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Glossary of Jewelry Terms

1 2 A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

1

10k:
A gold alloy that includes 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% alloy
14k:
A gold alloy that includes 58.5% pure gold and 41.5% alloy
18k:
A gold alloy that includes 75% pure gold and 25% alloy
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2

24k:
A gold or gold alloy that is over 99.95% pure gold
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A

A Jour:
An open setting that leaves the pavilion facets open to the light
abalone:
A deposit made from inside a seashell, sometimes referred to as "mother-of-pearl"
Abraded culet:
A chipped or scratched culet
abrasion:
A bruise or scratch on the surface of a stone
Accent:
A jewelry piece or design element that is meant to draw attention to a different focal point
agate:
A variety of chalcedony found in all colors
AGS:
American Gem Society: a professional organization formed in 1934 by several independent jewelers and the founder of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
Aigrette:
A hair ornament consisting of a feather plume or spray of glitter, often accentuated by either a jewel or buckle
Alexandrite:
A variation of Chrysoberyl, with the unique ability of changing color in natural or artificial light
Alloy:
A combination of metals fused together
Aluminum:
A silver/white metal that is lightweight and malleable
Amazonite:
An opaque form of feldspar
Amber:
The fossilized resin of prehistoric pine trees, which ranges in color from golden to orange-red
American Gem Trade Association:
An organization tasked with maintaining ethical standards within the gemstone industry
Amethyst:
A clear purple, blue, or violet variety of crystallized quartz
Amulet:
A pendant or charm that is worn for its protective or magical powers
Anneal:
The process of hardening glass pottery or metal, by alternately heating and pounding it
Anniversary Band:
A ring--often an eternity band--which is given to commemorate an anniversary
Anodized:
A process in which a metal object is placed in an acid bath and an electrical current is passed through the tank
Antique:
Any object which was created at least 100 years ago
Antiquing:
The process of darkening the recessed areas of gold or silver jewelry, in order to enhance the visibility of the engraving, thus giving the piece an aged, or "antique" look
Antwerp:
Perhaps the most noteworthy and versatile diamond-cutting center in the world
Appraisal:
A monetary evaluation, usually performed for insurance purposes by a certified gemologist
Aquamarine:
A transparent blue, blue-green, or green variety of Beryl, often considered a semi-precious gemstone and used in jewelry
Arabesque:
Flowing scroll work epitomized by curlicues in low relief
Art Deco:
A style characterized by angular geometric shapes, zigzags, bold colors, molded or faceted Czech glass beads, plastics (such as celluloid or Bakelite) and chrome
Art Nouveau:
A style also known as "Victorian" or "Edwardian", consisting of fluid lines, floral and nature-inspired themes, and natural colors
Articulated:
Jewelry constructed with hinges that allow for flexibiliy, or other moving parts
Arts and Crafts:
A design movement that began in the late 1800s as a rebellion against the mass-produced, machine made designs of questionable aesthetic value, common in the late Victorian era
Assay:
The process of establishing the purity standards for gold, silver, and other allows
Asscher Cut:
An octagonal diamond cut
Aurora Borealis:
The Latin term for Northern Lights
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B

Baguette:
A narrow, rectangular-cut stone
Baguette Cut:
A rectangular diamond cut with flat corners that create an octagon
Bail:
The connector at the top of a pendant, which allows the pendant to hang from a chain or jump ring
Bakelite:
A synthetic material, patented in 1909, that was used in jewelry extensively during the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930s
Bandeau:
A narrow band, worn low, which encircles the forehead as a head ornament
Bangle:
A traditionally rigid, non-flexible bracelet
Baroque:
A general term for bold, ornate, heavy looking ornamentation
Basse-taille:
A technique of applying glass enamel to a metal surface
Bearding:
Small, feather-like cracks along the girdle of a diamond
Belle Epoque:
Another term for the Edwardian period
Berlin Iron:
Cast iron jewelry, worked into delicate openwork patterns, and made in Berlin during the first half of the nineteenth century
Beryl:
A mineral consisting of a silicate of Beryllium and Aluminum of great hardness that occurs in colorless hexagonal prisms when pure and in various colors such as: green, blue, yellow, or pink, when not pure
Bezel:
A setting for a stone, that has a collar instead of prongs, in order to secure the stone
Bijouterie:
The art of working in gold and enamel
Birthstone:
A gemstone that is symbolically associated with the month of one's birth
Biwa Pearl:
A freshwater, cultured pearl from Japan
Black Antique:
A jewelry piece that has had a long-lasting black paint applied to it
Black Star of Queensland:
A 733 carat black sapphire, previously thought to be the world's largest gem quality star sapphire
Blemish:
A flaw, spot, or scratch on the surface of a gemstone
Bling:
A general term for flashy jewelry, often worn as an indication of affluence
Blister Pearl:
An irregularly shaped and hollow pearl, cut from the shell of an oyster
Blue Topaz:
A topaz that is light brown or colorless when mined, which turns a vivid blue when exposed to heat
Bog Oak:
Wood that was preserved over thousands of years in the bogs of Ireland, which was hard enough to be carved and worn as jewelry
Bolt ring:
A finding that is entirely or partially hollow, drawn back on an internal spring, which connects rings
Book Chain:
A Victorian style of chain that is made in solid gold or sterling silver, in which each link is a rectangular folded piece of metal resembling a book
Borax:
A flux used in soldering
Box Setting:
A stone, enclosed in a box-shaped setting with metal edges that are pressed down to hold the stone in place
Bracelet:
An ornamental band or chain worn around the wrist
Braided:
A jewelry design element in which multiple strands of an often precious metal appear to be woven together
Brass:
An alloy made up of roughly half copper and half zinc, which has a nice yellow color
Brilliance:
The intensity and amount of light reflecting from inside a diamond or gemstone
Brilliant cut:
The standard, round, brilliant which consists of a total of 58 facets: 1 table, 8 bezel facets, 8 star facets, 16 upper-girdle facets on the crown, 8 pavilion facets, 16 lower-girdle facets and usually a culet on the pavilion or base
Briolette:
A pear-shaped, faceted stone
Bronze:
A very dense, heavy alloy of 60% Copper and 40% Tin
Brooch:
Either a large pin, or an ornamental piece of jewelry with a pin and clasp to be attached to clothing
Brushed Finish:
A texturing technique used on metals, where a series of tiny parallel lines are scratched onto the surface with a wire brush of polishing tool
Buff top cabochon:
A style of stone cutting, where the top of the gemstone is a dome (en cabochon) and the pavilion is faceted
Bulla:
Two concave plates that form a hollow receptacle
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C

