As a jeweller, you are required to deal with small and intricate parts on a daily basis. Without a tool such as a loupe, it's impossible to examine the fine detail and markings which are found on pieces of gold, silver and other substances. 

Magnifying the pieces of jewellery is an essential factor in ensuring that you can fulfil your job to the highest standard, so a magnifying tool like the loupe is a must-have in any jeweller's toolbox.  

However, the question is: How do you choose the perfect jeweller's loupe? Searching the internet will soon reveal that there are dozens of different types, and selecting the one which is right for your taste, job and budget can be a real struggle. 

One of the main factors to consider is whether you would like a handheld loupe or one which you can fit to a headband. The obvious benefit of one which doesn't require being held is that you can keep both of your hands completely free to concentrate on whatever piece is currently in need of work. However, many jewellers find that the discomfort of some loupes which are worn on the head can get in the way of working effectively, especially if you're working for several hours. Consider a combination of the two – having both options means that you can choose the perfect loupe for whatever task you are doing next. 

The two main types of loupe are glass and acrylic. While acrylic is the cheaper option and therefore the most suitable if you're on a tight budget, glass loupes generally provide more clarity and clearness, thus enhancing how well you can view the tiny details of the jewellery. Many jewellers choose to spend a little extra on a more clear loupe, since ultimately, the better the magnified view, the more precise you can be when inspecting and making amendments to the various pieces. 

The amount of experience you have will also come into play when choosing the right jeweller's loupe. If you're currently doing an apprenticeship, for example, or studying the art of jewellery, it might suffice to get a budget loupe and then upgrade later on. However, if you're a professional jeweller who is charging clients for various services, a good quality loupe is of utmost importance. This is where the budget you have will come into the picture, but as a jeweller, the right tools are arguably the most essential things that you can invest in. 

You can expect to pay anywhere from a few dollars to a couple of hundred dollars for a loupe, and each one will vary in quality and features. Remember that it's better to buy one good quality loupe for $40 than to spend your jeweller's years buying $5-$10 budget tools and replacing them every few months. A better quality and clearer loupe will allow you to work much better on the jewellery and as a result, you'll impress your clients and attract more business.