Jewelry Vocabulary

What is "Jewelry Vocabulary"?

The jewelry trade has a vast vocabulary of words and if you are new to the trade, it can be a bit confusing. This page will help you with understanding the vocabulary that is specific to the jewelry trade. Arranged alphabetically you can click on the menu below to jump to a particular section.

Jewelry refers to an adornment (generally precious metal or stone) worn by a person, like a bracelet, ring, necklace, or earrings. Jewelry may be purely decorative, or it may express something — like a ring that says you are married.
Humans have been in the jewelry business for a long time: A shell bracelet, or necklace was found in a cave in South Africa that dates back 75,000 years. Both a diamond ring from Tiffany’s and a handmade beaded bracelet are jewelry, but whether the jewel in jewelry is real or imitation, it is always jewelry and something beautiful.

I have gathered this information from many sources on the internet and as written in books. Any mistakes are mine. If you have a suggestion or corrections, please feel free to contact me.


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.


Gold that is over 99.99% pure gold.


A Jour
An open setting that leaves the pavilion facets open to the light.
A deposit made from inside a seashell, sometimes referred to as "mother-of-pearl".
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 semiprecious gemstone, agate is a variety of quartz and usually features bands of color that vary from tan to red or brown to green. It has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, which makes it suitable for both jewelry and decorative objects.
A gem material that's composed of small crystals or particles. Chalcedony, jade, lapis lazuli, malachite, and turquoise are aggregates.
See "Aiglet.
American Gem Society: a professional organization formed in 1934 by several independent jewelers and the founder of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA).
The best place to study this is my webpage: Aiglets
A hair ornament consisting of a feather plume or spray of glitter, often accentuated by either a jewel or buckle.
Akoya Pearls
Saltwater cultured pearls that are harvested from Akoya mollusks in the ocean off the coasts of Japan and China.
A variation of Chrysoberyl, with the unique ability of changing color in natural or artificial light. Discovered in Russia in 1830 and named for Czar Alexander II, this mineral has the unique ability to cast two different colors – green in sunlight and red in artificial light.
A mixture of two or more metals created to enhance the strength and/or appearance of a particular metal.
Alternative Metals
Metals used in jewelry that are slightly less rare than platinum and gold. Examples are: palladium, titanium, stainless steel, tungsten, and cobalt.
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 purple form of quartz. Amethyst is the birthstone for February and the traditional gift for the 6th and 17th wedding anniversaries.
A pendant or charm that is worn for its protective or magical powers.
A type of watch display featuring a dial and hands, rather than a digital numeric display.
Ankle Bracelet/Anklet
A bracelet style worn around the ankle. Anklets include simple chain styles, to highly embellished selections that are decorated with diamonds, gemstones and charms.
The process of hardening glass pottery or metal, by alternately heating and cooling it.
Anniversary Band
A ring--often an eternity band--which is given to commemorate an anniversary.
Anniversary Rings
An anniversary band is a ring (often with diamonds) that represents the renewal of your marriage or partnership commitment. This type of ring can be used to complement a wedding ring, and is usually given as a gift to mark an anniversary. An anniversary ring is often designed with diamonds and represents a renewal of your marriage or partnership commitment. This type of ring includes many styles including eternity bands and three-stone designs that can be worn alone.
A chemical or electrolytic coating added to protect certain metals.A process in which a metal object is placed in an acid bath and an electrical current is passed through the tank.
Antique finish
Used in sterling silver, the oxidation process enhances the details in the design. Oxidized pieces require special care to maintain contrast.
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 "antique" look.
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. An icy blue-green mineral from the beryl family. Aquamarine is the traditional birthstone for March and the classic gemstone choice for the 19th wedding anniversary.
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.
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 metals.
Asscher (gem cut)
The asscher cut diamond was first produced in 1902 by the Asscher Brothers of Holland, famous at the time for cutting the world's largest rough stone (the Cullinan, at 3,106 carats). ... The modern asscher cut diamond is similar to a square emerald cut, usually with larger step facets, a higher crown, and a smaller table.
Atomic Timekeeping
A watch with Atomic Timekeeping automatically synchronizes to the National Institute of Standards and Technology Radio Station at least once per day.
Aurora Borealis
The Latin term for Northern Lights.
Automatic Chronograph Movement
An automatic movement system used in watches capable of measuring extremely brief intervals of time accurately.
American wire gauge (AWG), also known as the Brown & Sharpe wire gauge, is a logarithmic stepped standardized wire gauge system used since 1857, predominantly in North America, for the diameters of round, solid, nonferrous, electrically conducting wire. Dimensions of the wires are given in ASTM standard B 258.


Baguette (gem cut)
A rectangular diamond cut with flat corners that create an octagon.
A baguette-cut diamond or gemstone is one cut into a small rectangular or tapered shape with a stepped edges. Baguette-cut diamonds and gemstones are generally used as accents to larger stones.
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.
Bangle/Bangle Bracelet
A rigid bracelet that is either solid or hinged, designed to slip easily over the hand and around the wrist.
A traditionally rigid, non-flexible bracelet.
Barion Cut (gem cut)
Noted South African author and diamond cutter Basil Watermeyer invented the Barion cut in 1971. The name combined his first name with his wife’s, Marion, as a tribute to her. Barion cut designs were first used for diamonds. However, gem cutters soon realized the advantages of these cuts for colored gemstones. Characteristics of Barion Cut Designs: Barion designs have moon-shaped facets at the girdle. The central part of the design is a brilliant, with all the mains meeting at the same point and the break facets meeting at a different point. A set of fan facets usually connects with the half-moon facets.
Baroque Pearl
Baroque pearls are pearls with an irregular non-spherical silhouette, ranging from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid, curved, pinch, or lumpy shapes.
A general term for bold, ornate, heavy looking ornamentation.
Barrel Clasp
Two metal findings on either end of a necklace or bracelet that generally screw together, forming a clasp that looks like a barrel.
A technique of applying glass enamel to a metal surface.
Bead Chain
Any metal chain that looks like a series of small, conjoined beads, rather than open links. The beads may be solid, or hollow to reduce weight.
Bead Setting
Bead setting is a generic term for setting a diamond or gemstone directly into metal using gravers, which are essentially tiny chisels. A hole is drilled directly into the metal surface, and then a ball burr is used to make a concave depression just the size of the stone.
Small, feather-like cracks along the girdle of a diamond.
Belle Epoque
Another term for the Edwardian period.
bench pin
A bench pin is a notched piece of wood you attach to your work table to aid with sawing. Bench pins also help steady your hands and tools, so you can do intricate work in small spaces.
Berlin Iron
Cast iron jewelry, worked into delicate openwork patterns, and made in Berlin during the first half of the nineteenth century.
Beryl is a mineral species that produces aquamarine and emerald. 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.
Beveled edge
A flat edge set at 45 degrees to the top surface of an item.
Bezel (Watch)
A bezel is the metal ring that frames the dial of a watch. Oftentimes, the bezel displays minute increments and can be rotated in one or both directions. Divers use this function to measure elapsed time.
A setting for a stone, that has a collar instead of prongs, in order to secure the stone. Bezel settings use a type of elevated collar which wraps the rim of a diamond or gemstone with a complete metal edge. This type of setting is the most secure. The bezel setting also protects the diamond or gemstone better than other types of settings. Metal is wrapped around the girdle of the stone, making only its crown and table visible. This setting is admired for its protection, security and ability to minimize inclusions.
The art of working in gold and enamel.
A birthstone is a precious or semiprecious stone traditionally associated with a particular month or sign of the zodiac and believed to attract good fortune.
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 Diamonds
There are natural black diamonds and enhanced black diamonds, which are more affordable.
Black Onyx
Onyx is a variety of the microcrystalline quartz, called chalcedony. Traditionally found in black, onyx is also available in a variety of colors.
Black Star of Queensland
A 733 carat black sapphire, previously thought to be the world's largest gem quality star sapphire.
Blemishes are slight imperfections found on the external surface of a diamond. 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 Diamonds
Natural blue diamonds are extremely rare. .
Blue Sapphire
The most popular shade of corundum. Sapphires are also available in many other colors including purple, pink, orange, yellow and white. Blue sapphire is the traditional birthstone for September.
Blue Topaz
Available in many colors, blue topaz is the most popular. Blue topaz is the traditional birthstone for those born in December.A topaz that is light brown or colorless when mined, which turns a vivid blue when exposed to heat.
Blueberry Diamonds ™
Blueberry Diamonds™ are the trademarked name for the blue diamonds used in Le Vian® jewelry. These blue diamonds are treated to permanently create the intense blue color.
Blueberry Sapphire™
Blueberry Sapphire™ is the trademarked name for the blue sapphires used in Le Vian® jewelry.
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 jewelr.
Bolo Bracelet
A bolo bracelet features an adjustable chain or cord in which the two loose ends tighten in place with a sliding clasp.
Bolo Clasp
A bolo clasp usually features an ornamental design and adjusts to secure a cord or chain by tightening.
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 Chain
A box chain is made up of small square links that are connected to create a smooth chain.
Box Clasp
A box clasp features a piece of folded metal on one end of a chain that fits into the opening of a box on the opposite end, securely fastening both ends together.
Box Setting
A stone, enclosed in a box-shaped setting with metal edges that are pressed down to hold the stone in place.
A bracelet is an ornamental band or circlet for the wrist or arm. A bracelet can be crafted of any material including sterling silver and gold, and are available in a variety of styles ranging from ornate to simple.
An alloy made up of roughly half copper and half zinc, which has a nice yellow color.
Bridal Set
A bridal set is a coordinated ensemble that includes an engagement ring and a wedding band.
Bright Polish
A bright polish is a jewelry metal finish that's smooth, shiny and mirror-like.
Brightness, or brilliance, is the effect of a gemstone's internal and external reflections of light.
Brilliance, or brightness, is light that is reflected from the diamond to the eye, or the amount of sparkle for a particular diamond. The intensity and amount of light reflecting from inside a diamond or gemstone.
Brilliant Cut (gem 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. A brilliant-cut diamond or gemstone is cut in a particular form with numerous facets to have exceptional brilliance. The shape resembles that of a cone and provides maximized light return through the top of the stone. Brilliant-cut diamonds and gemstones include round, oval, teardrop, pear, princess, radiant, triangle, heart and marquise-shaped diamonds.
Briolette (gem cut)
A briolette is an elongated pear-shaped gemstone cut with facets, and it is often drilled to hang as a bead. It was popular during the Victorian times.
Bronze is a yellowish-brown alloy of copper and iron with up to one-third tin.
A brooch is an ornamental pin fastened to clothing with a hinged pin and catch. 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. A brushed finish features tiny grooves in the surface of the metal that add texture. This effect slightly reduces the reflection of the metal and creates a wispy, feathery look.
Buckle Clasp
Similar to a belt buckle, this adjustable clasp is the most popular for leather or fabric watchbands.
Buff top(gem cut)
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.
Founded in 1875, Bulova is a watchmaker that crafts designs for both men and women.
Button Earrings
Button earrings lie flat on the ear with no dangling parts. They have a disk-like or slightly domed shape.
Button Pearl
A button pearl that appears flattened or domed from the side.
Bypass Ring
A bypass ring coils around the finger, with the ends of the band crossing or passing each other on top. It may also be called a crossover ring.


