I love it when people come into the store acting like they know everything.
I get it.
But then they’ll say to me…
“Can I see a loupe?”
Then they ask for a jeweler’s loupe, which is 10x magnification (or ten powered, which is what jewelers, appraisers and certifiers across America use to scope and grade your diamonds), and then the fun begins…
Customers do the stupidest things with loupes
They hold the loupe out at arms length over the diamond to view the inclusions.
Ha! The diamond is like 3 feet away from their eyes and they’re squinting to try to focus and saying “Yes, I see what you’re talking about.“
It makes me want to laugh, because these people come into the store like they know it all. Instead, they just look foolish. You can’t see microscopic flaws 3 feet away…
What are they thinking?
Listen, if you’re going to actlike you know how to hold a loupe, then learn how to hold a loupe correctly.
Rule of thumb: Watch how any jeweler uses a jeweler’s loupe and mimic them. Watching a jeweler is the quickest way to learn how to hold a 10x loupe the right way. Learn from the pros.
This is How you hold a loupe
Open the loupe up. It’s on a hinge so it swings open. The magnifying Lens comes out leaving an opening in the case. Stick your index finger into that opening (if it will fit)… if not just hold the loupe between your index finger and thumb.
Now raise the loupe to your best eye. Position it about a 1/2″ away from your eyeball. Try not to lean forward when you do so, because your shadow will fall over the diamond and make it harder to see. Standing up straight or even looking slightly up lets light in and brightens the stone. It makes it easier to see.
Working with 10x magnification takes a little bit to get used to. Your eyes aren’t used to focusing on images that size and you’ll have to play around with distance to see what works best.
So what is the key to holding a jeweler’s loupe?
The big key to holding a jeweler’s loupe is to hold it steady.
Easy does it.
That’s right, every little movement or breath you take will cause the loupe to move and take the diamond out of focus.
So what’s the secret to keeping the loupe steady?
Stabilize your thumb.
When you’re holding the loupe up to your eye to look through it, rest your thumb against your cheek to steady it.
Resting your thumb on your cheek will keep the magnifier in line with your eye and prevent it from moving out of focus. So now with the 10x jeweler’s loupe steady, you can use your other hand to bring the diamond or ring up to the lens. Bring it within about 1/2″ away. With practice you’ll be able to pin-point the distance you’ll need to be in for your eyes.
It works. You can now see inside the stone.
It won’t take long before you’ll be able to rotate the ring or diamond and peer into it from different angles and sides. You’ll be able to see Inscriptions on your girdle and inclusions, cracks and flaws inside the diamond.
Scoping your jewelry is also a great way to save money, because you’ll know when your rings need maintenance, like low prongs, broken channels and cracked shanks. You’ll be amazed at the things you’ll learn and discover upon closer inspection.
One of the fun things you can do is purchase a loupe for yourself.
Make sure it’s a 10x (ten powered) triplet loupe.
Prices range from cheap $5 to hundreds of dollars for really nice ones.
Heck, you can even buy a solid 14kt gold and diamond loupe (if you look hard enough). Fancy that.
Purchasing a loupe is a great way to learn and practice with it and also get comfortable with it before you show off your new found talent at the jewelry store.
Plus it will impress your friends. It’ll impress them more if you can check their diamond rings and tell them they have a broken prong or a chipped stone. They’ll Love you for that.
So the next time you go into a jeweler to make that important diamond purchase, you’ll have the knowledge of cut, color, clarity and carat weight already… and now you’ll also have the expertise of magnifying the diamond and really seeing what’s inside; inclusions, cracks, carbon spots or not, it’ll keep you from getting an item that’s inferior.
P.S. You can buy the best jeweler’s 10x triplet loupe here from Amazon.
/End of rant! :)