C catch:
The most common means of securing a brooch before safety catches were invented
Cable:
A wire, often made of a precious or semi-precious metal, used in jewelry making
Cabochon:
Dome-shaped stone, without facets
CAD:
An acronym for computer aided design
Calibre Cut:
Small stones that are faceted and cut into squares, rectangles, or oblongs, and set close together
Caliper:
An instrument for determining the thickness or diameter of a gemstone
Cameo:
A layered stone, frequently made from banded agate or sea shell, that has been carved with either a woman's profile (most common), a man's profile, a natural scene, or themes involving the Greek or Roman Gods and Goddesses
Cameo Habille:
Most often, a depiction of a female who is carved wearing a diamond pendant, earrings, or a crown
Canary Diamond:
A vibrant yellow variation of Diamond
Cannetille:
A firework decoration, which uses coiled and twisted gold wire to achieve a delicate, scrolling effect
Carat:
A unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones
Carbide:
A compound of Carbon which has a more electropositive element
Carbon-Fiber:
A strong, lightweight, synthetic fiber made especially by carbonizing acrylic fiber at high temperatures
Carbuncle:
A garnet cut en cabochon
Carmen Lucia Ruby:
A 23.10 carat Ruby, notably the largest faceted Ruby in the National Gem Collection
Carnelian:
A translucent red or orange variety of chalcedony, sometimes banded in a red and orange design, similar to an agate
Cartouche:
A swirling or scroll-like decoration that is most often a symmetrical design and is usually engraved as an embellishment
Casting:
A method of shaping metal by melting and then pouring into a hollow mold
Catalin:
A trade name for an early phenol plastic
Cathedral Setting:
An elegant setting whose intention is to display the center stone as a focal point
Celluloid:
A very thin, highly flammable plastic containing camphor
Celtic:
Designs that are derived from the ancient Irish, Gaelic, British, Scottish, and Welsh symbols
Center Stone:
A precious or semi-precious gemstone places within an engagement ring's head, as the focal point
Chalcedony:
A greyish-blue quartz
Champleve:
An enameling technique in which areas of metal are cut, etched, or routed, before being filled with enamel or molten glass
Channel:
A type of mounting in which gemstones are set into a channel, between two metal rails
Channel Setting:
A stone setting method that fits stones of uniform size into a channel to form a continuous strip
Charm:
A jewelry pendant or trinket, often worn on a necklace or bracelet to ward off evil or ensure good fortune
Chasing:
A method of decorating the front or outside of metal objects by making indentations using shaped punches and a chasing hammer
Chatelaine:
A decorative belt hook or clasp, which is pinned at a women's waist and has several chains suspended from it
Chaton Cut:
A round crystal jewelry stone shape with 12 facets on the pointed back
Choker:
A short necklace, generally less than 14" long
Chrome:
A hard, brittle, grayish-white metal that is difficult to fuse and resistant to corrosion
Chrysoberyl:
A semi-precious stone of a transparent golden-yellow, green-yellow or brown hue
Cire-perdue:
See "casting"
Citrine:
A variation of quartz, citrine can take on many colors, ranging from: light yellow to a brilliant orange, which may sometimes be confused with fine imperial topaz
Clarity:
A term used to measure the degree to which a gemstone is free from flaws
Classic:
A jewelry piece that remains popular beyond the era of its creation
Cloisonne:
A technique of enameling, whereby the enamel colored glass powder is placed into pockets or cells of metal, before being baked and cooled to solidify
Cloud:
A group of tiny white inclusions in a diamond
Cluster:
A term for jewelry pieces that have many precious or semi-precious gemstones, all set in close proximity to each other
Collet:
A round band of metal encircling a gemstone to hold it in place
Collier:
A wide necklace, which encircles the neck from throat to chin
Color:
A term used to measure the saturation of a diamond
Color Diamond:
A diamond that has a hue other than white
Comfort Fit:
A ring design, in which the edges of the shank are rounded for maximum comfort
Contemporary:
A jewelry design that is relevant, based on the current trends
Contrasting Finish:
A jewelry finish in which different parts of the piece have different finishes
Copper:
A common, reddish-brown, metallic element
Coral:
A form of Calcium Carbonate, secreted in long chains by coral polyps who live in colonies under the ocean
Corundum:
A very hard mineral that consists of Aluminum Oxide occurring in massive and crystalline forms and often containing trace amounts of Iron, Titanium, Vanadium and Chromium
Creole earrings:
A hoop earring, broader at the bottom than at the top, popular in the 1850s
Crest:
An identifying emblem, often worn during the Medieval and Renaissance eras
Criss-Cross:
A ring which has multiple bands that are not set parallel and intersect
Cross:
A structure consisting of an upright beam attached to a shorter, perpendicular beam
Cross facet:
Small triangular facets, above and below the girdle of a brilliant cut stone
Crown:
The facets or portions of a gemstone, located above the girdle
Crystal:
A body that is formed by the solidification of a chemical element, a compound, or a mixture, and has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces
Cubic Zirconium:
A man made gemstones which appear very much like diamonds, yet do not have the same intrinsic properties, such as hardness
Cuff Link:
An ornamental jewelry piece which contains two, often decorated, pieces of precious or semi-precious metal connected by a bar which passes through a buttonhole
Culet:
The pointed bottom of the pavilion, which is sometimes polished with a tiny facet and sometimes pointed with no facet
Cullinan Diamond:
A 3,106.75 carat diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1905
Cultured pearl:
A pearl created by a mussel farmer or oyster farmer, under controlled conditions
Cushion Cut:
A square or rectangular stone that has rounded corners
Custom:
A jewelry design that is unique to the piece
Custom Cut Gemstone:
A gemstone that has been cut by a professional lapidary
Cut:
A term which refers to the geometric proportions that dictate the reflection and refraction of light within a stone
Cut Steel:
Steel studs that have been machine stamped, cut with facets, and highly polished
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D

