Common Jewelry Terms Glossary

Posted by Daubin Barshtak on August 24, 2011.


Amethyst: A common form of quartz. Amethyst is usually purple, but can range in color from pale lavender to a very deep, reddish purple and may have milky white or green inclusions. Deeper-colored amethysts are more highly valued. The name comes from the Greek for "not drunken" as wearing amethyst was believed to be a proof against becoming intoxicated. The amethyst is said to bring good luck and to radiate love. Amethyst is the birthstone for February. Some variants are Cape amethyst and Ametrine. Amethyst Chandelier Earrings

Anchor Chain: A chain made of round linked rings of uniform size. This tends to be what most people think of when they think of the word "chain". It is the same style of chain as the cable used to anchor large ships to a dock.

Aquamarine: A member of the beryl family, like emeralds. Aquamarine is transparent blue or sea-green. The name comes from a Latin phrase meaning "water of the sea." Aquamarine is found all over the world, including Brazil, Russia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India and Madagascar. It was thought to bring its wearers knowledge, foresight and inspiration.

Art Deco: A popular style of jewelry from the mid-1910's until the mid-1920's originating in Paris, France. Art Deco pieces are characterized by geometric lines and angular shapes, zigzags, bold colors, molded or faceted Czech glass beads, plastics (like celluloid or Bakelite) and chrome. Colored stones were utilized more, and the opaque stones such as jade, onyx and coral were set in geometric shapes. Sleek animals such as Borzoi and Greyhound dogs were featured in some designs. It started out with relatively delicate designs, and progressed to a more bold and blocky style called Art Moderne.

Baguette: A gemstone cut in a narrow rectangular shape reminiscent of a loaf of French bread, from which it draws its name. Small diamonds cut this way are often used as accents for rings and necklaces.

Blue Topaz: A topaz that is light brown or colorless when mined but turns a vivid blue when exposed to heat. Blue Topaz is an alternate birthstone for December.

Bombé: The word itself simply means "curving or bulging outward". In regards to jewelry it refers to a dome-shaped setting often seen in rings and earrings from the 1940s and 1950s.

Box Chain: A chain in which each link is wide and square so that it resembles a box.

Bridal set: An engagement and wedding ring that come in a set and usually match or compliment each other.

Butterfly clutch: A fitting that slides onto the back of an earring post to secure it in place.

Byzantine Chain: An intricately designed chain. Two pairs of oval-shaped links are linked together. Each pair is then parted to allow a large thick oval link to be attached to the other pair.

Cable Chain: A chain made of round linked rings of uniform size. This tends to be what most people think of when they think of the word "chain". It is the same style of chain as the cable used to anchor large ships to a dock.

Channel Set: A style of setting in which a number of uniformly sized small stones, usually of the round cut, princess cut or baguette shapes, are set side by side in a grooved channel. Unlike most setting methods the stones are not secured individually with prongs and there is no metal visible between the stones.

Choker: A close fitting necklace worn tight around the neck like a collar.

Cigar band: A very wide band-style ring.

Citrine: Named after the French word for lemon, "citron". Citrine is often incorrectly called quartz topaz or citrine topaz. A variety of quartz, citrine is found in light yellow, amber-brown, and a brilliant orange that may be confused with fine imperial topaz. Most citrine comes from South America. In ancient times, citrine was revered as a gift of the sun and believed to be a powerful antidote to a viper's venom. Citrine is the birthstone for November.

Claddagh Ring: Claddagh Rings. The Irish Claddagh Symbol is named for the coastal town of Claddagh (pronounced clah-dah), where local legend attributes the rings design. Claddagh rings are a traditional token of friendship, loyalty and romantic love. The Claddagh design typically appears on rings, but we have the Irish symbol on various pieces of jewelry. The hands in the design represent friendship, the heart, love, and the crown, loyalty.

First crafted by Master Goldsmith Richard Joyce in 1689, it is named after Claddagh, the fishing village he lived in at the time, which overlooks Galway Bay. The ring belongs to a class of rings called "Fede" or "Faith rings", which date from Roman times and were popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe. Whereas "Fede" rings have only two clasped hands, symbolizing faith, trust, or "plighted troth", Claddagh rings have two hands clasping a heart, symbolizing love, surmounted by a crown, symbolizing loyalty. The ring worn on the right hand with the heart turned outward indicates that your heart is yet unoccupied. a Claddagh Ring Worn on the right hand with the heart turned inward indicates that love is being considered. Worn on the left hand with the heart turned inward shows everyone that your heart is truly spoken for.

