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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


A gold alloy that includes 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% alloy
A gold alloy that includes 58.5% pure gold and 41.5% alloy
A gold alloy that includes 75% pure gold and 25% alloy
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A gold or gold alloy that is over 99.95% pure gold
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A Jour:
An open setting that leaves the pavilion facets open to the light
A deposit made from inside a seashell
Abraded Culet:
A chipped or scratched culet
A bruise or scratch on the surface of a stone
A jewelry piece or design element that is meant to draw attention to a different focal point
A variety of chalcedony found in all colors
American Gem Society: a professional organization formed in 1934 by several independent jewelers and the founder of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA)
A hair ornament consisting of a feather plume or spray of glitter, often accentuated by either a jewel or buckle
A variation of Chrysoberyl, with the unique ability of changing color in natural or artificial light
A combination of metals fused together
A silver/white metal that is lightweight and malleable
An opaque form of feldspar
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
A clear purple, blue, or violet variety of crystallized quartz
A pendant or charm that is worn for its protective or magical powers
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
A process in which a metal object is placed in an acid bath and an electrical current is passed through the tank
Any object which was created at least 100 years ago
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
Perhaps the most noteworthy and versatile diamond-cutting center in the world
A monetary evaluation, usually performed for insurance purposes by a certified gemologist
A transparent blue, blue-green, or green variety of Beryl, often considered a semi-precious gemstone and used in jewelry
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:
Art Nouveau is known for its flowing style with sinuous curves and naturalistic motifs.
Jewelry constructed with hinges that allow for flexibility, 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
The process of establishing the purity standards for gold, silver, and other alloys
Asscher Cut:
An octagonal diamond cut
Aurora Borealis:
The Latin term for Northern Lights
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Baguette Cut:
A rectangular diamond cut with four corners that create a rectangle or four-sided polygon.
The connector at the top of a pendant, which allows the pendant to hang from a chain or jump ring
A synthetic material, patented in 1909, that was used in jewelry extensively during the U.S. Great Depression of the 1930s
A narrow band, worn low, which encircles the forehead as a head ornament
A traditionally rigid, non-flexible bracelet
A general term for bold, ornate, heavy looking ornamentation
A technique of applying glass enamel to a metal surface
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
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
A setting for a stone, that has a collar instead of prongs, in order to secure the stone
The art of working in gold and enamel
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
A flaw, spot, or scratch on the surface of a gemstone
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
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
An ornamental band or chain worn around the wrist
A jewelry design element in which multiple strands of an often precious metal appear to be woven together
An alloy made up of roughly half copper and half zinc, which has a nice yellow color
The intensity and amount of light reflecting from inside a diamond or gemstone
Brilliant cut:
Brilliant cut is the standard cut style for diamonds and 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
A pear-shaped, faceted stone
A very dense, heavy alloy of 60% Copper and 40% Tin
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
Two concave plates that form a hollow receptacle
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C catch:
The most common means of securing a brooch before safety catches were invented
A wire, often made of a precious or semi-precious metal, used in jewelry making
Dome-shaped stone, without facets
An acronym for computer aided design
Calibre Cut:
Small stones that are faceted and cut into squares, rectangles, or oblongs, and set close together
An instrument for determining the thickness or diameter of a gemstone
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
A firework decoration, which uses coiled and twisted gold wire to achieve a delicate, scrolling effect
A unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones
A compound of Carbon which has a more electropositive element
A strong, lightweight, synthetic fiber made especially by carbonizing acrylic fiber at high temperatures
A garnet cut en cabochon
Carmen Lucia Ruby:
A 23.10 carat Ruby, notably the largest faceted Ruby in the National Gem Collection
A translucent red or orange variety of chalcedony, sometimes banded in a red and orange design, similar to an agate
A swirling or scroll-like decoration that is most often a symmetrical design and is usually engraved as an embellishment
A method of shaping metal by melting and then pouring into a hollow mold
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