Dainty:
A piece marked by delicate or diminutive beauty, form, or grace
Damascene:
A type of jewelry that, today, most often comes from Spain
Damascus steel:
A steel ornamented with wavy, sometimes zebra-like patterns
Danglers:
An earrings style that includes a focal point which drops below the earlobe and is intentionally flexible so as to dangle to and fro
Demi-parure:
A partial set of jewelry
Depose:
The rights or patent granted for an exclusive jewelry design in France
Depth:
The distance from a gemstone's table to its culet (top to bottom)
Depth percentage:
The measurement of a gemstone's depth (top to bottom) in relation to its diameter
Diadems:
A semi-circular band worn around the head, which is usually jeweled and three dimensional
Diamond:
A mineral composed of carbon that crystallizes in the cubic or isometric crystal system and is therefore singly refractive
Diamond Cut:
A name sometimes used in the colored-stone trade for brilliant cut
Dog Collar:
A snug necklace made either of rows of pearls or beads, which is usually worn high up on the neck
Domed:
A gemstone shape in which the top of the stone is rounded, resembling half of a sphere
Double Prong:
A jewelry setting in which each prong contains another prong alongside it
Dresden Green Diamond:
A 41 carat natural green diamond of unknown origin, which is thought to have been discovered in India
Drop:
An earrings style that includes a focal point which drops below the earlobe, often attached by a simple or adorned chain
Duette:
A combination of two clips on a pin back
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E

Earrings:
An ornament for the ear, most commonly worn in the earlobe
East-West:
A stone that is set with its elongated sides parallel to the band
Eco-friendly:
A jewelry piece whose sourcing or creation was not harmful to the environment
Edwardian:
A style that began during the final years of Victoria's reign and continued until shortly before World War I when the more geometric influences later to be called Art Deco began to make headway
Electro-plating:
The process of applying metal (most often gold) to adhere to the surface of another metal, using electrical current
Elegant:
Of a high grade or quality
Emerald:
A gemstone of the beryl family
Emerald Cut:
A form of step cutting, most often rectangular
Empire earrings:
The distinctive hoop shape of Roman earrings from roughly 1st century BC, with freshwater pearls or amethysts, set in sterling silver or gold
En Tremblant:
A movable, trembling effect, generally achieved through the use of coiled springs of metal, mounted underneath the portion of the brooch that is intended to move
Enamel:
A glass powder or paste that is applied to metal, then fired in an annealing oven to bake the glass onto the metal
Engagement:
The period of time between a proposal and marriage
Engagement Ring:
A ring given in betrothal
Engraving:
The process of decorating metal by etching a design into its surface
Enhancer:
A type of loop that attaches a pendant or charm to a chain, but has hinges that allow it to be opened and closed
Estate Jewelry:
A jewelry piece, often worn for sentimental reasons, which is part of the estate of a deceased person
Etching:
The removal of part of a metal surface, by acid, for a decorative effect
Eternity Band:
A wedding ring design, which includes a precious metal set with a continuous line of identically cut gemstones
Etui:
Small cylindrical case that hangs from a chatelaine
Euro-shank:
A ring shank with a flat or squarish bottom
European Cut:
The now mostly obsolete style of diamond cutting popular from approximately 1890 to the 1930s, typified by a round girdle, a smaller table in relation to the diameter of the stone, and a large culet
Extinction:
Dark or black spots in colored stone
Eye-clean:
A term used to describe gemstones containing flaws that cannot be seen without a 10x loupe
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F

Facet:
A plain, polished surface on a stone
Faience:
Glazed porcelain or earthenware
Fancy Cut:
Any style of diamond cutting other than the round brilliant or single cut
Fashion Ring:
A ring worn for decorative, rather than symbolic, purposes
Faux:
A French word meaning false, fake, imitation, or artificial
Feather:
An internal flaw (inclusion) that has a feathery appearance
Fede ring:
A ring with two hands clasped together, first
Ferronniere:
A narrow band, with a center jewel, which encircles the forehead
Festoon:
A design motif of a garland or string of flowers, leaves and ribbons
Fibula:
An archaeological term for brooch
Filigree:
Thin strands of wire that are intricately interlaced or bent into rosettes, spirals, scrolls, or vines
Findings:
A general term for all types of construction components used in jewelry making, such as: clasps, pins, hooks, tabs, etc
Finish:
A term used to describe the polish or texture applied to metal
Fire:
Flashes of different spectrum colors seen in diamonds and other gemstones as the result of dispersion
Flat Band:
A band that is not rounded at the edges
Flaw:
A general term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e.: inclusion, fracture, etc)
Flawless:
A term used to describe a gemstone that lacks discernible internal or external blemishes when viewed by a gemologist using no less than 10x magnification
Fleur-de-lys:
A stylized, three-petaled iris flower used as the armorial emblem of the Kings of France and then re-popularized by Napoleon
Floral:
A general term for jewelry design elements which depict flowers, leaves, vines, or plant-like shapes
Florentine:
A jewelry piece that is from, or takes strong inspiration from, Florence, Italy
Florentine Finish:
A cross-hatched pattern, tooled into the surface of metal
Fluorescence:
A luminescence that appears when certain diamonds are exposed to ultraviolet light
Flush Setting:
A jewelry setting in which a stone is set within a metal hole and metal is applied above the girdle
Flux:
A material used in soldering
Fob:
A short chain or ribbon attached to a pocket watch, often with an ornament or decorative seal attached to the end
Foil:
The reflective coating added tp the back of a gemstone or rhinestones to increase brilliance and depth of color
Fracture:
A general term for cracks, feathers or chips in a gemstone
French Cut:
A square or rectangular, multifaceted stone cut
French Ivory:
A plastic produced to simulate ivory
French Jet:
A black glass, originally meant to simulate black ignite (fossilized coal), often called real jet
French wire:
A curved wire, resembling a fish hook, which passes through the pierced earlobe and has a catch closure
Freshwater Pearls:
An irregular pearl of various colors, produced by fresh water mollusks such as mussels and clams
Full Lead Crystal:
The finest man-made crystal, with a high lead oxide content that serves to enhance its natural color spectrum
Full-cut Brilliant:
A brilliant-cut diamond (or colored stone) with the usual total of 58 facets consisting of: 32 facets and a table above the girdle; and 24 facets and a culet below
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G

