A loupe, which is a special type of magnifying glass, is used to examine the precious stones. It is a very useful device even for a starter. You can inspect a gemstone for any kinds of scratches or any other noticeable problems. On the other hand, you should note the fact that even a loupe will not give you the experience and knowledge of a gemologist and you will still need assistance of a professional.
The loupe is a very practical device if you master it, and with practice it will be a more and more valuable device to use. The correct type of loupe is a 10X (ten-power) “triplet”, which can be acquired from any optical supply house. It has to be 10X because the Federal Trade Commission in the United States requires that the stones must be examined with a 10X. Any kind of flaw cannot be examined with a 10X is considered as nonexistent.
With these five easy steps, you can easily learn how to use a loupe properly:
1. Hold the loupe between your thumb and forefinger of either hand.
2. Hold the stone or ring with the same way in your other hand.
3. Bring both of your hands together so that the fleshy parts just below the thumbs are pushed together and held firmly by the lower portion of each hand just above the wrists.
4. Move your hands up to your nose, with the loupe close to your eye as much as possible. If you are wearing glasses, you are not obliged to remove them.
5. Keep your hands steady. Having steady hands is one of the crucial points of the examination process. Put your hands and elbows on a table or a counter top if it’s necessary.
You should keep the loupe approximately one inch from your eye and one inch from the stone. It might be hard to focus while using a 10X, but with practice it will get easier and you will be able to see through it unmistakably. You can practice on anything that is challenging to observe. All you need to do is to move your object back and forth during the examination process.
A loupe can tell you a great deal about the gemstone you’re inspecting. It would help you to make better choices for your precious rings, but still you should ask assistance from a professional, who has more knowledge and experience about precious metals.