GLOSSARY OF JEWELRY TERMS AND DEFINITIONS PART 1

Do you ever feel out of your element when you come across jewelry jargon on the internet? Or are you unsure what a term you frequently encounter actually means? What exactly is vermeil? Or how about a lariat? Or even a bond? What is the distinction between semi-precious and valuable gemstones?

 

It's easy for designers to forget that not everyone is aware with the phrases we use, so we're here to help with our comprehensive Jewellery Glossary, which includes helpful definitions of major jewelry terms. 

 

Keep in mind that information is power! When shopping for jewelry, especially online, we strongly advise you to know what you're getting.

We'll keep adding more, so save this page and come back to it later. 

The alphabetical order of the list is as follows: You can use your browser's find function to look for a certain word. Please keep in mind that we're in Australia, thus we use standard English spelling instead of American spellings (so jewelry rather than jewelry, etc.).

 

Let's get started…

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ALLOY 

An alloy is a combination of metals or a metal with another element. All gold that isn't 24 carat is a mixture of pure gold and one or more additional metals. Sterling silver is made up of 92.5 percent pure silver and 5% copper (7.5 percent ). Alloying is frequently done to make a better version of the main metal: it might make it harder, less tarnish-prone (or vice versa), a different color, lower cost, or add other desirable properties.

 

AMULET 

Any object that is thought to protect or provide good luck to its owner is known as an amulet or good luck charm. The term "amulet" is sometimes misunderstood in the context of jewellery to mean "pendant," a purely decorative object affixed to a necklace (see below). A pendant can be an amulet, however it all depends on the piece's purpose. Check out our amulet jewelry designs, which are rich in symbolism and sentiments of good luck, protection, guidance, love, and more.

 

ASSAY 

An assay is a procedure for determining the purity of precious metals and ensuring that they have been manufactured to the specified purity level.

 

BAGUETTE 

A faceted gemstone with a more intricate rectangular cut than an emerald shape.

 

BAIL 

A pendant or charm finding is a component used to hang pendants or charms from a necklace. It might be as simple as a wire jump ring or as elaborate as an intricate design. 

 

BAROQUE PEARL 

A baroque pearl is defined as a pearl with an irregular shape. These pearls can be smooth egg or teardrop shapes, or lumpier and more complicated shapes. Baroque pearls are frequently fairly large when used in jewelry. Baroque pearls can occur in both cultured and natural pearls, but they are more common in produced freshwater pearls.

 

BASE METAL

Copper, brass, tin, zinc, and nickel are examples of common metals that are not considered precious. These metals can be used to make inexpensive jewelry. They can irritate the skin and cause green or black discoloration, as well as wear out quickly. Wearing base metals against your skin is not recommended. We recommend that you always examine the type of metal used to make a piece of jewelry before buying it because it may not be obvious. Unless otherwise stated, all Simone Walsh Jewelry designs are constructed of precious metals.

 

BEADWORK OR BEADED JEWELRY

Beaded jewelry, often known as beading jewelry, is made by stringing, wrapping, sewing, or otherwise connecting beads. It can be as simple as single beads strung together to form a necklace or single beads affixed to earwires. There are even more complex woven beading designs. Gemstones, pearls, glass, wood, bone, shell, and even plastic beads can be used. Check out our beaded gemstone necklaces.

 

BEZEL SETTING 

A form of gemstone setting that is typically used for cabochon gemstones, however a similar setting that uses a tiny tube can be used with faceted gemstones (this may be called a tube setting). A rim of metal is pressed and/or rubbed over the edge of the gemstone to secure it in place in a bezel setting. These settings are usually composed of silver or gold.

 

BIRTHSTONES 

A birthstone is a gemstone (or several gemstones) associated with a certain month of birth. It's thought that individuals have been wearing birthstones in this way since the 16th or 17th century, but the trend has only recently caught on. Various gemstone associations throughout the world have established more recent lists of birthstones, which don't necessarily agree with one another, which is why your birth month may be connected with more than one stone. Check out our birthstones by month jewelry collection, which includes at least one gemstone for each month of the year.

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BOLT RING OR BOLT CLASP 

A circle clasp is one that has a round shape. It contains a tiny spring that is connected to a bolt that you can open with your thumbnail or fingertip before it springs closed. These are the most popular clasp types used by Simone Walsh Jewelry.

 

BLOOD DIAMONDS OR CONFLICT DIAMONDS

Blood diamonds or conflict diamonds are diamonds that have been mined in a war zone and sold to fund components of the conflict. The word was used to draw attention to major ethical issues surrounding the diamond trade in various parts of the world. The Kimberley Process was established to prevent the trafficking in such diamonds, although it has been criticized for being defective, owing to corruption. Find out more. Due to the ethical difficulties involved with actual diamonds, as well as their over-inflated cost, an increasing number of jewelers are now creating jewelry with lab generated diamonds or substitutes such as moissanite.

 

BRASS 

An alloy of copper and zinc that has a yellow color. You may come across inexpensive jewelry that appears to be gold but is actually composed of brass. It has the potential to fade over time, create an allergic reaction, and leave a green mark on your skin. Wearing brass against your skin is not a good idea. A cheap price indicates that a piece of gold-colored jewelry is not genuine gold: gold is a costly metal.