C catch
The most common means of securing a brooch before safety catches were invented.
Cable Chain
A cable chain features uniform round or oval-shaped links connected to form a chain.
A wire, often made of a precious or semi-precious metal, used in jewelry making.
Cabochon (gem cut)
A cabochon is a precious stone of convex hemispherical or oval form, polished but not cut into facets. This form is traditional for translucent and opaque gems. It also brings out the phenomenal effects in gems like cat's-eye and star sapphire.
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.
Cameo Habille
Most often, a depiction of a female who is carved wearing a diamond pendant, earrings, or a crown.
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. A cameo is 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. Traditional cameos feature a woman or goddess on them.
Canary Diamond
A vibrant yellow variation of Diamond.
A firework decoration, which uses coiled and twisted gold wire to achieve a delicate, scrolling effect.
Carat (CT.)
A carat (ct.) is the measurement for diamond and gemstone weight. A carat is 200 milligrams or one fifth of a gram. Diamonds and gemstones can range from small fractions of a carat to many carats.
A compound of Carbon which has a more electropositive element.
A strong, lightweight, synthetic fiber made especially by carbonizing acrylic fiber at high temperatures. Typically used in men's fashion jewelry, carbon fiber is fiber-reinforced polymer, originally used in vehicles and sports equipment. Is light, durable and strong.
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 red variety of chalcedony, Carnelian is derived either from the Latin word meaning "flesh" or the Latin word meaning "cherry." Carnelian is believed to give its wearer energy, protect from poverty and a calm temperament.
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. The cathedral setting uses arches of metal to support and hold the center diamond or gemstone. Cathedral-like arches rise above the band on either side of the stone. The arches themselves may be carved or set with smaller accent diamonds or gemstones.
Cat's Eye
Cat's eye is a chatoyant variety of chrysoberyl that reflect a streak of light when cut in a rounded or unfaceted (cabochon) shape.
A cavity is an inclusion in the form of a sizable opening that penetrates a diamond or gemstone from the surface.
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 places within an engagement ring's head, as the focal point.
Ceramic carbide is a relatively new man-made product that is extremely durable and nearly impossible to scratch. In combination with other materials like tungsten carbide, ceramic jewelry becomes the perfect choice for the active person. Ceramic carbide is also a material that people with metal allergies and sensitive skin can enjoy since it is completely hypoallergenic.
A certification provides an unbiased description of the individual qualities that determine a diamond or gemstone's value and worth as evaluated by expert gemologists.
Ceylon Cut (gem cut)
The Ceylon cut has a step-cut pavilion and a brilliant-cut crown. This ancient technique is still used in Sri Lanka. Studies have shown that the reverse, a step-cut crown over a brilliant-cut pavilion, will often produce the greatest brilliance.
A greyish-blue quartz.Chalcedony is a translucent variety of quartz that comes in a variety of colors, the most popular being bluish-grey.
Champagne Diamond
Champagne refers to brown diamonds with a secondary tone of yellow that resemble the color of champagne. The intensity of the yellow can be weak (yellowish) or strong and same goes about the general intensity of the color. Champagne diamonds can be natural or enhanced.
An enameling technique in which areas of metal are cut, etched, or routed, before being filled with enamel or molten glass.
Chandelier Earrings
Chandelier earrings feature a series of dangling drops, usually in multiple tiers, suspending from a post or French wire setting. The drops may be simple metal or set with diamonds, gemstones or pearls.
Channel Setting
In a channel setting, diamonds or gemstones are set flush between two strips of metal that holds them in place side by side with no additional prongs between the stones. This type of setting protects the edge, or girdle, of the gemstone, and is a very secure setting.
A type of mounting in which gemstones are set into a channel, between two metal rails.
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 chevron is a V-shaped facet or a pattern of stripes forming either a "V" or an inverted "V.".
Chocolate Diamonds®
Chocolate Diamonds™ is the trademarked name for the rich chocolate brown diamonds used in Le Vian® jewelry.
Chocolate Quartz ™
Chocolate Quartz™ is the trademarked name for the smoky brown quartz used in Le Vian® jewelry.
Choker Necklace
A choker is a close fitting necklace. Chokers are commonly about 14 to 16 inches in length.
A short necklace, generally less than 14" long.
Chrome Diopside
Chrome diopside is a deep, forest green, transparent gemstone, chrome similar in color to tsavorite or emerald.
A hard, brittle, grayish-white metal that is difficult to fuse and resistant to corrosion.
Chronograph Subdials
Mechanically-powered chronographs have separate rotary subdials, each with a single hand that indicates either the hour, minute, or seconds of elapsed time.
A semi-precious stone of a transparent golden-yellow, green-yellow or brown hue. Chrysoberyl is a mineral species that produces alexandrite and cat's-eye. It occurs in transparent yellow, green, and brown gem varieties.
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. Citrine is a golden-yellow variety of quartz. It is also the traditional birthstone for those born in November.
A Claddagh is a traditional Irish design that features two hands holding a crown-topped heart. This design represents love, loyalty, and friendship.
Clarity is a gem's relative freedom from blemishes and inclusions. A term used to measure the degree to which a gemstone is free from flaws.
Clasps are the device used to fasten each end of a watchband, bracelet or necklace together.
A jewelry piece that remains popular beyond the era of its creation.
Claw Clasp
Named for its resemblance to a lobster claw, this clasp has a hook with a spring-powered arm that can be opened and closed. The hook is attached to a ring on the opposite end of the chain, and the arm is closed to secure the chain.
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.
Cluster/Composite Setting
A term for jewelry pieces that have many precious or semi-precious gemstones, all set in close proximity to each other. A cluster or composite setting features several diamonds or gemstones grouped together to either create a unique design or to look like one larger stone.
Cobalt is the same material used to build jet aircraft engines. Cobalt is harder than stainless steel and therefore, harder to scratch. Although not 100% scratch proof, cobalt chrome is much harder than titanium and all other precious metals including platinum, gold and silver. Cobalt is also hypoallergenic.
A round band of metal encircling a gemstone to hold it in place.
A wide necklace, which encircles the neck from throat to chin.
Color Diamond
A diamond that has a hue other than white.
A term used to measure the saturation of a diamond.
A diamond with no traces of body color is considered colorless. Light travels through a colorless diamond better than a diamond with color, resulting in exceptional brilliance.
Comfort Fit
A ring design, in which the edges of the shank are rounded for maximum comfort.
Concave Facets (gem cut)
Concave cutting, a recent innovation, is a departure from the long tradition of faceting design. In concave cutting, the facets are three dimensional rather than flat -- they have depth as well as length and width. Where traditional two dimensional facets are created on a flat cutting wheel, concave cutting uses grinding elements in the form of round cylinders mounted horizontally on the cutting machine. Faceting in this manner creates concave conical facets that are truly three dimensional in shape. Concave facets have different optical properties than two dimensional facets. In general, a concave facet refracts more of the ambient light and returns it to the eye as brilliance. Concave cutting will thus increase the brilliance of a gem, while at the same time providing a diffusing effect, so that the brilliance is quite even, with no hot spots or dark regions, and diminished color zoning.
Conflict Diamonds
A conflict diamond is a rough diamond mined in an area controlled by insurgent forces whose sale is used to finance antigovernment military action.
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 is a bright shiny reddish-gold metal that is soft and easily malleable. Copper has been recorded as being used as far back as 10,000 years ago in many different artifacts, long before gold was used. Copper is still widely used and desired for its color and versatility.
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. Corundum is the mineral species that produces ruby, sapphire, star ruby, and star sapphire.
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.
Cross facet
Small triangular facets, above and below the girdle of a brilliant cut stone.
A structure consisting of an upright beam attached to a shorter, perpendicular beam.
Crown (Diamond or Gemstone)
The crown is the upper portion of a cut gemstone, which lies above the girdle. The crown consists of a table facet surrounded by either star and bezel facets (on round diamonds and most fancy cuts) or concentric rows of facets reaching from the table to the girdle (on emerald cuts and other step cuts).
Crown (Watch)
A watch crown is the metal knob located on the side of a watchcase and used to set the watch to the correct time and date. Some watches have multiple crowns to control other functions and settings.
Crystal (Watch)
A watch crystal is the clear cover over the dial of a watch that protects it from dirt, scratches and internal damage. High-grade watches usually have synthetic sapphire crystals.
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 Zirconia (CZ)
Cubic Zirconia is an artificial crystal resembling a diamond in refraction, dispersion, hardness, and color. 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. Cuff links are pairs of functional and decorative accessories used in place of buttons with special dress shirts to hold the cuff together.
A cuff is a wide oval-shaped bracelet. It may have a hinge and clasp, or it may encircle about 3/4 of the wrist with open ends that allow it to be easily slipped on and off.
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 cultured pearl is a pearl created by an oyster farmer under controlled conditions. They are created when tiny irritants are inserted into a mollusk shell. Nacre builds around the irritants over time, resulting in cultured pearls. Most pearls today are cultured.
Curb Link Chain
A curb chain features oval-shaped links that interlock with each other when laid flat.
Cushion (gem cut)
Cushion. The cushion cut is often referred to as a pillow cut due to its square or rectangular shape with rounded edges. This stone cut comprises 58 facets, like brilliant stones
Cushion Cut
A square or rectangular stone that has rounded corners. A cushion-cut diamond or gemstone is a variety of brilliant cut in which the girdle has the form of a square with rounded corners.
Custom Cut Gemstone
A gemstone that has been cut by a professional lapidary.
A jewelry design that is unique to the piece.
Cut Steel
Steel studs that have been machine stamped, cut with facets, and highly polished.
A term which refers to the geometric proportions that dictate the reflection and refraction of light within a stone. The cut is the form, style and quality of a diamond's or gemstone's fashioning. Cut types include round, princess, cushion, baguette and many others.


