An essential piece to any rock or mineral enthusiast of all skill and interest levels, is the jewelers loupe, or geologists’ hand lens. Pronounced “loop”, the jeweler’s loupe is a small magnification device consisting of one or more lens and is designed to fit in your pocket for quick and easy access to get a magnified look at rocks, gems, and minerals.
A Jewelers loupe lets you get up and personal with rocks and minerals. They provide a unique close up look and are also an important tool in proper rock, gem, mineral, and fossil identification.
Before you go out and buy the first jewelers loupe you can find for your rock and mineral endeavors, be sure to be aware of some of the differences in jeweler’s loupes available and get the best bang for your buck.
Best Jeweler’s Loupes For Rock Collectors (Quick Pick)
Here’s a quick look at the jewelers magnifying glass that are reviewed in this post. Click on each to learn more about each hand lens and see the most current price.
There is a wide array of jewelery loupes on the market; from big to small, high to low magnification, unique features, varying qualities of glass, etc. Although you may think it is a simple object and therefore why not spend the least amount of money possible, not all loupes are created equal. Being an educated buyer will work to your favor in the long run.
Which Jewelers Magnifying Glass To Buy
You may find yourself wondering what magnification level to purchase. Jeweler’s loupes on the market are composed of either a single or multiple lenses with a listed magnification power followed by an ‘x’. A 10x loupe, which is common among rock and mineral enthusiasts, is has a magnification power of 10. There are also 15x, 20x, 40x etc.; though higher levels of magnification can influence how close your eye and the object must be to the lens by modiyfing the focal point.
With an overwhelming selection on the market, you may find yourself pondering why you should spent the extra $10-$30 on a decent quality loupe vs the little $5 loupe at your local general store. Just remember that not all are created equal and many can be downright junk. To narrow down your selections, we selected budget minded quality jeweler’s loupes available.
The Best Jewelers Loupe For Gems And Minerals (Reviews)
If you are looking for a proper and quality loupe at a still affordable cost, look no further than our current top pick for rock enthusiasts. Though this model comes in at a higher price point than some others reviewed, for a still very affordable cost, you will truly appreciate the elevated lens quality and simple functionality of this loupe.
The BelOMO loupe is a single power 10x magnification lens composed of three separate high quality lens bonded into one with anti-reflection optics. For myself, 10x seems to be the best general size magnification to carry. In my experience, I prefer to carry just one high quality 10x lens over a loupe with a selection of lesser quality lens.
No bells and whistles on this loupe. It is a simple high quality plastic swingout loupe with no lights, batteries, or automations. The feature point of this loupe is higher quality lens manufactured by Belarusian Optical and Mechanical Association; who also manufacture lens for guided weaponry, cameras, and scopes.
Most users would agree, that the functionality of “quality through simplicity” makes this a sub-$40 loupe worth the little bit of extra money and our current top pick.
This versatile model of jeweler’s loupe has a noticeably different design than the others which made the list. Unlike the traditional loupe, this model is a rectangular shaped straight slide out design. It also has another unlike feather which makes it stand out from the rest, in that it not only has an LED light, but also includes a UV black light for illumination.
Along with its more unique design, I like this loupe due to its of versatility of three different levels of magnification: 10x, 20x, 30x. The lens diameters are progressively smaller with the increased levels of magnification and the 10x is a commonly used magnification for general rock collecting.
The design of this loupe allows it to be very lightweight and easy to carry. The shape makes slipping in and out of pockets a simple task. The extra features may be very worth it to some for the slightly increased cost compared to some at around a cost of $20.
This jeweler’s loupe is a dual capability loupe. It has two separate lenses which have a magnification level of 30x and 60x. These are higher levels of magnification which would be excellent for certain applications, though the dual lens limit the diameter of each.
In addition, a nice feature of this specific loupe is the built in ultra-bright LED light to allow for better definition and viewing in low light conditions. Although the two magnification levels make this specific model slightly larger than single models, it still remains compact, easy to carry, and durable.
This is an excellent choice for those needing a loupe with versatile and higher levels of magnification. It is also at a very budget friendly price point.
This specific loupe has a single magnification power of 40x, and thus can house a slightly larger lens size of 25mm, allowing for a slightly larger field of view. This is also a relatively high powered lens best suited for high magnification applications.
This is an all metal polished unit, giving it excellent appearance and matched durability. Being metal also makes it slightly heavier than some plastic models. To assist with viewing, this loupe has a built in bright LED light that has the and on/off switch, powered by three LR1130 watch batteries.
With a single 25mm lens, this allows the unit to be more compact than some dual magnification models. This model also comes in at a consumer conscious price point of around $15.
The Happy Hydro loupe is another dual magnification power loupe that contains a 30x and 60x lens, similar to the Formline model above. Like the above model, the Happy Hydro also contains a bright LED powered by three LR1130 watch batteries to help illuminate your specimens.
This model, being designed from impact-resistant ABS plastic, is lightweight and durable. This model was designed with beveled edges on the plastic to help prevent lens damage when opening and closing.
Coupled with the versatility of two lenses, this is an excellent choice for someone in the market for these levels of magnification. At around $16, this is a budget friendly choice and even includes batteries and a carrying case.
Tips On How To Use A Jewelers Loupe
Your jeweler’s loupe, is essentially a sized down and more powerful magnifying glass. Somewhere between there and a light microscope in terms of magnification power. It will allow you to much more closely analyze small level details and defining features of gems, minerals, fossils, and anything else you need a closer look at.
How To Hold It
The process of using a jeweler’s loupe is pretty straightforward. The lens is held in one hand and must be placed much closer to the eye than a traditional magnifying glass. Within a few inches for most loupes. Your object must be an approximate equivalent distance on the other side of the loupe as your eye. Moving either the loupe or the object will adjust the focal point.
Variety Of Uses
Your loupe may be used for a large variety of things other than looking at rocks, gems, and minerals with. If you are out rock collecting, loupes are also used in botany and can offer interesting perspective into finer level details of plants. Coin collectors too will use them in grading their coins by observing finer level details. Your loupe can serve any use really to give your eye a level of magnified detail into any object that you would be otherwise unable to see.
If you are have any interest in rock collecting or rock hounding, a jeweler’s loupe is a low investment and easy to carry tool in your endevours. Whether you are an avid rock collector who travels around to pursue the passion, or a casual hiker with an interest in rocks you see along the way, in my opinion, you should consider owning a jeweler’s loupe.
There are a variety of loupes on the market, so hopefully this was able to help you better understand the different types available and what suits your style best. For me, I will likely be carrying our top pick by BelOMO on my next rock collecting hike, the quality 10x lens is the most effective option for myself.
So What’s The Best Jewelers Loupe?
The BelOMO 10x Triplet Loupe MagnifierBuy on Amazon