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How to Choose the Right Microscope for Use in Gemology

Gemologists rely on high-quality microscopes to do their work. Perhaps the most common usage of microscopes in gemology is to conduct an appraisal of a stone. The microscope needs not only to have enough power to be able to see flaws and inclusions in a stone, but also features that accommodate viewing gemstones of all shapes and sizes with ease.

ACCU-SCOPE has an assortment of high-quality binocular and trinocular microscopes for gemologists and jewelry makers that provide the clarity and accuracy demanded of the profession, all at an affordable price point. Here are some features gemologists should consider when shopping for a microscope:

Magnification Power

To see basic details on a stone, 10x power is generally sufficient. However for higher accuracy, many gemologists find that magnification of 40-45x is preferred for viewing the structures inside of a gemstone, including striae, fractures, inclusions, and other elements used to grade gemstones that cannot be seen with the unaided eye or even a loop.


In gemology, the most common method for illuminating a gemstone is darkfield illumination, and most gemological microscopes will be equipped with a darkfield base. Patented by Robert Shipley Jr. in 1939, darkfield illumination showcases the gem against a black background. Inclusions and other flaws scatter the light, making them stand out as bright objects against the dark background. Dust and scratches may also scatter light causing them to stand out as well.  Some microscopes also allow the operator to use brightfield illumination, which is useful for examining specimens with different zones of color or to mask dust particles and scratches. Those that photograph gemstones will want both options so that they can represent their subject in the best way possible.


Gemstones require special accessories so that they can be easily held and manipulated, observed, and photographed. Depending on your exact needs, you may also want accessories that can hold stones of various sizes as well as jewelry, such as rings. Having a stand that tilts and rotates also makes it easier to view. If you choose a microscope without a base to suit various purposes, you can also purchase a gemological stand.

Find the Right Microscope for You

ACCU-SCOPE has various gemological microscopes along with specialized microscopes for numerous other applications so that you can find the right tool for your needs and budget. Contact us to learn more about our microscopes, get a quote, or find an authorized retailer.