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 earrings 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.
Deployment Clasp
A deployment clasp is a three-folding enclosure that secures the two ends of the bracelet allowing enough room to place the watch on the wrist when fully deployed. When closed, the buckle covers the two-piece folding mechanism.
The rights or patent granted for an exclusive jewelry design in France.
Depth percentage
The measurement of a gemstone's depth (top to bottom) in relation to its diameter.
The distance from a gemstone's table to its culet (top to bottom).
A semi-circular band worn around the head, which is usually jeweled and three dimensional.
Dial (Watch Face)
The dial is the front display of a watch that includes the markings and hands. It is covered by the crystal and enclosed within the case.
Diamond Clarity
One of the 4Cs, diamond clarity measures the amount/absence of inclusions in and blemishes on a diamond. Clarity ranges from flawless to included/imperfect.
Diamond Color
One of the 4Cs, diamond color measures the amount of body color (tint) in a diamond on a scale from colorless to yellow/brown or gray.
Diamond Cut
A name sometimes used in the colored-stone trade for brilliant cut. A diamond-cut finish is created by cutting metal with a diamond, giving it a glittering and sparkling look.
Diamond Cut
One of the 4Cs, diamond cut determines how light travels through a stone. Cut refers to the proportions of a stone, facet angles, finish and shape.
Diamond Dial
A diamond watch dial is one that is accented by diamonds.
Diamond Fascination®
Diamond Fascination® designs feature one genuine diamond (.005 carat) set into each piece. The item is then paved with diamond dust crystallized in enamel.
A mineral composed of carbon that crystallizes in the cubic or isometric crystal system and is therefore singly refractive. Diamonds are the hardest natural mineral known to man. Diamonds are the classic birthstone for April and the traditional gift for the 10th, 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries. Diamonds are the hardest natural mineral known to man. Diamonds are the classic birthstone for April and the traditional gift for the 10th, 60th and 75th wedding anniversaries.
Diffusion, Diffusion Treatment
Diffusion is heating a gem to very high temperature while it's in contact with selected chemicals. The chemicals penetrate the gem and become part of the gem's crystal, changing its color in the process.
Dispersion is the spreading of white light into spectral hues. It is caused by different colors of light being refracted differently. Dispersion is a key element of diamond's appeal.
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.
A doublet is an assembled gem made with two main components.
A draw plate is type of die consisting of a hardened steel plate with one or more holes through which wire is drawn to make it thinner. A typical plate will have twenty to thirty holes so a wide range of diameters can be drawn. With a mandrel, a draw plate can be used to draw tubes of metal.
Dresden Green Diamond
A 41 carat natural green diamond of unknown origin, which is thought to have been discovered in India.
Drop Earrings
Drop earrings feature gems or other decorative elements that dangle.
An earrings 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.
Durability is resistance to damage of all kinds. Overall durability depends on the combination of hardness, toughness and stability.
Dye Treatment, Dyeing
To dye a gemstone is to add a chemical agent in order to improve or change its color. This is a common treatment for gems like chalcedony, cultured pearl, jade, lapis lazuli, opal, shell, tiger's-eye, and turquoise. To dye a gemstone is to add a chemical agent in order to improve or change its color. This is a common treatment for gems like chalcedony, cultured pearl, jade, lapis lazuli, opal, shell, tiger's-eye, and turquoise.


An ornament for the ear, most commonly worn in the earlobe.
A stone that is set with its elongated sides parallel to the band.
Eco-Drive is a type of watch from Citizen® that is powered by natural and artificial light, so it never needs a battery. Light enters through the crystal to a solar cell that converts it to energy.
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.
Emerald Cut (gem cut)
A form of step cutting, most often rectangular.
Emerald is a member of the beryl family and is found in all shades of green. It is the traditional birthstone for those born in May and is traditional gemstone for the 20th, 35th and 55th wedding anniversaries.
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 Finish
An enameled finish is a smooth, durable material made of melted and fused glass powder used to coat jewelry.
A glass powder or paste that is applied to metal, then fired in an annealing oven to bake the glass onto the metal.
Engagement Ring
An engagement ring is exchanged at the time of engagement that symbolizes a couple's love and the promise of marriage. The engagement ring often features diamonds or precious gemstones.
The period of time between a proposal and marriage.
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.
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.
A ring shank with a flat or squarish bottom.
Eutectic soldering
Colloidal or eutectic soldering was used by the Etruscans, and employs a colloidal mixture of tragacanth gum and copper salts. The mixture lowers the melting points of both granules and base, and causes the copper to diffuse into both at the point of contact, creating a strong metallic bond.
Dark or black spots in colored stone.
A term used to describe gemstones containing flaws that cannot be seen without a 10x loupe.


