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Top 10 of Professional Diamond Grading Equipment
The diamond trade uniquely combines science and art. One side of the industry focuses on effective presentation, storytelling, and persuasion. The other side relies on science, facts, and precision. Both sides have to solve different problems and require specific tools to handle them. Naturally, there is a great difference between the toolkit of the home enthusiast and the professional diamantaire. Yet, the most common tools are widely used, regardless of the user’s proficiency.
In this article, we will briefly outline some of the most popular professional diamond grading equipment and tools for handling diamonds properly.
Professional Diamond Grading Equipment for handling diamonds properly
Regardless if you are handling diamonds at an atelier or home, the first rule is to keep your hands off your diamonds. There are a lot of oils in the skin that can smudge your diamond if you handle it with your bare hands. Eventually, the oils will creep into the surface of your gemstone and rob it of its shine. Moreover, whenever you hold a smooth gemstone like a diamond, you risk dropping it and damaging it.
For these reasons, the first tool you should get for handling diamonds is the tweezer. You should know they come in different sizes and shapes, depending on what gemstones they are intended for. The best quality tweezers are titanium made and have plastic covers to protect the softer gemstones from scratching. Ideally, you should get a tweezer that is fit for the size of your particular gemstone.
With time, every diamond accumulates dirt and oils and loses its sparkle. The first thing you can do to remove blemishes is to give your diamond a good wiping with a specialized polishing cloth. Those are extremely soft, lint-free, and have microfibers. These polishing clothes can be washed and reused again and again. Overall, they are an extremely useful everyday tool for maintaining and restoring the shine of diamonds.
Lamps for Diamonds
To truly appreciate a diamond’s shine, you must view it under a source of light. You must use a white light lamp, otherwise, it will distort the colour of your diamond. Moreover, diamond lamps help reduce eyestrain and make an observation with a loupe easier. The top brands for lamps have fluorescent or LED lights which help neutralize the diamond’s brilliance and render colors accurately.
The loupe is one of the most essential diamond grading equipment for looking at diamonds. You can find them everywhere from the home collector to the lab worker and every diamond-related work in between. The standard jeweller’s loupe has a 10x magnification and is used for spotting inclusions and determining the clarity of a diamond. In reality, there are dozens of types of loupes that differ in quality.
One of the most popular loupe types is the jeweller’s triplet loupe. The reason for this is that the three lenses drastically reduce spherical aberration or blurriness from the deviation of light rays. Triplet loupes are also very compact and can be folded and stored easily. You can find loupes with various magnifications from 10x to 40x. Yet, for standard jewelry needs, the 10x magnification will suffice. If you go over that, you are entering into the field of microscopes and gemology. Besides magnification, the main difference between cheaper and more expensive loupes is the size of the depth of field that you can observe. For the best quality, we recommend the German optics maker Schneider.
Professional Diamond Grading Equipment for Sorting Diamonds Effectively
Diamond sorting may not be such a problem for the home collector, but it is something that diamond workers have to deal with daily. They need to be able to quickly sort through large amounts of small loose diamonds and separate them based on their size.
Diamonds scoops and shovels may not be the most exciting instrument on this list, but you would be wrong to underestimate their importance. Whenever dealing with a large volume of small diamonds, a diamond scoop will make transferring into a package, a sorting tray, a bead board, or on a balance scale extremely easy. Forget about making a mess or losing little diamonds with this one. The best scoops are from stainless steel and will last you years.
Diamond Sorting Pad
Another easily overlooked retailer support material is the diamond sorting pad. It is an item that helps sort and show diamonds and coloured gems. The best ones come with a hardback cover and a smooth scratch-resistant, non-reflective surface. These pads can also display the clarity, colour, and cut as specified by GIA.
Diamond Sorting Sieve
The diamond sorting sieve is yet another high-precision tool for sorting through large quantities of diamonds. Diamond workers use sieves to quickly separate small diamonds based on their size. Unlike the sieve for your noodles, this one is specially manufactured for the strict criteria of the diamond industry. It is more accurate to say that these are sets of sieves, varying in size from 1 to 4.5 mm. The best ones are made from stainless steel and have a pouch or container for the diamonds.
Professional Diamond Grading Equipment for Observing and Measuring Diamonds
Diamond Balance Scale
Weighing diamonds accurately is fundamental for working with them. Carat size is one of the original Four Cs of diamonds. In principle, the diamond scale works the same way as the one you use in your bathroom to measure your weight or the kitchen scale you use to weigh vegetables. However, a diamond scale is much more sensitive and is programmed to give you the weight both in carats and grams. Moreover, diamond scales come with a level indicator bubble that shows you if your scale is perfectly leveled. Furthermore, jewelry balance scales can come in a package with pre-measured weights to be able to always know if your measurements are reliable.
A diamond caliper is a precise tool for measuring the proportions of a diamond, be it its diameter, profile, or any other facet. For best accuracy, you should use an electronic caliper. Calipers come in different sizes and quality, and some are more comfortable to work with, having a button that marks your zero measuring point, without having to reset the caliper.
UV Light for Diamonds
UV lights are essential for observing and measuring the levels of fluorescence in a diamond. Most of the time, diamonds glow in a blue tint, but on rare occasions, they can glow in different colors such as white, green, yellow, or even red. A good UV light has a large filter area that allows you to work with many diamonds at the same time, long-wave UV lights, and a high-contrast black surface to make spotting fluorescence easy.
The world of diamonds is full of fakes, duplicates, and simulant stones. Moreover, the fakes and the real deal natural diamonds are impossible to tell apart with the naked eye. That’s why jewelers use diamond testers to see if the electrical and thermal conductivity match the qualities of a real diamond. A diamond is incredibly conducive to heat, yet does not conduct electricity. Specific testers can also tell you if a diamond has been CVD or HPHT treated. Although more accurate than the naked eye, some diamond testers are not always 100% reliable. Thus, they are by no means a replacement for high-end lab certificates that authenticate the legitimacy of diamonds.
The Diamond Microscope is one of the first instruments that people associate with gemology and precious stones. It offers a significant improvement over the magnification capabilities of the loupe and opens many opportunities for studying the internal world of the diamond. Most microscopes have a 30x or more magnification. Sometimes the only way to distinguish between a synthetic and a natural diamond is to observe their inclusions under a microscope. You might be able to find inclusions such as feathers, clouds, crystals, threads, pinpoints, or graining inside the gem. However, the skill of the operator is as important as the optics of the microscope. For best quality our favorite pick is the microscope by Schneider, offering extremely high-quality optics that are often custom-made.
We hope you have enjoyed the read!
Hopefully, you found this article useful in navigating the plethora of equipment that surrounds diamonds. Regardless if you are an enthusiast or you are thinking of working with diamonds regularly, these 12 pieces of equipment will be instrumental in ensuring a smooth workflow on your end. Having the right tool can often be the difference between success and failure. If you have any other inquiries and would like advice on how to put together your first professional diamond kit, you can reach out to our friendly team in Ajediam.