clove oil for gem testing
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Author:  dellasgems [ Sat Mar 08, 2014 11:08 pm ]
Post subject:  clove oil for gem testing

I have been reading about using clove oil in gem testing (S.G. liquid and R.I. liquid), and I went to get some and discovered that there are 2 types. I don't know which one had been used in the books and articles I have read - essential oil, or the clove oil that is used in cooking (not the extract - an actual oil that is listed as clove leaf oil). The essential oil comes in a brown bottle, and the other comes in a small clear bottle. Which do I use?

Author:  Bill Hanneman [ Sun Mar 09, 2014 12:00 am ]
Post subject:  Re: clove oil for gem testing

Don't waste your money. That went out of style 50 years ago.

Author:  Barbra Voltaire, FGG [ Sun Mar 09, 2014 11:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: clove oil for gem testing

I was able to find a post from 2008 from G4Lab which may be useful:
Dr. Hanneman has advocated sodium polytungstate which can be had from There is an Australian firm that sells Lithium Polytungstate
These are heavy and high RI but not as high RI as MI. I have never played with them. They are also expensive. Dr. H points out that you can measure the density of SPT by measuring its RI on the refractometer. It is adjustable with water and I presume doesn't stink. I am told you can't use the
traditional SG liquids on the GIA twenty stone exam because of OSHA ventilation requirements. Absurd!

AS RI contact compounds go above the gem refractometer liquid formulation,
they tend to change from liquids to solids that have to be heated to melt them. There are several old formulations like West's solution which had white phosphorus and was "pyrophoric" a ten dollar scientific word for "I burst into flame for no particular reason" Also I don't think you can get white phosphorus anymore possibly because of treaties. They are afraid people might make phosphorus bombs. I have never seen it in a scientific catalog but haven't looked as hard.

Then for higher densities/S.Gs there is Clerici's solution. Made with Thallium malonate and Thallium formate. Active ingredients in rat poison.
Not banned but made hard to get because the reason it works on rats is that for some reason it does not stimulate taste nor smell nerve endings. A traditional poisoning murder compound. Very Toxic.

Dr. Hannemans' advocacy of SPT was a good advance for gemology one of many he has come up with.

Author:  G4Lab [ Thu Mar 20, 2014 1:59 am ]
Post subject:  Re: clove oil for gem testing

I add my voice to the chorus. I got a bottle of clove oil in a first aid kit when I was in the Civil Air Patrol. Circa 1967. (It is good for toothaches) When the first aid kit dissipated, in the seventies I had already gotten interested in gemology and kept the clove oil.

I have never ever used it for anything. It is MUCH nastier than methylene iodide, in my not terribly humble, opinion. It smells awful and imparts its smell to anything it touches and does not evaporate which at least MI DOES.

If you are hell bent on getting these things send me a private message and I will sell you all my collection of useless oils from the page in Gems Their Sources Descriptions and Identifications. such as clove oil , cassia oil, methyl salicylate and a number of others.

They do make the drawer you keep them in smell interesting.

Author:  Qld Barry [ Sun May 25, 2014 5:27 am ]
Post subject:  Re: clove oil for gem testing

Here's a good use for clove oil.
In sub tropical, and tropical conditions, everything goes mouldy.
Our old Queenslander style house, is entirely built of timber, with tounge/groove ceilings (14ft), and walls, with bare timber floors.
We use oil of cloves, in warm water, to wipe down walls, ceilings etc, and it kills mould.
The house often smells like a dental surgery!!

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