A plain, polished surface on a stone. Facets are the flat surfaces on a cut stone. The placement of facets determines how much light reflects through the stone.
Faceted Gem
A faceted gem is a gemstone cut in a manner so that it is covered with small flat polished surfaces. Most transparent gems are faceted.
Glazed porcelain or earthenware.
Fancy Cut (gem 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.
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.
Federal Trade Commission (FTC)
U.S. government agency responsible for promoting free and fair commerce in the national marketplace. The FTC Guides for the Jewelry, Precious Metals, and Pewter Industries help to define legal and ethical standards for gem and jewelry professionals.
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.
Figaro Link Chain
A Figaro chain features distinct rhythmic pattern of three (or five) equally sized links separated by one longer link.
Thin strands of wire that are intricately interlaced or bent into rosettes, spirals, scrolls, or vines. Filigree is a delicate work of twisted gold or silver soldered together which forms an open design used with jewelry. Filigree often resembles lace.
A filling seals fractures or cavities in a gem. In fracture filling, surface-reaching breaks are filled to conceal them and improve the gem's appearance. In cavity filling, larger surface openings are filled for similar purposes. Fracture fillers include colorless oils, natural and synthetic resins, and glass. Cavity fillings are usually glass or plastic. Fracture filling is common for emeralds, and cavity filling is most frequent with rubies; but both treatments occasionally appear in a number of gems.
A general term for all types of construction components used in jewelry making, such as: clasps, pins, hooks, tabs, etc. Jewelry findings include components such as bails, clasps and setting heads.
fine silver
Silver that is at least 99.999% pure.
Fineness represents the amount of precious metal in an alloy, usually measured in parts per thousand. For example, an item marked Pt950 is 950 parts platinum and 50 parts alloying metal.
A fingerprint is partly healed cleavage or fracture. This type of inclusion usually forms when a break occurs while a gem crystal is growing, and nutrient fluids seep into the break. The fluids may remain in liquid form or later solidify, in either case creating a microscopic pattern that resembles a human fingerprint.
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 not rounded at the edges.
Flat Link Chain
A flat link chain features open chain link that lays flat against the skin.
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.
Florentine Finish
A Florentine finish is the texture on a metal's surface in which small lines are engraved in a crosshatch pattern.
Florentine graver
aka a multiple line graver that creates that textured finis.
A jewelry piece that is from, or takes strong inspiration from, Florence, Italy.
Fluid Inclusion
A fluid inclusion is a small pocket of liquid trapped inside a gem.
A luminescence that appears when certain gems are exposed to ultraviolet light.
flush set
In a flush setting, the diamond is set into a drilled hole in the band, so the diamond sits “flush” with the band of the ring. In other words, the diamond does not protrude in any way. To secure the stone, the jeweler hammers the metal around the diamond to hold it in place
Flush Setting
A jewelry setting in which a stone is set within a metal hole and metal is applied above the girdle. With a flush setting, holes are cut in the surface of the metal, and stones are placed inside. Only the tops of the stones are visible, and their tables are even with the metal's surface.
Fluted Crown
A fluted crown is the winding stem of a watch that includes grooves for better grip.
Fluting is a decorative grooved design used in jewelry that can be horizontal or vertical. This style can be used with or without additional accents like gemstones or diamonds.
A material used in soldering.
A fob is the short chain attached to a pocket watch on one end and adorned with a decorative ornament on the other.
The reflective coating added to the back of a gemstone or rhinestones to increase brilliance and depth of color.
Four Cs
The Four Cs are the four distinct characteristics – cut, color, clarity and carat weight – that classify each diamond. Experts use these classifications to establish the value and quality of every diamond.
Foxtail Chain
Resembling the fullness of a fox's tail, this chain is designed by interweaving bent circles of metal together in a continuous pattern.
A fracture is an irregular break within a gem. Unlike cleavage, fracture isn't tied to crystal structure patterns. It can occur in any kind of gem, and often has a curved or scalloped contour (like breaks in glass).
French Cut (Gem 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 Earring Back
A French wire earring back is shaped like a hook with the 'hook' part going through the pierced portion of the ear.
French wire
A curved wire, resembling a fish hook, which passes through the pierced earlobe and has a catch closure.
Freshwater Cultured Pearl
A cultured freshwater pearl is one that is cultivated with intentional human intervention in freshwater ponds, lakes, and rivers, as opposed to saltwater environments. Freshwater pearls are harvested from freshwater rivers and/or lakes in China, Japan and the United States.
Freshwater Pearls
An irregular pearl of various colors, produced by fresh water mollusks such as mussels and clams.
Friction Back
A friction back is the small metal back that is pushed onto an earring's post, preventing it from slipping off.
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 (Gem cut)
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.
Fusing on the other hand can only be accomplished with pure metals like fine silver (99.9% pure) and 24K gold. Fusing is achieved, without the use of solder, by heating two pieces of metal that are touching to their melting point, resulting in the two pieces joining (fusing) into one piece.


A family of stones having many varieties in color and their constituents. Garnet is the reddish-brown birthstone for January. Less common varieties are found in all colors except blue. Garnet is also the traditional gift for the 18th wedding anniversary.
Gem Treatment
A gem treatment is an artificial process that improves a gem's appearance or durability. Treatments for colored gems include bleaching, coating, diffusion, dyeing, filling, heating, impregnation, and irradiation.
A gemstone specialist trained in gemstone identification, grading and appraising.
The science and study of gemstones.
Gemstone Certificate
An official document, written and signed by a Gemologist, which is universally accepted to verify a stone's specifications and value. This is a legal document that can be used in court. .
A gemstone is a stone found in nature that has the necessary rarity, beauty and durability for use in jewelry. 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.
Small, long pendant beads.
Acronym for the Gemological Institute of America. This organization is considered to be the authority on gemological teaching and research.
An object decorated with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf, or gold foil.
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.
A shape that consists of three pear-shaped stones (or pearls) hanging from a large stone or decorative motif, such as a bow.
The girdle is the horizontal midsection and widest part of a diamond. The girdle may be polished, faceted or unpolished on a diamond, but is typically left unpolished on colored stones. 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.
Glue Setting
A glue setting is used when stones are attached to metal by strong glue adhesive, rather than prongs or other metal settings. Mostly used with costume jewelry pieces.
Gold (Metal)
Gold is a classic metal used in most jewelry. Pure gold (24K) is too soft to be used for jewelry so it is combined with other metals to enhance durability. For example, 14K gold is 14 parts gold and 10 parts other metals. A yellow, metallic element that occurs naturally in pure form and is used especially in jewelry.
Gold Plating
Gold plating is a coating of karat gold permanently plated onto a base metal through electrical current.
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.
Golden Jubilee Diamond
A 545.67 carat brown diamond, discovered in 1985, and currently the largest cut and faceted diamond in the world.
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).
The value of a diamond, 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 Amethyst
Green amethyst is a form of green quartz, produced by heat treating an amethyst or yellow quartz. It is also called prasolite.
Green Diamond
A green diamond is a fancy colored diamond known for its striking green hue. Certain elements must be present during the diamond's formation in order for a diamond to have a green body color, making it rarer than a traditional diamond.
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.


Half Moon Cut
A gemstone cut that resembles an oval or circle which has been cut in half.
Half-Bezel Setting
A half-bezel setting wraps metal around either side of the stone's girdle, rather than around the entire stone.
Half-Channel Setting
With a half-channel setting, each side a diamond or gemstone is bordered and secured by a slender strip of metal.
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.
Hammer Finish
A hammer finish is a decorative metal finish with small indentations or dimples covering the surface. 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.
Hands are thin, light strips of metal that are secured in the center of the watch face and point to the hours, minutes or seconds.
Hardness (Mohs Hardness Scale)
Hardness is the ability of a stone or mineral to resist scratching. Hardness is measured from 1 to 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, with 10 (diamonds) being the hardest.
The resistance of a substance to being scratched.
The portion of a jewelry item that holds the stone.
Heart (gem cut)
A diamond cut shaped like a heart, with two rounded obtrusion's at the top and a point at the bottom.
Heat treatment
Heat treatment is using a high temperature to improve or change a gem's color. This treatment is common for many gems including aquamarine, carnelian, citrine, ruby, sapphire, tanzanite, topaz, tourmaline, and zircon. Controlled heating can also eliminate needle-like inclusions and improve clarity in rubies and sapphires. Less often it's used to make the same inclusions grow in order to create or intensify a star effect.
A jewelry piece that descends one or more generations to an heir or heirs.
An iron ore consisting of ferric oxide in crystalline form. Hematite is a steely-gray crystal of iron oxide often used in men's jewelry.
Herringbone Chain
Herringbone chain is a flexible chain that lies flat around the neck.
Hidden Clasp
A hidden clasp is a watch clasp that cannot be seen from the outside of the band. Portions of the metal band expand out to fit over the hand and internally fold, bringing the ends of the band together for a seamless look.
High-Polish Finish
A high-polish finish is metal with a shiny, reflective surface.
Hinged Back
The hinged back is very popular in hoop earrings. This back style features a hinged piece of metal that goes through the ear and snaps into a latch on the opposite side of the earring.
Honey Gold™
Honey Gold™ is the trademarked name for the yellow gold used in Le Vian® designs.
Hook & Eye Clasp
A hook and eye closure features a hook on one end that fits into a metal ring on the other end of a bracelet or necklace.
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.
Hue is one of the three color components. Hue gives a color its generic name – blue, green, blue-green, greenish blue, and so forth.
Hypoallergenic Metal
A hypoallergenic metal, like platinum or titanium, are the least likely to cause symptoms of an allergic reaction when worn. These metals are ideal for those who have a sensitivity to certain materials.