Clip-back Earring: A hinged ring with a pad, called a "comfort back", at one end to secure the earring to the earlobe without requiring that the ear be pierced.

Cluster: Several stones grouped together in a jewelry setting.

Cocktail Ring: A large oversized ring set with precious or semiprecious stones popular during the 1940s and 1950s.

Cuban Link Chain: A standard cable chain with oval shaped links that are each decorated with a twisting pattern resembling rope.

Cubic Zirconia: (CZ) A clear, hard, mass-produced gemstone cut to resemble a diamond. The mineral baddeleyite has the same chemical composition, but to become a CZ the mineral must be heated to almost 5000 degrees Fahrenheit and have an oxide stabilizer such as yttrium or calcium added to keep it from reverting back to its original form when cooled. Almost all the rough CZ's in the market are composed of zirconium oxide and yttrium oxide, both of which are naturally white but combine to form a brilliant clear crystal. Like diamonds, the best cubic zirconia gems are colorless but colored forms are also manufactured. Vivid green CZ is sometimes referred to as C-OX, and CZ in numerous colors is frequently sold under various tradenames, such as the yellow CZ from Ceylon called "jargon". Cubic zirconia gemstones are cut in the same fashion as diamonds, and like diamonds the size of the gemstone is usually indicated by its weight in carats. The stone can also be measured in millimeter diameter size. Because the cubic zirconia stone is so dense and solid, it outweighs a diamond of the same millimeter size, weighing 1.7 times more than a diamond of the same millimeter diameter. It is also not as hard as a diamond rating only an 8 on the Mohs scale. Natural skin oils, soap, and dirt cause a film that dulls the beauty and luster of the cubic zirconia, just as it dulls real diamonds. The best cleaning agent for cubic zirconia is liquid dishwashing detergent, but other gem and jewelry cleaners can also be used.

Cuff Bracelet: A wide rigid bangle with a narrow opening on one side to allow the the wrist to pass through.

Cuff link: A decorative fastener worn to close the cuff of a shirt that provides holes on the cuff for the cufflink rather than closing with buttons.

Cultured Pearl: A means of duplicating the organic process of natural pearl creation invented by Kokichi Mikimoto circa 1893. A tiny irritant like a bead, grain of sand, or a piece of mother of pearl from another mollusk can be inserted into the opening of an oyster or mollusk. This irritant becomes the nucleus of a pearl once that mollusk secretes a lustrous substance (nacre) to cover the foreign body. An oyster or mollusk can take between five to seven years to secrete enough nacre to produce a jewelry quality pearl.

Curb Link Chain: A chain composed of oval-shaped links that are twisted and often diamond-cut so they lie flat.

Cushion Cut: A stone that is cut to look like a square or rectangle with rounded edges. The cut is usually multi-faceted to give the highest possible light refraction.

Demi-hoop: see Half-hoop design.

Diamond: A clear transparent precious gemstone composed of pure crystallized carbon which has been highly compressed over millions of years. Diamonds are the hardest substance known to mankind, rating a 10 on the Mohs scale. They are valued because it is difficult to produce a faceted diamond and when properly cut they have high refractivity and brilliance. The quality and value of a diamond is rated using the "4 C's" of color, cut, clarity and carat weight. (See individual listings). The diamond is the birthstone for April. Diamond Jewelers

Diamond accent: Jewelry that has one or more diamonds with a combined carat weight of less than one-fourth of a carat.

Diamond Cut: In the context of gemstones, it means the same as "Brilliant cut". In the context of diamond cut objects, (usually metal objects), it means that part of the object has been cut into a flat diamond shape.

Diamond-cut rope: A chain in which a portion of the chain link is cut into a flat diamond-shaped face and polished to a high shine.

