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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 9:41 am 
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:lol: In a Ligand field. :lol:


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 14, 2009 10:43 am 
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 Post subject: Re: spectroscopes; the end is near?
PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 12:20 am 
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Brian wrote:
What I found is that, basically, only gemologists use them. Which is good, in a way, because I found this interesting forum.


I don't know if anyone else will see the humor in this, but I sure got a kick out of it. It was pointed out to me by a lawyer earlier today that I had no room to insult him any longer as it takes a physicist to enjoy hanging out in the company of gemologists. The stereotypes for physicists created by the TV show Big Bang Theory didn't help our case any.
:smt105

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:32 am 
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I saw some important points been rised here.
After a re-reading all the post in this thread i realized that times for this new gemmo challenge are still immature :( (for the average gemologist, I mean).
From my little-newbie side i will start collecting spectras of gems as soon as my setup will be ready to do that and hope to have a consistent database in some months. If someone will be interested we can raise the discussion later. Of course, in the meantime EVERY contribute from more skilled members (Jean Marie, still waiting for a word of wisdom.. :wink: ) would be IMHO more than appreciate. I’m more than sure sooner or later our beloved optical spectroscope will be substitute by digital one, it’s only a matter of time and, as for many other things, it’s better to be ready for changes.
Just my 2c only.

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:12 am 
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Alberto,

There's certainly nothing wrong with expanding one's knowledge and the time may be coming where more sophisticated equipment will become the norm for the average Gemologist.

But, for now, if we were to isolate the practical side of Gemology which mainly concerns the identification of gem minerals, which are few compared to minerals studied in other more collective disciplines, (mineralogy)
which gem minerals are presenting the biggest challenges as far as identification using the traditional gemological instruments?

Certainly the physical and optical qualities of gem minerals are well defined and detectable using the traditional instruments, and the use of the handheld spectroscope has played a minimal role in these determinations except as a confirmation exercise for a limited number of these gem minerals.

Treatments and their detections, as well as synthetics also have been well publicised and documented making it possible for the average Gemologist that keeps up with the information to make determinative diagnostics with exceptions.

My question is, which gemstones including their synthetics and the known treatments to date, do you (anyone) feel is most likely to benefit as far as identification that will justify the cost or necessitate the usage as an everyday diagnostic instrument?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:44 am 
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JB,
JB wrote:
Alberto,

There's certainly nothing wrong with expanding one's knowledge and the time may be coming where more sophisticated equipment will become the norm for the average Gemologist.

this is what i mean

Quote:
the use of the handheld spectroscope has played a minimal role in these determinations except as a confirmation exercise for a limited number of these gem minerals.

agree

Quote:
Treatments and their detections, as well as synthetics also have been well publicised and documented making it possible for the average Gemologist that keeps up with the information to make determinative diagnostics with exceptions.

maybe i'm wrong but in last documents published about those issues you can find even more spectras.... (I'm talking about respectable writings and research here...)

Quote:
My question is, which gemstones including their synthetics and the known treatments to date, do you (anyone) feel is most likely to benefit as far as identification that will justify the cost or necessitate the usage as an everyday diagnostic instrument?

maybe this question could be better answerded by someone (Jean Marie?) who use the spec as a routine gemmo test. but, you know in the UV and IR regions (not covered by the spectroscope) you can find many interesting features about, as an example irradiated fancy color diamonds...
however, as DR. Brian well pointed out, IMO the best way to know the answer is to collecting the more spectras possible and see.....
ciao

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 4:56 pm 
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my question is: why would one leave possibilities unused? There's info there for the grabbing... let's go grab it.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:32 pm 
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Tim,
I'll use this analogy:

Q. What do you use to hunt a squirrel ?

a. a slingshot
b. a rifle
c. a bazooka

A. It depends on your aim and how dead you want it.

Seriously, it would be irresponsible for me to recommend not pursuing an area of interest. The only question is the quarry equal to the pursuit.

Heck, I'm still waiting for the Monkey Machine. Slide in a Gemstone, press a button and it gives you all of the clinical information. The consequences would be bad for Gemologists, but some entrepreneur would enjoy an early retirement. :)

Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 6:36 pm 
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Monkey Machine = GIA Gem Trade Labratory.

The problem with that is that we want to play with the toys. :smt082

Now where is that squirrel? :smt066

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 7:06 pm 
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JB, I think we are starting to go in circles. For the practical gemologist, probably the technology is still too immature, as Alberto says. And still too costly.

As I alluded to in my initial post initially, the spectroscope was developed about 100 yrs before becoming a commonplace gem tool. The practical gemologist was able to get by without it for quite a while. Maybe it'll be another 100 yrs before the digital spectrometer becomes a commonplace tool. Or maybe, given the futureshock nature of the world, this time period might be compressed a bit.

