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Photomicroscopy & Intro

Hello all –

I’ve been lurking for a while, but since I have a question, I
suppose an intro. is in order. :slight_smile:

I’m working on my GG through the GIA’s correspondence program
and hoping to find a position with a gem lab or appraisal
business when I complete the course and when my wife is done with
school. This list has been a real education in and of itself –
My thanks to everyone for the informative, friendly discussions!

Now the question: I’d very much like to create a photo-archive
of inclusions and other characteristics of gemstones for my
personal reference (and maybe someday for insurance/appraisal
purposes), but I’m having a really hard time finding how-to books
and on photomicroscopy. Can anyone help me out? Any
help at all will be appreciated.


Peter Torraca @Peter_Torraca

Try this for starters…


The gia sells an adapter for 35mm cameras which hooks up to your
microscope ( gem scope) <It comes with instructions and costs
arounbd $ 50.00

Dear Peter,

A good place to start would be an old copy of Gems & Gemology. I
will get back to you about the exact one in question tomorrow,
but it gave a good introduction on how to take photomicrographs.
Of course as in all walks of life, money is of importance, as
although you can take good pictures with a simple and fairly low
priced set-up, you can take even better ones with a $10,000 or
more set-up and with less trouble !!! Therefore equipment and
knowing how to use it are all important. I use a simple minolta
camera with an attachment that replaces one eye-piece of a
Gemolite microscope and sometimes am happy with the results. I
wish I was always happy, but such is life !!! To give you an
idea about the sort of pictures that can be obtained from a
basic set-up trying finding a copy of the Journal of Gemmology
and look for articles entitled ‘Notes from the Gem and Pearl
Testing Laboratory, Bahrain’. I took these in a hurry in most
cases (customers wanting their items back as quickly as
possible) and to be honest with no photographic training of any
type. One of these days I am determined to go on a course to
learn technique and lighting so that I can improve the results.

best wishes - Nick

Look at Edmonds Scientific supply. They had a very nice
microscore from Russia that had a camera mount. The price with
everything was around $500. The camera was included. That may
seem like alot till you start looking around. It had the all
important low power magnifications. Steve Ramsdell


Sorry for the delay in finding the details about the copy of
Gems & Gemology that I told you about previously, but here they
are :

Fall 1981 page 132, Photomicrography of inclusions in gemstones
by Koivula.

Hope you can get a copy and would be interested to know what you