pleochroism

  • Developing a comprehensive colored stone grading system has been the dream of gemologists since the late 1970's, but despite a number of valient attempts, we are no closer to the goal today than we were four decades ago. This article examines the various problems of colored stone grading, explaining why the challenges are at least an order of magnitude greater than the grading of diamonds.

  • The phenomenon of pleochroism in doubly refractive (DR) gemstones is described, as it relates to overall color appearance in the context of faceted gems. With strongly pleochroic gems, pleochroism can be seen in faceted gems, even if the table facet is oriented perpendicular to an optic axis. This is because facets change the direction of light as it moves through the gem.

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