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Crossed polarizers: The value of simple instruments

By Mark T. Cartwright

hydrothermal growth crossed polars
In a previous issue of Jewellery Business, I introduced readers to a few of my favourite tools and briefly described some of their uses. Perhaps it’s a good time to provide a bit more detail and delve into specific techniques and how the information they provide can help us do our jobs more efficiently.

Several years ago, I had the idea of creating various small ‘pocket’ instruments for gemmologists and gemstone enthusiasts. While that enterprise didn’t quite change the world or my bank account, it did allow me the opportunity to think about how to maximize the utility of small gemmological tools. It also left me with a variety of fun gadgets to play with; after all, who among us doesn’t enjoy that? The one I use most often is a slightly modified set of polarizing plates that I dubbed ‘polarislides.’

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