How to Use a Gemologist Loupe

The loupe (pronounced loop) is a special kind of magnifier and serves as the most essential tool a gemologist or a jeweler should have. The type of loupe one carries and the way one holds a loupe and handles it can reveal a lot of hidden features and blemishes in the stone being inspected. Follow these steps to view a stone using a loupe.

Steps

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    Turn on the light source and keep it at comfortable height below the eye level so that the light does not fall on the eyes.
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    Clean the stone thoroughly with a dirt free and lint free cloth and keep it face down either on the cloth itself or the sorting tray. Also clean the lens of loupe.
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    Pick up the loupe. Insert your index finger into the metal cover and use it for a handle. If you pick up the loupe with right hand then use your left eye to see the stone and vice versa. See what suits you best.
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    Pick up the stone with the tweezers gently. Pressing it too hard would make the stone fly off. Hold the stone at the girdle to examine the stone from the table or pavilion. To see the stone from sideways hold the stone from table to culet. Remember not to touch the stone by hand. Always use the gem cloth.
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    Position the loupe close to your eye, and hold the stone about an inch (2.5cm) from the loupe. Be steady and rest the hands on the table you are working on. Initially it's best advised to sit and examine the stone. After gaining confidence one can examine anywhere.

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Categories: Rock Gem Mineral and Fossil Collecting