GLOSSARY
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Diamonds are not only ‘a girl’s best friend’, they can also be an excellent investment. When shopping around for diamond jewellery, the most important points to remember in terms of judging quality are the Four C’s – cut, carat, clarity and colour.

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Colored Gemstones, Colored Stones, Shapes, Setting, Karat

 

14 KARAT
14 karat (14K) gold is 14 parts of gold to 10 parts other metals.

agate
A type of chalcedony quartz found in a variety of colours and patterns, frequently with varying colour layers.

Alexandrite
A stone which changes colour or appears to change colour as the source of light changes.

Alloy
A mixture of two or more metals.

Amber
Fossilized resin of conifer trees. colours range from honey through yellow to reddish brown.

Amethyst
Transparent variety of crystallized quartz, typically purple or violet in colour.

Antiqued
Process by which something takes on the look associated with age. Usually a darkened or tarnished appearance.

Applique
An ornamental piece which is created separately and then applied to a piece of Jewellery.

Aquamarine
A blue semiprecious stone in the beryl family.

Aventurine
Translucent greenish quartz mineral, internally granular. Often mistaken for jade, another stone of a green colour.

Baguette
Small stones which are rectangular-shaped and faceted. Often used as an accent to another stone.

Bail
A metal finding that is folded closed, from which a pendant, watch, stone, etc., may be hung from a chain or cord.

Bale
see BAIL

Band
A ring which is the same in width all around.

Bangle
A stiff bracelet that slips over the hand or is hinged.

Basket
A fancy setting with numerous side piercing to provide a lacy or basket-looking appearance.

Bead
A stone cut in the shape of a small sphere.

Beryl
A lightly coloured mineral which when transparent and dark green is called emerald. When blue in colour, it's called aquamarine.

Bezel
A form of any shape which incorporates a continuous groove to fit something, generally a stone. The metal at the top of the groove is then burnished over the edge of the mounted item to hold it, forming a setting.

Bloodstone
A variety of chalcedony that is usually greenish in colour with red spots resembling blood.

Bombe
Convex surface

Box chain
A type of chain where links are wide and square so they form boxes.

Brilliant cut
A round cut of 58 facets mathematically devised to produce the greatest brilliance.

Button Earrings
A flat, usually round earring which sits on the earlobe and has no dangling parts.

Cabochon
A domed gemstone. Highly polished curved surface without faceting.

Cameo
A carved gem or shell in which the outer layers are cut away so that the design stands out in relief against a background of a different colour.

Carat
Unit of weight for gemstones with 100 points to a carat, where one carat equals to one-fifth of a gram.

Carnelian
Pale red quartz. Once believed to benefit the wearer's health and love life. Most carnelian comes from Brazil, India, Siberia, and Germany.

Chain
A series of connected loops, links, rings, or beads used to create bracelets or necklaces.

Chalcedony
Refers to various types of coloured quartz, usually those with a milky appearance like carnelian, agate, cat's eye, and jasper.

Channel Setting
Grooved metal built into a Jewellery setting for holding stones. Also a number of uniformly sized small stones set in a row.

Charm
A decorative pendant or trinket to be worn on a bracelet, earrings or necklace.

Charm Bracelet
A link bracelet which charms can be attached to.

Chevron Style
A motif consisting of short lines joining at angles to form an inverted "V."

Chrysoprase
A variety of chalcedony which is apple-green in colour.

Citrine
A brownish-orange quartz variety.

Clasp
Any type of attachment that connects the two ends of a piece of Jewellery.

Clip-back
For non-pierced ears. Works like a hinge to secure the earring to the earlobe.

Cluster
Setting in which stones are grouped together.

Cluster ring
A ring with a setting in which stones are grouped together.

Clutch
An earring back which slides onto and secures post back earrings.

Cocktail ring
A large, oversized ring set with precious or semiprecious stones.

Comfort back
A rubber or plastic pad that goes over the clip of a clip earring to cushion the earlobe.

Concave
Hollow and curved, like the inside of a hollow ball.

Convex
Curving outward, like the surface of a ball.

Coral
The skeletal remains of marine animals, and has a range in colour from red, pink, and salmon.

Corundum
A gem mineral of crystallized aluminum and oxygen. Ruby and sapphire are the most valuable corundum.

