Gem Identification Workshop

The first hands-on workshop was held to show how to use the various pieces of equipment used to Identify Gemstones.

Just a quick THANK YOU  to both the GGs & Students for supporting the chapter and our education efforts.

We know your time is precious and appreciate your willingness to participate with the chapter.

We know the GGs enjoyed their time and received a great opportunity to learn while working with the students.

To accommodate the varying levels of knowledge we kept this workshop an Open Forum, rather than creating a strict structure. We hope to take the feedback from both students & GGs and create an even better experience next time!

Special guest Gail Brett-Levine along with many of our resident DCGIA member GGs were on-hand to answer questions and demonstrate equipment.

Gail Brett-Levine; Martin Fuller; Tim Morgan; Bobby Mann; Theresa McGowan;          Lynn Karson; Allison Arrington; Denise Nelson; Dennis Nelson; Jeff Allinson;              Sharon Allinson; Tony Conway; Melanie Marts & Rosa Shearin

The GGs

The GGs



Spectroscope – a tool for examining which parts of white light are absorbed by a gemstone (as well as by other materials).                                                                  Refractometer – used to help identify gem materials by measuring their refractive index. Dichroscope – The dichroscope is an important pocket instrument used in the field of Geology and can be used to test transparent gemstones (crystals).                                   Chelsea Filters – used to rapidly distinguish between genuine Emeralds and the pastes and doublets which resemble them.                                                                                             10x Loupe – After the eye and the brain, the 10x Loupe is the instrument most used by gemologists.                                                                                                                          Polariscope – one of the most underestimated tools in gemology.                                   Conoscope – (a strain free acrylic or glass sphere on a rod) use to determine optic character (uniaxial or biaxial) in anisotropic gemstones.

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Some of the participant responses:

Frank and I very much enjoyed the event and apreciate the GG’s trouble  to bring in their equipment. I am such a beginner, that I need one on one with a GG comparing, say agate to jasper, looking for signs of dyeing, inclusions, learning which stones have inclusions that are expected and which are detrimental to the quality of the stone. Frank and I would indeed participate again.

Best, Marilyn Naylor
I’m a new member with your group
I think you should all do this 4-Times a Year so that it is a full afternoon meeting and then encourage everyone to stay and have Supper/Dinner together at the restaurant afterwards I also think you should make sure to put in your News Letter asking and encouraging everyone to bring their equipment, power-strips and extension cords as well.
Would like to see if we could get a bigger room with more tables if possible.

Make the Hands-On Class both for Students and for Advanced Gemologists both.
This way it is something for everyone.

You might also think about doing more all afternoon meetings for Special Speakers who have stuff to show & Tell and Teach Longer Classes instead of a 1 ½ hour evening program. I was very pleased and Happy with the meeting/class. Had lots of fun sharing and learning. Meeting old friends and making new friends.

High Sierra Gem Lab, LLC.

Hi there,
Glad to help out again if I am in town. I thought it went very well. Everyone seemed to get something out of it.
I suggest nest time we rotate people through each table so everyone gets to see the various tools available in depth. That way Gail could have explained her color system; Tim could have explained how the Hodgkins specific gravity set is helpful;… etc…

Group students/attendees into sets of no more than three, and that way for an hour or so they get to be taken through it all and then let them explore what steps they want to take to ID their stones on their own. Some of those who attended did not know how and where to start, so that would give them an introduction.

Denise Nelson



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