Jewelry Glossary


A type of chalcedony quartz with a hard outer shell and a banded colorful center. Agate is generally handled in Germany, but can be found in South America and the western U.S. The stone has a medium 6.5 to 7 rating on the Mohs Scale, so it must be handled carefully to avoid scratches or chips. The agate is said to provide protection, encourage strength, and bring harmony to your life.
Akoya Cultured Pearl:
A cultured pearl grown in the saltwater Akoya oyster and farmed in Japan and sometimes China. Akoya pearls are known for their luster, white or cream hue (often with rose, silver, or cream overtones), large size, smoothness, and round shape. Because of their fine quality, Akoya pearls are often used in premier pearl jewelry.
A very rare and pricey gemstone that has the ability to change color. Depending on various lighting conditions, the gem can appear red or purple indoors while it seems to be green outside. Alexandrite is a form of chrysoberyl and has a hardness of 8 on the Mohs Hardness Sale, making it extremely durable in jewelry. Alexandrite is one of June's alternative birthstones.
A blending of two or more metals. Alloys are frequently used in jewelry to enhance a metal quality, such as improving strength, changing color, or reducing cost. For example, 24 karat gold or pure gold, is often too soft for diamond jewelry. Mixing gold with other metals such as copper or nickel can improve durability for daily wear.
A light to blueish-green variety of feldspar that is named for the Amazon River (even though it isn't found there). It can be found around the world, but Amazonite is mostly located near Pike's Peak in Colorado. With a soft rating of 5 to 6 on the Mohs Scale, it should be handled with care. The gemstone is said to provide confidence and a sense of hope to the beholder.
A quartz gemstone that ranges in color from clear purple to bluish violet. Amethyst is February's birthstone and is said to bring the wearer luck, constancy and protect against magic. Amethyst rates 7 on the Mohs hardness scale making it an excellent gemstone for everyday wear.
A variety of quartz where yellow or orange citrine and purple amethyst occur together the same crystal. Ametrine is mainly mined in Brazil although Russia is known for making synthetic versions. The gem is fairly durable and has a hardiness of 7 on the Mohs Scale. Legend says Ametrine can enhance mental and physical wellness, as well as intuition and creativity.
A type of jewelry worn around the ankle.
Anniversary Band:
A ring including three or more diamonds, or other gemstones, placed either in a channel or a prong setting. The anniversary band is a traditional gift to celebrate milestones in marriage. Three stone anniversary bands symbolize past, present, and future. Anniversary bands may also have stones that partially or completely encircle the ring.
Antique Cut:
A type of Gemstone Cut where a small table area is surrounded by symmetrical facets. Although not as commonly used today, antique cuts are sometimes are preferred for their warmer, more romantic glow.
A written, detailed evaluation an item's value by a professional appraiser. In jewelry, an appraisal is often used to assess replacement value for insurance purposes. As "Fair Market Value" fluctuates, appraisals are recommended to be kept up to date.
A bluish, semi- precious gemstone from the beryl family. The name translates to "water of the sea" because of its color, which can actually range from very pale blue to a blue-green teal. The most prized color is a deep blue aqua. With a 7 to 8 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale, the gem is very hardy. As March's birthstone, the aquamarine is said to bring courage and happiness to the wearer, reduce anxiety, and acts as a talisman to protect sailors.
Asscher Gemstone Shape:
Named after Dutch diamond artisan Joseph Asscher, this cut stimulates internal refraction and creates a shimmering "hall of mirrors" effect. Exclusively patented by the Asscher family, genuine stones are marked with unique, microscopic identification numbers along with the family insignia on the stone's girdle.
An optical phenomenon displayed by certain gemstones (including rubies and sapphires) that reflects a star-like shape on the surface of a cabochon cut stone. The stars may have four, six, or twelve rays.


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Baguette or Baguette Setting:
A type of gemstone cut, shape, or setting consisting of a single, rectangular gemstone, primarily diamonds, sapphires or rubies. Traditionally with 14 facets, the baguette cut tends to have a higher luster than other cuts.
Band Detailing:
Adding features or decorative elements to a ring or band. Engraving is a type of band detailing. RELATED TERMS: See Engraving and Milgrain
A type of stiff bracelet that encircles the wrist, generally without a clasp opening. Bangle styles include cuff, expansion, and hinged. RELATED TERMS: See Cuff
Bar Setting:
A type of ring setting where gemstones held into place and separated by a shared bar.
Baroque Pearl:
An asymmetrical or unevenly shaped pearl.
Barrel Clasp:
A type of jewelry fastener that resembles two halves of a barrel. The two ends screw in together to close the bracelet.
Base Metal:
A non-porous metal that is the primary metal in an alloy. A base metal oxidizes when heated and can be melded or plated.
Basket Setting:
An type of setting where the prongs are formed into a basket-like shape. This setting is optimal for the light to pass through the gemstone.
A gemstone or charm with a hole drilled through the middle so that it can be slid onto a bracelet.
Bead Chain:
A type of chain where round beads are connected into a strand. Different size and shape beads may be added to increase uniqueness. This style of chain maybe be single or multi-strand.
Bezel Setting:
A type of setting where a gemstone is set within a protective, encircling metal band. This style of setting is often used to prevent the gemstone from becoming damaged.
Bike Link Chain:
A type of chain style resembling a bicycle chain where square shaped metal links are connected with a bar
A type of quartz with a smoky, lemon to brown color generally used in accent beads. Also referred to as Bio Lemon
Black Star Sapphire:
A black sapphire that displays a 6 or 12 ray star from it's center. Black sapphires are know for their durability and are said to represent destiny, faith and hope.
See Hematite.
Blue Star Sapphire
The blue sapphire has a 9 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making it a very strong stone. Blue start sapphires display a 6 or 12 point star and are valued depending on the clarity of the star.
Blue Topaz
A topaz ranging in color from pale to bright blue. Because naturally blue topaz is very rare, light colored topaz is often irradiated and heat treated to produce the coveted blue color. Topaz rates an 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale and is December's birthstone.
Box Chain:
A chain with square links that look like connected boxes
Box clasp:
A type of jewelry fastener where one end is composed of a "V" shaped tab and the other end resembles a box. The "V" tab end is inserted into the Box end then clicks into a locked position. Pressing the sides of the tab releases the connection.
A type of jewelry that goes around the wrist or a watchband.
Bracelet Type:
There are several, general styles of bracelets with each style being defined by a set of common features. Bracelet Type differences may include how the bracelet attaches to the wrist, whether the bracelet is formed from a single solid piece or a collection of links, or differences in decorative elements. RELATED TERMS: See Bangle, Cuff, I.D., Line, Link, Omega, Strand, 'S' Tennis, Tennis and Toggle Bracelets
Bridal Set:
An engagement ring and wedding band designed to match and fit together. RELATED TERMS: See Trio Set
Brilliant Cut:
A gemstone cutting style that maximizes brilliance by improving the optical effect, especially for diamonds. The cutting style was developed in 1910 and requires that a stone be cut with a round girdle, 32 facets plus the table on the crown or upper part of the diamond, and 24 facets plus, sometimes a culet (point) on the pavilion or lower part of the stone. The final shape resembles a cone and magnifies the light reflected from the top of the diamond. The term "Brilliant" refers only to diamonds while other stones are labeled "Brilliant Cut" followed by the name of the gemstone, i.e. Brilliant Cut Citrine.
Briolette Cut: or Shape:
A type of gemstone cut where a slender, a tear drop shaped stone is covered with facets.
Button Shape:
A type of pearl shape where a symmetrically formed pearl is flattened on the bottom and rounded on the top, resembling a halved circle. Button shaped pearls are frequently used in earrings as the flat side more easily attaches to a setting.
Bypass shank
A style of ring mounting where the two sides of the band do not meet in a straight line, but overlap or crisscross each other.