A very thin, highly flammable plastic containing camphor
Designs that are derived from the ancient Irish, Gaelic, British, Scottish, and Welsh symbols
Center Stone:
A precious or semi-precious gemstone placed within an engagement ring's head, as the focal point
A greyish-blue quartz
An enameling technique in which areas of metal are cut, etched, or routed, before being filled with enamel or molten glass
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
A jewelry pendant or trinket, often worn on a necklace or bracelet to ward off evil or ensure good fortune
A method of decorating the front or outside of metal objects by making indentations using shaped punches and a chasing hammer
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
A short necklace, generally less than 14
A hard, brittle, grayish-white metal that is difficult to fuse and resistant to corrosion
A semi-precious stone of a transparent golden-yellow, green-yellow or brown hue
See 'Casting'
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
A term used to measure the degree to which a gemstone is free from flaws
A jewelry piece that remains popular beyond the era of its creation
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
A group of tiny white inclusions in a diamond
A term for jewelry pieces that have many precious or semi-precious gemstones, all set in close proximity to each other
A round band of metal encircling a gemstone to hold it in place
A wide necklace, which encircles the neck from throat to chin
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
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
A common, reddish-brown, metallic element
A form of Calcium Carbonate, secreted in long chains by coral polyps who live in colonies under the ocean
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
An identifying emblem, often worn during the Medieval and Renaissance eras
A ring which has multiple bands that are not set parallel and intersect
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
The facets or portions of a gemstone, located above the girdle
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 gemstone that appears very much like diamond, yet does 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
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
A jewelry design that is unique to the piece
Custom Cut Gemstone:
A gemstone that has been cut by a professional lapidary
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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A piece marked by delicate or diminutive beauty, form, or grace
A type of jewelry that, today, most often comes from Spain
Damascus steel:
A steel ornamented with wavy, sometimes zebra-like patterns
An earring style that includes a focal point which drops below the earlobe and is intentionally flexible so as to dangle to and fro
A partial set of jewelry
The rights or patent granted for an exclusive jewelry design in France
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
A semi-circular band worn around the head, which is usually jeweled and three dimensional
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
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
An earring style that includes a focal point which drops below the earlobe, often attached by a simple or adorned chain
A combination of two clips on a pin back
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An ornament for the ear, most commonly worn in the earlobe
A stone that is set with its elongated sides parallel to the band
A jewelry piece whose sourcing or creation was not harmful to the environment
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.
The process of applying metal (most often gold) to adhere to the surface of another metal, using electrical current
Of a high grade or quality
A gemstone of the beryl family
Emerald Cut:
A type of shape and cut, emphasizing long parallel step cuts with clipped corners to create an octagon shape
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
A glass powder or paste that is applied to metal, then fired in an annealing oven to bake the glass onto the metal
The period of time between a proposal and marriage
Engagement Ring:
A ring given in betrothal
The process of decorating metal by etching a design into its surface
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
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
Small cylindrical case that hangs from a chatelaine
A ring shank with a flat or squarish bottom
European Cut:
The 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
Dark or black spots in colored stone
A term used to describe gemstones containing flaws that cannot be seen without a 10x loupe
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A plain, polished surface on a stone
Glazed porcelain or earthenware
Fancy Cut:
Any style of diamond cutting other than the round brilliant
Fashion Ring:
A ring worn for decorative, rather than symbolic, purposes
A French word meaning false, fake, imitation, or artificial
An internal flaw (inclusion) that has a feathery appearance
Fede ring:
A ring with two hands clasped together, first
A narrow band, with a center jewel, which encircles the forehead
A design motif of a garland or string of flowers, leaves and ribbons
An archaeological term for brooch
Thin strands of wire that are intricately interlaced or bent into rosettes, spirals, scrolls, or vines
A general term for all types of construction components used in jewelry making, such as clasps, pins, hooks, tabs, etc.