Garnet:
A family of stones having many varieties in color and their constituents
Gemologist:
A gemstone specialist trained in gemstone identification, grading and appraising
Gemology:
The science and study of gemstones
Gemstone Certificate:
An official document, which is universally accepted to verify a stone's specifications and value
Gemstones:
A general term, which includes: Diamonds, Beryl, Emeralds, Chalcedony, Agates, Heliotropes, Onyx, Tourmaline, Chrysolite, Sapphires, Rubys (synthetic and natural), Spinel, Oriental Topaz, Turquoise, Zircon, Cubic Zirconia, Jacinth, Hyacinth, Carbuncle, Amethyst, Alexandrite, cat's eyes, Bloodstones, Hematite, Jasper, Moonstones, and Sunstones
Gerlots:
Small, long pendant beads
GIA:
Acronym for the Gemological Institute of America
Gilding:
An object decorated with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf, or gold foil
Gilt:
A term meaning "gold plated"
Gimmel ring:
A ring formed of two or more linked hoops, which fit together in a manner that make them appear as one ring
Girandole:
A shape that consists of three pear-shaped stones (or pearls) hanging from a large stone or decorative motif, such as a bow
Girdle:
The outer edge or periphery of a fashioned stone, the portion that is usually grasped by the setting or mounting, the dividing line between the crown and pavilion, or the rim or edge of the diamond
Gold:
A yellow, metallic element that occurs naturally in pure form and is used especially in jewelry
Gold Washed:
A term for a piece that has an extremely thin layer of gold, applied by either dipping or burnishing the metal, but are not plated
Gold-Filled:
A term for a piece made up of a base metal, coated in a thick layer of gold (at least 10k and 1/20th of the total weight of the piece) bonded to its surface
Gold-Plated:
A term for a piece made up of a base metal, bonded with a thin layer of gold (less than 1/20th of the total weight of the piece)
Golden Jubilee Diamond:
A 545.67 carat brown diamond, discovered in 1985, and currently the largest cut and faceted diamond in the world
Grading:
The value of a diamond, achieved from comparison with master stones
Granulation:
The process of decorating a metal surface with tiny grains of metal
Graver Tool:
A tool, similar to a chisel, used for engraving metal
Green gold:
Gold which contains a high proportion of silver, causing a greenish hue
Grey gold:
Gold which contains a high proportion of iron
Grill:
A removable jewelry piece worn over the teeth, often made of precious metal and set with precious gemstones
Grisaille:
A form of enamel, painted in monochromatic colors
Guilloche enamel:
A form of enamel work, achieved by working the metal on an engine-turned lathe to form a pattern, before enameling over the pattern
Gypsy setting:
A setting in which the stone is sunk into the surrounding metal, leaving the top of the stone almost level with the top of the metal surface
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H

Half Moon Cut:
A gemstone cut that resembles an oval or circle which has been cut in half
Hallmark:
A mark stamped on Jewelry throughout much of the world to attest to the purity of the metal after assay
Halo:
A setting that encircles a center gemstone, using pavé
Hammered Finish:
A jewelry finish in which the piece is hammered to create many tiny planes, before polishing the result
Hand Engraving:
A jewelry technique in which designs are etched into a piece using hand-held tools (scraper, spit stick, scorper, graver) rather than a laser, casting machine, or chemicals
Hardness:
The resistance of a substance to being scratched
Head:
The portion of a jewelry item that holds the stone
Heart Cut:
A diamond cut shaped like a heart, with two rounded obtrusions at the top and a point at the bottom
Heirloom:
A jewelry piece that descends one or more generations to an heir or heirs
Hematite:
An iron ore consisting of ferric oxide in crystalline form
Hoop:
A circular earring design that resembles a ring and passes through the earlobe
Hope Diamond:
A 45.52 carat blue diamond, which currently resides in the National Museum of Natural History of the United States
Horn:
A substance often used as a substitute for tortoiseshell
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I

Ideal²:
A square diamond cut with a hearts & arrows pattern
IGI:
Acronym for the International Gemological Institute
Igneous:
A rock formed by solidification of magma or lava
Imperfection:
A general term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e.: inclusion, fracture, etc.)
Inclusion:
A visible internal flaws in a gemstone, including: fractures, crystalling abnormalities, and foreign objects
Ingot:
A bar or brick, formed by pouring pouring a molten precious metal into a mold
Initials:
The first letters of a group of names--often a person's first and last name
Inlaid:
The past tense of "inlay"
Inlay:
A decorative technique, in which part of the surface of a piece of jewelry, furniture, or ceramic is cut away and a stone, mother of pearl, or some other substance is embedded into the hollowed-out area so that it is level with the surface of the piece
Intaglio:
A design carved down into a gemstone, often used for seals--devices which made an impression in wax used to seal a letter or authenticate a document
Interlocking:
A wedding set that has multiple pieces which securely lock into place with one another
Intertwined:
A pair or group of bands that overlap each other
Invisible Setting:
A style in which rows of square princess cut diamonds or other gemstones rest perfectly flush against one another, within a metal border or frame with no metal separating them
Iridescent:
A display of lustrous rainbow-like colors
Iridium:
A metal and member of the platinum family, which is often alloyed with platinum to improve workability
Irradiation:
Treatment performed on gemstones or pearls to enhance color
Ivory:
A hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance made from the tusks of elephants and walruses
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J

