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.