Getting up close and personal with your own jewelry! Looking through a loupe won’t make you a jewelry expert, but even a beginner can learn to spot potential problems of your beloved piece.
*Check for cracks and chips in your gemstones.
*A close up view of the quality of workmanship in your piece.
*Check to see if prongs are secure and well made.
Hopefully this guide will help you get a bit familiar with loupes!
Loupes are generally listed by the strength of magnification or power first, ie: 10x 15x 20x 30x etc.The next number in the description is the size of the lens, or diameter of the lens at the top of the loupe, ie: 12mm, 14mm, 18mm, 20.5mm or 21mm etc.The types of loupes are generally referred to as “Doublets”, “Triplets”, “Quadruplets” or “Pentagonal”. This refers to the number of lenses built into the loupe assembly. All loupes have a focal range, this indicates how far away from the object your viewing the lens will focus. This range generally decreases as the power of the loupe increases. Expected focal ranges are from 1/8 of a inch to about 1&1/4 inches from the object your inspecting. A good average range is 3/8 inch or greater. The strong 20x or 30x loupes with a shorter focal range may block a lot of the light needed to inspect the object.
Some ways to spot a professional quality loupe:
If it comes with a leather case it is more likely to be professional quality.If the hinges are made of roll pins rather than screws it is more likely to be professional quality.
If the cost is noticeably higher than the low cost loupes it is more likely a professional quality loupe.
If the loupe has a name brand printed on it, with a higher price (over $30.00) it is most likely professional.
If interested in purchasing one of these handy dandy small helpers, we offer them in our store! Feel free to drop by Tuesday -Saturday 11:00pm -7:00pm.