Jabot pin:
A jeweled tie pin popular in the 1920s and 1930s
Jade:
An opaque, semiprecious gemstone which is usually found in shades of green, but can also be found in lavender and rose shades
Jadeite:
A hard, translucent variety of jade which is rarer than the other varieties of nephrite
Jasper:
An opaque, impure, Polycrystalline variety of Quartz that may be: red, yellow, or brown
Jet:
A dense, black variety of lignite (fossilized coal) that can be highly polished and is often made into mourning jewelry, toys, or buttons, or used in inlays
Jewelers of America:
A trade association tasked with maintaining ethical standards within the jewelry industry
Jump Ring:
A small, oval or round wire ring used to link charms or pendants onto a chain
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K

Karat:
A unit of fineness for gold, equal to 1 part of pure gold in an alloy
Knife Edge:
A ring whose shank forms a "V" facing outward, coming to a point at the outermost edge
Knot:
A jewelry design element which includes multiple curved, wavy metal pieces which are loosely interlaced and soldered together
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L

Lab Diamond:
A diamond that was created through a controlled process
Lab Gemstone:
A gemstone that was created through a controlled process
Lapidary:
A general term which is used for the: cutting, shaping, polishing and creation of jewelry from precious and semi-precious stones
Laser drilling:
A technique used to enhance a stone's clarity by introducing bleaching or other enhancing agents
Laser Engraving:
A technique which uses a high-powered laser beam to etch a design into the surface of a jewelry piece
Lavaliere:
A chain from which an ornament or gemstone hangs in the center
Leakage:
The leaving or escaping of light, through the facets of fashioned gemstones
Lever Back:
An earring back that uses a clasp
Liquid silver:
The term given to strands of small silver beads which were made by carefully slicing tubes of Sterling Silver into pieces and stringing them together
Living Jewelry:
Jewelry materials derived from living organisms
Locket:
A hinged case, usually in the shape of an oval or heart, which can be opened or closed and usually contains a photograph or memento
Logan Sapphire:
A 422.99 carat rich, deep blue Sapphire discovered in Sri Lanka
London Blue Topaz:
A popular variation of Topaz with a vivid, dark blue color
Lost Wax Process or Casting:
A casting process where a carved or cast wax original is encased in clay or other investment, before being melted at a high temperature, and replaced with molten metal
Loupe:
A small magnifying glass, often held in the eye socket, used for analyzing gemstones
Low-Profile:
A ring that has a low-set center stone
Lucite:
A clear, span plastic that can be molded and carved
Luster:
The appearance of a material's surface, as determined by the quantity and quality of light reflected
Luxury:
An extravagant jewelry piece
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M

Mabe:
A Japanese term for cultured pearls, which are cultured against the shell so that only half a pearl is formed resembling a half-sphere
Maltese Cross:
A shape that has four broad arms of equal length, sometimes having a V-shaped notch cut out of the ends
Marcasite:
An iron ore material-- or pyrite--that is faceted into rose cuts and set into silver or pewter jewelry
Marquis Cut:
A faceted, elongated, oval stone which tapers to a point at both ends
Marquise Cut:
A diamond cut that is elongated like an oval, but has a point at either end
Master stones:
A set of diamonds used to grade the color of other diamonds
Matching:
A term used to describe a set of jewelry pieces with matching elements such as style or color
Matte:
A finish created by using either a chemical process or an abrasive material to scratch the top later of the piece, creating a dull and non-reflective surface
Melange:
A term for mixed diamond sizes, weighing more than carat
Melee:
A classification used in the sorting of diamonds weighing less than carat
Memento Mori:
A jewel that is a reminder of death
Memorial jewel:
A jewel that is made in memory of a loved one, often containing hair from that person and frequently decorated with enamel
Metamorphic:
A rock that has been affected by pressure, heat, and water, resulting in a more compact and highly crystalline condition
Meteorite:
A small particles of matter in the solar system, projected towards earth, that reaches the surface without being completely vaporized
Micro Mosaic:
A mosaic of very small, colored glass pieces (tessarae) inlaid in glass or hardstone
Micro-Pavé:
A set of tiny gemstones set very close together, traditionally in three or more rows
Milanese Chain:
A chain consisting of interwoven rows of small links, forming a mesh
Milgrain:
Tiny beads of metal used to decorate bands of metal
Millefiori:
A method of creating glass or clay beads with intricate patterns using canes
Minaudiere:
A woman's small, hard vanity case or handbag, usually metal or wood, which is held in the hand
Mine cut:
A diamond cut, which differs from the modern brilliant cut only in its girdle shape, which is square instead of round
Minimalist:
A jewelry design which is simple and sparing
Mississippi River Pearls:
Irregularly shaped pearls, usually elongated
Mizpah Ring:
A broad, gold ring engraved with the word MIZPAH, meaning "I will watch over thee", which was popular during the Victorian period
Mohs Hardness Scale:
A qualitative scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material
Moissanite:
A Silicon Carbide SiC found in the Diablo Canyon meteoric iron
Mokumé:
A Japanese metalworking procedure which produces a mixed-metal design, resembling wood
Money Clip:
A device used to store cash and credit cards in a compact fashion
Montana Sapphire:
A blue sapphire, primarily mined in the Yogo Gulch of Montana
Moonstone:
A transparent, slightly iridescent, milky white variety of feldspar with white or light blue opalescent spots
Morganite:
A rose-colored variety of Beryl
Mosaic:
A design created by pressing pieces of stone glass or ceramic tiles called tessera in mortar
Mother-of-pearl:
The opalescent material on the inside of mollusk shells like oysters and mussels
Mount:
To place or fix a stone in the setting
Mounting:
A piece of metal that holds a gem in place
Mourning Jewelry:
Jewelry worn to commemorate the death of a loved one, usually in the form of a ring, brooch, or necklace
Moval:
A gemstone cut that combines the tapered edges of a marquise cut with rounded points of the oval cut
Multi-Band:
A ring that is composed of more than one band
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N

