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What Is A Jeweler's Loupe?


When grading a diamond, a jeweler must carefully examine every detail of the stone to make sure it is valued correctly.  Missing a blemish or inclusion can result in an incorrect appraisal of the value of a diamond.  For this reason, jewelers use a special magnifying glass, called a jeweler's loupe, to examine diamonds. A jeweler's loupe is a special type of magnifying glass with three lenses.  This allows the jeweler to get much closer to the diamond he or she is inspecting than with a typical magnifying glass, which would become unfocused at such a close range.  Loupes also typically have black frames around the lenses, which eliminates reflection off the edges.  Reflections of light on the edges can result in poor grading because reflections can hinder the jeweler from seeing the diamond clearly.

A loupe is labeled with a number, followed by an 'X' behind it.  The number specifies that the loupe will make the object look 'x' times its size.  For instance, a 2X loupe means that the loupe will make the object look double in size, and a 4X loupe means the loupe will make the object appear four times its actual size.  The most powerful loupe used by a Jeweler is a 10X loupe, which magnifies the diamond to 10 times its size.  Diamonds are graded based on 10X magnification.  Most certified labs do not consider blemishes or inclusions that cannot be seen with a 10X Loupe; if it would take a more powerful loupe, the blemish or inclusion is ignored for grading purposes. 

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