What is a diamond loupe and when to use it?
When spontaneously thinking of a magnification device - a loupe, one sometimes imagines the loupes our grandparents used to read small prints and newspapers or the ones used by collectors to see the minute details in paintings and stamps.
Diamond loupes are slightly different in that they are small and super portable. They can come in a variety of strengths and formats.
A proper loupe has to be a 10 power triplet - meaning it has three lenses that are fused together in order to eliminate distortion at the edges and colour fringing. These loupes are the most sold on the market and the most used by the industry. The GIA for instance always refers to a loupe which has 10x magnification when describing the grade of the clarity for a stone.
You can also find up to 30x magnifying loupes on the market, but those aren’t as commonly used since it is rather for very small goods and therefore used by sorters or buyers in offices.
Although the diamond loupe doesn’t replace the microscope for in depth viewing, it does remain a crucial tool used daily by the diamond and jewellery industry worldwide, to see all major inclusions and characteristics of a diamond when buying and selling diamonds.
Buying a diamond
When looking at buying a diamond, you can of course simply look at a certificate by a well-known laboratory to know the details of the diamond, but you can also have a look at the stone yourself and delve into the wonders of colour, clarity, cut grades and more. That is when a loupe comes in handy. It is small and light and can be carried anywhere.
When buying a diamond, there are several aspects that need to be taken into consideration. The external characteristics that one needs to look at are: the cut of the stone, its symmetry and polish. You may also be interested in seeing how large or small the table is, as some people do prefer either one or the other when buying a diamond.
Then you need to look at internal characteristics of the stone and identify its inclusions and define whether you like them or not.
The loupe is also very practical when trying to quickly identify whether the stone has a laser inscription on its girdle thereby giving you directly its identification number, associated to a certificate by a laboratory.
BAUNAT certainly uses certificates from reputed labs, but should you wish to have a look at diamonds in person, BAUNAT would be delighted to welcome you to one of their offices and help you understand diamonds and how to look at them.