Nacre:
The shiny, iridescent substance secreted by a mollusk as a response to an irritant (like a piece of sand), which over time builds up to become a pearl
Natural Diamond:
A diamond that was formed in the earth in an uncontrolled environment
Navette:
An oval stone which is pointed at both ends
Necklace:
An ornament worn around the neck
Negligee:
A long necklace that usually terminates in irregular length with tassels or drops
Nickel silver:
A white metal mixture of Copper, Zinc, and Nickel which contains no Silver
Niello:
An inlay technique in which the grooves made in Silver or Gold are made black in color by the use of a composition of metal sulfides
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O

Oiling:
A temporary treatment used to enhance the color of a gemstone
Old European Cut:
A round diamond cut, known for their large, 57-58 facets
Old-European Cut:
A term applied to the earliest form of a circular, girdled round stone or brilliant
Old-mine Cut:
An early form of Brilliant cut, with a nearly square girdle outline
Onyx:
A semi-precious stone that is black or white in color
Opal:
A semi-precious stone known for its iridescent, luminous qualities
Opalescent:
A term used to describe a surface with a lustrous, cloudy, rainbow-like array of colors, similar to what one might see in an oil slick or mother of pearl
Opaque:
A term used to describe a stone that will not allow any light to pass through it
Open Back Setting:
A setting in which the back of the stone can be seen
Oppenheimer Diamond:
A 253.7 carat yellow diamond, discovered in South Africa in 1964
Ore:
A metal-bearing mineral from which metal can be profitably mined or extracted
Organic:
A general term used for jewelry that is made from a living organism (such as pearl), jewelry with floral or plant-like designs, or jewelry that is eco-friendly
Orient:
The characteristic sheen of fine natural and cultured pearls
Oriental Pearl:
A pearl that has formed naturally, with no human intervention
Oval Cut:
A faceted, elongated stone, round at both ends
Oxidation:
A chemical process in which metals such as Silver are blackened or tarnished as a reaction to sulfur and oxygen
Oxide:
A compound containing one oxygen atom per molecule
Oxidize:
The act of combining with oxygen molecules to make an oxide
Oxygen:
A nonmetallic element that is normally a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas
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P

Padparadscha Sapphire:
A rare, peach colored variation of Sapphire
Paillons:
Small pieces of metallic foil which are placed underneath enamel work to provide a glow, popular with a number of arts and crafts movement jewelers
Palladium:
A charcoal-gray form of Platinum found in Russia, South Africa, and North America
Pampilles:
A cascade of pendant stones, popular in Georgian jewelry and meant to look like rain drops
Parure:
A suite of matching jewelry, usually four or more pieces and containing a: necklace, bracelet, pair of earrings and belt or brooch
Passamenterie:
Jewelry inspired by furniture trimmings such as cording
Paste:
A glass-based substance used to simulate gemstones
Patina:
The discoloration that forms on metals such as Silver and Bronze, but is often planned for in the artist's design and can be introduced artificially through the use of chemicals
Pattern:
A general term for repeated, decorative jewelry designs
Pave:
A large field of small stones set very close together to create wall-to-wall paved object
Pavilion:
The portion of a gemstone located below the girdle
Pear Cut:
A gemstone cut with a rounded, oval shape that comes to a point at one end
Pearl:
An organic gem grown within oysters and other mollusks which is most valued and sought after when it is are perfectly round and lustrous
Peek-a-boo Diamond:
A secretive, hidden diamond that is only visible from a unique angle
Pendaloque:
A type of pear or tear drop gemstone, faceted as a brilliant cut and suspended from a smaller stone which is usually separated by a bow or other motif
Pendant:
A hanging ornament primarily worn on a necklace
Peridot:
A yellow-green, transparent variety of Olivine
Petite:
A small, potentially fragile piece of jewelry
Pewter:
A term for items described and marked as if they contain at least 90% tin
Pietra Dura:
A mosaic of semi-precious stones set into a floral pattern of black marble or onyx, also known as a hardstone mosaic
Pinchbeck:
A gold simulant, invented circa 1720 by Christopher Pinchbeck, which is comprised of a mixture of Copper and Zinc
Pique:
Tortoiseshell or horn, which is inlaid with mother-of-pearl, Silver or Gold
Pit:
An indentation on the surface of a diamond or gemstone
Planishing:
A hammering process done to give a smoother finish to a piece of metal
Platinum:
The most precious of white metals
Plique-a-jour:
A form of cloisonne in which the enamel in the cells has no backing, producing a translucent effect
Plot:
A diagram of a gemstone's clarity characteristics
Point:
One-one hundredth (0.01) of a carat
Polished:
A smooth, glossy jewelry finish
Pomander:
A case for scented objects, worn as a pendant
Popigai Crater:
A crater in Siberia, Russia that is home to the world's largest known diamond deposit
Poseidon:
The Greek god of the sea
Posy Ring:
A ring engraved with a verse
Pot Metal:
A general term for alloys which do not have Gold, Silver, or Platinum as a components
Precious Gemstone:
A gemstone that is of a very high value or price, due to its rarity
Precious metal:
A general term for metals valued for their color, malleability, and rarity
Princess Cut:
A highly faceted square cut stone, similar to a brilliant cut, which has been adapted to a square shape to increase brilliance
Prong setting:
A gemstone held in place by small, finger-like wires, that are attached to the bezel, which bend over the edges of the stone
Proportion:
A mathematical representation of a gemstone's overall symmetry
Proposal:
An offering of marriage
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Q

Quartz:
The family name for naturally occurring crystals composed of Silica or Silicon Dioxide
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R