Cultured pearl
Created through a painstaking process of mimicking the natural pearl process in live mollusks. A pearl is formed as a result of implanting a piece of mantle from a mollusk into another host mollusk.

Curb link
The links are oval and twisted so they lie flat.

Cushion cut
A square cut with rounded corners.

Dangle earring
see DROP EARRING

Deco style
Derived from the style of Art Deco, which originated in France in the 1920's and 1930's, and is typified by abstract designs and linear, geometric patterns.

Diamond
A precious gemstone composed of pure carbon. Hardest of all known substances. Rated 10 on the Mohs scale.

Diamond-cut rope
A portion of the chain is cut away at an angle and then polished to a high shine. See also ROPE CHAIN.

Diopside
A mineral which ranges in colour from white, deep green, to almost black.

Disc earrings
A flat, usually round earring which sits on the earlobe and has no dangling parts.

Door knocker earring
An earring with a hinged bottom that hangs below the earlobe.

Drop
A small ornament suspended from a piece of Jewellery.

Drop earring
Any earring which hangs below the earlobe. Also called a dangle earring.

Earring back
A disk or bead that fits over an earring post and holds it securely in place.

Earring jackets
An earring accessory designed to be worn with a stud as a decorative backdrop.

Emerald
A green beryl and one of the most valuable of all gemstones.

Emerald cut
A cut which is usually rectangular, but sometimes square, with rows of step cuts along the edges and at the corners.

Epidote
A mineral which occurs in colours of green and brownish-green.

Epoxy
A resin used in strong glues and enamels.

European wire
A curved wire which passes through the earlobe of a pierced ear and clasps shut.

Extender chain
A chain which may be attached to another in order to provide a longer length.

Facet
A polished surface; a small plane which is cut into a surface and enhances its reflection of light.

Fancy cut
Refers to gems which are cut other than in the round brilliant shape such as single cut marquise, emerald, pear, heart, oval, square, baguette, triangle, etc. Also called fancy shape.

Figaro chain
Similar in style to a curb chain, but instead of uniform links, the links alternate between long ones and round ones.

Figure eight safety catch
A type of safety catch in which a hinged wire in the shape of a figure eight snaps over the pin.

Filigree
Lace-like ornamental work made from intricately arranged, intertwined wire.

Finish
The way the surface of a piece is polished or textured.

Fire opal
Variety of opal which is yellow, orange, or red in colour.

Fish hook
A fishhook-shaped finding used to make earrings with the hook end passing through the pierced ear.

Fleur-de-lis
The royal insignia of France. It's often used in ornamentation and has a design resembling a flower such as a lily or iris.

Fluted
A surface ornamented by channels or grooves.

Foldover clasp
A type of clasp in which a hinged part opens, fits through a ring and snaps closed to hold the ring in place.

French wire
A curved wire which passes through the pierced earlobe and has a catch closure. Used mostly in dangling earrings.

Freshwater pearl
An irregularly shaped pearl formed naturally by a mussel living in a lake or river.

Full cut
see BRILLIANT CUT

Gallery
A strip of metal used to make settings for Jewellery.

Garnet
A family of crystals whose name is derived from their resemblance to red pomegranate seeds. A semi-precious stone, usually a reddish-brown colour; can range from true red to violet- or blackish red, often semi-opaque.

Gem
A stone which has been cut and polished for use in Jewellery and fulfills the requirements of beauty, durability, and rarity. A fine stone of unusual quality. Precious or semi-precious stones.

Gold
A heavy, yellow, metallic element used for coins and Jewellery since prehistoric times.

Gold tone
Jewellery done in a gold colour.

Golden finish
Jewellery done in a finish so that it has the look of gold.

Half-hoop design
Earring which appears to be hoop shaped but is not fully circular.

Hessonite
A variety of garnet which is yellow in colour.

Hidden box clasp
Two short barrels which are screwed together to form a clasp.

High polish
A surface which is polished to a mirror-like finish.

Hoop earring
A circular-shaped earring made from metal wire or tubing. Variations include the traditional shape as well as hoops with charms and other ornaments to be hung from the hoop.

Inlay
A decorative element, such as a stone, which is imbedded into another surface so it is flush (or level) with it.

Iolite
A mineral used as a gemstone and appears as deep blue, light blue-gray, and yellow-white.

