How To Properly Use a Jeweler's Loupe
I don't know if you realize how much you are being spoiled on this site, checking out all these diamonds under a microscope! Now when you walk into your local jewelry store to see a diamond, (and you definitely do want to see it under magnification), usually the best they have to offer is a 10x loupe. Since most stores will not show diamonds the way we do, you got to make the best with what you got right? Although you'll see them best under magnification right here, you have to experience checking out some diamonds under a loupe. Your jeweler should at least have one on hand for you to look at the diamond with.
If you ask for a loupe and they hand you a magnifying glass... RUN! I have never seen a 10x magnifying glass and these are not good to view a diamond's clarity with. Believe it or not, I have heard of jewelers doing this. Before you shop for your diamond, though, see how much information the jeweler is willing to share with you about diamonds. Then you might want to whoop out my pages here on "Tips" and ask the jeweler a few questions. An honest jeweler will not only give you a good buy on the stone, he will also be willing to share any knowledge about the diamond that he can possibly give you.
There is a right way and a wrong way to use a 10x loupe. Before you even pick up the loupe, you want to establish your "seeing" eye. Put your hands up in front of you, close one eye and focus on an object in the room... any object.
Unconsciously, you automatically closed one eye and looked through the other. The one you kept open is your seeing eye! This is the eye you are going to be using as you look through the loupe. Now you want to pick up the loupe with the same hand that your seeing eye is on. If your seeing eye is your right eye, then you want to pick up the loupe with your right hand. Grab the loupe with the thumb and middle finger, pushing the lens through with the pointer like this:
Next you want to place both elbows on the table (it's not dinner, it's ok) and get in a relaxed, comfortable position. Leaning both elbows on the surface will help you keep a steady hand. Place the thumb of your hand that is holding the loupe up against your cheek, about an inch away from your eye, like this:
For a lot of people it is a natural tendency to "close" the other eye. FIGHT THIS! I know this will be hard, but try to keep both eyes open, as this will put less strain on the seeing eye. Next, have the jeweler first clean the diamond, then place the diamond in a set of locking tweezers or some other holding device. This way the jeweler doesn't have to sweat wondering if you're going to drop the stone or not. If you get a loupe beforehand, you can practice with the loupe looking at just about anything. Whatever it is you're going to look at under the loupe, you are going to want to bring it about an inch away from the loupe's lens. For me, this is about a finger's width away. I have the tweezers between my middle and ring finger, just like the pic below.
If you do this, you will be using that loupe for all its worth. There's still nothing like a scope, though :-)
When I help my clients with diamonds, I show them just like I'm showing you here on the net. I put that stone under the scope, and I've got a high resolution video camera to display the diamond on a TV screen from 10x to 63x. It's really the best way to view diamonds. There's a lot you'll see with a scope that you won't with a loupe.
Now, let's go back to Clarity.