Science & Nature

May 1, 2015

Tools for the trade

Buying a diamond is something most people do very rarely, but it's usually a considerable and exciting investment. Every diamond is unique, and there is a variety of factors which affect the price of a diamond. To reveal factors that are most important to you, and to choose a diamond that satisfies your individual standards for beauty and value, gemological tools can be most essential and efficient. 


The first gemological laboratory serving the jewelry trade was established in London in 1925, prompted by the influx of the newly developed "cultured pearl" and advances in the synthesis of rubies and sapphires. There are now numerous gem labs around the world requiring ever more advanced equipment and experience to identify the new challenges - such as treatments to gems, new synthetics and other new materials.

From its humble beginnings, Rubin & Son has established itself as the reference for supplies, tools and instruments needed in the diamond and jewelry industry. The company's philosophy has always remained the same: to cater to its customers' needs by providing them with high quality goods combined with an impeccable after-sale service.

Rubin & Son provides a entire range of supplies and equipment for the diamond dealers, jewelers and gemologists. Rubin & Son's product line spans from daily usable items such as tweezes, loupes and parcel papers to the most sophisticated supplies. This includes jewelry balances, gold and diamond testers, cleaning and measuring equipments, general tools for diamond traders, jewelry cases and window displays.

Here are some of the most often used gemological testing equipment frequently used among professionals: 

Jeweler's Loupe

This is the instrument of choice of the best gemologists. With this you can separate synthetic moissanite or cubic zirconia from natural diamond, clarity grade a diamond, cut grade a diamond...and you don't have to plug it in anywhere. Fits in your pocket. 

The polariscope is a critical piece of equipment for any gemologist's office. It can easily identify single and double refractive gemstones, and in many cases allow you to view the optic interference figure and give you the optic character of the gemstone. Too large and difficult for travel, but on the desk of a properly trained gemologist the polariscope can help make gemstone identification far more accurate and efficient.

The refractometer is used to determine the indexes of refraction of the stone. This instrument calculates speed with which luminous rays arise from the stone and indicates it on a scale.  The gem is placed on a coated pane of a fine particle of liquid made up amongst other things of methylene iodide which shows an index of refraction of 1.81 (this liquid is toxic)

Dichroscope of which the principal part is made up of a tube comprising a window with the one of the ends and a lens with the other, between the two is assembled a piece of calcite, chosen because of its strong double refraction so that two images of the window appear side by side to the observer which looks in the eye-glass.  The light of the adjacent images of the window vibrates in two perpendicular plans one to the other at a rate of one only plan for each image.  The rotation of the stone is a significant factor during the control of dichroism, bus in all the double refraction stones, it exists one or two directions of unirefringence, known as optical axe.

Color Filter (Chelsea Filter)

A Chelsea filter, also referred to as an "emerald filter" or "color filter," is a gemmological dichromatic filter that can help separate some natural gemstones from their synthetic gemstone counterparts. A Chelsea filter absorbs visible light with the exception of long red wavelengths, which are transmitted through the filter causing some minerals to change color.

The color of a gemstone is due to the absorption and transmission of different wavelengths of full-spectrum white light. The "green" of emerald is created from a combination of different wavelengths that can help distinguish a "chromium" colored natural emerald from other types of green gemstones, or emerald imitations/simulants that are colored by elements other than chromium. 

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