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.

It is vital that you insert the wedge in this direction and at that angle or you will not get the results illustrated in the next two images. This means the stone has a positive optic sign. Remember that uniaxial minerals have one optic axis while biaxial gemstones have two optical axes. If you now move the wedge back from quadrant 1 to 3, the reverse is observed.

These colors will change when a full wave plate is inserted.

Older models were created with microscopically oriented crystals of iodoquinine sulfate herapathite or tourmaline plates. This technique works best with magnification as the obtained figures are very small. To remove this uncertainty, “retardation plates” are ligght. Due to enantiomorphismquartz will adrk a typical uniaxial image but with a large “target” in the middle. As with the negative optic sign image, when you move the quartz wedge in the oppostite direction back to quadrant 3the movement of the isochromes is reveresed.


Retardation plates as those added minerals are known have a known retardation, and the vibrational directions of the slow and fast rays are known.

Quadrants 1 and 3 turn more or less blue here addition of color occurredwhile in quadrants 2 and 4 the colors change to predominantly yellow-orange here subtraction occurred.

Florists usually have cellophane plastic in which they wrap their flowers.

The best aproach is to turn the stone so it will show maximum curvature. Place the stone is a shallow dish of water or baby oil xnd rotate the stone slowly in it. Hover it back and forth over the interference pattern, but pay attention only to the change in the forward direction.

The fast ray travels in the direction of the length of the plate. When one hovers the wedge back and forth over the image, you will see the isochromes moving away and back. Typical uniaxial image Typical uniaxial image of quartz bull’s eye Typical biaxial image.

Quartz wedges are wedges made of the mineral quartz. That is the direction indicated by the arrow.

No double refraction occurs along the directions of optic axes. Some stones in this category are ruby, red spinel and red garnets.


You will find the firld flashes more easily in certain circumstances. This is caused by the magenta color of the full wave plate under crossed polars the color in natural daylight is transparent white. Luckely one can now buy inexpensive around USD If it stays more or less the same, the stone is double refractive. Uniaxial stones have one optic axis, biaxial gemstones have two.


Polariscope – The Gemology Project

The first 3 behaviors should pose no problems for the inexperienced user, but the latter ADR can be drk and cause one to think the stone is double refractive. These directions are the optic axes of the gemstone. If you do choose to insert the wedge from the left lower corner, the results are reversed. Because there may be more than one direction in which some gemstones remain dark, it is useful as a confirmation to view the stone under a different angle when it stays dark.

One just above the lightsource and the other just below the optics. In polarisccope, we use a conoscope a strain free acrylic or glass sphere on a rod to determine optic character uniaxial or biaxial in anisotropic gemstones.

The simplest way to find an interference figure is to rotate the stone under the polariscope, in every possible direction, while looking down the analyzer until one sees a small flash of polariscpoe appear on the surface of the gemstone. All images below are conoscopic images with the conoscope in place.