Gemological Properties of Gemstones

Gemology is the science of gemstones. It is considered to be an offshoot of mineralogy. The need for gemology was evident when first synthetic rubies were released to the market as natural in the 19th century. Gem trade had to turn to scientists for identification of these stones with non-destructive testing. Jewelers and gem merchants had relied on their experience for separating look-a-likes (simulants) until the identical looking synthetic stones were produced. Studying and identifying gems became a profession within the gem trade. Today, we rely on gemologists and gem testing labs for gemstone identification and classification.

Gemstones have certain properties that gemologists rely on to aid in identification and experience. Gemologists use a myriad of other characteristics and properties to identify gem materials. These include but not limited to; color, luster, phenomenon, refractive index, dispersion, optic character, specific gravity, spectrum and inclusions.