Assuming that the polarizers are crossed to produce a dark field, the polariscope is then described as a circular dark-field polariscope. the polariscope is changing from a dark-field configuration to a light-field configuration. Photoelasticity is a nondestructive, whole-field, . the polariscope must be arranged so as to allow light .. izer always looks dark because half the light striking. A polariscope uses polarized light for gem identification. is at right angles to the vibrational direction of the analyzer, the field between them remains dark. Throughout a ° rotation the stone blinks 4 times, light and dark.

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Because anisotropic minerals appear to be single refractive when viewed down the optic axis, another technique for finding the optic axis can be used.

Other cellophanes like ScotchTape may also work. This means that the wedge can be used as a quarter wave plate aswell as a full wave plate.

When that flash of colors is found, fix the stone in that position and hover your conoscope slightly over it. It is also the preferred tool — next to the microscope — for separating synthetic amethyst from its natural counterparts although with recent synthetics that may prove difficult. For righthanded people this setup is probably best as one needs a steady hand to hover the quartz wedge.

The dish fielld be placed between the crossed polars. These directions are the optic axes of the gemstone. The crosses indicate the vertical and horizontal alignments also indicated by the white lines. As real quartz wedges are polarlscope expensive, small and mainly made for use in petrographical microscope this technique was not practised a lot by gemologists. It consists of two polarized filters, one on the top and one on the bottom of the instrument as seen in the picture to the right.

This indicates a negative optic sign under the above conditions. When light enters an anisotropic double refractive gemstone, it is lighht into two rays — a fast ray and a slow ray.


One must now pay good attention to how the isochromes the colored rings behave. The distance between the two melatopes is dependent on the “2V” value of the mineral.


In addition, the polariscope may be very useful for distinguishing solid inclusions from negative inclusions as well as for spotting polysynthetic twinning. That extra distance is known as “retardation” and is measured in nm nanometers.

The arrow is only there to show the direction of movement, it isn’t on the wedge itself. That is what is named a “bull’s eye” and is lihht for quartz both natural and synthetic.

Partially healed fracture fingerprint in a pink sapphire. View the stone under the polariscope from all sides to find where the gemstone does not blink light and dark on lateral rotation. Liht All Pages Sandbox. The wedge is not used as such mostly in gemology, instead it is used to hover over an interference pattern and to determine optic sign by observing the movement of the isochromes.

This produces the typical interference colors. Also notice that the dark cross polaeiscope isogyres now have a magenta color. Sometimes it is very hard to find interference figures. All images below are conoscopic images with the conoscope in place.

Polariscope – The Gemology Project

Quartz is a special case in conoscopy as it is an enantiomorphic mineral. Most of the time, you will see only one of the isogyres at one time.

Dakr biaxial stones this technique becomes more difficult as one needs to find or the maximum curvature of the isogyres, or know where the 2 melatopes are. The latter is a setup that transforms your microscope into a polarizing microscope, at low cost, with the great benefit of magnification. Photos courtesy of John Huff, gemcollections.

Pay attention only to the reaction of the forward motion. Then if a mineral with a retardation of nm is added, and if the slow ray of the gemstone aligns with the slow ray of the added mineral, the starting color would be blue at nm instead of magenta. This indicates a negative optic sign.


As a result it will not show the typical bull’s-eye but a combination of the left and right Airy Spirals 4 spirals in total under the conoscope. When the vibrational plane livht the polarizer is at right angles to the vibrational direction of the analyzer, the field between them remains dark.

Fortunately, modern day technology has created anisotropic plastic substitutes that cost little and can be held between your fingers. This image in xnd stones will appear different from the image in biaxial stones, each having its own characteristic pattern.

The small drops act like tiny conoscopes and when applied correctly, you will have an extra hand free the one that usually holds the conoscope. When the slow ray of the gemstone and the slow ray of the added mineral align, the shift will be to the right.

In the latter case, the fast ray of the cellophane is in the direction of the roll. Both the polarizer and the analyzer have their own vibrational planes.

The conoscope creates a 2-dimensional image of the 3-dimensional interference in a mineral. This may look very much like the classical bull’s-eye in facetted stones, especially when the optic axis cuts through small facets. If you now move the wedge back from quadrant 1 to 3, the reverse is observed. In this position, gems can be tested to determine if they are: With the quarter wave inserted the Airy Spirals spiral to the left.

Florists usually have cellophane plastic in which they wrap their flowers. Now, while still looking through the analyzer, you should see the color flash transform into a rounded 2-dimensional image.