Choosing and Using a Jewellery Loupe

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What Is a Magnifier
Jewellery professionals use a magnifier, also called a loupe (pronounced loop), to inspect gemstones and other jewellery. These magnifiers have special lenses that allow our eyes to focus on an object at a much closer distance than is normally possible, making the object appear to be larger and revealing tiny details we couldn't see with our normal vision.

One Lens or Three?
  • One: Loupes made with a single lens are generally of poor quality; distorting the object you're magnifying and adding flashes of colour to it.
  • Three: A triplet loupe is a magnifier that contains three lenses placed together in such a way that distortion and colour problems are corrected.
Magnification Power
Loupes are labelled with a number, followed by the symbol "X," which means "times." For example, a 2X loupe makes an object appear two times its actual size and a 5X loupe shows you a times-five increase.

Best Loupe for Jewellery
A 10X triplet loupe is a good choice for viewing jewellery. It is the type of loupe used by professionals to grade diamonds and other gemstones. Anything visible through a more powerful loupe, while interesting, isn't included on a grading report. Look for a loupe with black framing around the lens, because black eliminates reflections that can alter the colour of the object you are viewing.

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