An ideal-cut diamond features a series of prisms and mirrors. The way light is returned out of the top of the diamond (not its sides or bottom) determines how brilliant and fiery a diamond is. "Ideal" is not just an adjective - it's become the industry standard for the set of proportions, ratios and angles known as the American Ideal Cut.
Acronym for the International Gemological Institute.
A rock formed by solidification of magma or lava.
An imitation is a gem look-alike. Unlike a synthetic, an imitation (or simulant) doesn't have the same chemistry, structure, or properties as the gem it resembles. Appearance is the only similarity.
A general term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e.: inclusion, fracture, etc.). An imperfection is a term for a negative clarity characteristic, such as a carbon inclusion in a diamond.
A visible internal flaws in a gemstone, including: fractures, crystalline abnormalities, and foreign objects. An inclusion is the natural birthmark inside a stone that can affect its flow of light and also add uniqueness and character. Inclusions vary in size, shape, quantity, position and color.
Independently Certified
Independent certification is a process where diamonds, regardless of the seller, have received an appraisal of value from a trusted and authoritative source outside of the organization.
A bar or brick, formed by pouring pouring a molten precious metal into a mold.
The first letters of a group of names--often a person's first and last name.
The past tense of "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.
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. An invisible setting features several stones mounted together by metal beneath the stones. The metal cannot be seen from above, making the stones appear as if they have no setting at all.
Iolite, a variety of cordierite, ranges in color from blue to blue-violet. Iolite is a gemstone with pronounced pleochroism, meaning it has the ability to appear as different shades depending on the angle and light source.
Iridescence is the rainbow-like colors that sometimes appear when light is reflected and refracted through structural layers.
A display of lustrous rainbow-like colors.
A metal and member of the platinum family, which is often alloyed with platinum to improve workability.
Irradiation is the science of exposing a gem to high-energy radiation or bombardment with subatomic particles to change its color. This treatment is routine for smoky quartz and blue topaz. Except in very rare cases, the treatment leaves no significant radioactivity.
A hard, smooth, yellowish-white substance made from the tusks of elephants and walruses.


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. Jade is the common name for two mineral species – jadeite and nephrite - traditionally used as carving materials because of their great toughness.
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.
jeweler's saw
A piercing saw, also known as a jeweler's saw, is a type of saw commonly used in jewelry making on sheet metal. It is usually used on softer metals as the saw is delicate. Like a coping saw, a piercing saw holds the blade in tension in a metal frame.
Journey Necklace
A journey necklace features a ladder or S-curve design featuring diamonds or gemstones that graduate in size from smallest to largest, symbolizing love's journey.
Jump Ring
A small, oval or round wire ring used to link charms or pendants onto a chain.


Karat is the standard measurement of gold purity. Pure gold is 24 karat and therefore, the amount of gold in an alloy is based on 24 parts. For example, 14K is 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloying metal.
a furnace or oven for burning, baking, or drying, especially one for calcining lime or firing pottery.
Knife Edge
A ring whose shank forms a "V" facing outward, coming to a point at the outermost edge.
A jewelry design element which includes multiple curved, wavy metal pieces which are loosely interlaced and soldered together.


Lab Diamond
A diamond that was created through a controlled process.
Lab Gemstone
A gemstone that was created through a controlled process.
A lab-created gemstone is one produced in a laboratory setting. Lab-created stones have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as natural gemstones.
A general term which is used for the: cutting, shaping, polishing and creation of jewelry from precious and semi-precious stones.
A lariat is an open-ended necklace held together by an ornamental clasp in front.
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 diamond can be microscopically inscribed on its girdle with its unique GIA Report Number, a personal message, or any other text, symbols or logos.
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.
Light return
Light return is the total intensity of light reflected by a faceted gem.
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. A locket is a jewelry design that that opens to store small pictures of loved ones. A locket is most commonly worn on a necklace, but may also be on a pin or bracelet charm.
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.
dating back to approximately 3000 B.C., it’s thought that perhaps this chain type dates back even further. This method of creating chains is still used today. The earliest known examples of this technique are in the form of the single loop-in-loop chain. The double loop-in-loop pattern was prominent during the Roman period. By the third century B.C., multi-row chains were woven. The method for creating these chains is relatively straightforward. Wire is wound into a coil, and that coil is then cut into individual rings. The rings are carefully closed and placed on a charcoal block or other soldering surface. With heat alone, the material is fused into a closed circle. Traditionally made in 22K gold, fine silver (99.9% silver) is also used. Both of these materials are chosen since, because of their purity, they will fuse closed without any need for additional solder.
Loose Diamond
A loose diamond is one that is sold independently of a ring. It can be purchased in any cut or size.
Lost Wax Process
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 loupe is a magnification tool used by jewelers to analyze gemstones and other jewelry materials. Diamonds and color stones are always evaluated at 10x magnification and in the face-up position. 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.
Luster indicates the sharpness of light reflections from a pearl. This is one of the pearl value factors, and it is a critical component of every pearl's beauty. The appearance of a material's surface, as determined by the quantity and quality of light reflected.
An extravagant jewelry piece.


A Japanese term for cultured pearls, which are cultured against the shell so that only half a pearl is formed resembling a half-sphere.
Madeira citrine
Madeira citrine is the trade term for citrine that's deep orange (the most valuable color for this gem).
Magnetic Clasp
A magnetic clasp features a magnet on each end of a chain are drawn together to hold the jewelry in place.
Malachite is a mineral species that's opaque and light to dark green or bluish green with attractive bands of different shades.
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.
Mariner Link Chain
Mariner chain, also called an anchor link chain, is made up of oval links with a strip of metal down the center.
Markings are the time increment symbols located on the watch dial, or stamping found on fine jewelry indicating gold content, manufacturer's trademark and sometimes the stone weight.
Marquis Cut (gem cut)
A faceted, elongated, oval stone which tapers to a point at both ends. A diamond cut that is elongated like an oval, but has a point at either end. A marquise cut is a type of cut in which the stone is elongated and pointed at both ends. A marquise cut stone is longer than it is wide.
Master stones
A set of diamonds used 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.
Matte Finish
A matte finish is one that is grainy and non-reflective. 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.
A term for mixed diamond sizes, weighing more than carat.
A classification used in the sorting of diamonds weighing less than carat. Single Cut and Full Cut Melee refer to the type of faceting in smaller sized round diamonds most often used in pave work. Melee refers to round diamonds that typically weigh less than 0.10ct or 10 points. The Single Cut variety of melee are vintage round diamonds that have 17 facets in total. Full Cut melee are replicas of larger modern round brilliant diamonds that have a combined 57 facets.
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.
Most jewelry is made of metal. Common metals include gold, silver, platinum and titanium. Metals can be used in pure form or combined with other metals to increase durability.
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 (tessarae) 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.
Milgrain is a decorative detailing technique in which a beaded design is impressed into the metal. Tiny beads of metal used to decorate bands of metal.
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
A diamond cut, which differs from the modern brilliant cut only in its girdle shape, which is square instead of round.
Mineral Crystal
A mineral crystal is a transparent synthetic material that protects a clock or watch dial.
Mineral Gem
A mineral gem is one that was created by geologic processes. Diamond, emerald, ruby, and sapphire are the most familiar examples. Others include amethyst, aquamarine, citrine, garnet, jade, opal, peridot, topaz, and tourmaline. Mineral gems are the products most consumers think of as natural gems.
A jewelry design which is simple and sparing.
Mississippi River Pearls
Irregularly shaped pearls, usually elongated.
Mixed Cuts (gem cut)
A gemstone with a mixture of cutting styles.
Mizpah Ring
A broad, gold ring engraved with the word MIZPAH, meaning "I will watch over thee", which was popular during the Victorian period.
MM or mm is the abbreviation for millimeter, the standard unit of measurement for jewelry dimensions. For an approximate conversion to inches, see below. 3mm is approximately 1/8 inch 6mm is approximately 1/4 inch 13mm is approximately 1/2 inch 19mm is approximately 3/4 inch 25mm is approximately 1 inch 50mm is approximately 2 inches 75mm is approximately 3 inches.
Modified Cuts (gem cut)
See Mixed cuts
Mohs Hardness Scale
A qualitative scale characterizing scratch resistance of various minerals through the ability of harder material to scratch softer material. The Mohs Hardness Scale is used to measure the degree to which a stone or mineral is resistant to scratches. Hardness is measured from 1 to 10, with 10 (diamonds) being the hardest.
A Silicon Carbide SiC found in the Diablo Canyon meteoric iron .
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. Morganite is the peachy-pink variety of beryl, cousin to more familiar beryl like emerald and aquamarine. The beautiful, feminine colors of morganite are a result of the presence of manganese.
A design created by pressing pieces of stone glass or ceramic tiles called tessera in mortar.
Mother-Of-Pearl Inlay
Mother-Of-Pearl is the thin layers of nacre that make up the iridescent interior of a mollusk shell. These layers are removed and used for watch faces and other pieces of jewelry.
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.
Movado Museum® Dial
The Movado Museum® Dial was created by George Horwitt. The dial includes a round dot at 12 o'clock and hands which appear to float.
Movado is a Swiss watchmaker renowned for its modern design aesthetic. Since 1881, Movado has earned over 100 patents and 200 international awards for artistry and innovation.
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.
Mystic Fire Topaz
Mystic Fire is a colorless topaz that is enhanced after it is cut with a patented azotic coating on its underside, producing a permanent and stable blue-green appearance with an iridescent rainbow of pronounced color accents, especially in natural sunlight.