A term used to describe the polish or texture applied to metal
Flashes of different spectrum colors seen in diamonds and other gemstones as the result of dispersion
Flat Band:
A band that is squared on the edges and not domed on top
A general term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e.: inclusion, fracture, etc)
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
A stylized, three-petaled iris flower used as the armorial emblem of the Kings of France and then re-popularized by Napoleon
A general term for jewelry design elements which depict flowers, leaves, vines, or plant-like shapes
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
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
A material used in soldering
A short chain or ribbon attached to a pocket watch, often with an ornament or decorative seal attached to the end
The reflective coating added tp the back of a gemstone or rhinestones to increase brilliance and depth of color
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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A family of stones having many varieties in color and their constituents
A gemstone specialist trained in gemstone identification, grading and appraising
The science and study of gemstones
Gemstone Certificate:
An official document, which is universally accepted to verify a stone's specifications and value
A general term which includes diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, chalcedony, agates, heliotropes, onyx, tourmaline, chrysolite, rubies, spinel, topaz, turquoise, zircon, and more.
Small, long pendant beads
Acronym for the Gemological Institute of America
An object decorated with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf, or gold foil
Gold or something resembling gold and luxury
Gimmel ring:
A ring formed of two or more linked hoops, which fit together in a manner that make them appear as one ring
A shape that consists of three pear-shaped stones (or pearls) hanging from a large stone or decorative motif, such as a bow
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
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
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
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
Evaluation and results assigned by independent gemologists that allow sellers to assign pricing to diamonds and gemstones, achieved from comparison with master stones
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
A removable jewelry piece worn over the teeth, often made of precious metal and set with precious gemstones
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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Half Moon Cut:
A gemstone cut that resembles an oval or circle which has been cut in half
A mark stamped on jewelry throughout much of the world to attest to the purity of the metal after assay
A setting that encircles a center gemstone with diamonds or gemstones
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 artfully etched into a piece using hand-held tools (scraper, spit stick, scorper, graver) rather than a laser, casting machine, or chemicals
The resistance of a substance to being scratched
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
A jewelry piece that descends one or more generations to an heir or heirs
An iron ore consisting of ferric oxide in crystalline form
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
A substance often used as a substitute for tortoiseshell
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A square diamond cut with a hearts & arrows pattern
Acronym for the International Gemological Institute
A rock formed by solidification of magma or lava
A general term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e.: inclusion, fracture, etc.)
A visible internal flaws in a gemstone, including: fractures, crystalling abnormalities, and foreign objects
A bar or brick, formed by pouring a molten precious metal into a mold
The first letters of a group of names, often a person's first and last name
Decorated with a material set into a surface
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
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
A wedding set that has multiple pieces which securely lock into place with one another
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
A display of lustrous rainbow-like colors
A metal and member of the platinum family, which is often alloyed with platinum to improve workability
Treatment performed on gemstones or pearls to enhance color
A hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance made from the tusks of elephants and walruses
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Jabot pin:
A jeweled tie pin popular in the 1920s and 1930s
An opaque, semiprecious gemstone which is usually found in shades of green, but can also be found in lavender and rose shades
A hard, translucent variety of jade which is rarer than the other varieties of nephrite
An opaque, impure, Polycrystalline variety of Quartz that may be red, yellow, or brown
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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A unit of fineness for gold, equal to 1 part of pure gold in an alloy
Knife Edge:
A ring whose shank forms a point at the middle point of the band, instead of being rounded or flat
A jewelry design element which includes multiple curved, wavy metal pieces which are loosely interlaced and soldered together
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Lab Diamond:
A diamond that was created through a controlled laboratory process
Lab Gemstone:
A gemstone that was created through a controlled laboratory process
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
A chain from which an ornament or gemstone hangs in the center
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
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-green 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
A small magnifying glass, often held in the eye socket, used for analyzing gemstones
A ring that has a low-set center stone
A clear, span plastic that can be molded and carved
The appearance of a material's surface, as determined by the quantity and quality of light reflected
An extravagant jewelry piece
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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
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 as a key to grade the color of other diamonds
A term used to describe a set of jewelry pieces with matching elements such as style or color
A finish created by using either a chemical process or an abrasive material to scratch the top layer of the piece, creating a dull and non-reflective surface
A term for mixed diamond sizes, weighing more than 1 carat
A classification used in the sorting of diamonds weighing less than 1 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
A rock that has been affected by pressure, heat, and water, resulting in a more compact and highly crystalline condition
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 (tesserae) inlaid in glass or hardstone
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
Tiny beads of metal used to decorate jewelry, often adding a vintage aesthetic
A method of creating glass or clay beads with intricate patterns using canes
A woman's small, hard vanity case or handbag, usually metal or wood, which is held in the hand
Mine Cut:
An antique diamond cut featuring a cushion or round shape and a chunkier look
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. Mizpah is a Hebrew word that means 'watchtower' and is loosely interpreted as 'May God watch over you'.