Emerald: A rich green gemstone of the beryl family. Fine emeralds are among the most valuable gemstones. Emeralds are created when chromium combines with various impurities. Unlike most gemstones, inclusions, (called “jardin,” the French word for garden), are quite common in emeralds, so they lower the value much less than with other precious stones such a diamonds. As a remedy to lessen the appearance of common flaws, emeralds may be oiled or dyed. The most highly prized emeralds are mined in Columbia. A valuable emerald will be a bright, vividly colored green. Those with a slight blue cast to the bright green are actually the most valuable color. Many emeralds seen in jewelry are of relatively low quality. If an emerald appears to be very fine, it may actually be a synthetic. There are several types of synthetic emeralds on the market, and some of them are challenging to identify, even for a trained gemologist. Emeralds have long been regarded as a symbol of fertility, rebirth and springtime. They were believed to protect the wearer from the perils of long journeys. Emerald is the birthstone for May.

Ear Cuff: A wide decorative ring with a gap designed to be pinched onto the ear without need for piercing. Ear cuffs may be pinched onto any part of the ear, not just the earlobe.

Earring back: A disk or bead that fits over an earring post and holds the earring securely in place, like a catch.

Earring jacket: A small piece of jewelry with a hole pierced in the center designed to be held onto the ear with a stud earring.

Emerald: A rich green gemstone of the beryl family. Fine emeralds are among the most valuable gemstones. Emeralds are created when chromium combines with various impurities. Unlike most gemstones, inclusions, (called “jardin,” the French word for garden), are quite common in emeralds, so they lower the value much less than with other precious stones such a diamonds. As a remedy to lessen the appearance of common flaws, emeralds may be oiled or dyed. The most highly prized emeralds are mined in Columbia. A valuable emerald will be a bright, vividly colored green. Those with a slight blue cast to the bright green are actually the most valuable color. Many emeralds seen in jewelry are of relatively low quality. If an emerald appears to be very fine, it may actually be a synthetic. There are several types of synthetic emeralds on the market, and some of them are challenging to identify, even for a trained gemologist. Emeralds have long been regarded as a symbol of fertility, rebirth and springtime. They were believed to protect the wearer from the perils of long journeys. Emerald is the birthstone for May.

Emerald cut: (Also referred to as "table-cut" or "step-cut"). A rectangular or square shaped cut with chamfered corners and stepped facets, typically parallel to the girdle. This cut is also used for precious stones other than emeralds.

Enamel: Colored, opaque glassy material fused onto metal, pottery or glass. In its simplest terms, all enamel is produced by fusing colored powdered glass to metal to produce a vitreous or glass-like, decorative surface. Enamel Charms See Enameling. Buy Enamel Charms

Enameling: A decorative technique in which a vitreous pigment of metallic oxide is mixed with finely powdered glass is applied to the surface of a metal--normally bronze, copper, silver or gold. This glass composition adheres to the metal through fusion under very high temperatures. The color of the enamel and its degree of transparency depend on the metal oxides that exist in the glass and the temperature at which the glass melts and coheres to the surface. Popular during the mid-Victorian period was a solid black, blue, or white enamel used to fill engraved designs. See Arts and Crafts, champlevé, cloisonné, faberge, filigree enamel, guilloche, and plique-a-jour.

Engagement Ring: A ring set with a gemstone, (usually a diamond), that is traditionally given to a woman by a man to signify their intention to be married.

Engrave: To decorate metal by gouging a design with graver's tools; embellishing metal or other material with patterns using a stamping tool or drill. This was a popular technique in mid-Victorian jewelry. The resulting depressions were often filled with colored enamel in a technique called champlevé. Also refers to inscribing a dedication or monogram to identify a piece. Stamped pieces can be designed to imitate hand engraving. Under magnification, the design is much more sharp in a hand engraved piece, with subtle irregularities.

Engraving: Any pattern design or mark that is cut into a piece of jewelry with a special engraver's tool; The process of cutting or carving lines into a surface.

Enhanced: Nearly all gemstones available today have been enhanced to bring out their best color or to strengthen them. For example, an accepted industry practice in the polishing process for sapphires involves heating the stones to bring out their color. This process simply extends what nature began, since it is heat and pressure that give gemstones their color in the first place.

Etched: Very faintly carved decoration scratched onto the surface of a piece.

European Cut: A 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. The large culet appears to create a hole at the bottom of the diamond when viewed from the top, since the large culet lets light escape instead of reflecting back to the viewer

Extender Chain: A chain which may be attached to another chain in order to increase the length.

Eye Agate: An agate that when cut at the right angle reveals a series of concentric rings resembling an eye. Unlike other agates which are categorized by their color, this agate is distinguished by the pattern. Eye agates come in a large variety of colors.

