Gemstones have been a particular object of interest for humans for a long time. History serves as the witness of the love of humans towards precious stones. They have been used as decorative objects in houses, embellished in clothes, used as currency, etc. The reason behind this craze of humans towards gemstones can be the beauty of those precious stones and the availability factor of gemstones. To be honest, gemstones are hard to come by and some gemstones are available to specific areas.
Modern science has also made their strides in the field of gemmology and mineralogy. They have been researching the medical applications and industrial application of gemstones that they hope to enhance in the near future. Scientists have been studying gemstones and measuring it in hopes to discover the true potential of a gemstone.
Measuring gemstone density is one of many ways to differentiate between two similar looking stones. For example, garnet and ruby have same colors and even have the same dimensions, but it can be differentiated by measuring the density of the stone. But what is density? And how is it measured for gemstones?
What is density?
Density is the mass of an object for each unit of volume the object has or it can also be referred as the compactness of a substance. You will see the oil float above the water for the same reason, the oil has less density than water.
In the matter of gemstones, the density is measured to differentiate the stones. It is determined based on many factors including the chemical composition and crystal structure. When gemstones of same species and variety are placed under ideal conditions can have the same density. However, in the real world, the density varies widely of the same stones due to the impurities, bubbles, and cracks that occur naturally. The density of the gemstone is a useful characteristic that helps to identify the particular gemstone.
What is specific gravity?
Specific gravity is the ratio that indicates the weight of a given object compared to that of an equal volume of water at a specific temperature. For example, the specific gravity of a substance is 4 if one cubic centimetre of a material weighs 3 times as much as one cubic centimetre of water.
Specific gravity is an important parameter not only for the identification of the gemstone, but also shows the effect on the relative size per carat of gems. For example, one-carat emerald is significantly large than a carat of diamond that is, in turn, larger than one-carat of Zircon.
How to measure gemstone density?
There are two methods to measure the gemstone density and both of them include measuring the specific gravity of the gemstone.
The first method is called the direct weighing method. The process can start by weighing the gemstone on a torsion scale such as Hanneman balance or a Berman scale. First weight the gemstone in the air and then weighing it by suspending it in a liquid such as toluene or water. Measure the weight of both medium accurately that can help you figure out the specific gravity of the gemstone and hence helping you to find the density of the gemstone.
The second method employs the use of heavy liquids to figure of the specific gravity in turn giving us the density of the gemstones. These heavy liquids are prepared with the chemical mixtures of bromoform and toluene to have a particular density value. When any material is dropped in this liquid it may sink, float, or suspend in the liquid based on which the density can be measured. If the material sinks, it has a higher density than the liquid. If the material floats it has less density than the liquid. If the material remains suspended at a level, the liquid and the material have the same density. An accurate measurement can be gained if there is a change in the column of liquid through temperature variations.
These methods are even used to find the purity of the gemstones and even the true value of the gemstones. These methods are even used by many gemmologists and jewellers who only buy and sell quality gemstones. If you are looking for gemstones online then make sure to buy certified gemstones online that are original and are sold by a certified buyer. This will make sure that you only get the best stones that have the standard market value.