Free Shipping On Orders Over $50 in the Continental United States

Glossary of Jewelry Terms

Jewelry Terminology

Abalone: a large mollusk of the genus Haliotis, having a bowllike shell bearing a row of respiratory holes, the flesh of which is used for food and the shell for ornament and as a source of mother-of-pearl.

Agate: a variegated chalcedony showing curved, colored bands or other markings.

Alloy: a substance composed of two or more metals, or of a metal or metals with a nonmetal, intimately mixed, as by fusion or electrodeposition.

Amazonite: a green feldspar, a variety of microcline, used as an ornamental material.

Amber: a pale yellow, sometimes reddish or brownish, fossil resin of vegetable origin, translucent, brittle, and capable of gaining a negative electrical charge by friction and of being an excellent insulator: used for making jewelry and other ornamental articles.

Amethyst: a purple or violet quartz, used as a gem

Antiqued: of or belonging to the past; not modern.

Bangle: a rigid, ring-shaped bracelet usually made without a clasp so as to slip over the hand, but sometimes having a hinged opening and a clasp.

Bezel: a grooved ring or rim holding a gem, watch crystal, etc., in its setting.

Birthstone: a precious or semiprecious stone traditionally associated with a particular month or sign of the zodiac and believed to attract good fortune.

Blue Topaz: a mineral, a fluosilicate of aluminum, usually occurring in prismatic orthorhombic crystals of blue, and used as a gem.

Bracelet: an ornamental band or circlet for the wrist or arm or, sometimes, for the ankle.

Brass: any of various metal alloys consisting mainly of copper and zinc.

Briolette: any pear-shaped gem having its entire surface cut with triangular facets.

Bronze: any of various alloys consisting essentially of copper and tin

Brooch: a clasp or ornament having a pin at the back for passing through the clothing and a catch for securing the point of the pin.

Burnishing: to polish (a surface) by friction.

Cameo: a technique of engraving upon a gem or other stone, as onyx, in such a way that an underlying stone of one color is exposed as a background for a low-relief design of another color.

Carnelian: a red or reddish variety of chalcedony, used in jewelry

Casting: something cast; any article that has been cast in a mold.

Celtic: a branch of the Indo-European family of languages, including especially Irish, Scottish Gaelic, Welsh, and Breton, which survive now in Ireland, the Scottish Highlands, Wales, and Brittany.

Chalcedony: a microcrystalline, translucent variety of quartz, often milky or grayish.

Charm:  a small object worn or kept for supposed magical powers of protection; amulet; talisman

Choker:  a necklace that fits snugly around the neck.

Citrine:  a translucent, yellow variety of quartz, often sold as topaz; false topaz; topaz quartz.

Claddagh:  a ring in the form of two hands clasping a crowned heart, given in friendship or love.

Cloisonné: enamelwork in which colored areas are separated by thin metal bands fixed edgewise to the ground.  

Coppera malleable, ductile, metallic element having a characteristic reddish-brown color: used in large quantities as an electrical conductor and in the manufacture of alloys, as brass and bronze

Coral:  the hard, variously colored, calcareous skeleton secreted by certain marine polyps.

Crystalthe transparent form of crystallized quartz.

Cubic Zirconiuman artificial crystal resembling a diamond in refraction, dispersion, hardness, and color, used in jewelry.

Cuffa type of bracelet that has an opening to slip your wrist in.

Drop Earringslong earrings

Electro-platingto plate or coat with a metal by electrolysis.

Emerald:  a rare variety of beryl that is colored green by chromium and valued as a gem.

Enamel:  any of various varnishes, paints, coatings, etc., drying to a hard, glossy finish.

Engravingthe art of forming designs by cutting, corrosion by acids, a photographic process, etc., on the surface of a metal plate, block of wood, or the like, for or as for the purpose of taking off impressions or prints of the design so formed.

Etchingthe act or process of making designs or pictures on a metal plate, glass, etc., by the corrosive action of an acid instead of by a burin.

Extendera substance added to another substance, to increase its volume or bulk.

Facet:  one of the small, polished plane surfaces of a cut gem.

Faux:  artificial or imitation; fake

Feather:  one of the horny structures forming the principal covering of birds, consisting typically of a hard, tubular portion attached to the body and tapering into a thinner, stemlike portion bearing a series of slender, barbed processes that interlock to form a flat structure on each side.

Filigree:  delicate ornamental work of fine silver, gold, or other metal wires, especially lacy jewelers' work of scrolls and arabesques.

Finish:  a preparation, such as varnish, used to produce such a texture.

Garnet:  any of a group of hard, vitreous minerals, silicates of calcium, magnesium, iron, or manganese with aluminum or iron, varying in color: a deep-red transparent variety is used as a gem

Gemologistscientist dealing with natural and artificial gemstones.

Gemstones:  a precious or semiprecious stone that can be cut and polished for use as a gem.

Gold-Plated:  to coat (base metal) with gold, especially by electroplating.

