If you are familiar with purchasing expensive jewelry, you may have come across the term loupe.
First, we must define the word loupe. A loupe is a magnifier with a special lens that enables a jeweler to inspect even the smallest details by increasing the focus to a closer distance when seen by the eye.
There are single or multiple lenses available at most jewelry stores. The lenses will vary depending on the amount of amplified power, quality, and color you prefer.
When identifying the different lenses, a number of the actual magnified size and the X symbol are used to identify a specific magnification of the lens. For example, if the loupe lens would say 5X, the item you are examining would be 5 times its actual size when viewed through the loupe.
The 10X loupe is probably the best choice for examining jewelry, diamonds, and other precious gems. The 10X lens is also what you will find most professional jewelers use since this offers one of the best lenses available.
Another aspect to consider when choosing to use or purchase a loupe is that some of the better quality loupes will have black edging around them, which can help avoid reflections that may change the color of the item you are viewing and therefore distort the look of the jewelry piece.
To properly use a loupe is really quite easy. If you have ever used a camera or looked through a kaleidoscope, then you can use a loupe. It’s that simple!
First of all, you need to grab the loupe with your finger or thumb through the small opening underneath the lens and position your eye over the lens and peer through it. Keeping your one eye open that is over the lens, you can now examine a piece of jewelry. Some jewelers prefer to keep both eyes open when using a loupe. You’ll find out which way works best for you the more you become accustomed to using a loupe.
When holding the piece of jewelry that you are examining, don’t put the piece of jewelry directly in front of the lens but hold it out around an inch or so to obtain a better view. The distance you need to hold a jewelry item away from you can be adjusted the more often a loupe is used.
Secondly, what exactly can you find when you use a loupe to inspect a piece of jewelry?
Since the magnification of an item or object is greater with the aid of a loupe any blemishes, cracks, and chips not usually seen by the naked eye, are more readily visible when scrutinized through the lens.
This can be very helpful in purchasing that long awaited, perfect piece of jewelry you may have patiently waited for. Since diamonds and precious stones are a big investment for most people, finding a nearly flawless piece of jewelry may be your ultimate goal.
You will soon find the loupe can be an effective tool and aid, not only for jewelers but also for you. So, the next time you need to inspect a diamond or precious piece of jewelry, reach for the loupe.