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The chemical symbol for a diamond
Cable Chain:
A type of chain with oval(or circle) metal links alternate with matching links. The appearance of the chain resembles anchor chains used in shipping.
A gemstone that is made to be a certain shape and is polished, rather than being cut with multiple surfaces. A cabochon is most commonly oval with a convex top and a flat bottom which allows the gem to be easily set. The process is usually used for opaque, semi-opaque, or fragile gemstones that may be difficult to facet.
A gemstone that is cut to a common size in order to fit the majority of jewelry mountings.
An engraving method on a soft type of gemstone to create a raised effect. This type of carving is popular with onyx and agate.
Carat Weight
The actual weight of a single gemstone. The weight of a one carat diamond equates to 200 mg or 0.2 grams. Carat weight is often expressed as a decimal or as points. A one carat diamond is the same as 1ct. or 100 points; a 1/2 carat diamond could also be called .5ct. or a 50 point diamond. To make things complicated, gemstones have different densities. Meaning, a one carat diamond and a one carat amethyst are not exactly the same size. RELATED TERMS: See Total Carat Weight and Total Gem Weight. See our Education section regarding the "4 C's" for detailed information regarding Carat Weight.
A type of red, orange, or brown quartz that is sometimes variegated or striated and has a rating of 6 to 7 on the Mohs Scale. Carnelian has often been used to carve cameos and is an alternate birthstone for July.
Cats Eye:
A polished gemstone that displays Chatoyancy, a glowing, band of light down the center of a gemstone, resembling a cat's eye.
A ring setting that mimics the arches of a cathedral to support and display the center stone. This is a very popular style of setting for solitaire engagement rings.
Center (CTR):
The weight of the middle or primary stone in a ring or piece of jewelry that contains one or more stones.
Often referenced as a type of metal used in jewelry, ceramic is actually a non-metal that is often alloyed with other metals, such as tungsten carbide, in jewelry to improve qualities such as malleability. Ceramic is generally composed of heated and molded clay that is easily colored, etched, or embellished by artisans.
Ceylon cut:
A cut with numerous facets, formed to obtain maximum weight and therefore is not always symmetrical. Ceylon cut stones are often re-cut.
Ceylon Sapphire:
See Sri Lankan Sapphire.
Chain Style:
There are several, general styles of chains with each style being defined by a set of common features. RELATED TERMS: See Link, Bead, Figaro, Wheat, Curb, Perfectina, Rolo, Espiga, Raso, Singapore, Mariner, Cable, Bike Link, Open Link, Omega, Rope, Snake and Box Chains
A subgroup of quartz composed of silica with minute crystals of quartz and moganite that is translucent or milky in appearance. Found worldwide and in a huge range of color, specific varieties of chalcedony gemstones are identified and named according to their color. Notable examples include agate, bloodstone, onyx, carnelian, jasper, and tiger's eye. The term "chalcedony" when it is applied to a specific gem, implies the light blue variety. Chalcedony is said to improve vitality and health, promote generosity, and alleviate sadness or bad dreams.
Chandelier Earrings:
A type of earring that resembles a chandelier. Chandelier earrings are generally oversized with multiple, dangling layers that progressively expand as the earring drops. This type of earring is often worn for dressy affairs.
Channel Setting:
A type of setting where rows of gemstones are held in place by two pieces of metal on either side, producing an interior "channel" where the stones are secure, but not touched by metal.
Charm Bracelet:
A bracelet with open links that are used to attach "charms". Charms are molded or engraved figures that are meant to represent special events, hobbies, or passions that are significant to the wearer. Charm bracelets may be added to over the course of an individual's lifetime.
a company known for cultivating lab-produced gemstones by recreating a gem's natural environment and speeding up crystal growth by controlling factors such as temperature and chemical interaction. Chatham produces genuine, quality gemstones that are identical physically, chemically, and visually to those produced by nature.
A single streak of light, generally seen in a cabochon that resembles the slit in a cat's eye. This effect, most common to chrysoberyl, is caused by the reflection of light by parallel fibers or channels in the stone.
Chevron Style:
A "V" or inverted "V" shaped pattern seen primarily in rings and necklaces
A snug-fitting necklace, usually 16" in length or shorter, depending on neck size.
A gemstone variety of chalcedony that contains small quantities of Nickel. It has an unusual green color that is normally apple-green but ranges to a deep green. Some people refer to Chrysoprase the stone of reincarnation because it helps people understand the meaning of life and death, and how to say and receive a farewell.
A variety of quartz ranging in color from light yellow to bright orange. Citrine is a semi-precious gemstone rating a sturdy 7 on the Mohs Hardiness Scale. One of November's birthstones, it is purported to bring the wearer self confidence and light-heartedness.
An industry term describing the number and density of inclusions and blemishes within a diamond or gemstone. See our Education section regarding the 4 C's for detailed information.
Clasp style:
Bracelets and necklaces are fastened on the arm or neck by various types of connectors or clasps. RELATED TERMS: See Barrel, Box, Lobster, Safety and Toggle clasps.
The tendency for a mineral to split along a plane or smooth surface
A grouping of tightly placed gemstones
Cocktail Ring:
A dramatic, over-sized ring also known as a dinner ring that is generally set with a combination of small diamonds or other gemstones positioned at varying heights. Cocktail rings may be either costume or fine jewelry and are often worn on either the index or middle finger.
An industry measurement of color or tinting within a diamond or gemstone. See our Education section regarding the "4 C's" for detailed information.
A treatment process that alters a gemstone's color. Heat, irradiation, dying, bleaching and oiling are among possible treatments that enhance gemstone color.
Comfort Fit:
Where the inside (or shank) of a ring is slightly rounded to create a more comfortable fit on the finger
The part of a cut gemstone lying between the girdle and the table facet. This equates to the area above the maximum diameter (the girdle) of the stone and below the flat surface area at the very top (table facet).
A style of bracelet that is both wide and solid and generally has minimal decoration. A gap in the back allows the bracelet to slide over the wrist.
Cubic Zirconia:
A man-made jewel that closely resembles a diamond. Cubic Zirconia is formed in the lab from zirconium dioxide and is hard, flawless, generally colorless, and inexpensive alternatives to diamonds.
A small facet at the bottom of some cut gemstones.
Cultured Pearl:
A pearl created when an irritant is introduced inside a mollusk by man. The coating or nacre the mollusk secrets around the intrusion to protect itself create a "cultured" pearl. The type of mollusk and the water it is in can affect the developing pearl's color which can range from white, cream, golden, pink, silver green, blue to black. RELATED TERMS: See Salt Water, Simulated South Sea and Tahitian Cultured Pearls
Curb Chain:
A type of chain style where matching oval, metal links are connected, twisted, and flattened Curb chain jewelry is popular with both men and women because it is strong, flexible, and generally easy to repair.
A gemstone shaped as a square or short rectangle with rounded edges
The act of cutting and/or the resultant quality produced by cutting a rough stone in a specific manner in order to create and enhance the natural beauty of a jewelry quality gemstone. Type of cut, shape proportions, symmetry, and outer marks all affect the quality of the finished gemstone. See the Cut page under our 4 C's section for a more detailed explanation.
The term "cut" also refers to the fashioning of a gem. . There are numerous types of cuts. RELATED TERMS: See Antique, Briolette, Eight-cut, Fantasy, Pear Shaped, Marquise, Radiant, Rose Scissors, Ceylon, Emerald, Single, and Table Cuts.


