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Home >>Cubic Zircon Jewelry >> What a loupe can tell you your jewelry
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What a loupe can tell you your jewelry


With practice and experience, a loupe can tell even the amateur a great deal. For a gemologist it can help determine whether the stone is natural, synthetic, glass, or a doublet (a composite stone), and reveal characteristic flaws, blemishes, or cracks. In other words, the loupe can provide the necessary information to help you know whether the stone is in fact what it is supposed to be.
    
For the beginner, the loupe is useful in seeing:
1.    The workmanship that went into the cutting. For example, is the symmetry of the gemstone balanced? Does it have the proper number of facets for its cut? Is the proportion good? Few cutters put the same time and care into cutting glass as they do into a diamond.
2.    Chips, cracks, or scratches on the facet edges, planes, or table. While zircon, for example, looks very much like diamond because of its pronounced brilliance and relative hardness, its chips easily. Therefore, careful examination of a zircon will often show chipping, especially around the table edges and the girdle. Glass, which is very soft, will often show scratches. Normal wear can cause it to chip or become scratched. Also, if you check around the prongs, the setter may even have scratched it while bending the prongs to hold the stone.
In such stones as emeralds, the loupe can also help you determine whether or not any natural cracks are really serious, how close they are to the surface, how deep they run, or how many are readily visible.
3.    The sharpness of the facet edges. Harder stones will have a sharp edge, or sharper boundaries between adjoining planes or facets, whereas many imitations are softer and under the loupe the edges between the facets are less sharp and have a more rounded appearance.
4.    Bubbles, inclusions, and flaws. Many flaws and inclusions that cannot be seen with the naked eye are easily seen with the loupe. But remember, many are not easily seen unless you are very experienced. The presence of inclusions is not as serious in colored gemstones as in diamonds, and they don’t usually significantly reduce the value of the stone. However, the kind of inclusions seen in colored stones can be important. They often provide the necessary key to positive identification, determine whether a stone is natural or synthetic, and possibly locate the origin of the stone, which may significantly affect the value. With minimal experience, the amateur can also learn to spot the characteristic bubbles and swirl lines to associate with glass.

The loupe can tell you a great deal about the workmanship that went into cutting a gem. It can help a professional decide whether a gem is natural, synthetic, a doublet, or a glass. It can provide the clues about the gem’s authenticity, its durability, and its point of original. But spotting these clues takes lots of practice and experience.
 

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