Radiant Cut:
A rectangular gemstone which combines the shape of an emerald cut and the sparkle of a brilliant cut
Rails:
Metal edges that line the sides of a melee setting
Refinishing:
The restoring of a finish to its initial state
Refraction:
The act of changing the direction of a light wave so the light enters the object in one direction and leaves it in another
Regard:
A piece of jewelry with multiple stones types whose first letters can all be concatenated to spell out a word
Relief:
A kind of raised decoration that protrudes above the surface, similar to a cameo
Repousse:
A raised, high relief design on the front of a metal object made by hammering, embossing, or punching the reverse side of the metal to form the design from the back side out
Restoration:
A technique in which an aged piece of jewelry is restored to its former appearance and/or durability
Rhinestone:
A faceted stone made of glass
Rhodium:
A metal that is a member of the Platinum family of metals, but is liquid in its raw, natural state, not solid like Platinum
Rhodolite:
A pink or purple variation of garnet
Ring:
A circular band of precious or semi-precious metal worn especially on the finger
Ring Sizes:
A measurement used to denote the circumference (or sometimes the diameter) of rings
Riveting:
A method of joining two objects together by making hole in each piece, before passing a screw--composed of the same metal as the piece--through the holes to join the parts
Riviere:
A choker-style necklace that is a continuous line of gemstones usually of graduated or equal size stones
Rock Crystal:
See Quartz
Rolled Gold:
An early 19th century type of goldplating
Rondelle:
A pierced piece of metal or gemstone strung between the beads in a necklace
Rosary:
A string of beads used in counting prayers
Rose Cut:
A style of stone cutting that produces a gemstone with a flat, multifaceted base and semi-dome-shaped top that is covered with a varied number of triangular facets and terminates in a point
Rose finish:
A jewelry finish that makes the piece look as if it is made of rose gold, but contains no actual Gold content
Rose gold:
An alloy of gold mixed with copper, which gives it red tint
Rose Quartz:
A translucent, milky-pink variety of Quartz
Rosser Reeves Ruby:
A 138.7 carat Ruby, known for its great color and well-defined star pattern
Round Cut:
The most common style of cutting for both diamonds and colored stones
Rubellite:
A red or pink variation of Tourmaline
Ruby:
A member of the Corundum family whose red color comes from chromium oxide in the stone
Rutilated:
A type of Quartz with inclusions of Rutile
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S

Safety Catch:
A method of securing a brooch to a garment with a swiveling that locks the tip of the pin stem into the C catch
Salt-and-Pepper Diamond:
A diamond with many inclusions which create a cloudy, black-and-white design
Sand Casting:
A casting method in which tempered sand is packed onto wood or metal pattern halves and then removed from the pattern, before metal is poured into the resultant cavities and the mold is finally broken to remove castings
Sandblasted:
A jewelry piece that has been intentionally abraised with many pieces of a small, coarse material to give it a rough, unpolished finish
Sapphire:
A member of the Corundum family which come in a variety of colors ranging from: white to orange to green to pink
Sardonic:
A variety of Onyx consisting of alternating layers of charred and white Chalcedony
Satin finish:
A series of tiny parallel lines scratched onto a surface with a wire brush or a polishing tool to produce texture
Sautoir:
An extremely long neck chain, which falls below the waistline and terminates with a tassel or pendant.
Scarab:
A sacred beetle in ancient Egypt--commonly recognized as a symbol of rebirth and rejuvenation--popular as amulets
Scatter Pin:
A small pin usually featuring flowers birds and insects that is intended to be worn in a group with many other scatter pins
Scepter:
A symbol of spiritual and worldly power used as part of a royal insignia
Screw:
An earring back type for non-pierced ears, in which the earring is tightened against the earlobe by means of a screw with a flat round end
Seal:
An engraving (intaglio) in stone or metal used to create an impression on a substance such as wax or clay
Sedimentary:
A rock that has been formed by or from (often many) deposits of sediment
Seed bead:
Mass produced tiny glass or plastic beads made by slicing tubes into tiny evenly spaced pieces
Seed Pearl:
A very small pearl popular during the Victorian period as accents set into gold jewelry or woven into long fringed necklaces
Semi-Precious Gemstone:
A gemstone that is of a high value or price, due to its appearance
Semi-precious stones:
A stone that is less rare and less expensive than precious stones, but is still valued for its beauty
Setting:
A mechanism by which a stone is held by precious metal into a mounting
Sevigne:
A bodice ornament set with gemstones in a bowknot shape
Shagreen:
The skin of a ray or shark from the waters around China, usually stained green or another color
Shamrock:
A three leaved plant, used as a symbol of Ireland and popular in Celtic jewelry
Shank:
The part of a ring that encircles the finger, minus the setting
Shared Prong:
A prong setting in which each prong is responsible for holding two gemstones--one on either side
Shield:
A piece of defensive armor, often elongated and adorned with designs
Shoulder:
The part of a ring between the shank and the center of the setting
Signet:
A private seal once impressed into wax to authenticate a document, which was often formed into a finger ring with the seal forming the bezel of the ring
SilverTone:
A term used to describe a jewelry piece that is silver plated or coated, but not Sterling Silver
Simulated stones:
A general term for natural or synthetic substance which are meant to resemble gemstones
Single-cut Diamonds:
A genuine diamond, commonly used in watch cases that contain only 1 facets
Slide:
A jeweled fastener, which slides onto a chain or fabric ribbon
Smoky quartz:
A variety of Quartz that ranges in color from cloudy brown to a dark, root beer shade with a smoky appearance
Smoky Topaz:
See Quartz
Snake chain:
A chain that is made up of round, wavy, metal rings joined side by side to form a flexible tube with a smooth, scaly texture like snake skin
Solder:
A jewelry production technique which joins two metals, using a melted metal or alloy
Soldering:
A technique used in making and repairing jewelry whereby two pieces of metal are joined by applying molten metal, which has a lower melting point than the two metals being joined
Solid-Diamond:
A ring made of pressurized lab created diamonds
Solitaire:
A ring containing a single diamond or gemstone
Sparkle:
The act of giving off or reflecting bright, moving points of light
Spinel:
A semi-precious gemstone consisting of an oxide of Magnesium and Aluminum that varies from colorless to ruby red to black
Split Prong:
A prong setting, in which each prong is split, with each side being responsible for holding its own gemstone
Split Ring:
A small base metal finding, resembling a key-ring
Split Shank:
A ring design element which features a band that parts into two as it nears the head
Spring Ring:
A very common kind of clasp used for joining two ends of a necklace
Square Band:
A band whose shank is not rounded at the edges
Square cut:
A style of gemstone cut, resembling the emerald cut
Stabilized Turquoise:
Turquoise that has been treated by various methods to reduce the porosity, thus making it less changeable over time
Stackable Rings:
A set of rings--sometimes of contrasting styles--which are intended to be worn on top of each other
Stainless Steel:
A steel alloy including Chromium and sometimes another element such as Nickel or Molybdenum
Stamping:
A method which uses a punch or die to cut or emboss metal with a mark
Star 129:
A round diamond cut with 129 facets
Step cut:
See emerald cut
Sterling Silver:
A silver alloy made up of at least 92.5% pure Silver, which is the standard fineness for Silver
Stomacher:
A very large bodice ornament, usually triangular, filling the area between the neckline and the waistline
Strap Necklace:
A mesh chain with pendants suspended by a short, fine chain resembling a fringe
Strapwork:
A decorative pattern in the form of interlaced and crossed straight bands resembling straps
Stud:
A minimalist earring style that includes a focal point attached to a post, which goes through the earlobe and connects to a removable back that keeps the earring in place
Super Fit Ring:
A ring which opens and closes--similar to a bracelet or watch band--allowing it to slide into place before being secured
Swag:
A motif used on a piece of jewelry depicting festoons of foliage, fruit and flowers
Symmetry:
A term for the uniformity of a gemstone's cut, including the shape and placement of facets
Synthetic Gemstones:
A gemstone that was produced in laboratory rather than found in nature
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T

