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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Views Read View source View history. Biaxial minerals have two optic axes, hence they have two “melatopes” that are in the center or the isogyres. The real challenge however is finding the interference figure.

Although these images show perfect computer generated interference ib, one can easily find the optic sign on a partial image.

Because anisotropic minerals appear to be single refractive when viewed down the optic axis, another technique for finding the optic axis can be used. If you are intent on buying a plate, make sure you know fiels the fast and slow rays are orientated. With a stone of known optic sign you can determine that yourself though. When the vibrational plane of the polarizer is at right angles to the vibrational direction of the analyzer, the field between them remains dark.

The wave plate creates yellow 1st order colors on the convex sides and 2nd order blue on the concave sides of the isogyres. In this image where the wedge is not shown for better illustration the arrows in quadrant 2 and 4 move outwards and the isochromes will appear dakr do the same.


Remember that uniaxial minerals have one fiels axis while biaxial gemstones have two optical axes. Many polariscopes for gemological purposes come with a rather large conoscope that can be swivelled like a gemstone holder.

Photos courtesy of John Lighh, gemcollections. The dark cross is actually made up of two L-shaped “isogyres” that will always stay in the same position in uniaxial stones.

When one looks closely click the image for a clearer, larger view the colors in the quadrants change. With the aid of a few polarizing sheets one can turn the gemological microscope into a polarizing microscope for less than USD No knowledge of “2V” or “numerical aperture” is fieeld for our discussion.

Navigation menu Personal tools Log in. Plastic simulators are available and even cellophane the florist wraps flowers in can act as a quarter wave plate.

The crosses indicate the vertical and horizontal alignments also indicated by the ,ight lines.

If you do choose to insert the wedge from the left lower corner, the results are reversed. Hughes also suggested, through personal communication, the use of a small droplet of honey which works very well. That is what is named a “bull’s eye” and is typical for quartz both natural and synthetic. One must now pay good attention to how the isochromes the colored rings behave. The first 3 behaviors should pose no problems for the inexperienced user, but the latter ADR can be misinterpreted and cause one to think the stone is double refractive.


If the isochromes move towards the other melatope the one that is outside the viewthe stone is biaxial with a positive optic sign. This image in uniaxial stones will appear different from the image in biaxial stones, each having its own characteristic pattern.

The fast ray travels in the direction of the length of the plate. Although one can get reasonably nice images with them, a conoscope rod is preferred and the smaller the sphere, the sharper the image.


In the latter case, the fast ray of the cellophane is in the direction of the roll. When you don’t know the orientation of the polarizer and the analyzer of your polariscope, all you need to do is look at the cross in the uniaxial interference figure. One doesn’t need a retardation plate to observe the latter. One just above the lightsource and the other just below the optics. When you observe this image carefully, you will notice that the curve endpoints are at the right.

Polariscope – The Gemology Project

No double refraction occurs along the directions dadk optic axes. The way one rotates the stone is not important. The small drops act like tiny conoscopes and when applied correctly, you will have an extra hand free the one that usually holds the conoscope. This means the stone has a positive optic sign. Colors on convex and concave sides are of 1st order gray.

Luckily this is not too difficult. This also depends on the “numerical aperture” of your microscope. Again the dark cross is made up of two brushes, named “isogyres”.

This cellophane may work as a quarter wave plate. Such a setup should not cost you more than USD If it stays more or less the same, the stone is double refractive. All of the above plates can be very expensive since they are usually designed for petrographical microscopes that require special slots in the microscope.