Nacre is the substance produced in mollusk shells that coats particles and other foreign objects. Over time, layers of nacre build up around the particles to form pearls. 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.
Natural Fancy Color Diamonds
Natural fancy color diamonds feature a deep body color, including brown, yellow, blue, violet, orange, pink and red. Fancy color diamonds are unusual and therefore highly valued. They are rated Z+ on the color scale and have nine saturation levels from Faint to Fancy Vivid.
Natural Gem
Natural gemstones are those that are mined from the earth rather than created. Natural gemstones are extremely rare. This often adds to their value and appeal. Synthetic or lab-created gemstones are made of the same material as natural gemstones, so they share the same chemical and optical properties.
Natural Pearl
A natural pearl that formed without human involvement of any kind. Also see cultured pearl.
Another name for a Marquise cut.
Near-colorless diamonds have little or no color visible to the naked eye. Near-colorless diamonds are classified as G, H, I or J on the color scale.
An ornament worn around the neck.
A long necklace that usually terminates in irregular length with tassels or drops.
Nick Setting
The nick setting is similar to the channel setting. Stones are placed in a row, with metal bordering either side. In a nick setting, small prongs are nicked from the surrounding metal to secure the stones.
Nickel silver
A white metal mixture of Copper, Zinc, and Nickel which contains no Silver.
Nickel is a hard metal with a silver or white appearance that is often combined with other metals for added strength.
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. This is rarely found in modern jewelry as it releases sulfides into the atmosphere. Mostly simulated with black paints or plastics now.
Nucleation is the process for implanting the bead or fragment or oyster meat (nucleus) around which a cultured pearl grows.


Octagon (gem cut)
See Emerald cut.
A temporary treatment used to enhance the color of a gemstone.
Old European Cut (Gem cut)
A round diamond cut, known for their large, 57-58 facets. A term applied to the earliest form of a circular, girdled round stone or brilliant.
Old-mine Cut (Gem cut)
An early form of Brilliant cut, with a nearly square girdle outline.
Olivine is the mineralogist's name for peridot.
Omega Back
An omega back is the hinged and curved closure that supports the back of a post earring.
Omega Chain
An omega chain features small rectangular pieces of metal linked together on a flexible wire that is invisible to the eye. Omega chains are arched on top but lay flat against the neck and can be decorated with a slide.
A semi-precious stone that is black or white in color. Onyx is a gemstone usually found in black, but can occasionally be found in other colors. It is the gemstone to celebrate the 7th wedding anniversary.
A semi-precious stone known for its iridescent, luminous qualities. The opal is believed to reflect the colors of all other gemstones. Opal is the birthstone for October and the traditional gift for the 14th wedding anniversary.
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 (gem 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.


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. Also, small bits of solder to be used when joining components together.
A charcoal-gray form of Platinum found in Russia, South Africa, and North America. Palladium is a rare and lustrous silvery-white metal.
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.
Pavé Setting
A pavé setting features multiple small stones set in a curved or flat surface and held in place by prongs. The prongs are created by hand from the surrounding metal with the use of a fine sharp graver's tool. The tables of the stones will all be level with the jewelry surface.
A large field of small stones set very close together to create wall-to-wall paved object.
The pavilion is the lower part of a diamond, located between the girdle and the culet. The portion of a gemstone located below the girdle.
Pear (gem 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. Pearls are organic gemstones created from layer upon layer of nacre and produced in mollusk shells. Pearls are the traditional anniversary gemstone for the 3rd and 30th years of marriage and the birthstone for June. Today, because of their rarity in nature, most pearls are cultured.
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 piece of jewelry that hangs from a chain worn around the neck.
A yellow-green, transparent variety of Olivine. Peridot is known for its yellow-green color. Peridot is the birthstone for August and the traditional gift for the 16th wedding anniversary. It is also known as olivine.
Personalized jewelry can be customized with engraving, choice of gemstones or metals.
A small, potentially fragile piece of jewelry.
A term for items described and marked as if they contain at least 90% tin.
pickle (process)
The process of soaking metal in a dilute acid to remove oxides.
The process of incorporating perforations for decorative or functional effect.
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 pin is a piece of jewelry that's usually fastened to a garment by a hinged pin and catch; sometimes called a brooch.
A gold simulant, invented circa 1720 by Christopher Pinchbeck, which is comprised of a mixture of Copper and Zinc.
Pink Diamond
A pink diamond is a fancy colored rare variety of diamond, with a pink or rose body color. The vivid pink color is caused by the presence of trace elements during the diamond's formation.
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.
Platinum is a durable precious metal, valued for its white color and purity. Platinum is hypoallergenic. To be called platinum, it must contain at least 90% pure platinum (10% other metals).
Pleochroism is transmitting (or showing) different colors in different crystal directions. Many doubly refractive gems exhibit this property because when light is polarized the separate rays may undergo differing selective absorption and take on different colors. You usually see a blend of any pleochroic colors that are present, but in gems like iolite and tanzanite the effect is so strong you see distinctly different colors depending on your viewing direction.
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.
Pocket Watch
A pocket watch is a timekeeping device that is carried rather than worn. Invented in the 1500s, this style is one of the earlier forms of portable timekeeping.
Point (pt.)
(1) Weight: (1/100) carat. (2) Cut: The pointed end of a pear, marquise, or other fancy shape. One-one hundredth (0.01) of a carat.
The polish is the condition of a diamond or metal's surface.
A smooth, glossy jewelry finish.
A case for scented objects, worn as a pendant.
Popcorn Chain
A popcorn chain is a three-dimensional beaded chain that resembles kernels of popcorn.
Popigai Crater
A crater in Siberia, Russia that is home to the world's largest known diamond deposit.
Portuguese Cut (gem cut)
Portuguese cut gems feature faceting technique where the gem is cut with two rows of rhomboidal and three rows of triangular facets above and below the girdle (the girdle is the line that divides the top or crown of the stone from the bottom or pavilion)
The Greek god of the sea .
A post is the metal part of the earring that goes through the pierced earlobe.
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 (gem cut)
A highly faceted square cut stone, similar to a brilliant cut, which has been adapted to a square shape to increase brilliance. A princess-cut diamond has a squared shape and beveled edges.
Promise Ring
A promise ring is used to signify a pledge or promise between two people. It is most commonly used as a pre-engagement ring and replaces the tradition of exchanging class rings as a symbol of 'going steady.' Can be worn on the ring finger of either hand.
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. A prong setting is one component of what is known to jewelers as a head, a claw-shaped type of binding (typically 3, 4, or 6 individual prongs per head) that is welded or soldered to a jewelry item in order to mount (or set) a gemstone to the jewelry item.
Prongs are pieces of metal used to secure diamonds and gemstones. Forming a basket-like base, the ends of the prongs are bent over and shaped so that they rest against the gem to hold it snugly in place.
A property is a gem characteristic produced by the combination of chemical composition and crystal structure. Gemologists normally observe or measure properties to identify gems. These include absorption spectrum, cleavage, fluorescence, hardness, optic character, pleochroism, refractive index, specific gravity, stability, toughness.
A mathematical representation of a gemstone's overall symmetry.
An offering of marriage.
Pure Gold
Pure gold is gold that is not alloyed with other metals. The term karat is used to indicate the purity of gold present, with 24K being pure gold and lower ratings proportionally less.
Pure Platinum
Pure platinum that is not alloyed with any other metals. Platinum measurement is often expressed in percentages. In order for a metal to be considered platinum, it must contain 90% of the material at a minimum.
PVD Finish
PVD stands for Physical Vapor Deposit, a process by which a durable finish or coating is applied to metal, such as stainless steel. The black color, a carbon and titanium composite, is placed into a pressurized chamber with the stainless steel. The composite is forced into the surface of the steel, coloring it black.


Quartz Movement
A quartz movement refers to the specific mechanical type of movement that powers a watch.
The family name for naturally occurring crystals composed of Silica or Silicon Dioxide. Quartz is the most abundant mineral species on Earth. Quartz varieties include amethyst, ametrine, citrine, rock crystal, rose quartz, smoky quartz, and tiger's-eye.


Radiant (gem cut)
Radiant Cut
A rectangular gemstone which combines the shape of an emerald cut and the sparkle of a brilliant cut.
A radiant-cut diamond or gemstone is an eight-sided rectangular or square-cut stone with approximately 70 facets.
Metal edges that line the sides of a melee setting.
Raspberry Rhodolite®
Raspberry Rhodolite® is the trademarked brand name for rhodolite garnet in Le Vian® products.
Red Diamond
Red diamond features a rich red body color. Red diamonds are classified as fancy colored diamonds and are harder to find in nature than traditional diamonds. The red-hue occurs when that diamond is exposed to certain elements and conditions during formation.
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. Rhodium is a shiny platinum group metal that increases whiteness and strength of other metals. A rhodium finish also helps to prevent tarnishing.
A pink or purple variation of garnet. Rhodolite is a garnet variety that's predominately a mixture of almandite and pyrope. Color ranges from light pink to dark purple-red.
Ring Sizes
A measurement used to denote the circumference (or sometimes the diameter) of rings.
A circular band of precious or semi-precious metal worn especially on the finger.
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
Rock crystal is the colorless variety of quartz. 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.
Rope Chain
A rope chain features several strips of metal twisted together, resulting in a chain with a rope pattern.
A string of beads used in counting prayers.
Rose Cut (gem 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 gold is the result of combining pure gold with large amounts of copper. It may also be called pink gold.
Rose Quartz
A translucent, milky-pink variety of Quartz. Rose quartz exhibits a pale pink to rose-red hue. The color usually occurs due to trace amounts of titanium, iron or manganese in the massive material.
Rosser Reeves Ruby
A 138.7 carat Ruby, known for its great color and well-defined star pattern.
any of various red cosmetics for coloring the cheeks or lips. a reddish powder, chiefly ferric oxide, used for polishing metal, glass, etc.
Round (gem cut)
Gems with a round outline.
Round Brilliant Cut (gem cut)
Diamond cutters developed the round brilliant cut over hundreds of years. The round cut brings out a diamond's brilliance, dispersion and scintillation.
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. Ruby is the red form of the mineral corundum. Along with sapphires, rubies are the second hardest minerals (diamonds are the hardest). Rubies serve as the birthstone for July and the traditional gift for the 15th and 40th wedding anniversaries.
A type of Quartz with inclusions of Rutile.


