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Why Use a Microscope for Jewelry Making?

Last Updated: 09.12.21


If you have yet to find the time to research high-quality dissecting microscopes, be sure to take a look at our recent post. In this comprehensive article, we are going to talk to you about why microscopes are a vital part of the process of jewelry making.

So, if you want to learn more about this topic, keep reading as we are sure you’ll find plenty of info!

Why are microscopes an essential part of jewelry making?

As you probably know, making jewelry is a process that requires plenty of attention to details. According to jewelers, quality tools and equipment are crucial to have. Although they might seem expensive at first, having quality tools is important because they help one construct better pieces of jewelry.

Because microscopes feature magnification, they help craftsmen by reducing eye strain and fatigue. Plus, they provide users with a large, in-depth field of view. As a result, the jeweler can see both the bottom and the top of the piece at once. This way, he/she can use equipment such as pliers or solder irons easier.

Usually, jewelers use microscopes when they have to set stones, to grade diamonds or to appraise the value of different gemstones.


What features should one look for in a product of this kind?

First things first, the ergonomics of the device are vital. The model that you decide to purchase should provide you with an optimal working position so that you do not feel muscle or shoulder strain. As a result, you will not lose your concentration easily and you will feel like your work is more enjoyable.

To cater to the needs of all their customers, some manufacturers distribute microscopes that can be customized to fit one’s needs perfectly. This is a plus according to seasoned jewelers.

What is more, a microscope should also provide the owners with freedom of movement. For instance, a model that includes a flex arm stand is ideal for a jeweler because it supplies him/her with plenty of flexibility.

If a unit provides the user with a large working distance, he/she will have sufficient room to handle his/her tools with more ease. Also, a model that requires little refocusing is perfect for the job as it does not require you to focus it time and time again while working.

Lighting is also considered important. From this point of view, it is advisable that you select a product that includes ring lights that distribute the light homogeneously. For added convenience, you can also acquire an optional light diffuser that can help reduce reflection.

Magnification and gem clip

According to specialized jewel makers, the microscope that you buy should have a magnification ratio of at least 10x. Higher magnification units might also come in handy, especially if you like to analyze whether or not the stones that you are using have imperfections.  

When viewing stones or gems in general under the microscope, a stone holder is important to have. A stone holder is usually made of wire and it can be attached to the stage of the microscope.

A good holder can hold, for instance, a ring in place in the desired position so that you can zoom in on the desired section with ease.

Models that do not include a holder are not as convenient. However, if this is the case with the device that you like, you can use a clip on the bottom of the jewelry or you can simply hold without moving it while adjusting the focus.

As expected, doing so is a tad problematic because any slight movement can cause the item to get out of focus. Given this situation, the specialists say that those who do detailed work have to invest in a stone holder.


Darkfield vs. brightfield illumination

Another feature that is considered a must by jewel makers is a darkfield. This is true because viewing diamonds and other gemstones over a black background is not as blinding and distracting. The main role of a darkfield is to not allow brightness to bounce back at you.

By comparison, a model that only features brightfield illumination is only suitable when working with slides and flat objects in general. Thus, it is not as practical to use by a jeweler.



If you want to take detailed pictures of the pieces that you are making, selecting a microscope that has a built-in camera is the way to go. Still, before you jump to the chance of buying an item of this kind that features a camera, you should look at the quality of the pictures that it can take.

On top of that, remember that there are also products that allow users to actually record or to stream recordings live. This way, you will be able to share the jewelry-making process with your friends.

If you decide to get a model that includes a camera, it is best that you read the reviews left by fellow owners. When you do so, it is indicated that you look for a unit that has user-friendly software so that you will be able to utilize it without any difficulties.



Those who are interested in getting a microscope that can be used when making jewelry should only look for products with two lens eyepieces. This feature makes the entire process more convenient as you will not be obliged to look at the piece that you are making with just one eye.

Consequently, you will end up being able to work longer hours and to focus better on the details that you want to perfect.

Invest in additional light sources

Most microscopes currently available usually come supplied with a single light source. However, as any jeweler will tell you, this is not enough. Therefore, you should go online and search for an extra light source that you can place on your work surface.

By doing so, you will have no problems when it comes to seeing pinpoints in the stones that you are working with as well as other similar minute details.



If you are a novice that is not ready to make a significant investment in a top-notch microscope, it is best that, before you start exploring the market, you set up a budget and that you stick to it. Another thing that you should not ignore when shopping in this line of products is that these devices do not come cheap.

While a microscope for kids costs somewhere between 80 and 250 dollars, a model that was specially designed to be utilized by jewelers and engravers is much more expensive. So, before you decide to buy one, you should make sure that you are ready to pay a lot of money on it.

If you are an amateur jewelry maker, chances are that you won’t need a high-quality unit that comes provided with features that help one assess the true value of gems. Instead, you should look for a choice that has minimal features and that is easy to operate.

Once you get better and you feel like you need a better microscope, you can start analyzing the market again and try to find an upgrade.



Ioana Moldovan

Ioana’s professional experience in the optics field has helped her understand the value of passing her knowledge forward. Her curious personality helps her gather useful information for her readers and her goal is to make technical information fun and accessible to everyone.

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