Hematite:  a very common mineral, iron oxide, Fe2O3, occurring in steel-gray to black crystals and in red earthy masses: the principal ore of iron.

Hornone of the bony, permanent, hollow paired growths, often curved and pointed, that project from the upper part of the head of certain ungulate mammals, as cattle, sheep, goats, or antelopes.

Inlay:  a layer of fine material inserted in something else, especially for ornament.

Iolite: a transparent gem which presents a violet-blue colour when looked at in a certain direction.  

Iridescent:  displaying a play of lustrous colors like those of the rainbow.

Jade:  either of two minerals, jadeite or nephrite, sometimes green, highly esteemed as an ornamental stone for carvings, jewelry, etc.

Jasper:  a compact, opaque, cryptocrystalline variety of quartz, usually colored red: often used in decorative carvings.

Jet:  a compact black coal, susceptible of a high polish, used for making beads, jewelry, buttons, etc.

Locket:  a small case for a miniature portrait, a lock of hair, or other keepsake, usually worn on a necklace.  

Moonstone:  Also called precious moonstone. a semitransparent or translucent, opalescent, pearly-blue variety of adularia, used as a gem.  

Morganitea rose-colored beryl.

Olivinean olive-green mineral of the olivine group, found in igneous and metamorphic rocks. The clear-green variety (peridot) is used as a gemstone.

Onyxa variety of chalcedony with alternating black and white parallel bands, used as a gemstone.

Opalan amorphous, usually iridescent, mineral that can be of almost any colour, found in igneous rocks and around hot springs. It is used as a gemstone.

Opalescenthaving or emitting an iridescence like that of an opal

Patinaa film or incrustation, usually green, produced by oxidation on the surface of old bronze and often esteemed as being of ornamental value.

Pavea setting of stones placed close together so as to show no metal between them.

Pendanta hanging ornament, as an earring or the main piece suspended from a necklace.

Peridot:  a green transparent variety of olivine, used as a gem.

Pewter:  any of various alloys in which tin is the chief constituent, originally one of tin and lead.

Post:  type of earring, stud

Quartz:  one of the commonest minerals, silicon dioxide, SiO 2, having many varieties that differ in color, luster, etc., and occurring either in masses (as agate, bloodstone, chalcedony, jasper, etc.) or in crystals (as rock crystal, amethyst, citrine, etc.): the chief constituent of sand and sandstone, and an important constituent of many other rocks.

Rhinestone:  an artificial gem of paste, often cut to resemble a diamond.

Rhodium:  A rare, silvery-white metallic element that is hard, durable, and resistant to acids. It is used as a permanent plating for jewelry and is added to platinum to make high-temperature alloys

Rose gold:  any of several gold alloys colored rose

Rose Quartz:  a rose-red to pink variety of crystalline quartz usually found in massive form and used as a gem or ornamental stone

Ruby:  a red variety of corundum, used as a gem.

SapphireA clear, fairly pure form of the mineral corundum that is usually blue but may be any color except red. It often contains small amounts of oxides of cobalt, chromium, and titanium and is valued as a gem.

Satin finish:  having a smooth finish

Scarab: a gem cut to resemble a beetle.   

Seed beada bead the size of a seed

Semi-precious stones(of a stone) having commercial value as a gem but not classified as precious, as the amethyst or garnet.

Silver Toneto coat (base metal) with silver, especially by electroplating

Simulated stones:  to create a simulation, likeness, or model of

Smoky quartz:  a smoky-yellow to dark brown or black variety of quartz, used as a gem.

Stabilized Turquoiseto maintain at a given or unfluctuating level or quantity

Sterling Silversilver having a fineness of 0.925, now used especially in the manufacture of table utensils, jewelry, etc.

Synthetic Gemstonesnoting or pertaining to compounds formed through a chemical process by human agency, as opposed to those of natural origin:

Tennis bracelet:  a bracelet consisting of a row of individually set, uniformly sized diamonds or other gemstones.

Tiger's‐eye:  a golden-brown chatoyant stone used for ornament, formed by the alteration of crocidolite, and consisting essentially of quartz colored by iron oxide.

Topaz:  a mineral, a fluosilicate of aluminum, usually occurring in prismatic orthorhombic crystals of various colors, and used as a gem.

Tourmaline:  any of a group of silicate minerals of complex composition, containing boron, aluminum, etc., usually black but having various colored, transparent varieties used as gems.

Turquoisean opaque mineral, a basic hydrous copper aluminum phosphate often containing a small amount of iron, sky-blue or greenish-blue in color, cut cabochon as a gem.

Two‐Tonehaving two colors or two shades of the same color

Vintage‐Style:  a time of origin

White gold: any of several gold alloys colored white by the presence of nickel, palladium, or platinum.  

ZincA shiny, bluish-white metallic element that is brittle at room temperature but is malleable when heated. It is used in alloys such as brass and bronze, as a coating for iron and steel, and in various household objects