Table:
The large facet that caps the crown of a faceted gemstone
Table percentage:
The diameter of a gemstone, divided by the size of the table
Table-cut:
See emerald cut
Tahitian Pearl:
A pearl formed from a black lip oyster, primarily cultivated around the French Polynesian islands
Tanzanite:
A semi-precious gemstone, popular for its brilliance and known for its varying shades of violet ranging from: deep, rich and purple to lilac
Tapered:
A piece that becomes gradually smaller toward one end
Tapered baguette:
A small gemstone, cut in a trapezoid shape with one end narrower than the opposite end
Tarnish:
A dulled luster or finish caused by a thin deposit of dirt which discolors the surface of metal and is easily removed
Tennis Bracelet:
A bracelet made up of individually set gemstones of uniform size and color, linked together like chain, making the bracelet somewhat flexible
Tension Setting:
A jewelry setting that holds the gemstone in place by pressure rather than prongs, a bezel, or other mounting
Terminal:
The decorated ends of a necklace or bangle usually containing stylized heads of a: ram, lion, dragon, etc.
Textured:
A surface that is not smooth
Three Stone:
A popular ring design that showcases three stones in a row, along the head of the ring
Tiara:
A head ornament worn in the crown position
Tin:
A malleable, silvery, metallic element which is not easily oxidized in the air and so is used chiefly to coat Iron to protect it from rusting
Titanium:
A silvery-gray, lightweight, strong, metallic element with atomic number 22 which is obtained from Ilmenite and Rutile
Toggle clasp:
A means of fastening two ends of a chain together, consisting of a ring on one end and a short bar on the other
Tolkowsky, Marcel:
A mathematician that defined the proportions necessary for maximum brilliance from a round diamond brilliant cut
Topaz:
A borosilicate of Aluminum that occurs in rhomboidal crystals and is used as a gemstone
Torsade:
A twisted strands of pearls, ending in a clasp
Tortoise Shell:
A mottled, nutty brown shell material with a spotted, striped, or sometimes even speckled pattern
Tourmaline:
A semi-precious gemstone that can take on multiple colors and consists of a complex Borosilicate
Tracer Band:
A wedding or anniversary band that is contoured in such a way as to fit flush against the engagement ring
Translucent:
Partially transparent
Trapeze Cut:
A gemstone cut into an equilateral triangle with a flat top
Trellis:
A prong setting in which four prongs are interwoven together to hold the center diamond
Tremblant:
A general term for jewelry with a trembling effect when the wearer moves, which is produced by elements set upon stiff wires that move
Trillion Cut:
A triangular shaped diamond cut, with abbreviated corners and typically varying facets
Tsavorite:
A rich, deep green variation of Garnet
Tubogas:
A flexible, tubular chain
Tungsten:
A gray-white, heavy, high-melting, hard polyvalent metallic element that resembles Chromium and Molybdenum
Turquoise:
A semi-precious stone, known for its true Robin's egg Blue
Tutti Frutti:
A general term for jewelry set with multi-colored gems carved in shapes of leaves, flowers and berries and often in a basket design
Twisted:
A band or group of bands that are curved and/or have been interwoven together
Two-Tone:
A jewelry piece that includes two separate metals, which remain separate and are soldered together to form one piece
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U

Ultrasonic:
A cleaning device for jewelry that removes dirt through the use of ultrasonic waves
Unique:
A jewelry item that is distinguishable from all others of its class or type
Unisex:
A general term for jewelry that can be worn by all sexes
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V

Vermeil:
Silver with gold plating
Victorian:
The designation given to the period from approximately 1837 when Victoria became Queen of England until 1901, when she died
Vintage:
An old, recognized and enduring piece of jewelry which remains valued due to its interest, importance or quality
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W

Wedding:
A marriage ceremony
Wedding Set:
A collection containing both the engagement ring and the wedding band
White gold:
An alloy made of Gold mixed with Nickel sometimes also containing Palladium or Zinc
White Metal:
Any combination of alloys of non precious metals such as Lead and Tin
Wood:
A hard, fibrous substance that makes up the structure of trees and shrubs
Woven:
A jewelry design element in which multiple strands of an often precious metal are interlaced together
Wrist Watch:
A small watch, attached to a bracelet and worn around the wrist
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Y

Yellow Gold:
A gold that is yellow--as in its pure form--often alloyed with copper and silver
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Z

Zinc:
An abundant, lustrous, bluish-white metallic element of the Magnesium-Cadmium group
Zircon:
A common mineral occurring in small crystals which is heated, cut, and polished to form a brilliant blue-white gemstone
Zoisite:
A semi-precious gemstone which takes on a variety of colors including: blue, violet, green, brown, pink, yellow, gray, and white
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