Facet: Facets are the small flat surfaces of a polished diamond or gemstone. These polished, flat planes are a major determining factor in enhancing the diamond's ability to sparkle or reflect light.

Faceted: A gemstone carved with a regular pattern of many planes, or "facets".

Family Jewelry: Jewelry embellished with the name and birthstone of a member of the family, or sometimes just the birthstone. See also Mother's Rings.

Fancy Cut: A term used for gems that are cut in a shape other than the standard round-cut, such as single cut, marquise, emerald, pear, heart, oval, square, baguette, triangle, etc. Also called fancy shape.

Fancy Diamond: A diamond found in a color other than white, including yellow, blue, green, red, and purple.

Fancy shapes: Gemstones cut in any way other than round-cut. Another term for Fancy cut.

Faux: (Pronounced like "foe") French word meaning false, fake, imitation or artificial. In a manufacturing context, faux is used to indicate something made to resemble something else. Faux marble looks like marble. Faux bois looks like wood. Faux porphyry looks like stone.

Filigree: A design made with thin wire intricately interlaced or bent into rosettes, spirals, or vines. The wire is typically gold or silver and may be plain, twisted, or plaited. There are two major styles of filigree. The first is to solder the wire to a metal base. This style was used in Byzantine, Carolingian, Ottonian, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and 13th century German and Italian jewelry. The second style is to leave the wire as an openwork design without a metal backing, which is characteristic of European jewelry until the 15th century. Filigree was used on Jewish marriage rings as well as Spanish and Portuguese peasant jewelry. In England it is found on some mourning rings.

Filigree Enamel: A type of decoration similar to cloisonné enameling but having the cloisons made of twisted wire, (rather than flat strips of metal), soldered to the base and filled in with opaque enamel. After the powdered enamel in the spaces is fused and, upon cooling, has contracted, the wire shows above the surface.

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

Figogucci Chain: A mariner link chain where the links are twisted and diamond-cut so they lie flat like a curb link chain.

Figure 8 safety catch: A type of safety catch in which a hinged wire in the shape of a figure eight snaps over a pin.

Florentine: A surface in which parallel lines are engraved in one direction, then crossed with lighter perpendicular lines resembling brush marks. Also called brushed finish

Florentine Finish: A surface in which parallel lines are engraved in one direction, then crossed with lighter perpendicular lines resembling brush marks. Also called brushed finish

Fluted: A long, usually rounded groove incised as a decorative motif. Commonly seen on Greek and Roman columns.

Foldover Clasp: A clasp used on a necklace or bracelet with a box on one end and a V-shaped tongue on the other. The lid of the box opens to reveal a small hook. The tongue slips over the hook and then the lid of the box is snapped closed to secure the tongue in place.

Freshwater Pearl: A pearl produced by a mollusk that inhabits fresh water, such as a lake or river, as opposed to sea water. These pearls are usually shaped like an uneven grain of rice and unlike the saltwater oyster, which normally produces only one or two pearls, each mussel can simultaneously produce many. Freshwater pearls are grown in many countries such as the United States, Japan, China and Ireland. Natural freshwater pearls are found in a variety of colors including blue, lavender, violet, rose and gray. They can also be dyed to enhance or change their color. Freshwater pearls are much cheaper than their seawater cousins since they produce several pearls at once and do not require an irritant to be inserted to produce a pearl.

Garnet: A family of stones having many varieties differing in color and in their constituents, but all are silicates with the same isometric crystallization and conforming to the same general chemical formula. Garnet is a very commonly found in gneiss and mica slate. The name is derived from its resemblance in color and shape to the seeds of the pomegranate. The most common color of garnets range from light red to violet or plum-red, but can also be white, green, yellow, brown, and black varieties. It seems as though every shade and color of garnet is given its own name. Known varieties of garnet include Andradite, Tsavorite, Grossularite, Essonite, Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Melanite, Allochroite, Ouvarovite, Demantoid, and Rhodalite. (See individual listings). Garnets have a hardness that varies between 6-8 on the Mohs scale. It was believed that the wearer of garnet jewelry was kept in good health and protected while traveling. Garnets are worn to signify truth and faith. Red garnet is the birthstone for January.