Mohs Hardness Scale:
A qualitative scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material
A silicon carbide SiC found in the Diablo Canyon meteoric iron
Mokumé Gane:
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
A transparent, slightly iridescent, milky white variety of feldspar with white or light blue opalescent spots
A rose-colored variety of beryl
A design created by pressing pieces of stone glass or ceramic tiles called tesserae in mortar
The opalescent material on the inside of mollusk shells like oysters and mussels
To place or fix a stone in the setting
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
A gemstone cut that combines the tapered edges of a marquise cut with rounded points of the oval cut
A ring that is composed of more than one band
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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
A ring shaped like a large marquise but set with many smaller stones
An ornament worn around the neck
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
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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A temporary treatment used to enhance the color of a gemstone
Old Euro Cut:
A round antique diamond cut, known for their chunky faceting and small table
Old European Cut:
A round antique diamond cut, known for their chunky faceting and small table
Old Mine Cut:
An antique diamond cut featuring a cushion or round shape and a chunkier look
A semi-precious stone that is black or white in color
A semi-precious stone known for its iridescent, luminous qualities
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
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
A metal-bearing mineral from which metal can be profitably mined or extracted
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
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
A chemical process in which metals such as silver are blackened or tarnished as a reaction to sulfur and oxygen
A compound containing one oxygen atom per molecule
The act of combining with oxygen molecules to make an oxide
A nonmetallic element that is normally a colorless, odorless, tasteless gas
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Padparadscha Sapphire:
A rare, peach colored variation of sapphire
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
A charcoal-gray precious metal; cousin of platinum found in Russia, South Africa, and North America
A cascade of pendant stones, popular in Georgian jewelry and meant to look like rain drops
A suite of matching jewelry, usually four or more pieces and containing a: necklace, bracelet, pair of earrings and belt or brooch
Jewelry inspired by furniture trimmings such as cording
A glass-based substance used to simulate gemstones
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
A general term for repeated, decorative jewelry designs
A large field of small stones set very close together to create wall-to-wall paved object
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
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
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
A hanging ornament primarily worn on a necklace
A yellow-green, transparent variety of Olivine
A small, potentially fragile piece of jewelry
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
A gold simulant, invented circa 1720 by Christopher Pinchbeck, which is comprised of a mixture of Copper and Zinc
Tortoiseshell or horn, which is inlaid with mother-of-pearl, silver or gold
An indentation on the surface of a diamond or gemstone
A hammering process done to give a smoother finish to a piece of metal
The most precious of white metals
A form of cloisonne in which the enamel in the cells has no backing, producing a translucent effect
A diagram of a gemstone's clarity characteristics
One-one hundredth (0.01) of a carat
A smooth, glossy jewelry finish
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
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 body of the ring, which bend over the edges of the stone
A mathematical representation of a gemstone's overall symmetry
An offering of marriage
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The family name for naturally occurring crystals composed of Silica or Silicon Dioxide
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Radiant Cut:
A rectangular gemstone which combines the shape of an emerald cut and the sparkle of a brilliant cut
Metal edges that line the sides of a melee setting
The restoring of a finish to its initial state
The act of changing the direction of a light wave so the light enters the object in one direction and leaves it in another
A piece of jewelry with multiple stones types whose first letters can all be concatenated to spell out a word
A kind of raised decoration that protrudes above the surface, similar to a cameo
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
A technique in which an aged piece of jewelry is restored to its former appearance and/or durability
A faceted stone made of glass
A metal that is a member of the platinum family of metals, but is liquid in its raw, natural state, not solid like platinum
A pink or purple variation of garnet
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
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
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 gold plating
A pierced piece of metal or gemstone strung between the beads in a necklace
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
A red or pink variation of tourmaline
A member of the corundum family whose red color comes from chromium oxide in the stone
A type of quartz with inclusions of rutile
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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 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 broken to remove castings
A jewelry piece that has been intentionally abraised with many pieces of a small, coarse material to give it a rough, unpolished finish
A member of the corundum family which come in a variety of colors ranging from white to orange to green to pink to blue to purple
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
An extremely long neck chain, which falls below the waistline and terminates with a tassel or pendant.