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A type of earring that hangs down from the ear.
This popular and sought-after gemstone is composed of carbon. Diamonds can be found in a variety of colors, from colorless to yellow, brown, and even black. Diamonds are the hardest natural substance on earth and rate a 10 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Diamond is also known as April's birthstone. See the REEDs Education section regarding the 4 C's for more information about diamonds.
Diamond Council of America (DCA):
A non-profit organization formed in 1944 whose purpose is to train, educate and certify jewelry professionals in regards to diamonds and gems. The DCA represents over 5000 jewelry stores and is a leading supplier of diamonds and gemstones.
Diamond Grading:
A process where industry experts rate or grades diamonds based on the Four C's: cut, clarity, color and carat weight. RELATED TERMS: See Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight
The separation of white light into the various colors that make up the light spectrum. Optimal cutting of gemstones produces this property, allowing white light to be converted into the colors of the rainbow. The effect is seen as multi-colored flashes through a diamond's table or as internal fire in well cut gemstones.
Dog Tag:
Nickname for the identification tags worn by those in the military because of their resemblance to the tags on dog collars. Usually placed on a ball chain, they can be worn for fashion or for utility. Many dog tags are used to display medical information.
A method of improving gemstone durability or enhancing the visual impact by sandwiching a more valuable gemstone with either colored glass or a stone of lesser value. A thin layer of the valuable gemstone is adhered to the top and sometimes the bottom while the glass or lesser stone provides the necessary bulk beneath.


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Earring Back Design:
The type of attachment used to connect the front part of an earring with the back. RELATED TERMS: See Hinged, Lever Back, Omega Back, Screw Back, Friction Post.
Earring Design:
Popular design patterns utilized by earring manufacturers. RELATED TERMS: See Chandelier, Dangle, Hoop, J-Hoop, Jacket, and Stud Earrings.
A type of Gemstone Cut that has eight upper facets and eight lower facets along with a table, totaling 17 facets. This type of cut is utilized when diamonds are too small for full cuts.
Probably the most expensive gemstone, this member of the beryl family can be valued higher than diamonds. Ranging in color from pure green to blue-green, the more vivid the tone, hue, and color consistancy, the better the stone. Emeralds are the rare exception to the rule that inclusions are bad. In fact, gemologists use these flaws, known as "jardin" or garden, as evidence of the gem's authenticity. The gem's center should be as flawless as possible, however. Many stones are treated to mask the natural imperfections. Emeralds rate a solid 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale, making them an excellent choice for jewelry. As May's birthstone, the emerald is said to offer the wearer protection from evil spirits, provide the gift of eloquence, and arouse both the intellect and the heart.
Emerald Cut or Shape:
A type of Gemstone Cut with a square, rectangular or octagonal shape and step cut facets that create a sort of mirror effect. This type of cut is often used with high quality emeralds and long diamonds because the cut may amplify the appearance of scratches or inclusions in poorer quality stones.
Engagement ring
An engagement ring is a type ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married. In Western countries, engagement rings are worn mostly by women. Engagement rings can feature diamonds or other gemstones. Women and men can wear matching rings in other cultures to show that they will soon be wed.
The art of cutting decorative lines in metal, wood, or other materials
Espiga Chain:
A type of chain style also known as Spiga or Wheat Chain. Espiga is the Spanish word for wheat. Espiga chains are formed by the braiding of four metal strands into a wheat pattern.
Eternity Band:
A form of anniversary ring where a continuous row of gemstones, usually diamonds, encircle the entire band.
Eye Loupe:
A hand-held, magnifying lens used by jewelry experts to examine gemstones. The lens generally provides 10x magnification, but magnification can be higher.


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A flat, polished surface cut into a gemstone. Gemstones are faceted in order to improve refraction and reflection which enhance both sparkle and brilliance.
Fancy Color Diamond:
A natural diamond whose color falls outside what is considered to be normal range, which includes white, light yellow, and brown.
Fantasy Cut or Shape:
A type of Gemstone Cut where the gemstone is formed in recognizable, popular shapes such as hearts, flowers, animals, etc. A Fantasy Cut gemstone is rarely faceted.
Figaro Chain:
A type of chain style where metal links are connected in a repeating pattern. Examples would be alternating long rectangular links with smaller round ones or having a single rectangular link followed by three shorter ones.
Small jewelry parts that have been pre-manufactured. Examples include settings and clasps.
A general term relating to gemstone imperfection. A flaw may include anything that negatively impacts the physical or optical nature of the gemstone under 10x magnification. Examples include feathering, internal crystals, stains, clouds, as well as cutting or polishing errors.
Florentine Finish:
A type of metal finish achieved by etching or engraving parallel lines into the metal's surface in order to reduce shine.
Four Cs:
An industry term that lumps the four values used to rate diamond quality: cut, color, clarity, and carat weight. See the 4 C's page in our Education Section for a detailed explanation of each of the "C's".
Fracture Filling:
A process where gemstone fractures are filled with a clear substance to prevent the fracture from worsening or the stone from breaking. Often used in emeralds which are subject to fracture, the process is not permanent but can last for generations. Well done fillings are not visible to the naked eye.
Freshwater Cultured Pearl:
Man assisted pearls formed in freshwater mussels by inserting mantle tissue inside a mussel. Freshwater pearls have a less rounded shape, a wider range of color, and are a good value compared to salt water pearls.
Friction Post:
A type of pierced earring mounting that utilizes friction to lock the post onto the backing after the post is pushed through the earlobe. Friction posts are the most common form of earring mounting.


