Star Loupe

June 2017
Sterling Silver, optical glass

Carrying a traditional jeweler's loupe around at all times can be cumbersome—their thick lenses are bulky, their housings are generally unstylish and their hinges tend to unscrew frequently. They're terrible on a keychain or around the neck. But as a working jeweler, I need to have magnification on me in order to examine details of pieces or to inspect stones or what-have-you.

Watchmaker's loupes have the same range of magnifications but are typically bigger, thinner lenses that are set into rigid or foldable housings which pre-set the focal distance for the user. It occurred to me that I could take the lens out of a watchmaker's loupe and set it into a pendant, and thus this star was born!

The points of this Star of David shape are woven around a flattened torus that surrounds and supports the lens. Naturally, since I was making a jeweler's tool that also happened to be a piece of Judaica, I figured I'd scour the Tanakh for a passage that would be appropriate for a jeweler. After much searching, I finally found Psalms 66:10, which reads "You have tried us, O God; you have refined us as one refines silver" (כי בחנתנו אלהים צרפתנו כצרף כסף, ki b'chan'tanu Elohim, tz'raf'tanu kitz'raf kasef).