This is the first entry in our series on Tools of the Trade, our look into the tools used by goldsmiths and bench jewellers around the world. We start with the jewellery loupe, a simple magnifying tool that is used to look at gems and jewellery more closely. Think of it as a monocle, that’s also a microscope!
Loupes are used in a wide range of professions, including jewellers, watchmakers, photographers and even dentists. For jewellers, these handheld loupes are super useful for inspecting jewellery and spotting any potential issues.
What is the best magnification for a jewellery loupe?
A 10x (ten times or ten power) triplet loupe is the best for inspecting jewellery and stones. ‘Triplet’ refers to the fact that the loupe is made from three lenses, which helps to focus and correct the distortions that appear on the edges of what you see through the loupe.
As you can read about in our section on the 4Cs of diamond quality, diamond graders judge the clarity of a diamond based on the number of internal and external flaws that are visible under 10x magnification, which is possible with a jewellery loupe.
Learn more about jewellery here.