How To: Darkfield Loupe

Modified: April 2011

The darkfield loupe by by JTV, attached to the included flashlight, provides 10x magnification , and includes a specially constructed area called a viewing well. This well enables you to view gemstones and jewelry against a black background with strong lateral lighting. This form of lighting is called “dark-field illumination” and occurs when light enters through the side of the stone. This type of lighting makes it much easier to identify cetain types of inclusions and potentially treated stones. Darkfield loupes provide a tremendous benefit for anyone who travelling to identify gemstones. The darkfield loupe is portable and comes with a protective zippered case exclusively at JTV.

Components

1. Flashlight
2. Darkfield Loupe

Assembling Your GemVue DarkField Loupe

To assemble your darkfield loupe follow the steps below. This tool is designed to fit over the end of the flashlight provided.

1. Place the darkfield attachment on top of the flashlight.
2. Secure the attachment to the flashlight by tightening the screw on the lower portion of the darkfield attachement.
3. Once secure, rotate the flashlight to the "on" position or until you see light being transmitted from the flashlight. Be sure the batteries are strong enough to emit a strong light source.
4. At this point you are ready to start testing stones and/or jewelry.

Getting Started

To get started using your darkfield loupe follow the steps below.

1. If examining a gemstone, secure it in a set of tweezers. If you are examining jewelry, hold it by its setting.
2. Place the item you want to view into the viewing well. Be sure the light is entering through the sides of the stone.
3. Simply bring your eye to the eyepiece at the top of the instrument and view your subject.
4. While loooking at your stone or jewlery be sure to rock the stone back and forth and tilt it up and down.
5. As with a standard loupe, examine the stone or jewelry from the top, the back, and the sides through the girdle.
6. When examining through the girdle, be sure to rotate the stone a full 360 degrees. If not round, then from every side.
7. As you examine from all angles, be sure to tilt and rock the stone keeping it well lit.

Interpreting the Results

The darkfield loupe is very useful in terms of examining inclusions in colored stones. Viewing the inclusion against a black background provided by the the darkfield loupe attachment, in tandem with strong lateral lighting, makes it much easier to examine inclusions, and better to distinguish what they are. You will find it especially useful in seeing curved striae in synthetic sapphires and rubies, and also in seeing flux inclusions.

As important as the darkfield loupe can be when examining colored gemstones, today it is also an essential tool for anyone buying and selling diamonds or diamond jewelry because there are so many fractured filled diamonds in circulation worldwide. Using the darkfield loupe is by far the easiest way to spot these type of stones.

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