Tips for Buying a Microscope for Gem Identificaiton and Grading

Hello Everyone,
I am in the market for a microscope for gem identification and grading. I have most of the other equipemnt (refractometer, polariscope, ect…) and I am ready to buy a microscope. I am hoping to buy a good quality used one with of course, darkfield illumination.

Any suggestions?



If you are living in Europe i can recommend Krüss microscopes. Very good quality. I am very satisfied with the one i have.

I live in the USA, but I will look into them. Thanks!!

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I think you will find that this subject has been covered before in the archives. However, to recap…unless you just have oodles of money to spend, I would consider a used scope. There are lots of American Optical and Bausch and Lomb models available on ebay or shopgoodwill among other sites. You will also find used Chinese models and I have not heard anything bad about these either. Hanneman suggested that darkfield illumination can be approximated by placing your stone in the hole of a washer or similar construction. If you want the diaphragm, stone holder and built in darkfield, you could go for one of the new AmScopes, although you might have to spring for a set of 5X eyepieces to get down to 10X magnification. For these models, which go for about $250-$300, you would have to provide an overhead light for grading, but that is easily done with a swing arm lamp with an Ottlight bulb in it. If you get a scope without a stoneholder, you can find these for sale on ebay and add one. So there are a number of options that are perfectly satisfactory without breaking the bank and spending over $1000. If you get really lucky, you might find an old GIA Gemoscope for sale. Hope this is helpful. -royjohn

Whoops! The older GIA scopes are Gemolites rather than Gemoscopes…and I do see some for sale on ebay. Own a piece of gemological history! about $600 and up. I have one of these and love the retro styling. You can replace the incandescent bulb with a bayonet style LED bulb, as I have. Just get one with a high CRI. -royjohn

Thank you!!

You can also try Kassoy. They have microscopes in all price ranges.



Thank you!!

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Being in Australia I don’t know the US market and ebay etc. However, my advice is to buy a binocular one with a rotating stage and wide field optics if at all possible. Or start small with the aim of getting one with the above qualities: your eyes will thank you.