Antique Jewelry and Gem Identification, Using a Loupe
There are some simple identification tips that are used to help identify gem materials used in antique jewelry. They do not require any special instruments or tools other than a loupe, black light, a penlight, a hot-point needle and sight identification. Make sure that you clearly understand that anything that you add to the surface of a gem or gem material should be done on an area that is not visible from the front. You will want to make sure that you use more than one identification method to feel assured that your results are accurate. (see http://gesner.com/index) Using a Loupe with Antique Jewelry The first thing you will have to do when using a loupe is figure out which eye is your dominant eye. Usually, if you primarily use your right hand, it is your right eye and if you are left handed, your left eye. To test which eye is your dominant eye, close one eye and look at something across the room. If you can focus on the item, then the odds are, that is your dominant eye. Holding the Loupe The key to holding the loupe is to make sure that you hold it at the proper distance. This is the key for getting a nice look at your gem or stone. You will want to normally hold the loupe about 1 inch away from your dominant eye. Bringing the object into view of your loupe is the next step. Make sure that you move the loupe closer to your eye if it is not in focus where you can clearly see the item. You may want to add a light source so you can clearly see the details in the stone. One of the biggest mistakes that people make when using a loupe on antique jewelry is that they treat it like a magnifying glass. The key to using the loupe is to hold it close to your eye instead of the loupe further from your eye and closer to the stone. Holding the loupe closer to your eye will help you see five to six times more surface area of the stone. (see http://gesner.com/index) Practice using the loupe in different variations of lighting. Once you get use to it, you are ready to start analyzing the information that you see.