Has anyone tried to use the digital refractometers

I was curious if anyone here has tried one of those digital refractometer and what their experience with it was if they have. The reason I ask, is because I don’t think I’d be able to use the traditional refractometers because, my vision is pretty bad, even with corrective help.
Also aside from the refactometer what other instrament would anyone suggest to go along with the refractometer, to help in identifying colored stones. In other words, if y’all could only choose 2 pieces of equipment to use, to identify colored stones, which 2 would y’all choose. Or, is it impossible, to use just 2 instruments to help identify stones. I do posses a stereo microscope and good digital scales. So, what 2 other things would best help me toward identifying colored gemstones?
Thanks for any, and all suggestions and/ or information y’all can help me with.

1 Like

I’ve owned both an analog and a digital refractometer and they both have their place. I prefer the digital for most of my checks. Mine is the Presidium model. With the digital, there is calibrations you need to do once in a while so you need to keep a few known stones on hand. If you live anywhere near York, PA, USA we could meet and you could try mine out. You’ll never identify all your stones with just two tools, but you can get a lot of them. Since you have a scale, it can be used for specific gravity tests without buying more equipment. I think most of the other tools may also be hard to use with eyesight issues. Spectrometers and Dichroscopes both have you looking through small tubes. A UV flashlight is a cheap investment that can help ID too. You can find them under $5 on ebay.


I use the presidium one. Prom Ii. Works well. Obviously gives you a number that falls within a range. So you need a further test to identify. But I use mostly to verify. So if I the range I assume correct

Thank you both Duane and Kknox14 for your input and info. I was actually born in PA. But live in Georgia now, otherwise I would take you up on your offer Duane, very kind of you to offer. Thanks for all the great information it is a great help

Perhaps a polorscope also.All require you to look,thats what I.D. is all about.

I’m 62 with vision issues.

I have purchased 5 tefractometers:
Jeff Wildman

The GIA duplex refractometer … is big and bright and easy to read.

Jeff wildman in Oregon custom makes these, and the display is large and easy to read.

I sold the kruss and the gem-eye because I couldn’t see it.

Every piece of equipment is essential to gem ID… but your refractometer and your ability to read it is your #1 test.

I bought the electronic versions… 2 of them, in fact…too much room for error.

Buy a good refractometer and take the time to become skilled.

1 Like

Hi we are useing Pesidium II very good results in higher ref. Index from 1.6 the meter is able to be calibrated…
weak tests are under 1.6 like between Beryll and Quarz here you will loose controle it´s not exact enough.

… the meter is working for over 2 Yeras without any problems i can fully recomend it from1.6.


Michael Pipek from piart.store

Please let me explain something to you about digital tools. And for that matter,ALL TOOLS! i tried to purchase almost the cheapest,gem ID tools to learn with and pass the exams… Lesson for you and anyone is this … if your serious about a business that makes you$ I realized that you buy the best tools you can afford,now digital refraction, Gemini 3 :wink: OPL SPECTRASCOPE, DICHROSCOPE, AND when it comes to microscopes,I shopped around for the best BANG FOR THE BUCK! now that being said,I had to take mine apart from… the bottom and solder a connection,end result is I have a decent microscope, and paid 600$ us… if you skimp on your tools, you will skimp on yourself and your customers as well…think about it

1 Like

The gemini 3 digital refractometer is just an amazing and worth the 590-600$ price tag! Whatever your comfortable with,but I don’t have to use toxic chemicals or anything… I think it will also read measurements up to and don’t quote me,2.02 or something like that, however after you realize how much more it will do after you practice :wink: it is my go 2 fav tools! Except maybe for the cool :sunglasses: factor of a hanneman specific gravity scale! It’s just cool and it works! As long as you practice using it… Practice makes perfect :ok_hand:

1 Like

Thank you to person asked about digital refractor meters. Have consider buying one. Will checkout this Gemini 3, have watched couple recommended best refractory meters and do recall this one was on the list as one of the best for money.
Gemstone Love New in this amazing world of history and etc. Totally a sponge in learning.
Michelle Warden and

Excellent product :ok_hand:

1 Like

Digital refractometer in my experience is waist of time

HI all,
I have used a digital refractometer for over 25 years and have not had any problems. Since you can get instant readings on any gemstone up a 3.0 on the R.I. Moissanite, diamond, CZ, high Zircon, all without HAZARDOUS & TOXIC fluids, and the size is of minimal importance, 2mm and above are good.
The only difficulty I have experienced is changing the battery on my Gemeter 90, because it is inside the case and a phillips screwdriver is required to open the case.
I have 3 digital units and check one against the others for any disparity in readings.
With regard to the NON-DIGITAL units the HAZMAT shipping charge is almost 3 times the cost of the fluid!!

1 Like