When working with jewellery, one of the tools which you will never cease to have in your toolbox is a loupe. Many professional jewellers have a huge range of loupes of various sizes and qualities and with different features. When you choose a loupe, you'll have to think about the magnification you need to buy, since they're not all the same and choosing the right one is important. 


In most cases, you won't require more than a 10x loupe. In fact, while a lot of jewellers do possess more powerful loupes, they will only use the 10x tool for most of their work. You will probably struggle to find any uses for something with a greater magnification than this. The benefit of only needing 10x in most situations is that these are cheaper to purchase than loupes with greater magnification, so you can keep costs down in your jewellery business. 


However, sometimes you might require something greater than 10x, so it's not a bad idea to keep such an item in your kit. When purchasing loupes with a magnification such as 15x, it's important not to purchase one which has a large lens. This is simply because the larger the lens, the less clarity you will have, since the loupe in general will be less focused. 


For example, if you want to buy a 15x magnifier, opt for one which has a 12mm lens. Choosing one which has a larger lens, such as a 21mm diameter, might seem better since it's bigger, but won't provide you with as much quality and focus. Remember that the figure of the magnification, e.g 10x or 15x has got nothing to do with the actual size of the lens or the loupe in general. Don't be deceived by this when you go out shopping for one. 


20x magnification is very powerful, but as a result, you can lose focus very quickly if you're not careful. In the vast majority of cases, no writing or markings on your jewellery will be small enough to warrant needing something which is as powerful as this. Unless you come across something which has incredibly small text that you need to examine, or your 15x just doesn't seem to be doing the trick, it's not always a good idea to invest in a 20x loupe. If you do decide to buy a loupe with 20x magnification, make sure that you have a steady hand in order to keep it focused. While not very common, you may very well come across scenarios where you need a 20x tool. 


Yes, you can get loupes which are even more powerful than 20x. While not very common and often mislabelled in markets or online, you can find tools which provide you with 30x magnification. However, to get a good focus, you'll need to hold it around 8mm away from the object. This will provide you with the ultimate magnification that most jewellers will ever need in their lifetimes, but if you need even more than that, microscopes are widely available too.