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 Post subject: Need Advice
PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:14 pm 
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Joined: Thu Apr 19, 2007 6:03 pm
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Location: Conyers, GA
Keeping in mind that I am not a gemologist, nor do I intend to become certified, I am looking for a set up for examining stones. There is a wide range of prices and equipment.

Since I am starting with nothing I thought that a kit of some kind would be best. I am looking at the The PORTAPAC, the Student or Graduate gem kit, or the The Standard Gem Travel Lab, so prices range from $395.00 to $2,695.00 and none come with a Chelsea filter so I would want that also.

http://www.kassoy.com/kruss01.html

http://www.prettyrock.com/php/product-d ... uments.htm

http://www.gemproducts.com/products/portapac.htm

Just how much should I start out with?


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 7:35 pm 
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Location: canada
hi Raw rocks:

I could be wrong but I believe that the Jadeite Filter (part of the student kit) is indeed a chelsea filter under another name.

Hope that helps

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:38 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 17, 2005 10:56 am
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Location: The frozen north prairie :-/
Yes ... the Chelsea filter was developed for use as an emerald filter. It's useful for so many other gemstones, though :D .

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 28, 2007 11:15 pm 
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:03 pm
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Location: N. Idaho
I was asked a similar question recently and this is what I put together. I am not in favor of small lab sets. Full size setups are what you need if you want them to be truly useful on a regular basis. Each of these pieces is high quality. You can spend more money but you won't get greater value. The polariscope is an exception. You can find one cheaper and it won't make a difference.

---------------------
Gemological Instruments Price Source

GemOro microscope Elite 1067ZX $895 GemOro
Chelsea Filter $35 Kassoy
Dichroscope $35
Achromatic loupe 10X $35
JS-VG carat scale, .01 ct $79
Electronic mm gauge $99
Polariscope $395 Kassoy
Tweezers $20
Versalume U.V. lamp $89 Raytech
Specific Gravity Kit $79 Mineralab
Spectroscope w/ light source $395
Hardness pick set $69 Mineralab
Hanneman Gem Filter set $64
Pen light $10 Maglight
Fiber optic light source $65 eBay
Neodymium magnet $16 United Nuclear
GemPro refractometer $500 Gemological Products
Interference sphere $15 GP
Immersion cell $35 GP
Methylene Iodide $220 GIA, includes hazardous shipping
Immersion liquids, 5 bottles $225 GIA


TOTAL $3,375


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 12:06 am 
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:shock: I am not sure if I have spent that much on gemstones yet? Is there any thing I can do without, at least at first.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 1:24 am 
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Location: San Francisco
I would start with a refractometer (with built in sodium filter)
recommend Kassoy's Gem-A unit
a polariscope (with coniscope),this can also function as the light for the refractometer, Kruss and GIA make good ones
and a good loupe.
Also useful would be a carat scale, like Tanita with a unit for determining Specific gravity.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 5:40 am 
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Hi,

I would not invest in a 395.00 polariscope as it is a 20 dollar tool. Just buy a few sheets from hanneman instruments and tape them on your microscope (or balance them over the transmitted light source). Works like a charm and you get magnification to observe them pesky interference figures.
But you do need a good conoscope sphere.


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PostPosted: Fri Jun 29, 2007 11:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Oct 29, 2006 11:43 pm
Posts: 518
Location: North Carolina
Raw Rocks,

Before you lay out all that money, buy Bill Hanneman's book, "Guide to Affordable Gemology" and then you will rethink what you need to buy.

A friend was taking the final course(s) for her GG under the mentoring of an older friend, a GG for 20 years. They borrowed my copy of the book, then bought their own copy and then significantly revised their equipment. In the case of the new GG that meant buying a lot less, different, and less expensive equipment. That particular friend works with colored stones all day, every day.

The book will explain what each tool is, how they are used, discuss if and how you need it, etc. and often present much less expensive alternatives, such as a polariscope made out of a comb and two sunglass lenses.

My interest in this equipment is through faceting. I want to be able to see if the rough is what I bought it as. Not as a GG intention, though there are so many simple suggestions in the book as to how to identify stones, it blows everybody's minds.

If you are not, and you say you are not, going to become a professional GG, then this may be a better course for you than buying the equipment of a well stocked GG lab. Sometimes it is easier to keep it simple.

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