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The Gemological Institute of America is the world's premier authority on gemology. As an impartial, independent, nonprofit organization, GIA provides education, research, and laboratory services including diamond grading.
GIA Inscription:
Verification that a diamond has been evaluated and graded by the Gemological Institute of America. GIA laser inscribes a unique identifying number on a diamond's girdle that matches the number on the diamond's GIA Grading Report. The inscription is very small and can only be seen under magnification.
A mineral found in almost every color, except blue. Deep, vivid red is the most common color of this group of semi-precious gems. Garnet crystals are usually round and have a 7 to 7.5 rating on the Mohs Hardness Scale. As January's birthstone, the garnet is said to bring commitment, love, and devotion to the wearer.
A naturally occurring mineral that is valued for its beauty and rarity. Examples include diamond, ruby, emerald, and sapphire.
Gemstone Shape:
The form a gemstone takes after cutting. RELATED TERMS: Asscher, Baguette, Bead, Briolette, Cushion, Emerald, Half Moon, Heart, Kite, Marquise, Oval, Pear, Princess, Round, Trillion.
The widest section of a cut gemstone where the crown and pavilion meet.
A naturally occurring, precious, yellow metal that is highly valued and often used in jewelry. RELATED TERMS: See Karat, Yellow Gold, White Gold, Rose Gold, Gold Filled, Gold Plate
A type of metal obtained by bonding a layer of gold with a second, less expensive metal by using heat and pressure. The Federal Trade Commission requires the weight of gold to be 1/20 of the total weight or better and at least 10 karat to achieve a gold-filled classification. The term "Rolled Gold Plate" or R.G.P. is used when the method is applied to gold of lesser carat and carat weight. Gold-filled jewelry has a much thicker layer of gold than does gold plate jewelry.
Gold Plate:
A type of metal obtained by depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of a second, less expensive metal using chemicals or electrolysis. Also known as gold flash, gold finish or gold tone.
Graduated Multiple Length:
A necklace consisting of several chains in varying lengths
A type of ring that is worn with a solitaire engagement ring to enhance the look of the ring, as well as secure it. Ring guards help with rings that are not quite the right size. Rings that are too large can twist and rotate on the finger; ring guards prevent the ring from moving around.


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Half Bezel Setting
A type of setting where a gemstone is set flush with or slightly below a protective, partially encircling metal band on two sides. This style of setting is often used to shield gemstones from scratching or chipping.
Half Moon Gemstone Shape:
A type of gemstone shape where a gem has a straight edge on one side and a curved, crescent arc on the other, resembling a half moon. Half moon gemstones are frequently used as accent stones set against a larger, center stone.
Halo Setting:
Halo rings feature a center stone, usually diamond or another gemstone, and smaller diamonds encompassing the center stone. It is called a halo in reference to the fact that it looks like the halo of an angel.In recently years, halo rings have become a very popular style for engagement rings.
A gemstone's ability to resist scratching. The Mohs Scale rates the hardness of types of gemstones on a scale from 1 to 10, with 10 being the hardest. See Mohs Hardness Scale
Heart Shape:
A gemstone cut in a heart shape
Heat Treated:
An industry common practice where gems are heated to enhance color or clarity.
A very common mineral formed from iron ore. Also known as the Bloodstone, color ranges from black to brown to bright red and includes a rusty red streak. Hematite's signature red color contains the pigment "red ochre" used in cave paintings and is believed to be responsible for the planet Mar's distinctive red hue. Although harder than iron with a Mohs rating of 5.5 to 6.5, the gem is sometimes brittle. Hematite's mysticism is linked to blood. The stone is found in tombs and was worn as a symbol of mourning but is also thought to aid healing and improve courage and optimism.
Hinged Earrings:
A type of earring which attaches to the ear through a loop or post that has a hinge, usually at the bottom or back of the earring, and is easy to open and remove. Generally used for non-pierced ears, this form of earring is also known as a clip earring.
Hoop Earrings
A general term for an earring that forms a rounded loop as it extends from the front of the earlobe to the back.


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ID Bracelet:
Also known as an identification bracelet, this type of jewelry most commonly is a silver or gold chain style bracelet with a centered, in-line, solid plate of metal where the owner's name, nickname, or initials are engraved. Bracelets vary in the style of script, quality of metal used, and the type of band. Specialized ID bracelets include Medical Alert bracelets and children's ID bracelets. In the case of Medical Alerts, medical conditions or allergy information is engraved in case the wearer is unable to communicate with emergency personal. In the case of Children's ID bracelets, contact information such as parent names, phone number, and address may be engraved alongside the child's name. This type of bracelet is usually composed of colorful Velcro instead of precious metals.
Insurance Replacement Estimate. An estimate of jewelry value used by insurers.
A man-made substitute for a valuable gem or metal that lacks the natural crystal or chemical composition of the original.
An industry term describing a double ring, often decorated with gems, that provide space for a primary ring, usually a solitaire, in its center. See Ring Guard.
Invisible Setting:
A type of setting where gemstones are tightly placed, side by side, and attached to metal below the gemstone's girdle. Because the metal can't be seen, the jewelry appears to be metal- free.
A unique, transparent mineral that when cut, can appear to be violet blue, yellowish gray or light blue depending on the angle. The deeper the shade of violet blue, the better is the cut. Iolite is often free of visible inclusions and rates a grade of 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale. Also known as the Water Sapphire, it is sometimes used as a substitute for Tanzanite and Sapphire. Iolite is said to bring the wearer spiritual incite as well as the ability to see both sides of an issue.
An organic gem formed from dentin in teeth or tusks of mammals such as elephant, hippopotamus, narwhal, sea lion, wild boar and fossilized mammoth. Collection of ivory has led to the decimation of certain species, especially elephants. Importation and sale of ivory from elephants is illegal in the United States and elsewhere around the globe. Alternative sources of ivory, including a vegetable source called tagua, have started to appear. Ivory is very soft, rating a 2 to 3 on the Mohs scale, and is generally utilized in carvings or engravings.


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J-Hoops Earrings:
A type of earring that resembles the letter "J" and partially loops the earlobe.
An elaborate or decorative jewelry setting that fits behind or around another piece of jewelry. Jackets are often used to embellish solitaire rings or simple stud earrings
One of two metamorphic rocks composed of different silicate minerals, Nephite or Jadeite. The two are quite similar in appearance but Jadite, because of its intensity of color, translucency, and rarity (only found in Myanmar), is more valuable and considered the imperial or "true" jade. Jade color ranges from its premier hue, emerald green, to mottled green, pink, yellow, black, and white. With a 6.5 to 7 Mohs scale rating, jade is of moderate hardiness. A suggested gift for the 12th, 30th, and 35th anniversaries, jade is said to promote healing and longevity, symbolize love and virtue, and bring about wealth and humility.
An opaque, fine-grained mineral considered to be either a chalcedony or a quartz, depending on the source. Jasper is found in all colors and is known for its streaks or bands which often form interesting patterns. With a rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Scale, the stone is of moderate hardiness. There are many types of jasper including agate, Egyptian, riband, basanite and blood. A variety known as scenic jasper is so named because the streaks appear to form a scenic image. Jasper is also found in Petrified material. As an alternative birthstone for October, the gem is said to induce joy, protect, heal, promote sleep, and even to bring rain.
Journey Jewelry:
A style of jewelry containing as least four stones (usually diamonds) of different sizes, arranged in ascending order from smallest to largest. The largest and final stone should be of significant size. The original intent of the design was to signify the growth of love over time, following the course and highlights of a couple’s relationship. The intended meaning has grown to also include life changes, described as a roadmap of life, with the diamonds marking turning points or important steps along life’s path.


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Karat (kt):
A measurement of the amount of pure gold in an alloy. Generally sold as 10k, 14k, 18k and 24k (pure gold), the amount of gold in jewelry can be calculated by dividing the karat number by 24. Most fine jewelry is sold formed from 14k or 18k gold because pure gold is so soft, it can be scratched with a fingernail.
Keishi Shape:
A type of pearl shape where a small, round pearl resembling a poppy seed is formed when an additional irritant is accidentally introduced in the process of cultivating pearls. These free form pearls may be referred to as "seed pearls".
Kite Gemstone Shape:
A gemstone shape resembling a traditional kite. The shape is sometimes referred to as a "diamond cut" because the top view resembles the side view of a diamond solitaire. Five matching kite shaped stones are often aligned to form "star" jewelry, where the triangular portions become the star's rays.