However, spectra have begun to turn up in gem publications as a matter of routine (here's a publication chock full of 'em). So maybe it would behoove gem educators to develop a curriculum that teaches at least how to interpret these spectra. How, for example, does a published spectrum correspond to what you see in your spectroscope?


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 8:54 pm 
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Quote:
So maybe it would behoove gem educators to develop a curriculum that teaches at least how to interpret these spectra. How, for example, does a published spectrum correspond to what you see in your spectroscope?


Brian, I'm not opposed to that and more curriculum wise. Right now, the curriculum is devised to, "Prepare you for a rewarding career in the Jewelry Industry."

I think I covered that in an earlier post.

There's a lot of grass between a Gemological diploma, a pat on the back and the caveat, "Never stop learning" and the perception of what a Gemologist is supposed to know and understand.

They could shorten the playing field by upgrading to a University level curriculum based on science only (something you can relate to) or continue to market itself as some complex blend of science and marketing. Which it is.

I'm not judge and jury. I simply observe. The leap from other sciences to Gemology seems to be much easier than the leap from Gemology to other established sciences. It's a lot of ground to cover if explored in it's entirety.

At some point you need to decide if you want a sister trade, Appraising, Goldsmithing, Lapidary, Jeweler etc, that produces income or just be a perpetual student. Then you decide if you should improve on these sister trades, thus improving income or just remain average. Some of these sister trades don't necessitate a Gemological diploma, even as it exists today.

So much to do, so little time.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 10:37 pm 
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JB wrote:
So much to do, so little time.


... and you have to make some money. That part always baffles me.


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PostPosted: Thu Jan 15, 2009 11:19 pm 
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Brian,
Are you baffled when you cash your paycheck? Or is Physicist a hobby? :)

Let's play nice now. I'm trying to promote a respectable salary for the stand alone Gemologist without additional skills. :)


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:00 am 
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JB wrote:
Let's play nice now. I'm trying to promote a respectable salary for the stand alone Gemologist without additional skills. :)

Good luck :D
I believe science and fraud have made your stand alone gemologist a relic of the past. :(
Why subject yourself to a prolonged expensive course of study when what it will do for you is teach you that the really important activities, like charactering treatments, are beyond your capabilities and a seller needs a certificate from a lab in order to make a sale? :( :(

If your family doesn't own the store, I believe there is little future in selling jewelry. However, gemology is a great hobby. :D :D


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 16, 2009 12:00 am 
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If any new technology is going to attract the world's gemologists to become buyers and participants in its use, it seems to me that there has to be an economic benefit-related imperative involved. If you can buy an OPL teaching scope for $125 and use one of many guides to spectra like those provided by "Tables of Gemstone Identification," publications of the GIA, "The Spectroscope in Gemology" or the work of Jean-Marie at Geminterest.com and, with enough determination and technique development make your determinations based on observations and the substantive body of reference work that exists, why would you want to spend thousands of dollars on techniques that are not as certain to give you significant results?

The fact is, that some gemologists, mineralogists, geologists and material scientists are in it for the gear. I'm a good example. I don't earn any money from gemology but I have ordered a used electron microprobe, I own an x-ray powder diffractometer and my next major purchase will be a Raman microscope.

The microprobe provides quantitative chemical data on samples and inclusions just microns in diameter, the diffractometer provides unit cell dimensions and can conclusively identify a number of minerals in a sample. Both instruments provide largely unambiguous data.

On the otherhand, the RAMAN units must have a database to tell you what you are dealing with, and this is by comparison only, so it is similar to spectroscopic data in that it is largely qualitative.

The relative usefulness of any gem instrument then is dependent upon either its quantitative nature (e.g. R.I. and S.G.) or the existence of a database for comparison purposes.

Substituting a digital spectrometer for a spectroscope means you have to have comparative data for your results; yet all of the spectroscope related info does not, at all, translate directly to digital spectroscopic observation. While you are not starting entirely from scratch, it is not a trivial endeavor.

To me, equipment like the Challenger spectroscope makes more sense because it allows observation from the violet to near infrared and for much of the spectrum you can rely on the existing body of work to which we have access. And, it answers most of the questions that arise for near UV-VIS-near IR analysis.

The cost-benefit of a digital spectrometer is not clear to me given the existing body of applicable information. However, for it to be beneficial, the best approach would be for several members of the forum to put together the exact same set-up (spectrometer, light source and integrating sphere) and to agree to set up a database to which all could contribute within the requisite parameters.

I would certainly be willing to participate.

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