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.
Saltwater Pearl
A saltwater pearl is a natural or cultured pearl produced by a mollusk that lives in the ocean or some other body of saltwater. Akoya, South Sea and Tahitian pearls come from saltwater.
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.
A jewelry piece that has been intentionally abraded with many pieces of a small, coarse material to give it a rough, unpolished finish.
Sapphire Crystal
A sapphire crystal is the clear piece that covers a watch face. It may be natural or lab-created sapphire, the second hardest mineral on the Mohs Scale of Hardness (diamonds are the hardest).
A member of the Corundum family which come in a variety of colors ranging from: white to orange to green to pink. Sapphire is a form of the mineral corundum that comes in every color except red. Sapphires and rubies are the second hardest minerals (diamonds are the hardest). Sapphire is the birthstone for September and the traditional gift for the 5th, 23rd and 45th wedding anniversaries.
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. Similar to a brushed-finish, a satin-finish adds texture with small grooves in the metal's surface. This reduces the metal's reflectivity and adds a desirable soft sheen.
One of the three color components, saturation (also called brightness and intensity) is a color's strength and purity. For example, emerald and sage green have different levels of saturation.
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.
Scintillation is the sparkle or flash emitted by diamonds when they are moved under light.
Screw Back
Screw backs are typically used for diamond earrings. This secure backing features small metal backs that screw onto the post.
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.
Self-Winding Watch
An automatic or self-winding watch is a mechanical watch in which the mainspring is wound automatically as a result of natural motion of the wearer's arm. This movement provides energy to run the watch, making manual winding unnecessary.
A semi-mounting is a ring that has everything except for the center stone. A semi-mounting allows customers to add the stone of their choice to complete the ring.
Semiprecious is a traditional classification that includes all gems other than "precious" gems (diamond, emerald, ruby, sapphire, and pearl). Most professionals believe that the categories are misleading, and the term semiprecious is unfairly negative. But both terms (precious and semiprecious) are still widely used. A gemstone that is of a high value or price, due to its appearance. A stone that is less rare and less expensive than precious stones, but is still valued for its beauty.
A mechanism by which a stone is held by precious metal into a mounting. A setting is the way in which a gem is held. Prong, bezel and channel are all types of settings.
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.
Shock Resistance
A test that is based on the simulation of the shock received by a watch on falling accidentally from a height of 39 inches onto a horizontal hardwood surface. To pass, a watch must keep time within 60 seconds for 24 hours.
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.
Siladium® is a metal used by ArtCarved® in class rings. Siladium is a fine jeweler's stainless steel that is over 95% recycled. It polishes to a bright white luster, and is strong and durable.
Silver is a type of metal used for jewelry. Silver is often combined with other metals to increase its strength. Sterling silver consists of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy.
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.
Singapore Chain
A Singapore chain is a twisted curb chain where the links are joined in such a way that, even when the chain is untwisted, there is always a natural curve to it.
Single-cut (gem cut)
The Single Cut are round diamonds that have 17 facets in total. Historical Context: Single cut melee were used in jewelry mainly through the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries. Single cut melee feature an 8/8 facet arrangement with 8 facets along the crown (top) and 8 facets on the pavilion (bottom) of a diamond plus a table facet for a total of 17 facets. In the jewelry trade, single-cuts are commonly referred to as “huit huit” (pronounced weet weet) from the French term “huit” for the number eight.
This means different things depending on which gem you are talking about. For diamonds, size generally means carat weight. For gemstones it can mean caret weight and-or the dimensions of the gem. For pearls, it generally means the diameter. Most jewelry stores use the international conventions of millimeters (mm) as the preferred unit of measurement.
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 quartz is a rich brown variety of quartz.
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 snake chain features thin bands of metal secured closely together, resembling the body of a snake.
A jewelry production technique which joins two metals, using a melted metal or alloy. Solder is the process of melting metal and joining it together to make, repair or adjust jewelry.
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.
A ring made of pressurized lab created diamonds.
A ring containing a single diamond or gemstone. Solitaires are rings, earrings or necklaces that feature a single diamond.
South Sea Pearl
South Sea Pearls are the rarest and most expensive type of cultured pearl, grown primarily in waters around Australia, Indonesia, and the Philippines. The size is large - normally about 8 to 18 millimeters. Shapes are often circled. Colors range from white and cream to silver gray, golden yellow, rose pink, and aqua blue.
A spacer is a decorative bead or accent that is placed between charms in personalized jewelry such as charm bracelets.
The act of giving off or reflecting bright, moving points of light.
A term used to refer to jewelry. "Oh look! sparkly jewelry!"
A spectrophotometer is an advanced gem-testing instrument that measures selective absorption from infrared to ultraviolet.
A spectroscope is a gem-testing instrument used to analyze absorption spectrum.
Spiga Chain
A Spiga chain features small figure eight-shaped links that form a 3D braided chain that feels almost square, and looks as though the wire has been plaited.
A semi-precious gemstone consisting of an oxide of Magnesium and Aluminum that varies from colorless to ruby red to black. A spinel is a mineral made of aluminum and magnesium oxides that often resembles ruby.
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 Clasp
The spring-ring clasp features a small metal ring with a gap that can be opened and closed by a spring-powered lever. This ring attaches to a metal ring with no gap on the opposite end of the chain.
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. A square-cut stone is cut with a square outline. Facets are cut in 'steps.' Normally contains 57 facets.
Stability is considered the resistance to damage not directly related to hardness or toughness, including heat, sudden temperature change, intense light, moisture loss, and chemicals.
Stabilized Turquoise
Turquoise that has been treated by various methods to reduce the porosity, thus making it less changeable over time.
Stackable Ring
Stackable rings are slender bands (often matching) worn on one finger at once. 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. Stainless steel is a strong metal used for jewelry that is less likely to rust or corrode than regular steel or other jewelry metals.
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.
Star Effect
Star effect is the phenomenon that occurs when intersecting bands of light form a star pattern that appears to move across the top of a gem. It's usually caused by reflections from microscopic needle-like inclusions that crisscross in specific directions. The best-known examples are star ruby and star sapphire.
Steam Cleaner
A professional cleaning device that removes dirt from unset gems or jewelry with high-pressure blasts of super-hot water. Steam cleaning can damage most colored gems.
Step-Cut (gem cut)
Step-cut is a way in which gems are cut. Step-cut gems feature rows of facets positioned in a step-like fashion. Most step-cut gems have four sides and a rectangular shape, such as emerald or baguette diamonds.
Sterling Silver
A silver alloy made up of at least 92.5% pure Silver, which is the standard fineness for Silver. Sterling silver is a durable jewelry metal consisting of at least 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% alloy.
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.
Strawberry Gold ®
Strawberry Gold® is the trademarked name for the rose gold used in Le Vian® designs.
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. Studs are post earrings with single gems or small clusters in simple settings for pierced ears.
Subdials are the small dials located on a watch face that display chronograph functions of the watch such as the stopwatch, timer, elapsed time measurement, date, day of the week and moon phase.
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.
Swarovski Elements
Swarovski Elements™ are Swarovski crystals used in jewelry and watches.
Swarovski® Crystal
Swarovski is one of the most recognized brand of crystals in the world. Swarovski crystals are famous worldwide for their precision cuts, clarity and sparkle and have been used in all types of jewelry including necklaces, pendants, earrings, and tiaras.
British Standard Wire Gauge is a set of wire sizes given by BS 3737:1964 (now withdrawn), and is generally abbreviated to SWG. It is also known as: Imperial Wire Gauge or British Standard Gauge.
A term for the uniformity of a gemstone's cut, including the shape and placement of facets. Symmetry is the precision of a diamond's cut.
Synthetic Gemstones
A gemstone that was produced in laboratory rather than found in nature. A synthetic stone is a colored stone produced in a laboratory setting. Synthetic stones have the same chemical, physical and optical properties as natural gemstones. They may also be called lab-created stones.


