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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The increasing thickness of the wedge provides for a continues range of retardation between, usually, 0 and nm.

Polariscope – The Gemology Project

Quartz is a special case in conoscopy as it is an enantiomorphic mineral. When you don’t polaruscope the orientation of the polarizer and the analyzer of your polariscope, nad you need to do is look at the cross in the uniaxial interference figure. One just above the lightsource and the other just below the optics. The first 3 behaviors andd pose no problems for the inexperienced user, but the latter ADR can be misinterpreted and cause one to think the stone is double refractive.

The real challenge however is finding the interference figure. The best aproach is to turn the stone so it will show maximum curvature.

With a stone of known optic sign you can determine that yourself though. We concentrate on the areas just around the melatopes, indicated by the white circle around the melatope in the top right isogyre.

A positive optic sign.

Pay attention only to the reaction of the forward motion. In addition, the polariscope may be very useful for distinguishing solid inclusions from negative inclusions as well as for spotting polysynthetic twinning.


Most of the time, you will see only one of the isogyres at one time. Although this indicates a biaxial optic character, the optic sign is very hard to obtain from this. When the vibrational plane of the polarizer is at right angles to the vibrational direction of the analyzer, the field between them remains dark.

This will create an addition in color on the Newton Color Scale. 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. The way one rotates the stone is not important.

When the slow ray of ;olariscope gemstone and the slow ray of the added mineral align, the shift will be to the right. We now insert the simulated quartz wedge over the the stone with the conoscope in place from the most concave side of the isogyre towards the most convex side and we need to observe how the isochromes behave.

For righthanded people this setup is probably best as one needs a steady hand to hover the quartz wedge. Observing the gemstone through the analyzer while slowly turning the stone will give you feild possibilities. In most cases you will see only one isogyre and that is all we need for the quartz wedge to work.

Some stones in this category are ruby, red spinel and red garnets. Annd above typical images may not be seen as a whole or very sharply at times, but don’t be alarmed.

Both the polarizer and the analyzer have their own vibrational planes. He constructed the first ones from the clear boxes in which the OPL spectroscopes are shipped in. Quartz wedges are wedges made of the mineral quartz. No double refraction occurs along the directions of optic axes.


That area is divided into 4 quadrants. As the thickness of the gemstone increases, the colors shift toward the right.


If you are intent on buying a plate, make sure you know how the fast and slow rays are orientated. Navigation menu Personal tools Log in. When the biaxial interference figure is laterally turned, the isogyres detach and transform into hyperboles. In mineralogy, retardation means that one refracted ray of light is lagging behind another ray of light.

When you observe this image carefully, you will notice that the curve endpoints are at the right. Because anisotropic minerals appear to be single refractive when viewed down the optic axis, another technique for finding the optic axis can be used.

A few hours of practise should be enough to master this technique and it may come in very handy when you can perform little other tests.

Determining the optic sign in anisotropic gemstones should pose few problems with the aid of one of the retardation plates. When, for instance, a gemstone would create a retardation of nm, the starting spectrum would be on the boundary of the first order and second order and go from magenta to blue to blue-green to yellow to red. Alot of the following discussion involves such a setup, although most of it can be achieved with the usual gemological polariscope aswell.

Again the dark cross is made up of two brushes, named “isogyres”. Quarter polarisope plates work in a similar way as full wave adn but will produce different images. Nad is the direction indicated by the arrow.

For the very small spheres one will need magnification to observe the interference figure.