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Home > Diamond News Center > Diamond News > Israel

Three uses You Never Thought of for the Diamond Loupe and the Binocular

/ Israel

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Loupe used by scribers
One of the most recognizable tools used by diamantaires is the loupe - a small magnification device for examining polished stones. Diamantaires usually hang their loupe on their necks, fastened on a string or a cord necklace, as they frequently use it in their work.

The loupe magnification levels range between X4 and X20. A 10x magnification is considered the standard for grading diamond clarity. By using the loupe, diamantaires can inspect small details on the stone, and gage the quality of the polish and clarity of the stone.

Another extremely useful device is the binocular headband magnifier, which provides hands-free magnification. Diamantaires usually use the binocular when sorting rough diamonds, as the job requires a broader field of vision. Jewelers use it too, as it enables them to magnify the piece they are working on.

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Both the loupe and the binocular have other, surprising uses: they can be used to inspect a mezuzah, the four species at Sukkot, and kosher level in foods.
Jewish scribers, for example, use a binocular to look for flaws in the letters in the scriptures, as well as the quality of the parchments and scrolls as they search for miniscule holes that damage its kosher level.

During Sukkot, the four species must meet the highest standards to be considered kosher. The head of the lulav, for example, is inspected for completeness, while the Hadas is inspected to see if it has rows of three leaves spanning the length of the branch. The Etrog (citron) is of course also inspected closely, and more specifically its peel, which must be smooth and “inclusion-free”. The “kosher levels” of the Etrog and the diamond are not unlike when inspecting for defects:  the Pittom must be intact, and the top third of the Etrog must be flawless.

The binocular is also used to ensure that foods are kosher. Rice and sifted flour are closely examined to see that they are insect-free, as well as some vegetables such as cauliflower and broccoli.

The following assisted in the preparation of this item: Rabbi Hagai Halevi, emissary of Lubavitcher Rebbe to the Israel Diamond Exchange (IDE) and honorary secretary of the IDE, Hod Hasharon Rabbi Yuval Maghaz, and Shalom Lissitzky, author of “Talking Diamonds” .
By: Iris Hortman
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