Gem: (Gemstone). A precious or semiprecious stone that may be used as a jewel when cut and polished. Include diamond, beryl, emerald, chalcedony, agate, onyx, tourmaline, chrysolite, sapphire, ruby, spinel, topaz, turquoise, zircon, cubic zirconia, jacinth, hyacinth, carbuncle, amethyst, alexandrite, cat's eye, bloodstone, hematite, jasper, moonstone, sunstone, and many others. Several organic materials like coral and pearls are also considered gemstones.

Genuine: Unless the word "genuine" is included in the description of a piece of jewelry, it could simply be using the term to describe the color of the piece rather than its actual content. For example, "gold" meaning gold toned, rather than actual gold. (See below) Or "amethyst" meaning amethyst colored, rather than containing an actual amethyst stone.

Genuine Pearl: A smooth, round growth used as a gem, a "genuine" pearl is one that formed naturally within the shell of a mollusk due to an irritant rather than having the irritant placed into the mollusk by hand or being made out of plastic.

Gold Filled: (Also "Goldfilled", or "gold-filled", abbreviated g.f.) A piece of jewelry with a layer of gold mechanically applied to the surface of a base metal, (like brass or copper), can be called Gold Filled if the amount of gold equals one-twentieth of the total weight of the piece. Victorian pieces are likely to be unmarked, but later pieces are marked with the fineness of the gold layer, and the part by weight of the gold. For example a piece marked "1/10 12K G.F." is composed of at least 1/10 12K gold based on the weight of the finished piece. An older unmarked gold piece may often be identified by wear through to base metal, especially when viewing corners or edges under magnification. Look for a change to a darker, brassy colored material at these spots.

Gold plated: A piece of jewelry with a wafer thin coating of gold electroplated or mechanically plated onto a base metal.

Gold Tone: Jewelry finished with a gold color with almost no appreciable measurement of weight in actual gold.

Golden finish: Jewelry finished so that it has the look of gold, but no actual gold content.

Greek key: A design motif attributed to the ancient Greeks symbolizing the bonds of love, friendship and devotion. Greek key designs are repeating patterns of interlocking geometric shapes.

Half-hoop: A bangle, bracelet, or ring in which only half of the circumference of the piece is set with stones.

Half-hoop design: An earring which resembles a ring but does not form a complete circle.

Hallmark: A form of consumer protection against fraud, hallmarks are simply marks stamped onto a precious metal by a legally appointed official after assaying to denote the amount of precious metal contained in a piece. European hallmarks are legally required and date back to the early middle ages. Marks are not officially required in the US but are carried by custom and practice. Marks may indicate the purity of the metal, the maker, the country of manufacture, and/or the date that the piece was assayed or had its design registered.

Hammered: A texture applied to the surface of an object with a hammer to give it a dimpled look.

Heart Cut: A "fancy cut" diamond or stone in the shape of a heart.

Herringbone Chain: A chain made up of short, flat, slanted parallel links with the direction of the slant alternating row by row resembling the spine of the herring.

Hidden box clasp: A box clasp hidden under the last link of chain so that when the chain is closed it looks uniform, except for the release lever.

High polish: A piece of jewelry that has been polished to a mirror-like finish.

Hoop Earring: An earring made from metal wire or tubing that has been shaped like a hoop. Charms and other ornaments are sometimes hung from the hoop.

I.D. bracelet: I.D. is short for "Identification", so an I.D. bracelet is simply a curved plate engraved with the name or initials of the person wearing it.

Inlaid: Past tense of inlay.

Inlay: A decorative technique in which part of the surface of a piece of jewelry, furniture, or ceramic is cut away and stone, mother of pearl, or some other substance is imbedded into the hollowed-out area so that it is level with the surface of the piece. See also channel inlay.

J hoop: A hoop earring in which the hoop is elongated into a shape resembling the letter J rather than being circular.

Lanyard: A cord worn around the neck for carrying something, such as a knife or whistle

Lever back: A means of attaching an earring to a pierced ear with a hook that goes through the ear and is then secured by a hinged lever attached to the back of the piece.

Malachite: A hydrous carbonate of copper, malachite is an opaque green stone characterized by bands of light and dark green which have very pronounced contrast and are often concentric. A source of copper.

Maltese Cross: Named for the Knights of Malta, a group of knights who bore this symbol on their tabards during the Crusades. A Maltese cross has four broad arms of equal length with a V shaped notch cut out of the ends.

Marcasite: A mineral with the same composition as pyrite, (fool's gold), and often called "white iron pyrite", but differing in crystal structure. It can be faceted like a gemstone and is often used in sterling silver jewelry.

