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 Post subject: Affordable Ebay Refractometer
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:01 pm 
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I am in the market for an affordable refractometer and stumbled upon this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/GEMOLOGICAL-GEM ... xy4dNSxHbs

it looks like they sold quite a few of them and have decent reviews. I'm not going to be a professional and would mainly use it to be 100% sure that some "sapphires" I brought back from Kashmir are not actually Iolite.
I anticipate using it occasionally but not much, so I would prefer to stay under $100!

Anyone tried something like this? Worth its price or better to save up for a serious one? Alternatives?

Thank you!


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 Post subject: Re: Affordable Ebay Refractometer
PostPosted: Wed Aug 30, 2017 6:50 pm 
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I have used one of these (or one very much like it, but I think it is the same kind) and it gives me accurate results based on testing on known standards. Just make sure you do test it to make sure it isn't miscalibrated or something like that.
Pleochroism should be plenty sufficient to separate iolite and sapphire though.


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 Post subject: Re: Affordable Ebay Refractometer
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:11 am 
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Thank you Stephen! I'll get it and report back in case it is of interest to someone else. I did check for pleochroism but I am still not sure, and I think having one of those refractometers is useful anyway for other comparisons I might want to make!


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 Post subject: Re: Affordable Ebay Refractometer
PostPosted: Thu Aug 31, 2017 10:51 pm 
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It is a great tool to have and indispensible if you want to identify gems--even though I have a raman spectrometer I still make use of mine fairly often.

That said, if it is iolite the pleochroism should really be obvious, with either a grey or yellow cross-axis. Try rotating the stone in front of a computer monitor.


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 Post subject: Re: Affordable Ebay Refractometer
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 2:23 pm 
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Stephen Challener wrote:
It is a great tool to have and indispensible if you want to identify gems--

But, not true for beginners. :D :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Affordable Ebay Refractometer
PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:37 pm 
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That's true, Bill - a Raman Spectrometer is superior. ;-D


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