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A variety of translucent feldspar which displays strong iridescent colors including vivid yellow, blue, aqua, red, green and orange when tilted to reflect light. Originally discovered in the Labrador Province of Canada, the stone is also found in Russia, India, and Madagascar. Labradorite is fairly soft, rating a 6 to 6.5 on the Mohs scale. The gemstone is thought to bring good luck, increase vitality and strength, and reduce stress.
Lapis Lazuli:
A blue composite mineral, often containing sulphur, calcite, and pyrite (fool's gold) that is usually striped or spotted. The purest blue specimens are more highly prized as are samples exhibiting veins of pyrite. A soft stone rating 5 to 6 on the Mohs Scale, gems may be adversely affected by hot temperatures or acids. As one of December's birthstones, Lapis is thought to promote creativity and awareness, act as a sleep aid and aphrodisiac, and counteract fear and jealousy.
A type of long draping necklace without a clasp. Lariats are secured by tying a knot or securing them with a toggle or brooch.
Necklace variation that is very long and has a drop stone or pendant at the end.
Lever Back:
A type of earring mounting with a curved wire resembling a fish hook that bends and latches behind the ear. Lever backs are used for pieced ears, generally for dangle types of earrings.
Line Bracelet:
A type of bracelet consisting of a single row of diamonds or gemstones stretching the full length of the jewelry.
Link Chain:
Also referred to as a chain link, this type of metal jewelry consists of interlocking circles resembling a chain.
Link Chain Bracelet:
Also referred to as a chain link bracelet, this type of metal bracelet consists of interlocking circles resembling a chain.
Lobster clasp:
A type of clasp style resembling a lobster claw that opens and closes in a "pincher" movement.
A pendant, usually heart-shaped or oval, that may be opened to reveal a small, personal memento, such as a photograph or lock of hair. Lockets are usually attached to necklaces but may also be found on bracelets or brooches.
A small magnifying lens used by jewelers to inspect jewelry or gemstones for inclusions, blemishes, hallmarks, etc, generally at 10x magnification.


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Mabe Pearl:
A type of pearl that is formed when an impurity is placed against the mollusk shell instead of within tissue. The resulting pearl is shaped like a hemisphere with one side being rounded and the other being flat. Naturally occurring mabe pearls are very rare and are generally cultured.
A mineral formed from magnesium carbonate that is fairly brittle, with a hardness of 3.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs Scale. Color ranges from colorless, to white, to pale yellow, to light pink. The high magnesium component causes fluorescence under certain lighting conditions. Magnesite is said to bring inner peace, build strong bones and teeth, and enhance imagination.
A device jewelers use to measure ring size; a tapered cylinder with measuring marks.
Pyrite, a cubic crystallization of iron sulphite with a hardness of 6.5 Mohs scale and a specific gravity of 5.1, is known as Marcasite in the jewelry world. Marcasite is known for its bright metallic luster and only a few varieties are suitable for cutting for use in jewelry. In the 20th century, marcasite was a vital element of the Art Deco period and it re-emerged in style again in the mid-1980’s. In Jewelry, marcasite is most frequently used as accent stones in many different designs and styles.
Mariner Chain:
A type of chain style where interlocking, oval metal links are bisected by a bar in the center of each link
Marquise (Marquis) or Navette Cut or Shape:
A type of Gemstone Cut resembling an oval with points on both ends, similar to the shape of an American football. Legend has it the cut was created when Louis XIV, also known as the Marquise of Pompadour, requested a diamond in the shape of a mouth.
A species of the garnet group, Melanite is a glossy black in color and has a rating of 6.5-7.0 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Matinee Length:
A necklace or strand of pearls measuring 20" to 24" in length.
An assemblage of small diamonds, all under 1/4 carat in size.
Metal Color:
A color of metal achieved by mixing gold or other metals with alloys. RELATED TERMS: See Yellow Gold, White Gold, Two-Tone, Rose Gold.
Metal Content and Gold Measure:
A measure of the amount of gold or other metal in a piece of jewelry that is formed from an alloy. RELATED TERMS: See Base Metal, Plated, Solid Metal.
Metal Finish:
The application of techniques to improve the finished appearance of jewelry. Examples are polishing or brushing to improve reflection and shine, texturing, or applying a satin or matte finish to dull color and luster. RELATED TERMS: See Florentine, Polished, Satin Finish.
Metal Type:
The type of metal used in a particular piece of jewelry. RELATED TERMS: See Ceramic, Gold, Overlay Vermeil, Platina 4, Platinum, Silver, Stainless Steel, Sterling Silver, Titanium.
A metal design consisting of a row of raised, tiny beads along the edge or border of a piece of jewelry, generally a ring.
Mixed Cut:
A type of gem cut that uses both brilliant and step facets. See our Education Section regarding Cut and the 4 C's.
Moh's Scale:
A system invented by Friedrich Mohs to measure and compare gemstone hardness and scratch resistance. The Mohs Scale is a jewelry industry standard method of measuring gemstone hardiness.
A gemstone that belongs to the large mineral group of feldspars. Moonstone comes in several different colors, most common is a transparent milky white. It is said to provide strength and a sense of peace. Moonstone has a rating of 6.0 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Mother of Pearl:
The hard, iridescent blend of minerals coating the inside shell of certain large mollusks. Mother of pearl is an organic, luminescent, somewhat fragile gem that should be worn with care. See Nacre.
Mother's Ring:
A custom ring set with a birthstone representing each child or grandchild of the wearer. Mother's rings were traditionally designed with gemstones aligned in a row, but have morphed to include cluster type settings. A mother's ring can be created for mothers or grandmothers.
Another term for an engagement ring setting. The mounting encompasses the head and shoulders of the ring. Mounting can also refer to the the actual placement of the center stone and its immediately adjacent details.
A type of jewelry where multiple gemstones are clustered together, creating the illusion of one large, center stone.


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An iridescent blend of minerals that is deposited around an irritant lodged inside certain mollusks, either by humans or by nature, which becomes a pearl. See Mother of Pearl.
Natural Pearl:
A pearl created by nature, without man's intervention. Natural pearls are formed when at irritant, such as a grain of sand, is introduced inside of a mollusk. The mollusk secrets a coating, called nacre, around the irritant to protect itself. The resulting pearl is both rare and difficult to find.
Necklace Accoutrement:
A type or style of necklace or decorative ornament. RELATED TERMS: See Pendant, Locket, Slide, Sticks.
Necklace Length:
How long a necklace is. RELATED TERMS: See Princess Length, Matinee Length, Opera Length and Graduated Multiples Length
Nick Setting:
A type of setting similar to a channel setting where gemstones are placed in a row with bands of metal on either side forming an interior "channel" of gemstones. The difference is that the gemstones are held in place by small prongs rising from the metal sides. This type of setting amplifies the appearance of a central gemstone.