Marina chain: A chain composed of small, round, diamond cut links that are designed to lie flat like a curb link chain, but are set very close together.

Mariner or Marine link: A chain link resembling a flat oval with a flat bar in the middle of the ring. A figogucci chain is a variant form.

Marquise: (Mar-KEYS, also called a navette). An oval shape gemstone which tapers to a point at both ends, named for the Marquise de Pompadour, Mistress of King Louis XV.

Matte: With jewelry which has a matte finish the designer uses either a chemical process or an abrasive material to scratch the top layers of the piece creating a dull and non-reflective surface. Also referred to as having a "brushed finish.".

Milgrain: A raised, beaded edge on a ring done with a special engraver's tool; resembling the edge of a coin.

Milgrain Setting: A milgrain design engraved into the edge of the metal securing a stone in place.

Mother-of-pearl: The pearlescent material on the inside of mollusk shells like abalone, oysters, and mussels. This material can be scraped off, sliced thin, and used as inlay on a variety of jewelry, furniture, etc.

Omega chain: Unlike most chains which are a series of linked rings, an Omega chain is made up of rectangular smooth rounded metal plates set side by side and crimped along the ends onto a strip of metal mesh. The end result is a fairly stiff, yet flexible, circle which needs to be worn high around the neck since it is not nearly as attractive when viewed from the edges.

Omega back: These work a bit like lever back earrings, in that they have a hinged lever on the back of the earring near the bottom, but in this case the lever ends in an O shape that closes over a post in place of a clutch to secure the earring to a pierced ear.

Onyx: A semiprecious variety of chalcedony quartz that is a used often in jewelry. See Onyx Rings: When chalcedony is variegated with with spots or figures, or arranged in differently colored layers, it is called agate; and if by reason of the thickness, color, and arrangement of the layers it is suitable for being carved into cameos, it is called onyx. White Onyx, a semi-translucent white to slightly yellowish-white stone, was often used as a background in Victorian jewelry, especially for cameos. Black Onyx can appear opaque or translucent. Although it occurs naturally in black, it is generally dyed black to improve its color. It has a hardness of between 6.5- 7 on the Mohs scale. In India, onyx necklaces are thought to cool feelings of love.

Opal: An amorphous non-crystalline variety of silica which is softer and less dense than quartz. Opals are known for their distinctive iridescent luminous qualities which are actually inclusions that can refract light in a rainbow of colors, called "fire", that change with the angle of observation (Dichroism). Opals contain a large amount of water and susceptible to cracking. Opal is the birthstone for October.

Panther link: A flat chain in which each link resembles three bricks stacked on top of each other with the center brick offset one half-step to the side. The offset brick is then connected to the space left by the offset brick of the next link in the chain by means of a pin. These bricks are commonly rectangular, but may also be shaped like the diamond in a deck of cards.

Pave': (pah-VAY) A kind of setting in which small gemstones are set very close together resembling the paving done with bricks.

Pear Cut: A fancy shape of gem cutting which somewhat resembles a teardrop; rounded on one end and pointed on the other. See Fancy Cut.

Pearl: An organic gem grown within oysters and other mollusks when they produce nacre as a reaction to an irritant. A good sized pearl can take between five to eight years to form, which is usually the entire life of the oyster or mollusk. Pearls are most valuable when they are perfectly round. Fine natural pearls are much more expensive and rare to find than cultured pearls. Never dip jewelry with pearls into a jewelry cleaning solution unless it specifically says that it is safe for pearls. If the solution is not intended for pearls, it will dull the luster on the pearl and cause them to look cloudy. Pearl is the birthstone for June. See also awabi pearl, cultured pearl, oriental pearl, freshwater pearl, blister pearl, mabe', nacre, and baroque.

Pendant: An ornament or charm that hangs from a cord or chain worn around the neck.

Peridot: Another name for chrysolite and olivine. Peridot is the birthstone for August. See Peridot Rings and Peridot earrings.

Pierced earrings: Earrings that are attached to an ear by means of a wire or post that is inserted through a hole pierced in the ear.

Post: The pin that sticks out the back of a stud earring. The post goes through the pierced ear and is secured in place with a catch that slides onto it behind the earlobe.

