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how to id gems?

Posted: Fri Dec 18, 2015 5:55 pm
by hessian
hi all, im new to prospecting and have recently moved to NE Tas around Derby area, I was just wondering if anyone could give me any tips on how to identify gems or recommend any good books on id,ing gems? I have a goldn sands hand pump and have pumped up a few buckets of sand but am not really sure of what to look out for

Re: how to id gems?

Posted: Sat Dec 19, 2015 7:17 pm
by Philski
Hi for books i still use the Field Guide to Australian Rocks Minerals and Gemstone (1976) Wolf Mayer (Author) it is quite hard to find a copy nowadays though.
The dichotomous key in it is simple to use. And covers just about every mineral you will find locally.

Every mineral regardless of where it from has a unique crystal structure to work on and colour and hardness and streak and a few other unique identifiers. Lustre, cleavage, refractive index, specific gravity etc.

Online the Gemological Institute of America
Mineralogical society of America
And have a downlaodable chart to help identify minerals. ... -chart.xls
Rockhounds online dichotomous key

There are also several geologist, gemologist and mineralogist on this site that would be glad to help.

hope that helps.