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A glassy type of stone that forms when volcanic lava is cooled rapidly. Although it is normally black in color, this stone can also come in shades of brown, gold, or even white. Archeological studies show that it was once used to make weapons and even mirrors.
Off Round Pearl:
A type of pearl that is not perfectly round
Oil Treated:
A method used to treat gemstone inclusions to prevent cracking and mask the defect. This type of treatment is frequently used on emeralds and opals.
Omega Back:
A type of earring backing that resembles the Greek letter Omega. Generally used with hoop earrings, an omega back uses a hinge design to snap over a post inserted through a pieced ear. The post is locked in place in an Omega-shaped enclosure.
Omega Bracelet:
A type of bracelet with closely fitting, rectangular links. The chain appears to be solid.
Omega Chain Style
A chain or necklace style where the links fit tightly together and resemble the Greek letter Omega.
A finely textured quartz mineral or chalcedony. Generally thought of as being solid black, onyx actually ranges in color from white to black and may display white band or ribbons. With a rating of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Scale, it is an excellent stone for carving and is often used in cameos. As the Mystical birthstone for December, Onyx is a talisman against depression, improves happiness and instinct, and can help the wearer to change bad habits.
A luminous, iridescent, semi-precious gemstone that often exhibits multi-colored flashes of light when viewed from different angles. With a rating of 5.5 to 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, opals are somewhat fragile and should be treated with care. Natural opals contain water. Heat can lead to evaporation and cracking so opal jewelry is best stored in moist, absorbent cotton in a cool location. As October's birthstone, the Opal promotes faithfulness and inner beauty, improves vision, and allows the wearer to recall past lives.
Open Link Chain:
A type of chain style where interconnected metal links contain a gap or open area in the center of all or a portion of the links
Opera Length:
A necklace or strand of pearls measuring 28" to 30" in length.
Also known as pearlessence, the term refers to a pearl's iridescence or luster
Oval Shape:
A gemstone cut to resemble an elongated circle.
Overlay Vermeil:
A version of Gold Plate where gold is applied over a silver base.


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A naturally white, durable, metallic element that is part of the platinum group. Palladium has a natural silvery luster, lightness, and strength, and is a wonderful alternative to more pricey platinum jewelry.
Pave Setting:
A style of setting where multiple, small gemstones are tightly clustered and adhered with beads of metal, giving the appearance of a "paved" surface.
The lower section of a cut gemstone that is below the girdle (widest area around a diamond) and above the culet (bottom facet).
Pear-shaped Cut or Shape:
A type of Gemstone Cut where the gemstone is cut with oval table facets above and below the girdle. The finished gemstone resembles a teardrop.
An organic gem formed when a mollusk secretes a protective calcium carbonate based substance around an irritant, placed naturally or by man, inside the shell. The building of this protective coating, called nacre, can take 7 to 8 years. Color ranges from white to black and includes shades of pink, green and blue. Water content and type of mollusk effect color. More valuable pearls are naturally produced, round, lustrous, and symmetrical. With a weak rating of 3 to 4 on the Mohs Scale, pearls must be treated kindly, avoiding contact with perfume, perspiration and hair spray, and removing jewelry for strenuous activity. As June's birthstone, pearls promote wisdom, wealth, good luck, and love; protect children; and improve Karma.
Pearl Shape:
The shape of a natural or cultured pearl. RELATED TERMS: See Baroque, Button, Keishi, Mobe, Off Round, Potato, Rice, Rondelle and Round Pearls
A decorative ornament that hangs from a necklace, earrings, or pin
Perfectina Chain:
A type of chain style where very small, circular metal links are tightly braided together
A yellow-green to olive green, semi-precious gemstone, also known as chrysolite, olivine, and the evening emerald. Peridot is usually transparent with few inclusions. With a rating of 6 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale, the stone can burst under intense stress and is often protected by metal in jewelry. As August's birthstone, the peridot is said to drive away evil spirits, aid healing, and protect the wearer.
Plate (Plating, Plated):
The process of coating the surface of a less valuable hard metal with a thin layer of a valuable, softer metal to improve durability and resistance to corrosion. As an example, a piece of copper may be dipped in silver or gold and adhered via chemical reaction or electricity. The resulting metal takes on the appearance of the more valuable surface metal and is of much improved hardiness.
Platina 4:
A type of patented metal composed of four different precious metals: silver, palladium, platinum and gold along with a proprietary alloy. Platina 4 is hypoallergenic, re-size-able, can be polished and cleaned with ultrasonic cleaners or mild soap and water, is tarnish resistant, and more scratch resistant than 14-karat gold. The metal is noted for retaining its brilliant, white luster. Less expensive than gold, Platina 4 is very affordable for today’s consumer.
A lustrous, silver-white metallic element. A wonderful metal for jewelry, Platinum is strong, malleable, non-corrosive and doesn't tarnish.
Plumb Gold:
A term used in the past to validate that the amount of gold in an alloy is not rounded up but contains the precise amount of gold as claimed. An example would be that a piece of jewelry may be stamped 14kt but could actually be 13.85kt, whereas one stamped 14kp, meaning plumb, is truly 14 parts fine gold. A problem with the initial "kp" has occurred as some buyers mistakenly believe the mark stands for "gold plated".
An industry term referring to a unit of weight, generally in regards to diamond carat weight. One point equates to 0.01 or 1/100 carats.
Polished Finish:
A popular type of metal finish that creates a smooth surface and bright shine.
The metal stem or backing used to mount a pierced earring
Potato Shape:
A type of pearl shape where the pearl is irregular and oblong, similar to the shape of a potato
Precious Gemstone:
A gemstone that is extremely rare, possesses exceptional brilliance and color, and has a premium market value. Precious stones include diamond, emerald, sapphire, and ruby.
An extremely rare gemstone generally found in close contact with volcanic rock. Prehnite is primarily a pale green color however, it can range to a deep shade of green as well. It has also been found in pastel shades of blue, grey, white, yellow and almost transparent. It has a pearly glasslike luster and it said to have a calming effect. Prehnite has a rating of 6.0-6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Princess Cut or Shape:
A type of Gemstone Cut into a square or rectangular shape with triangular or kite shaped facets and resembles an inverted pyramid.
Princess Length:
A necklace or strand of pearls measuring 18" in length.
Promise Ring:
A "pre-engagement" ring. In the past, men who were unable to marry for some reason, would give their girlfriends a promise ring as a token to pledge their commitment without actually becoming officially engaged. Generally, the ring was thought to “hold” the committed relationship until the man was either financially ready to support a family or in times of war, was safely back home. In modern times, a promise ring may be given when a relationship is serious, but there is still some question about taking the final step towards a lifelong vow. Generally, promise rings are simpler and less expensive than engagement rings. Often, they consist of small diamonds, and are frequently heart-shaped to signify love or are in a three-stone pattern to symbolize past, present, and future. Promise rings may be crafted in gold, but are most often silver or a lesser valued metal.
A common gemstone setting consisting of three or more narrow strips of metal folded over a gemstone's girdle in order to attach it to the setting. Prongs are often used for solitaire engagement rings.
An industry term referring to diamond cut. Proportion deals with the relationship between facet angles and other diamond sections and how they impact profile and brilliance.