Rolo chain: A Rolo style chain is composed of individually linked round or oval rings resembling a standard cable chain, but with thicker rings.

Rope chain: A series of small oval-shaped links that are arranged in such a way that they make a spiral design resembling woven rope.

Rhodolite: A rose-red to pale violet variety of pyrope garnet.

Rhodonite: a glassy, opaque, pink to rose-red mineral, often with black inclusions, composed of crystalline manganese silicate. Named after the Greek word "rhodon" meaning "rose". It is found in the former Soviet Union, the U.S., India, and Australia and is usually used as an ornamental stone.

Rhodium: A metal that is part of the platinum family but is liquid in its raw natural state not not solid like platinum. Rhodium can be applied to base metals, gold, sterling silver, or some other alloy, to give it a shiny white surface like platinum. This process was popular in the 30's and 40's, is very durable, and very expensive.

Relief: A kind of decoration that protrudes from the surface, like a cameo.

Ruby: One of the four precious gemstones along with Diamonds, Emeralds and Sapphires. Ruby is a member of the corundum family whose color comes from chromium oxide in the stone. Although corundum can come in many colors, rubies are, by definition, red. Rubies have been synthesized since at least 1890 and can only be distinguished from natural rubies by trained gemologists. Rubies are extremely hard, a 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamonds. Fine rubies of good color can be more valuable than diamonds, For centuries, rubies have symbolized beauty, charity, love, passion, power, and royalty. In some countries, engagement rings are set with rubies instead of diamonds. The ruby is the birthstone for July.

Safety Catch: One of several means of securing a brooch to a garment. Before the invention of safety catches, the most common means of securing a brooch was a simple "C" catch with no locking mechanism. A safety catch is simply a way to secure the pin to the "C" catch so that it doesn't come undone and does not need to extend beyond the edge of the brooch.

San Marco chain: A unique kind of chain wherein each link is long and rounded, resembling a puffed grain of rice with a flat bottom. The links are arranged next to each other at a 45 degree angle and attached to each other on the bottom by sturdy flat pins set at an opposite angle.

Sapphire: One of the four precious gemstones. The other three are diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Sapphire is a member of the corundum family which come in a variety of colors from white to orange to green to pink. If a corundum gemstone is red, it is a ruby, but any other color are properly referred to as sapphires. Sapphires have been synthesized since the 1920's. Ancient Persians believed the blueness of the sky was caused by the reflection from an enormous blue sapphire that the Earth rested on. Blue sapphire is the birthstone for September.

Satin finish: A series of tiny parallel lines scratched onto a surface with a wire brush or polishing tool to produce texture

Screw back: A type of earring attachment for non-pierced ears where the earring is tightened against the earlobe by means of a screw with a flat padded end.

Semiprecious: Any gemstones valued for their beauty but which are not one of the four "precious stones", (emerald, diamond, ruby or sapphire). Some examples of semiprecious stones are amethyst, aventurine, carnelian, garnet, opal, peridot, rose quartz, etc.

Serpentine chain: A series of small, flat, s-shaped links set very closely together and held in place by a second set of small, flat, s-shaped links set very closely together underneath them.

Setting: The part of the jewelry into which stones are set. Also refers to the mechanism used to hold the stones in place, such as the bezel, pave', channel, and prong settings.

Shank: The part of a ring that encircles the finger, does not include the setting.

Signet: A carved design, like an intaglio, which was usually worn on a ring. It was pressed into soft wax to authenticate a document. The design was usually a coat of arms, family crest, or some other type of insignia or monogram unique to the person using it.

Singapore chain: A style of chain wherein each link is composed of a series of flat, diamond-cut, interwoven concentric loops.

Slide: An ornament with a tube on the back. A cord or necklace can then be threaded through the tube allowing the ornament to slide along the length of the cord or necklace. See Bolo.

Solitaire: A single, (solitary), gemstone mounted in a simple setting, often found in a ring or pendant.

Spring Ring Clasp: A very common kind of clasp used for joining two ends of a necklace. The clasp itself consists of a hollow metal tube in a circle shape with a gap in the side. The hollow tube contains a small wire held in place by a spring inside the tube behind the wire. The wire can be pulled back by means of a small knob which slides along the outer edge of the circular tube. Releasing the knob allows the spring to push the wire forward closing the gap. The other end of the necklace terminates in a small ring. By using the knob on the spring ring to open the gap in the hollow circular tube, one can then place the small ring through the gap and close the wire through the ring securing it in place and closing the necklace.