Iridescent
An interplay of various colours

Jade
An ornamental gemstone, typically greenish in colour.

Jadeite
A variety of jade which is rarer than the other varieties of nephrite. It is hard and translucent and comes in many colours such as orange, pink, yellow, brown, blue, violet, and black.

Jasper
A semi-opaque to opaque rose quartz. Usually yellowish, reddish, or brown. The U.S. and Brazil are the most common sources. Jasper was once believed to have curative powers.

Karat
A measure, from 1 to 24, used to indicate how much of a piece of Jewellery is gold content and how much an alloy.

Lapis lazuli
A semi-precious stone azure blue in colour.

Lever back
An earring with a unique back that delicately bends and connects behind the ear. This is an old-fashioned design that has come back in style.

Links
Series of loops which make up a chain.

Liquid silver
Produced by drawing small ribbons of sterling silver through a draw plate that forms a thin, silver tube. These tubes are carefully cut & hand strung together. Liquid silver is an example of the Native American Jewellery making technique of Heishi.

Lobster claw clasp
A clasp used for necklaces and bracelets which features an elongated hook (like a lobster claw). It contains a spring mechanism and can be opened to catch the ring from the other end of the chain.

Mabe
A Japanese term for half-sphere pearls, which are cultured against the shell so that only half a pearl is formed.

Malachite
A mineral which is characterized in appearance by bands of light and dark green.

Marcasite
Crystallized iron pyrites ("fool's gold") mounted in groups, cut or uncut, in pins and other pieces of Jewellery. Marcasite is a gray, lustrous mineral.

Marquise
An oval shape gemstone cut with pointed ends. It's named for the Marquise de Pompadour, Mistress of King Louis XV.

Matte
A frosted, non-shiny surface or finish.

Millgrain edge
A look which is knurled, or has the look of small beads or ridges, such as the edge of a coin.

Morganite
A variety of beryl that is pink. Named after J.P. Morgan. Found in California, Brazil, and Madagascar.

Mother-of -pearl
Hard, iridescent substance that forms on the inside layer of a pearl-bearing mollusk.

Nacre
A shiny, iridescent substance made from the lining of mollusk shells or fish scales.

Nephrite
A hard type of jade with colours ranging from white to dark green and shades of grey or brown to black.

Nugget
A lump or irregularly shaped mass.

Onyx
A semi-precious stone composed of chalcedony (a variety of quartz) found naturally in white or gray. The white variety is generally dyed black for onyx.

Opal
A non-crystalline, iridescent silica

Opaque
Something which is not transparent and does not reflect light; dull

Oxidation
Metal blackened by a reaction with oxygen. The appearance is accomplished by chemical means.

Pave setting
A setting in which small stones are set as close as possible, so that the piece literally looks "paved" with stones.

Pendant
An ornament suspended from a single chain.

Peridot
A transparent gem which is olive green in colour.

Pierced earrings
Designed for wear in ears which are pierced. A wire or post is inserted through the ear lobe.

Point
Unit of weight for gemstones equal to one-hundredth of a carat.

Polish
Process used to make metal smooth and glossy. Increases shine and eliminates flaws.

Post
A pin-like finding attached to an earring. It passes through the pierced earlobe, and may be held in place by a back.

Precious stones
Rare and costly gems such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires

Princess cut
A modification of a brilliant square-cut gemstone.

Prong
One of several claw-like wires used to hold a gem or stone in place.

Quartz
A crystalline mineral used for gems, usually colourless and transparent.

Radiant cut
A type of faceting.

Rhinestone
Real rhinestones are cut from rock crystal. Today, most rhinestones that are used in Jewellery are made of glass which has the look of natural stone.

Rhodium
A white, metallic element.

Rhodolite
A variety of pyrope garnet ranging in colour from rose-red to pale violet.

Rhodonite
Named after the Greek word for pink. A reddish-pink colour with thin veins or patches of gray to black. Found in the former Soviet Union, the U.S., India, and Australia.

Ribbed
A textured effect consisting of ridges.

Ring
A piece of Jewellery which is worn on the fingers and slides on and off.

Ring guard
A ring worn above another ring to keep it from slipping off the finger.

Rock crystal
A mineral; see also QUARTZ

Rope chain
Chain with a spiral appearance, giving the effect of two thick strands woven together.