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The most abundant and varied of all minerals on earth. Pure quartz is clear and colorless but it is also found in a vast array of colors. Many well known gemstones are actually varieties of quartz that are separated by color or banding differences. Types of quartz include amethyst, citrine, onyx, agate, and chalcedony. Because of the clarity of crystals, the hardness (rating a 7 on the Mohs Scale), and the large availability, quartz is an excellent alternative to more expensive gemstones. Quartz is said to be an extremely powerful gemstone metaphysically, being beneficial in protection, healing, and promoting clarity and purity of spirit and body.


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Radiant Cut or Shape:
A type of Gemstone Cut with a rectangular shape and clipped corners. The cut combines the elegance of the emerald shape while maximizing the gemstone's brilliance.
Raso Chain:
A type of chain style where small, oval metal links are twisted and braided tightly together
Refractive Index:
A measurement of how light is bent as it passes through a gemstone. Refractive measurements are unique to each mineral and may be used as an identifying characteristic.
A silvery-white metallic element that is a member of the platinum group. Rhodium is harder, whiter and more reflective than platinum, six times more costly than gold, and the only way to dissolve it is with sulfuric acid. Widely used for plating, rhodium is often partnered with white gold to brighten the gold's white color and improve its durability.
A type of garnet that ranges in color from rose red to pale violet. Stones with a strong purple or pink hue are the most valued. Often mistaken for ruby, rhodolite is sometimes referred to as a Cape Ruby. Rhodolite garnets glitter brilliantly due to their high refractive index. It is a hardy stone, rating 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale. As a garnet, it is also considered to be January's birthstone. The gem is ascribed with the ability to protect travelers, ward off evil, and promote self healing.
A mineral species that is found in colors ranging from pink to violet or brownish red with black veining that is usually cut as cabochons highlighting the beauty of the color. The name Rhodonite comes from the Greek word for rose and refers to the color of the gemstone. Records show that Rhodonite was given to travelers as a good luck charm, said to keep them safe on the road and protect them from drowning. Rhodonite has a rating of 5.5-6.5 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Rice Shape:
A type of pearl shape where a small, irregularly formed pearl is oval or egg shaped and has a crinkled surface
Right Hand Ring:
A diamond ring worn on the right hand as a symbol of a woman's independence and happiness, as opposed to a diamond ring worn on the left hand to signify love and commitment. Right hand rings allow women to wear diamond jewelry of their choosing without the implication of marriage. Such rings generally resemble cocktail rings, with clusters of small diamonds rather than traditional engagement solitaires or three stone wedding bands styles.
Ring Guard:
A ring or set of rings worn on the side(s) of a primary ring, usually a solitaire. Some ring guards are fashioned to fasten to the bottom of the primary ring. RELATED TERMS: Insert
Rolo Chain:
A type of chain style composed of thick, interlocking round or oval metal rings of identical size and shape
Rondelle Shape:
A type of pearl shape also known as Roundelle or Roundel. Rondelle pearls have a flattened, ball shape and are similar to button pearls.
Rope Chain:
A type of chain style consisting of twisted strands woven to resemble rope.
Rose cut:
An antique type of Gemstone Cut. Popular since the mid 16th century, this cut creates brilliant facets grouped to resemble a budding rose. The cut does not include a table or pavilion. Although the cut rarely is seen in modern jewelry, there is a demand for the cut to repair or reproduce antique jewelry.
Rose Gold:
A pink colored gold attained by alloying gold with a blend of 90% copper and 10% silver.
A gemstone still in its natural state, prior to cutting or polishing.
Round Pearl:
A type of pearl that is perfectly round.
Round Shape:
A gemstone cut in a rounded shape. This form maximizes diamond and crystal brilliance.
Red corundum ranging in color from deep red to pink to brownish hues. If the color is too light or purple, it becomes a sapphire. Extremely valuable rubies are transparent and vivid or "pigeon's blood" red, display florescence in daylight, and often originate from Myanmar. Some cabochon cut stones exhibit a cat's eye or 6-rayed star. Rating a 9 on the Mohs Scale, the ruby is second only to the diamond in toughness. Inclusions are common in natural rubies which do not display cleavage. As July's birthstone, rubies symbolize freedom, divinity, royalty, wisdom, and spirituality. Rubies are also said to inspire love, courage, confidence, and creativity.


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'S' Tennis Bracelet:
A type of tennis bracelet with "S" shaped links between each gemstone creating a flexible bracelet.
Safety clasp:
A type of clasp style where a second fastener serves as a "backup" in the event the primary clasp fails.
Salt Water Cultured Pearl:
A type of cultured pearl grown in salt water mollusks Saltwater cultured pearls tend to be more regular in shape than their fresh water equivalent and are often classified by shape and color. Salt Water Cultured Pearls include Akoya, Tahitian and South Sea Cultured Pearls.
Any color of corundum except red. (Rubies are red corrundum.) Vivid, transparent blue is the most rare and prized color. Stones from Kashmir or Burma are often fine quality and are highly coveted. As with rubies, some cabochon cut stones exhibit a cat's eye or 6-rayed star. With a rating of 9 on the Mohs Scale, sapphires are extremely durable and ideal for jewelry. As September's birthstone, the sapphire protects against witchcraft, fraud and envy; makes peace between enemies; and incurs God's favor. The stone symbolizes truth, love, wisdom and generosity.
Satin Finish:
A type of metal finish, often used in gold jewelry, which blunts shine and produces a silk like luster.
The sparkle or flash created when a diamond is moved or struck by light.
Scissors cut:
A type of step cut where the facets are divided into four sub-facets by the "scissors".
Screw Back:
A type of earring mounting where a grooved post attached to the front part of the earring screws into the back piece. This type of mounting is used for pierced earrings.
Seed Pearl:
Very small, round pearls often seen in antique jewelry. Seed pearls are less than 2 mm in diameter.
Semi-precious Gemstone:
A gemstone that is not a diamond, emerald, sapphire or ruby. Thought to be less valuable than precious gemstones, the term is very misleading as some stones may actually be rarer, more valuable, and of finer quality.
Generally refers to engagement rings. Setting describes the overall ring design including any filigree accents, side stones, engraving, or other work along the band.
Setting Style:
A type of gemstone setting. RELATED TERMS: See Baguette, Bar, Basket, Bezel, Channel, Cluster, Half Bezel, Invisible, Nick, Pave, Prong, Tension, and Tiffany Settings.
The part of a ring that lives underneath and beside the finger to which the setting for gemstones is attached.
Silver (Fine Silver):
A silvery -white, lustrous metallic element. Pure silver, referred to as .999 or 99.9% pure silver, occurs naturally but is too soft to be used in jewelry. Silver used in everyday jewelry is alloyed with gold or other metals to enhance durability.
Singapore Chain:
A type of chain style where interconnected metal loops are cut into a diamond shape then twisted and flattened
Single cut:
A type of Gemstone Cut that produces 17-facets. This cut is utilized with small diamonds.
A decorative ornament, generally designed with diamonds or gemstones that slides upon a necklace.
Snake Chain:
A type of chain style consisting of narrow metal links suggestive of snakeskin.
The process where two metals are joined by melting and flowing a filler metal between them.
Solid Metal:
A piece of jewelry formed entirely of one metal or containing the least amount of alloy necessary to impart hardness.
A piece of jewelry, usually a ring, with a centerpoint, primary gemstone. Although the term solitaire implies one, there may be smaller, supporting stones on either side of the principal stone.
Simulated South Sea Cultured Pearl:
A type of premier, saltwater cultured pearl known for its large size, rich, satiny luster, and delicate hues, including white, silver, cream, pink and gold. South Sea pearls are cultured in the Pinctada maxima oyster, a mollusk found in an area stretching from Australia to southern China.
A mineral species belonging to the spinel group of minerals. Spinel comes in many colors, usually various shades of red, blue, green, yellow, brown or black. It has a 7.5-8.0 rating on the Mohs hardness scale.
Sri Lankan Sapphire:
A deep, royal blue sapphire found in Sri Lanka, formerly Ceylon. These premier, fine quality stones are becoming increasingly rare.
Smaller rings of different styles and widths that are meant to be worn together, one on top of the other.
Stainless Steel:
A highly durable steel alloy often used in men's jewelry and watches. Stainless steel is non corrosive and very strong.
Step cut:
A cut that has sloping, four-sided facets located below the table and parallel to the gemstone's girdle creating a step-like appearance. A step cut gemstone has fewer facets than a brilliant cut.
Sterling Silver:
An alloy composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of a second metal, generally copper, created to strengthen pure silver.
Stick Necklace or Pendant:
A style of decorative ornament that hangs in a straight line from a necklace. The "line" resembles a stick and may have a gemstone dangling at the bottom.
Straight Mounting:
A type of ring mounting where the two sides of the ring are straight across from one another.
Strand Bracelet:
A type of bracelet consisting of a single length or rope. Stand bracelets may be composed of metal or linked beads, pearls, or other adornments. Often times, single strand bracelets are matched with similarly formed strands to form "multi-strand" bracelets.
A type of pierced earring consisting of a single, often round, gemstone in each earlobe.
A lab created, substitute gemstone which has the same chemical, physical and optical qualities as its naturally occurring counterpart.


