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Jewelers Loupe
by: Administrator

Hi Charlotte

is sounds like you need a 1. Loupe (magnifying glass) and the 2. Bradburys Book of Hallmarks.

1. Loupe: These magnifiers have special lenses that allow your eyes to focus on the hammarks at a much closer distance than is normally possible, making the markings appear to be larger and revealing tiny details we wouldn't see or which have faded over time from our normal vision.

There a basically two choices here: One Lens or Three?

ONE: Loupes with a single lens are usually of poorer quality. They may even distort the object you're magnifying.

THREE: A triplet loupe which is recommended has three lenses placed together in such a way that any distortion is automatically corrected.

Loupes that are labeled with a number, followed by the symbol "X," which means "times." For example, a 2X loupe makes an object appear two times its actual size and a 5X loupe shows you a times five increase.


This type of loupe is used by professionals to grade diamonds and other gemstones. In fact, anything visible through a more powerful loupe, isn't even included on a grading report.

A black frame around the lens will eliminate reflections that can alter the color of the object you are viewing. This will be more important if you are looking at diamonds and gemstones though.

2. The Bradbury's Book of Hallmarks, is available from Amazon bookstore although I think at time of writing it's out of stock. (you can check in the "Antique Jewelry Books" easily to reach from the navigation bar, right hand side here on this page).

Also visit this page and scroll down to ***:
British Hallmarks on Gold, Silver and Platinum, including Historic British Hallmarks.
(This is free and no waiting except for the pdf to download).

Thanks for your question and good luck with your hallmark identification!

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