 

BRILLIANT CUT 

Diamonds are cut in this way. The brilliant cut stone has 58 facets and is usually spherical in shape.

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BRIOLETTE 

A gemstone cut that is pear-shaped and frequently faceted for added radiance. To be linked to jewelry, briolette beads can have holes drilled through the sides at the top or all the way through the center from top to bottom.

 

GEMSTONE OF CABOCHON 

A cabochon is a gemstone cut with a rounded top and flat back. Cabochon gemstones have a smooth, highly polished surface most of the time, but they can also be faceted on top in a rose cut design (see below).

 

CAMEO 

Traditionally, this refers to a technique for carving an object with a raised (positive) relief image that contrasts with the backdrop color. These motifs were frequently carved out of jewels, shells, or bone. The word is now loosely applied to artifacts that are not carved and/or have no colour contrast. The phrase is currently commonly used to refer to a head shot that is generally framed in an oval frame.

GOLD CARATS AND KARATS 

A carat is a unit of measurement for purity in gold. In the United States and certain other countries, the spelling is 'karat,' but the meaning is the same. The higher the number, the purer the gold is, with 24 being the purest (pure gold). Gold is alloyed with other metals for lower carats, making it more acceptable for use in jewelry. Jewelers will use the abbreviations 'ct, kt, or K' as shorthand or purity stamps to refer to gold carats or karats.

GEMSTONES: CARATS 

When it comes to diamonds and other gemstones, the term carat refers to the mass (or weight) of the stones: the higher the number, the heavier the stone. In this case, the spelling is consistent throughout the world.

 

CHAIN NECKLACE

A chain necklace is just that: a necklace with only a chain and no pendant. Most chain necklaces are simply a length of silver or gold chain with no further embellishments, although the chain pattern can be fairly intricate. There are various patterns with more ornate components linked together.

 

CHANDELIER JEWELRY

A metal framework is used to suspend many beads or other findings in chandelier jewelry designs, similar to how a chandelier light fixture utilizes crystals. This design feature is most commonly seen in long, opulent statement earrings, but it can also be found in pendants.

 

CHANNEL CONFIGURATION 

The stones are slotted into a channel to create a continuous strip in this type of gemstone setting. It is most commonly found in rings.

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BRACELET WITH CHARM 

Charms, which are decorative pendants or trinkets that may represent essential areas of the wearer's life and have sentimental worth, are attached to a charm bracelet. Charm necklaces are also available. You may like to wear charm jewellery that you add charms to over time for emotional reasons, or you may prefer a finished item with all charms in place because you appreciate the overall look rather than sentimental reasons. Charm bracelets with meaningful designs are made by us.

 

CHOKER 

A necklace that sits close to the neck's base. It's about 40cm (16.5") long on average. A helpful size chart can be found in our necklace length guide.

 

CLARITY 

The term "clarity" refers to the degree to which a gemstone exhibits defects. The higher the clarity of the stone, the more valuable it is. Lab-grown gemstones, on the other hand, usually have excellent clarity and are nevertheless quite affordable (see below).

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CLARITY 

The term "clarity" refers to the degree to which a gemstone exhibits defects. The higher the clarity of the stone, the more valuable it is. Lab-grown gemstones, on the other hand, usually have excellent clarity and are nevertheless quite affordable (see below).

 

CHOICE OF CLAW OR PRONG SETTING 

A faceted stone setting is a gemstone setting that is used to put faceted stones. The margins of the gemstone are held in place by notched claws or prongs that are pushed over slightly.

 

CLUSTER SETTING THE 

Smaller gemstones are put around a larger stone as a focal point in this design. Rings are the most common place to find them.

COCKTAILS RINGS

To create a statement, a cocktail ring usually has a huge focal point that rests on top of or in the center of the band. These rings, which are frequently enormous, may not be suited for everyday wear because they can obstruct day-to-day tasks. But they're a lot of fun to dress up in!

 

COPPER 

A basic metal with a bright orange color and a delicate texture. Because it tarnishes quickly and can color the skin green or black when worn alone, it is rarely used in jewelry. However, it is frequently alloyed with pure silver or gold: sterling silver, for example, is a 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper alloy that is much stronger than pure copper or silver (the copper content in sterling silver is not high enough to stain skin).

 

COSTUME JEWELRY FASHION JEWELRY OR COSTUME JEWELRY 

Costume jewelry (also known as fashion jewelry) is defined as jewelry that is not constructed of precious metals or gemstones. These phrases were first used in the early twentieth century. Cheaper materials like rhinestones, nickel, brass, or pewter were used to make costume jewelry in the past. When supplies were limited or expensive during the Great Depression and World War II, it was very popular. Modern costume jewelry is made from a wider range of materials, such as imitated gemstones, glass, plastic, shell, plated base metals, and more.

 

CULTURED PEARLS Farmers assist in the creation of pearls under controlled conditions. Freshwater river mollusks or classic saltwater pearl oysters can both be used to make cultured pearls.

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