Square cut: A style of gem cutting resembling the emerald cut.

Stud: A simple style of earring for pierced ears that has a single stone (such as a pearl) or metal ball on a straight post with no dangling parts. (See also Button earring).

Turquoise: A hydrous aluminum phosphate colored by copper salts found in desert regions throughout the world and used in jewelry by the natives who live there including Mongolian, Chinese, Native Australian, Persian, and Southwestern Native American. Different colors of turquoise, varying from sky blue to nearly green occur in untreated turquoise. Turquoise Ring: Brown or grey streaks in turquoise are caused by the "matrix", or "mother stone", from which the turquoise is mined. Interesting matrix patterns are considered to add beauty to the stone. Only Persian turquoise is usually without apparent matrix. Modern turquoise stones that appear very shiny and absolutely flawless are actually manufactured. Pulverized turquoise is reconstituted with a plastic binding medium then cut and shaped as though it were natural stone. This material is generally avoided by collectors. Touching the stone leaves oils on it which alters the color of the turquoise over many years. Collectors tend to value these color nuances as "the patina of time". This unique stone is usually cut into cabochons, or domes, to enhance the natural beauty of the gem. Turquoise Earrings; Turquoise is considered a source of good fortune and beauty.

Tarnish: A dulled luster or finish caused by a thin deposit of a dirt which discolors the surface of metal and is easily removed. Also a reaction between metals and other chemicals which discolors the surface, particularly silver which reacts with sulfur. The silver sulfide can be removed with a proprietary cleaning product and gentle abrasion.

Tennis bracelet: We carry cubic zirconia tennis bracelets.A bracelet made up of individually set gemstones of uniform size and color linked together like a chain so it is somewhat flexible.

Tennis-style: A style similar to a tennis bracelet with individually set stones linked together in a chain, but not necessarily of uniform size or color.

Tiffany Setting: A generally round, high, six-prong setting with long, slender prongs that flare out from the base introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886. It is most commonly used today for large stones such as a diamond solitaire.

Tiger's Eye: A semiprecious variety of quartz found in South Africa. It may be yellowish-brown, bluish, or red in color with bands of darker and lighter shades across its surface. It has a silky luster, and catches the light causing the chatoyant quality.

Titanium: A metallic element used in some jewelry because of the range of colors it produces when heated. Aircraft quality Titanium Rings at Zulumoon are very affordable..

Toe Ring: A type of body jewelry worn around one or more toes. Toe rings come in styles similar to rings worn on the fingers, but toe rings have a small gap on the bottom of the ring to allow them to slip over the tips of the toe more easily.

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. The bar is slid through the ring and sits across it so it does not slide or pull.

Topaz: A fluosilicate of aluminum that occurs in rhombohedral crystals and is used as a gemstone. Although it is a hard stone, topaz can be susceptible to breaking. According to some, the name is from Topazos, a small island in the Red Sea, where the Romans obtained a stone which they called by this name, but which is now called chrysolite. Topaz is sought after because it is lustrous, has double refraction and a strong hue. It may be found in many colors, such as blue, brown, clear, green, orange, pink, red, yellow, white. The most valuable topaz is "Imperial" topaz with a golden yellow to orange color. The most popular color is an enhanced blue treated with heat to develop it into a rich “Tiffany” blue color which resembles aquamarine, but is more affordable. (see blue topaz rings )Yellow quartz is sometimes called topaz, but is considered "false topaz". True topaz is said to be the symbol of love and affection to act as a protector by making the wearer invisible in emergencies. Topaz is the birthstone for November.

Triangle cut: See Trillion-cut.

Trillion-cut: A brilliant-cut gemstone that is triangular in shape rather than round with 44 facets.

Turquoise, Treated: A process by which the pores of the turquoise stone are filled with a transparent substance such as mineral oil, paraffin wax, or plastic to improve the color and make it more desirable.

Ultrasonic cleaner: A machine that cleans jewelry by using a fluid that is vibrated at 20,000 cycles per second. When the vibration speed rises above the ultrasonic frequency level, bubbles explode and generate strong power, cleaning the surfaces and cavities of hard-to-clean objects. Ultrasonic cleaning does not scratch the surface or harm objects like many chemical or abrasive cleansers.


**** Definitions source:


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