Before I start to explain how a loupe should be held, you must be prepared with the following:
A universal source of white light such as flip light or a table light with fluorescent tubes.
You will need a pair of diamond tweezers.
You will need to buy in advance a decent loupe x 10 magnification.
Observation and magnification are critical.
A diamond loupe is inexpensive unless you choose an aplanatic loupe and is portable and is the most useful tool for observation of following:
Loose diamonds and gemstones
Rough Diamonds & Gemstones
Assessment & examination of all jewellery
Condition of mounts and stones
Start to practice
You need to decide whether you are right or left eye dominant. If you are right handed as a rule of thumb you will hold loupe in right hand and will use your left eye to observe through loupe. Similarly, if you are left handed you will hold loupe in left hand and will use your right eye to observe through loupe.
Once you are comfortable with above, I suggest the following, use both your elbows on table to support and steady yourself and bring loupe to your dominant eye and then employ tweezers to pick up diamond or gemstone and then make sure item is in focus.
Then start at 12 o’clock and observe features, then move to 3 o’clock, 6 o’clock, 9 o’clock and then rest. Make notes while you observe features, colour, clarity and turn the gemstone at differing angles and be aware of your lighting to assist you.
I teach my clients and students and all that is required is practice, practice and more practice!
Client relaxed holding loupe with tweezers and elbows on table for support