Table percentage
The diameter of a gemstone, divided by the size of the table.
The large facet that caps the crown of a faceted gemstone.
See emerald cut.
Tachymeter (Tachometer)
A tachymeter or tachometer is an instrument on a watch that measures time and distance to determine speed. Tachymeters are typically used to measure high rates of speed.
Tahitian Cultured Pearl
Tahitian cultured pearls are known for their compelling dark color. Grown in black-lip oysters, Tahitian cultured pearls range in color from metallic to gray to black, sometimes with colorful overtones. 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 and purple to lilac. Tanzanite is a fairly new gemstone discovered in Tanzania in 1967. Tanzanite is known for its bluish-purple hues and is December's newest birthstone as well as the traditional gift for the 24th wedding anniversary.
Tapered baguette
A small gemstone, cut in a trapezoid shape with one end narrower than the opposite end.
A piece that becomes gradually smaller toward one end.
A dulled luster or finish caused by a thin deposit of dirt which discolors the surface of metal and is easily removed. Tarnish is simply the loss of luster. Air and moisture can cause certain metals like sterling silver to tarnish.
Tempering is usually performed after hardening, to reduce some of the excess hardness, and is done by heating the metal to some temperature below the critical point for a certain period of time, then allowing it to cool in still air.
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. In a tension setting, a stone is held on either side by the metal of the setting, and appears to look as if it were floating in the air. Unlike other settings, the tension setting exposes almost the entire stone.
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.
Three-Piece Set/Trio
A three-piece set, or a trio, is a coordinating bridal set that includes an engagement ring and wedding band for her, and a wedding band for him.
Thrumming with a string is the classic method to polish around prongs, filigree work and other hard to reach places. Thrumming is a type of polishing which uses cords and thread to reach every possible surface area of metal. The distinction of truly fine jewelry is in the attention paid to small details even if they will never be seen by the owner of the items you make.
A head ornament worn in the crown position.
Tie Bar
A tie bar is a decorative metal bar with a clip that fastens to a tie.
Tiger's-eye is a chatoyant variety of quartz. Color is usually yellowish brown or brownish yellow. Because the phenomenon is caused by fibrous structure (rather than needle-like inclusions), the gem usually displays a silky sheen or diffused cat's eye effect.
A timepiece is an instrument, such as a clock or watch, that measures, registers or records time.
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. Titanium is a popular jewelry metal, especially for wedding bands and watches. Titanium weighs 1/3 less than gold, but is extremely strong.
Toe Ring
A toe ring is circular in shape and can be designed with or without decorative accents like gemstones and diamonds. Toe rings are worn on the toes and can usually be adjusted for a comfortable, customized fit.
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. A toggle clasp features metal bar on one end of the chain that fits through a small metal ring on the opposite end. When flat, the bar cannot fit back through the ring, securing the ends together.
Tolkowsky, Marcel
A mathematician that defined the proportions necessary for maximum brilliance from a round diamond brilliant cut.
Tone is one of the three color components. Tone is a color's lightness or darkness. For example, red and pink have different tones.
A borosilicate of Aluminum that occurs in rhomboidal crystals and is used as a gemstone. Topaz is a mineral species that occurs in many shades of blue, yellow, brown, orange, red, and pink. All colors of topaz are birthstones for November, while blue topaz is the birthstone for December. Topaz is also the gemstone for the 4th wedding anniversary.
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.
Total Weight/Total Ct. Weight
Total weight or total ct. weight is the combined weight of all gems in an item of jewelry.
Toughness is the ability of a stone to resist pressure from impact.
A semi-precious gemstone that can take on multiple colors and consists of a complex Borosilicate. Tourmaline is classified as a semi-precious stone and comes in a variety of colors ranging from black to brown, violet, green, pink, or a dual-colored pink and green.
Tracer Band
A wedding or anniversary band that is contoured in such a way as to fit flush against the engagement ring.
Partially transparent.
Trapeze Cut
A gemstone cut into an equilateral triangle with a flat top.
A treatment is an artificial process that improves a gem's appearance or durability. Treatments for colored gems include bleaching, coating, diffusion, dyeing, filling, heating, impregnation, and irradiation. May also be called enhancement.
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.
Tri-color designs feature three colors of metal in one product. These can be the same metal, such as gold, or a combination of metals.
Trilliant (gem cut)
A trilliant cut, sometimes called a trillion or trillian, is a triangular type of gemstone cut. The cut has many variations. It may have curved or uncurved sides. The shape of the top surface, or table, also varies. The trilliant cut was introduced by the Asscher brothers in Amsterdam and was later trademarked by the Henry Meyer Diamond Company of New York in 1962. Now that the patent has expired, the term "Trilliant Cut" is used to refer to all triangular shaped gems, even step cut and cabochon stones. Triangular Brilliant and Triangular Modified Brilliant are the common terms used by GIA when referring to non-branded diamonds.
Trillion (gem cut)
The Trillion cut is a triangular shape comprised of three equal sides and 31 or 50 facets depending on whether the diamonds are used as solitaires or accent stones. For solitaires, a curved or convex cut is employed, whereas accent stones are cut uncurved or concave.
A triplet is an assembled gem with three main components.
A rich, deep green variation of Garnet. Tsavorite is a vibrant green type of grossularite, which is a form of garnet. The gemstone was discovered in 1975 in Kenya.
A flexible, tubular chain.
Tungsten/Tungsten Carbide
Tungsten is a fairly new metal in the jewelry industry, often used for wedding bands. Tungsten is resistant to corrosion and four times harder than titanium.
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. Turquoise is a mineral species that's opaque and light to medium-dark blue or bluish green. It may also show spangles of pyrite, or include remnants of matrix. Turquoise is one of the December birthstones, and it's the 11th anniversary gem.
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. Two-toned designs feature two colors of metal in one product. These can be the same metal, such as gold, or a combination of metals.


Ultrasonic cleaner
An ultrasonic cleaner is a device that cleans jewelry by sending high frequency sound waves through a detergent solution. Ultrasonic cleaners can damage some colored gems.
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.


Vanilla Diamonds™
Vanilla Diamonds™ is the trademarked name for white diamonds used in Le Vian® products.
Vanilla Gold ™
Vanilla Gold ™ is the trademarked name for the white gold used in Le Vian® products.
Vermeil is a jewelry metal made of sterling silver coated or plated with gold.
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.
Vintage-style jewelry is made with an antique or vintage-style finish.


Watch Band
A watch band can be a strip of leather, rubber, cloth or metal that attaches to the case and wraps around the wrist. Metal bands can be resized by adding or removing links; leather bands offer several buckle holes for the best fit.
Watch Movement
A watch movement is the internal device that keeps time. The first watches were mechanical, with a balance wheel and mainspring and had to be wound to keep time. Most watches today use a quartz crystal and a battery for power meaning they don't require winding. Automatic watches are self-winding, powered by the everyday motion of your wrist.
Water Resistant
Water resistance is the feature of a watch that denies water and moisture from penetrating inside its case. No watch is completely waterproof, but several can withstand rain and splashing. Water resistance is measured in ATMs (atmospheric pressure). This number is usually printed on the back of the case.
Wedding Band
Symbolic of everlasting love and commitment, wedding bands are exchanged between the bride and groom on the wedding day.
Wedding Set
A collection containing both the engagement ring and the wedding band.
A marriage ceremony.
Wheat Chain
A wheat chain is made of oval- and twisted oval-shaped links that are connected and intertwined, resulting in an intricate chain with great visual detail, resembling grains of wheat.
White Diamond
White is the body color most traditionally associated with diamonds. White diamonds are graded on a scale from colorless to slightly yellow, where diamonds that are closer to colorless are more valuable.
White gold
An alloy made of Gold mixed with Nickel sometimes also containing Palladium or Zinc. White gold is created by combining pure gold with a copper, zinc and nickel (or palladium) alloy.
White Metal
Any combination of alloys of non precious metals such as Lead and Tin.
White Topaz
White topaz is a clear variety of topaz that has little to no color.
A hard, fibrous substance that makes up the structure of trees and shrubs.
work hardening
Work hardening, also known as strain hardening, is the strengthening of a metal or polymer by plastic deformation. Work hardening may be desirable, undesirable, or inconsequential, depending on the context.
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 Diamond
A yellow diamond is more rarely found in nature than traditional diamonds. The yellow color is caused by a presence of nitrogen during the formation process. Yellow diamonds are considered to be fancy colored diamonds.
Yellow Gold
Pure gold is 24K. A gold that is yellow--as in its pure form--often alloyed with copper and silver.


An abundant, lustrous, bluish-white metallic element of the Magnesium-Cadmium group, Zinc is an alloy metal. It is mixed with gold, silver, and copper to produce various shades of gold. Combining zinc with gold and certain other alloys results in white gold.
A common mineral occurring in small crystals which is heated, cut, and polished to form a brilliant blue-white gemstone, Zircon is a mineral species that occurs in blue, green, yellow, brown, orange, red, pink, and occasionally purple. It can also be colorless. Light-colored zircons may show the optical effect known as dispersion. Zircon is one of the December birthstones.
A semi-precious gemstone which takes on a variety of colors including: blue, violet, green, brown, pink, yellow, gray, and white.