Rose gold
An alloy of gold and copper.

Rose quartz
Delicate pink quartz with a somewhat milky appearance. Popular for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and other gift occasions.

Ruby
A highly precious and valued red corundum whose colour is obtained from chromium oxide. Rubies symbolize beauty, charity, love, passion, power, and royalty.

Rutilated quartz
A variety of quartz with inclusions of rutile crystals, which are minerals that sometimes appear in a needle-like fashion in a reddish-brown to red and sometimes yellowish appearance.

Safety catch
Added to a closure to prevent the opening of a clasp.

Sapphire
A highly valued precious stone and a member of the corundum group. Most commonly seen in blue.

Satin finish
A matte finish achieved by sandblasting, brushing with a stiff wire brush, or chemically altering a high shine surface. Satin finish has a soft, pearl-like luster instead of a bright polish.

Scalloped
An ornamental edge that consists of a series of curves.

Scarab
A gemstone cut in the shape of a beetle and copied from the ancient Egyptian fertility symbol.

Semi-precious stones
Natural stones including amethyst, aventurine, carnelian, garnet, opal, rose quartz, etc. Some semi-precious stones are quite costly (up to thousands of dollars). They are used in fine Jewellery as well as fashion Jewellery.

Shank
Part of the ring that circles the finger and to which the setting is attached.

Shoulder
The part of the ring that extends from the shank to the center of the setting.

Silver plate
A fine silver film deposited on a base metal through electroplating. Base metal may be nickel, silver, copper, or brass.

Simulated pearl
Glass beads coated in the ground-up iridescent nacre from fish scales.

Smoky quartz
Brownish coloured quartz with a smoky appearance.

Sodalite
A mineral which is a component of lapis and generally translucent, usually blue in colour

Spinel
A gemstone found in a wide range of colours, the most valuable resembling ruby red.

Spring ring clasp
A rounded, hollow, circular wire which fits into a hollow circular tube and is kept shut by a coiled spring on the inside.

Square cut
A style in which the stone is square and bordered by four long narrow facets that are step cut. Similar to emerald cut.

Square setting
The setting is square shaped with four prongs forming the corners.

Stack ring
Rings which are designed to wear two or more on the same finger.

Step cut
A gem cut with a varying number of sloping parallel rows of four-sided facets which give the impression of steps.

Sterling silver
Silver that is at least 92.5 percent pure with 7.5 parts of another metal, usually copper, to make the piece harder.

Stickpin
A straight pin worn vertically on a scarf, tie, or a lapel. Has some kind of ornamentation on the top.

Stippled finish
A technique in which the design is formed by a series of pricks made with a steel punch.

Stud
A single stone or metal ball on a straight post worn on pierced ears.

Tennis bracelet
A flexible bracelet made up of evenly matched stones, commonly diamonds. There are variations on the style, such as alternating stones.

Tie tac
A short pin with an ornamental top or face that goes through the tie, pinning it to the shirt.

Tiger's eye
The name given to a gem which when cabochon cut shows a single light streak across its face. A semi-precious variety of quartz found in South Africa, it may be yellowish-brown , bluish, or red in colour.

Toggle clasp
A fastener consisting of a ring on one end of a necklace or bracelet and a short bar on the other end. The bar is slid through the ring and sits across it so it does not slide or pull.

Topaz
A transparent gem, the most precious type is wine-yellow in colour. It also may be found in other colours, such as white, blue, brown, orange, and pink.

Tourmaline
A crystalline mineral which is used as a gemstone. It typically comes in a variety of colours, the most common of which is black.

Translucent
Allowing light to pass through, but not transparent

Transparent
Easily seen through; light rays are transmitted

Triangle cut
A modified brilliant cut stone.

Trillion cut
A modified brilliant cut triangular stone with 44 facets.

Tsavorite
A transparent, emerald green variety of garnet.

Turquoise
Semi-precious stone which is greenish-blue in colour.

White gold
An alloy of gold, nickel, copper, and zinc.

Y necklace
This style gets its name from its shape which features its own delicate dangle forming a Y-shape around the neck. Usually 16 to 18 inches in length

Yellow gold
The most popular gold alloy. An alloy of gold, silver, copper, and often zinc.