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 Post subject: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 3:47 pm 
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Hi guys

I completed and passed the practical exam for the GIA diamond grading course last week. We were taught to grade diamonds which were 0.30ct and above on a microscope (at 10x) although I understand that we will usually use a 10x triplet loupe in the real world so I will be ordering one from a reputable company.

However, I wanted to speed up the time required for me to sort through my parcels of tiny melee diamonds (around 1mm each) so I was considering purchasing a microscope as it will ease the eyestrain of sorting these tiny VS-VVS diamonds all day since the inclusions will be a little difficult on these clarity's. It will also make the task easier as I can quickly flick through to 15-20x magnification and make it easier to spot the inclusions then see if I can find them at 10x.

I was just wondering if you guys had any recommendations on any microscopes that went up to 20x? I have looked online and some run into $3000 whereas Kassoy has a 30x for $300. I don't need anything fancy, just something which will do the job up to 20x magnification with the correct lighting.


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 Post subject: Re: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Sun Aug 02, 2020 11:51 pm 
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(I refurbish/assemble and sell gem scopes, for full disclosure)
20x is no great feat for a microscope (note that's actually a 2x magnification + 10x eyepieces). I haven't ever done work with tiny diamonds so I'm not sure what ergonomics would be like with a traditional gemscope--normally I'd recommend not bothering with a cheap flat-based microscope and going for one with a tilting base which will be much more comfortable to use long-term, but that might be less handy if you mostly want to look at tiny little stones. Do you need brightfield and darkfield, just darkfield, neither?
There are lots of great options across a range of budgets. If you can narrow down which features you want (and which ones you might want in the future) it will give a better idea of what you should look for.

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 Post subject: Re: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 7:01 am 
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Hi Stephen

Thank you for your reply!

I'm sorry for making it difficult but I don't know about darkfield and brightfield! I think the one we used on the GIA course last week was Darkfield. I see what you mean about the tilting base though as the one we used there had a tilting base.

In terms of narrowing down the features, I would just need a microscope which will help me to look at the tiny melee diamonds with ease and spot the inclusions with ease. So for example, jewellers will just use a 10x loupe so I would like to have the double magnification of that, I thought this would be 20x however I understand that you are saying a 20x microscope would not give a very good/clear view. Do you have any recommendations based on these requirements? You can recommend darkfield/brightfield, whichever you advise.


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 Post subject: Re: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 12:31 pm 
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My advice would be to cultivate other users, see what they use and beg a go, then you will see what you like and be in a much better place to stipulate your personal requirements.


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 Post subject: Re: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:49 pm 
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I say trust yourself to Stephen for a microscope. He is obsessed with them.

Understand that for gemstone work it is not just the magnification that matters. You should be able to find an affordable scope that zooms from 10X -45X or higher.

Lighting is at least as important as magnification.

The microscope stage, combined with the form factor. tilting, and eyepiece adjustments are also important in comfortably working with a scope.

Stephen has provided used scopes for a number of my gemology students. They are sometimes not the most cosmetically perfect, but optically they have never disappointed, and are priced fairly.


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 Post subject: Re: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Tue Aug 04, 2020 4:32 am 
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Hi 1bwana1

Thank you for providing feedback on Stephen! In terms of lighting, you are absolutely correct as I noticed that when I was experimenting with the light on the microscope on my course.

Stephen, is there anywhere that we could discuss this? As I am keen on purchasing a microscope from yourself.


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 Post subject: Re: 20x loupe
PostPosted: Wed Aug 05, 2020 12:02 pm 
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Thanks for the endorsement!
Newbiewithdiamonds you can email me at my username @gmail.com (my username being StephenChallener) for more information. I have a thread in the classified section of this forum as well: viewtopic.php?f=97&t=25464
It doesn't have my entire current selection but most of it.

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