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[Source] Refractometer


I think its about time ot get a refractometer so I can tell one stone
from the other. Where do I start looking, and what should I pay?
thanks -randy


Two places I’d look are at GIA Gem Instruments (try &
Gemological Products (( There are others that
also sell this type of equipment, but I’ve never dealt with them. GIA
is pricey. Gemological Products has very good products, service &

A new refractometer runs about $400.00.



Randy; There are several sources for gemological equipment. These are
a few I know of, there are probably several other sources.

GIA Gem Instruments will have everything one needs. Their prices are
high, but quality is assured. 1-800-421-8161. Also you may be a able
to pick one up through GIA’s online forum, maybe Ebay?

I have recently purchased some items from Kassoy. 1-800-4-kassoy.
Prices are more reasonable but they do not have as wide a range of
gemological equipment.

Mettler Toledo has some incredible high end analytical equipment.


Harley Owen Groff
GIA: Diamonds Graduate, Colored Stones Grading, Synthetic Diamond Detection,
and currently in enrolled in Gem Indentification in pursuit of a GIA:
Graduated Gemologist Diploma (projected graduation April 2000)
President, Barbara’s Treasure Chest, Inc.
Colleyville’s Fine Jeweler


Ebay listed a refractometer, as well as other gem id instruments not
long ago.



Randy, You may be interested in joining the two sites related to
Faceting. I know two persons there that can easily answer your
question, neither of whom is on Orchid. AFMS Faceters is one, Faceters
Digest is the other. Excellent directly related to
gemstones for faceting.

Nice to see you up here,


You are going to need a lot more than just a refractometer for
positive ID’s.You need a
microscope,polariscope,dichroscope,spectrascope,heavy liquids,a
flourescent setup,hardness testers,and books,books,books with photos
and statistics for comparison.And most importantly,a good school to
learn how to use them.GIA and most gemmological schools sell the
equipment used every couple years.For the course itself,try to find
who is a proctor for the FGA in US today.Their course is a little less
how to set up in a shopping center,more towards the physics and
chemistry.But look out,they grade you on neatness and penmenship!! Mark


Randy, You need more than just a refractometer to identify and
separate stones from synthetics. Your basic equipment includes a
polariscope, a dichroscope, a refractometer, a set of specific
gravity liquids, a means of magnification, preferably a gem microscope
nd it’s nice to also have a long and short wave ultraviolet light and
a spectroscope. You’ll need several references, but most of all you
need to know how to use all this stuff. As a minimum you need the
knowledge and practice you get from GIA’s colored stones and gem
identification course or some equivalent training. Even with all that
there will be stones you cannot identify with real confidence. In some
cases for example, all that equipment and knowledge will not always
enable you to separate natural from synthetic amethyst. For example,
natural corundum, synthetic corundum and rhodolite garnet all have an
R.I. of 1.76. When face with the same problem you have, I took the
plunge a few years ago, took the courses, bought the gear and never
regretted it for a moment. If you don’t want to or are not in a
position to dos, and especially if you are setting expensive stones,
your best bet is to find a gemologist and a trustworthy supplier. Hope
this helps. Jerry in Kodiak (where the bears are awakening