocular is missing, an intact
’scope can be reconditioned. That means some disassembly, then
careful cleaning and lubricating. At least that’s how I got mine.
It’s an oldie, but works quite well.

Good luck with the hunt! Judy in Kansas, where I finished planting
the garden just in time for last night’s rain. The turtles’ "lips"
are red with strawberry juice!

Judy M. Willingham, R.S.
B.A.E. 237 Seaton Hall
Kansas State University
Manhatttan KS 66506
(785) 532-2936 FAX (785) 532-6944


#4
I kind of missed the first posting on this topic . I went ahead
and bought a Gem Microscope from the GIA on my credit card, for
what amounted to a vast sum of money for me at the time (I haven't
got a clue what I actually paid, but it may have been around
$12-1500). At the time, most people seemed to think it was a
foolish purchase and much too much money for me to be spending on
something like that when I didn't even have a storefront, no matter
enough money to pay for it in a reasonable amount of time. I am
still using that same microscope today. It has paid for itself
10,000 times over.

I agree in general, but especially with the remark to the effect
that sometime you should bite the bullet, so to speak, and shell out
the cash, as in the long run you actually save. I know this by
sometimes trying to save money, only to have to pay for what I should
have got in the first place later, the first item being a waste of
money and time.

The two posts I replied to were people who wanted a good scope, for
light to moderate use and wanted to save a little. Now I will not say
to anyone that this is the scope they should get, only that the IGS
thinks favorably about the Achiever. All I will say is to first take
a look at the Ganoksin article on microscopes,
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nenam/gemicro.htm - this discusses
the use of a non gem scope modified for use. Then CARFULLY READ the
product review. The IGS list of recommended suppliers
http://www.gemsociety.org/suppliers.htm lists Great Scopes, the
supplier, on their ad they have- See the IGS review of our Achiever
Stereomicroscope. Click that link and it will bring up the article.
(On the Great Scope site click home on the site to find it.)

This Achiever scope will need a few modifications, which are easy to
do. The results are a pretty good scope. This will do what is needed
of it (with the modifications) more than well enough. (A Cadillac is
not a Mercedes, or a Rolls Royce, but then again it is not a piece of
junk.) They also sell scopes dedicated to gemology with darkfield et
al on board.

Another possibility (perhaps among several) is that something may
shake loose, there could be someone out there with a high end scope
which they do not use and is willing to let it go quite reasonably. I
posted that because I felt it was important enough that
they may want to know about it, so as to be able to make an informed
decision and perhaps save a little if that meets their needs.


#5

Before making a purchase you might want to talk to the folks at
Absolute Clarity and Calibration. Their business is optical sales and
service. Here is a link to their list of stereo microscopes to buy or
to avoid: http://www.absoluteclarity.com/buy&avoid.htm. The current
GIA scope is on their avoid list (as are the new Nikon SMZ scopes).
Ray