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Gemstone Identification

People often email us photos of gemstones and ask us for help in identifying their stones. We try to be helpful, but even the best gemologist in the world cannot properly identify a gemstone from a photograph. Indeed, even a detailed visual inspection of the actual gemstone is rarely sufficient for gemstone identification.

Inspecting Gemstones With a Jeweler's Loupe
Jeweler's Loupe for Inspecting Gems

Microscope for GemstonesThe systematic study of gemstones has come a long way since the days when any attractive red stone was called a ruby. Today gemologists have to be able to identify over 200 different varieties of gemstones, as well as detect an ever-growing list of gem treatments and synthetics. What once was an art has now become a science, and gemstone identification without careful measurement is just guesswork.

Polariscope for Gemstone TestingEvery type of gemstone has a unique set of physical and optical properties. These include not only color and luster, but also hardness, specific gravity (also called density), and refractive index. Although several types of gemstones may have approximately the same specific gravity or the same particular refractive index, each gem type has a unique profile that is a combination of the results of all the basic tests. It is not recommended to use only one test to identify a gem, unless a gemstone possesses a very unique trait that can be determined by a single test.

Refractive Index LiquidThe basic gemological tools are not difficult to learn to use. They include the simple 10x loupe (a powerful tool in the hands of an expert), the refractometer (for measuring refractive index), the polariscope (for identifying singly and doubly refractive gems), and a scale accurate to the 1/100th of a carat (for measuring specific gravity).

Spectroscope for Gemstone TestingThe binocular microscope is an extremely important tool. It can be used to reliably detect signs of heat treatment or fracture filling, for example, though considerable skill and experience is required. Some forms of treatment can only be detected by specialized and expensive equipment. Detecting radiation treatment requires the use of gamma ray spectroscopy, and beryllium treatment of sapphire is most reliably detected with a procedure known as LIBS (Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy). You're unlikely to find these tools at your local gemology lab.

Gemstone Tester

How to Identify a Gemstone

A well-trained gemologist with vast experience in a particular kind of gem can often provide very detailed information about a gemstone, including information about its origin. This sort of informed judgement about origin needs to be distinguished from quantitative tests that yield definitive conclusions about the type of gemstone. This is usually reflected in the wording of certificates issued by gemology labs. While the lab can conclusively identify the material as ruby (corundum); it can say only that the observed characteristics are consistent with the material being mined in Madagascar, for example. Gemology has become a science, but there's still some art left in it.

  • Primera publicación: Enero-10-2008
  • Última actualización: Enero-22-2019
  • © 2005-2021 Reproducción (texto o gráficos), sin el consentimiento expreso por escrito de GemSelect.com (SETT Compañía Ltda.) es estrictamente prohibida.
Más formas
Piedras Preciosas Populares
  • Zafiro
  • Esmeralda
  • Rubí
  • Aguamarina
  • Circón
  • Ópalo
  • Topacio
  • Turmalina
  • Granate
  • Amatista
  • Citrina
  • Tanzanita
Todas las gemas (141)
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P R S T V Z
  • Aguamarina
  • Aguamarina Ojo de Gato
  • Amatista
  • Amatista druzy
  • Amazonita
  • Ametrina
  • Amolita
  • Andalucita
  • Andesina Labradorita
  • Apatita
  • Apatita Ojo de Gato
  • Azurita Druzy
  • Berilo
  • Berilo Dorado
  • Calcedonia
  • Calcita
  • Charoita
  • Chrysocolla
  • Cianita
  • Circón
  • Citrina
  • Clinohumite
  • Coral
  • Coral Fósil
  • Cornalina
  • Crisoberilo
  • Crisoprasa
  • Cromodiópsido
  • Cuarzo
  • Cuarzo Fresa
  • Cuarzo Limón Estrella
  • Cuarzo Ojo de Gato
  • Cuarzo Rosa
  • Cuarzo Rosa Estrella
  • Cuarzo Rutilado
  • Cuarzo con marcasita
  • Diamante
  • Diásporo con Cambio de Color
  • Diópsido Estrella
  • Doblete de Ópalo
  • Enstatita
  • Escapolita
  • Escapolita Ojo de Gato
  • Escolecita
  • Esfalerita
  • Esfena
  • Esmeralda
  • Esmitsonita
  • Espectrolita
  • Espinela
  • Fluorita
  • Fluorita con Cambio de Color
  • Fucsita con Rubí
  • Gemas de estrella
  • Gemas de jade
  • Geoda ágata
  • Granate
  • Granate Alamandino
  • Granate Demantoide
  • Granate Espesartina
  • Granate Estrella
  • Granate Grossularita
  • Granate Hesonita
  • Granate Malaya
  • Granate Piropo
  • Granate Rodolita
  • Granate Tsavorita
  • Granate con Cambio de Color
  • Grandidierita
  • Hematita
  • Hemimorfita Druzy
  • Howlita
  • Idocrasa
  • Iolita
  • Jadeíta
  • Jaspe
  • Kornerupina
  • Kunzita
  • Labradorita
  • Lapislázuli
  • Larimar
  • Las Piedras Preciosas con Cambio de Color
  • Madreperla
  • Malaquita
  • Mali Granate
  • Matriz Ojo de Tigre
  • Maw-Sit-Sit
  • Morganita
  • Nuummite
  • Obsidiana
  • Obsidiana Copo de Nieve
  • Ojo de Gato Actinolita
  • Ojo de Halcón
  • Ojo de Tigre
  • Ojo de gato opal
  • Ojos de gato
  • Peridoto
  • Perla
  • Piedra de Luna
  • Piedra de Luna Arco Iris
  • Piedra de Luna Estrella
  • Piedra de Luna Ojo de Gato
  • Piedra de Sangre
  • Piedra del Sol
  • Piedra del Sol Estrella
  • Pietersita
  • Pirita
  • Pirita Arco Iris
  • Prehnite
  • Rodocrosita
  • Rubellita Turmalina
  • Rubí
  • Rubí Estrella
  • Rubí-Zoisita
  • Serafinita
  • Serpentina
  • Silimanita
  • Silimanita Ojo de Gato
  • Sodalita
  • Tanzanita
  • Topacio
  • Topacio Imperial
  • Topacio Místico
  • Turmalina
  • Turquesa
  • Variscita
  • Venturina
  • Zafiro
  • Zafiro Estrella
  • Zafiro con Cambio de Color
  • Ágata
  • Ágata Dendrítica
  • Ágata de Fuego
  • Ónix
  • Ópalo
  • Ópalo Boulder
  • Ópalo Chocolate
  • Ópalo Negro
  • Ópalo de Fuego
  • Ópalo en matriz
  • Ópalo hialita
Principales categorías
  • Nuevas llegadas
  • Lotes de gemas
  • Las Piedras Preciosas Calibradas
  • Piedras preciosas por pieza
  • Gemas de grado superior
  • Pares Emparejados
  • Gemas Corte Cabujón
  • Gemas perforadas, briolettes y cuentas
  • Piedras zodiacales
  • Las Tallas de Piedras Preciosas
  • Gemas elegantes
  • Gemas de estrella
  • Zafiro sin Calefacción
Servicio al cliente sólo en inglés

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Tamaño y peso

Gems are always measured in Millimeter (mm)

Dimensions are given as;
length x width x depth,
except for round stones which are;
diameter x depth

Select gems by size, not by weight!
Gem varieties vary in density, so carat weight is not a good indication of size

Note: 1ct = 0.2g

Size Comparison Chart