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
A symbol of spiritual and worldly power used as part of a royal insignia
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
An engraving (intaglio) in stone or metal used to create an impression on a substance such as wax or clay
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 stone that is less rare and less expensive than precious stones, but is still valued for its beauty
Semi-Precious Stones:
See Semi-Precious Gemstone
A mechanism by which a stone is held by precious metal into a mounting
A bodice ornament set with gemstones in a bowknot shape
The skin of a ray or shark from the waters around China, usually stained green or another color
A three leaved plant, used as a symbol of Ireland and popular in Celtic jewelry
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
A piece of defensive armor, often elongated and adorned with designs
The part of a ring between the shank and the center of the setting
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
Silver Tone:
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 imitate authentic gemstones but are a cheaper version with a different chemical makeup
Single-cut Diamonds:
A genuine diamond, commonly used in watch cases that contain only 1 facet
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
A jewelry production technique which joins two metals, using a melted metal or alloy
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
A ring containing a single diamond or gemstone
The act of giving off or reflecting bright, moving points of light
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
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:
A type of cut in which facets are long and rectangular. Can be found on emerald cut, Asscher cut, and baguette cut diamonds.
Sterling Silver:
A silver alloy made up of at least 92.5% pure silver, which is the standard fineness for silver
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
A decorative pattern in the form of interlaced and crossed straight bands resembling straps
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
A motif used on a piece of jewelry depicting festoons of foliage, fruit and flowers
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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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
See step cut
Tahitian Pearl:
A pearl formed from a black lip oyster, primarily cultivated around the French Polynesian islands
A semi-precious gemstone popular for its brilliance and known for its varying shades of violet ranging from deep, rich purple to lilac
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
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
The decorated ends of a necklace or bangle usually containing stylized heads of a ram, lion, dragon, etc.
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
A head ornament worn in the crown position
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
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 who defined the proportions necessary for maximum brilliance from a round diamond brilliant cut
A borosilicate of aluminum that occurs in rhomboidal crystals and is used as a gemstone
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
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
Partially transparent
Trapezoid Cut:
A gemstone cut into a four-sided shape with a short side, a parallel long side, and two equal ends
A prong setting in which four prongs are interwoven together to hold the center diamond
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
A rich, deep green variation of garnet
A flexible, tubular chain
A gray-white, heavy, high-melting, hard polyvalent metallic element that resembles chromium and molybdenum
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
A band or group of bands that are curved and/or have been interwoven together
A jewelry piece that includes two separate metals, which remain separate and are soldered together to form one piece
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A cleaning device for jewelry that removes dirt through the use of ultrasonic waves
A jewelry item that is distinguishable from all others of its class or type
A general term for jewelry that can be worn by all sexes
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Silver with gold plating
The designation given to the period from approximately 1837 when Victoria became Queen of England until 1901, when she died
An old, recognized and enduring piece of jewelry which remains valued due to its interest, importance or quality
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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
A hard, fibrous substance that makes up the structure of trees and shrubs
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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Yellow Gold:
A gold that is yellow--as in its pure form--often alloyed with copper and silver
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An abundant, lustrous, bluish-white metallic element of the Magnesium-Cadmium group
A common mineral occurring in small crystals which is heated, cut, and polished to form a brilliant blue-white gemstone
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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