Forums Beginner Questions Dealing with unknown material

1 reply, 2 voices Last updated by Alan Balmer 3 years, 9 months ago
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    In my recent purchase of a Ultratec V2, there was a lot of extras thrown in, including a bag of assorted/unknown rough. It’s a jumble of natural and synthetic. It is easy enough to sort like with like, but I haven’t the slightest idea how to identify all the various material.

    Is there a rule of thumb for cutting or selecting a diagram for unknown material? And is there a methodology to identify material?


    Alan Balmer

    As far as a rule of thumb for unknown material, all I can think of is “Assume the worst.” 🙂

    Yes, there is a well-developed methodology for identifying unknown gem materials. If you have the time and money, a course in gemmology will teach you a lot. One of the most important free resources is and their forum.

    Are you a member of USFG? If you are, there is a series of articles, “Kitchen Counter Rock and Gem ID”, by Sue Lichtenberger, MD, starting in the December 2015 issue of the USFG Newsletter.

    If you’re not a member, it’s the best $18 you’ll ever spend.

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