Costly Identification Errors


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Misdiagnosis is an opportunity cost. It’s no different than when you expect your GP to have your symptoms identified – you certainly want the right diagnosis and prescribed treatment. Buying or selling gemstones and not observing their inherent properties should be carefully considered.
Thorough procedures must be followed and observed as a preventative measure, much like the high-quality advice you would expect from your GP. One mistake can cause frustration and financial loss or even harm your professional reputation. If you are not experienced, appoint a professional consultant who can protect your interests, or ensure you have the knowledge and skill to identify precious metals and gemstones visually, and after forming an opinion, familiarise yourself with what testing equipment is available to provide you with a second opinion.

Testing articles with electronic equipment must never be relied upon to give your only result, or as the basis of your decision to transact or evaluate. Using electronic equipment correctly depends on following instructions accurately to cater for physical properties that might affect the outcome of a result. For example, a fine layer of moisture will deceive a positive diamond test as the probe is measuring conductivity. In the gemstone industry, a refractometer’s readings simply can’t distinguish between natural and synthetic stones. Synthetic spinel has a slightly higher refractive index (RI) than natural spinel – 1.727 vs 1.717. When you factor in that ordinary glass is also singly refractive, with an RI that ranges from around 1.50 through to 1.75, you can see that further physical observations are required, and necessary to complete the testing cycle based on applied knowledge. Tsavorite, like glass, is singly refractive, with an RI of 1.740; yet another case where further testing is essential to ensure accuracy.
Testing stones, while they’re still in their settings, adds a further degree of complexity. If the claws of the setting prevent the facet of the gemstone from resting properly on the refractometer prism, you’re likely to get an inaccurate reading. Basic maintenance is essential; keeping equipment clean and dust-free will ensure accuracy. If the prism isn’t kept clean, a tiny crystal of sulphur from the RI liquid could also prevent accurate readings. Dirty diamonds or not applying the probe perpendicular to the table of the stone with firm but light pressure, can cause incorrect readings. Test the batteries frequently and never continue using batteries until expiry; use a high-quality alkaline battery brand, and never leave batteries dormant inside your equipment for extended idle periods.

Are you having a hard time distinguishing real diamonds from fake stones or solid gold from plated base metal? Diamond and gold testers verify the authenticity and make testing relatively user-friendly. Given the value of the present-day gold price, quantifying fineness and purity have become more essential and relevant since these devices have been introduced to market.

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Gold Testing

Gold testing kits include testing acids and stones for traditional jewellers. Professional jewellers cannot afford to be without some type of gold testing kit/equipment. Stock your bench with the necessary tools to work with confidence. You don’t need to think hard about what gold testing equipment you need. Professional gold-buyers and jewellers can’t afford to be without quality gold testers. Our electronic gold testers allow you to test accurately and easily, such as the AGT3 Auracle Tester, which is significantly more effective than the acid test kit that causes damage to the surface area and offers only a broad guideline of cartage. The Auracle can identify between 5ct – 24ct. Our coin checkers are ideal for coin collectors and traders to prevent purchase of a tungsten-coated fake. Always get the best-quality brand name possible and talk to a knowledgeable salesperson to explain the correct uses and after-sales service.

Diamond Testing

Buy diamonds with confidence & accuracy when testing and identifying moissanite versus diamond. Moissanites are becoming increasingly popular, and so is the technology changing due to coatings that lately, depending on brand, can fool the ordinary combination testers. We recommend an additional step in the process by making use of an accessory in the form of a UV light emission, to further stimulate or excite the molecular composition of the stone’s properties while employing the diamond tester. This creates a dual assistance effect on the diamond tester during the testing process to separate moissanite. We recommend a high-quality combination tester such as the Presidium multi-tester or the DiamondNite series for diamonds and all known simulants. A regulated and controlled environment is essential to grade stones. Use the best-quality diamond light available to offer the full spectrum of the Kelvin measure. The new diamond lights offer three alternative light sources to cater from; the 4000k-6000k essential for both gemstones and diamonds in controlled environments.
Be aware of synthetic diamond screeners that identify your diamond as CVD, HTPT or a Type ii A / B. The outcome has drastic changes in the stone’s value. An experienced jeweller should know to utilise the aid of a 10X jewellers loupe as the benchmark to assess inclusions and observe double or single refraction to differentiate moissanite from diamond.

In your testing basket you should have some basics like a serrated tweezer, diamond parcel papers or diamond pad with serrated paper inserts, diamond scoops, as well as a reliable carat scale. For gem testing, a refractometer is ideal too. We also offer diamond girdle viewers to read inscriptions easily with the aid of magnification, when presenting diamonds to your customer with confidence.
Cape Tools & Jewellery Supplies have a wide range of gold, diamond and gem testing equipment available online, along with informative blogs and tips.