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Glossary of Jewelry Terms

Glossary of Jewelry Terms




Accent Stones: Small, usually less prominent gemstones used to enhance the overall design of a piece of jewelry.


Alloy: A mixture of two or more metals fused together to enhance strength and other properties.






Bail: A component used to attach a pendant or charm to a necklace or bracelet.


Bezel: A type of setting where the gemstone is surrounded and held in place by a band of metal.


Birthstone: A gemstone associated with a particular month, often used in personalized jewelry.


Brass: An alloy consisting essentially of copper and zinc in variable proportions.





Cabochon: A gemstone that has been shaped and polished instead of faceted, typically with a smooth, rounded top.


Carat (ct):A unit of weight for gemstones, equal to 200 milligrams.


Clarity: A measure of the internal and external flaws of a gemstone, particularly diamonds.


Copper: Native copper is both a mineral and an element. It is a soft reddish brown metal.


Cuff Bracelet: A rigid, open-ended bracelet that slips onto the wrist without a clasp.




Drop Earrings: Earrings that hang below the earlobe, often featuring gemstones or other decorative elements.




Electroform: A process like electroplating but with stronger coating. This process allows the details in the designs to be built up over time. Electroforming is when a non metal object is formed over with many layers of metal.


Electroplating: A process plating metal onto other metal. Electroplating uses a process where a coating of metal is added to a conductor using electricity via a reduction reaction.


Engagement Ring: A ring, usually set with a diamond or other gemstone, given to signify an engagement to be married.




Facet: A flat surface on a cut gemstone, designed to enhance its brilliance by reflecting light.


Filigree: Delicate, intricate metalwork often featuring twisting patterns and fine wires.


French Hook: An earring wire that looks like a shepherd’s hook. It is a stainless steel curved wire that threads through the ear and then does not latch shut, it just remains in place.





Gemstone: A precious or semi-precious stone used in jewelry, such as diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, and rubies.


Gold Plated: Jewelry with a thin layer of gold applied over a base metal.


Gold Vermeil: Jewelry with a thick layer of Gold over Sterling Silver.




Hardness: The measure of a gemstone's resistance to scratching.




Inlay: A technique where pieces of gemstones or other materials are set into a surface to create a design.






Jump Ring: A small metal ring used to connect different components of jewelry, such as chains and clasps.


Jewel: Another term for a gemstone, often referring to a finished, cut stone used in jewelry.




Karat: A measure of the purity of gold, with 24K being pure gold.


Knotted: A method of stringing pearls or beads with knots between each one to prevent loss if the strand breaks.




Lobster Claw Clasp: A popular type of clasp shaped like a lobster claw, used for securing necklaces and bracelets.


Luster: The quality of light reflection from the surface of a gemstone or pearl.




Milgrain: A decorative technique where tiny metal beads are used to create a border or design on jewelry.




Necklace: A piece of jewelry worn around the neck, often featuring a chain with pendants or gemstones.


Nickel-Free: Jewelry made without nickel to prevent allergic reactions in sensitive individuals.



Opal: A unique gemstone known for its play-of-color, where flashes of different colors are seen.


Oxidation: A chemical process that causes a metal to change color, often used to create an antique or vintage look.




Patina: As metal oxidizes over time it creates a green film. This patina process has been expanded and played with by artisans using different concepts and has become a whole separate art form.


Pavé: A setting technique where multiple small gemstones are set closely together to create a surface of continuous sparkle.


Pendant: A hanging ornament or piece of jewelry attached to a necklace or bracelet.


Prong Setting: A setting where the gemstone is held in place by metal prongs, allowing maximum light exposure.




Quartz: A common mineral used in jewelry, available in various colors and varieties like amethyst and citrine.






Ring Size: The measurement of the circumference or diameter of a ring, typically expressed in numbers.





Solder: A metal used to unite and bring together 2 pieces of metal.


Solitaire: A piece of jewelry, usually a ring, featuring a single gemstone.


Sterling Silver: An alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, copper.






Toggle Clasp: A type of clasp consisting of a bar and a ring, used for securing bracelets and necklaces.






Untreated: A gemstone that has not been enhanced or altered from its natural state.




Vintage: Jewelry that is at least 20 years old, often characterized by unique and antique designs.



Vermeil: Thick layer of metal, usually Gold or Rose Gold over Sterling Silver.




White Copper: An alloy consisting essentially of copper and zinc in variable proportions.


White Gold: An alloy of gold mixed with white metals like palladium or nickel, often rhodium-plated for a bright finish.


Wrap Bracelet: A long bracelet that wraps around the wrist multiple times for a layered look.




X-Bracelet: A bracelet design featuring an "X" shape, often adorned with gemstones or intricate metalwork.





Yellow Gold: Traditional gold with a natural yellow hue, often alloyed with metals like copper and silver.


Y-Necklace: A necklace with a Y-shaped design, featuring a drop or pendant that hangs down the chest.




Zircon: A naturally occurring gemstone that comes in various colors, often used as a diamond alternative.


Zodiac Jewelry: Jewelry featuring symbols of the zodiac signs, often used for personalization and astrology enthusiasts.

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