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The large, flat facet lying at the top of a cut gemstone.
Table cut:
A simple type of gemstone step cut which produces a very large, flat table area. This type of cut is frequently used for seals or men's rings.
Tahitian Cultured Pearl:
A type of cultured, saltwater pearl known for its large size and dark colors, usually black, gray, or dark green. Tahitian pearls are cultivated in the rare, black-lipped Pinctada margaritifera oyster in an area around French Polynesia. In spite of the name, Tahiti has no pearl farms. The country is instead the commercial hub for this type of pearl.
A modern day mineral discovered in 1967 in Tanzania. When mined, specimens appear dusty brown but upon being heated, become a spectacular royal blue or lavender. Faceted stones are usually fee of inclusions. Earning a grade of 6.5 to 7.0 on the Mohs Scale, the gemstone is moderately hardy. Recently added as an alternative birthstone for December, the stone has little lore surrounding it because of its newness.
Tennis Bracelet:
A type of bracelet consisting of a single row of gemstones or diamonds stretching along the entire length in a uniform fashion. Tennis Bracelets are thin and flexible.
Tension Setting:
A type of setting where opposing ends of the setting hold a gemstone in place by the force of tension. A tension set creates an effect where the gemstone appears to float.
A type of engagement ring that features three stones (either diamonds or gemstones, or a combination of both) that represent the past, present, and future of your relationship. Generally the center stone is slightly larger than the other two. The stones can also be said to represent friendship, love, and fidelity.
Tiffany Setting:
A popular type of setting where high prongs attach a gemstone to a plain band. This type of setting is frequently used in diamond solitaire engagement rings.
Tigers Eye:
A fibrous quartz with distinct chatoyant, or a slit of light resembling a cat's eye, when cut as a cabochon. A favorite gemstone for men, Tiger's Eye possesses a rich brown and yellow-gold color with a silky luster. With a rating of 7 on the Mohs Scale, the stone is durable in jewelry. The gem brings the wearer good mental and physical health, achieves clarity of mind, and protects businessmen.
A silver colored metallic element known for its strength and lightness. In recent years, titanium has become a metal of choice for watches, wedding rings, and men's jewelry because of its durability, resistance to salt water corrosion, luster, and hypoallergenic qualities.
Toggle Bracelet:
A type of bracelet with a toggle clasp. RELATED TERMS: See toggle clasp
Toggle Clasp:
A type of clasp style where a bar on one end of a piece of jewelry is inserted into a ring on the other side.
An abundant, light-colored mineral available in virtually every color except purple. Because of its prevalence, topaz is a wonderful value. Some hues, such as pink or Imperial topaz, are more costly because they are less common. Clear topaz is more desirable because it is sometimes used as a diamond substitute. Historically, all yellow or brown gemstones were called topaz. As November's birthstone, topaz is attributed with the ability to heal and prevent mental and physical illness, improve eyesight, and even prevent death.
Total Carat Weight (ctw):
The sum of the carat weight of all diamonds in a piece of jewelry
Total Gem Weight (TGW):
The sum of the carat weight of all gemstones and/or diamonds in a piece of jewelry
A richly hued mineral available in an array of solid and multi-color variations. The gem is called by multiple names depending on the color. Achroite is nearly colorless and rare. Rubellite is pink to red and sometimes has a violet tint. Dravite is yellow brown to dark brown. Verdelite encompasses all shades of green; Indigolite, all shades of blue; while Siberite includes lilac to violet blue. Schorl is a very common black and is rarely used in jewelry. Single color tourmalines are rare as most crystals have more than one shade. Watermelon tourmaline is green on the outside and pink on the inside. Some stones appear to change color when angled. These are called Dichroic. The most coveted hues are blue, green, and pink. Tourmaline is durable, rating a 7 to 7.5 on the Mohs Scale. Pink or red tourmaline is an alternative birthstone for October. Some artists and writers see the stone as a talisman that inspires creativity. It is also said to strengthen the body and soul, especially the nervous system, blood, and lymph glands.
A gemstone cut in the shape of a triangle.
Trio Set:
A matched set consisting of an engagement ring and wedding band for the bride and a coordinating wedding band for the groom.
Tungsten carbide:
A compound metal formed from tungsten and carbon. The metal has become very popular in men's jewelry and wedding bands because it is scratch-resistant, has a mirror finish when buffed, is tarnish-resistant and extremely strong.
A mineral composed of hydrated copper aluminum phosphate that ranges in color from sky blue to pale green and has a fairly low rating of 5 to 6 on the Mohs Scale. Turquoise has been considered a prized gemstone since ancient times by such geographically and historically diverse cultures as the Egyptians, the Chinese, the Persians, the Aztecs, and Native American tribes of the Southwest. As December's birthstone, turquoise is said to be a great healing stone both mentally and physically, to enhance psychic communication, and to protect travelers (physically and spiritually) from evil.
A piece of jewelry formed from two different metals.


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Ultra-sonic Cleaner:
A jewelry cleaning machine which cleans with sound waves. See REEDs Education section regarding Jewelry Care and Cleaning for more detailed information.


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Wedding Band:
A ring worn to indicate that the wearer is married. Generally presented on the wedding day, both bride and groom receive a wedding band during the ceremony. Wedding bands can be made from a variety of materials including: gold, silver, and other precious metals. Wedding bands can either be plain or include diamonds and gemstones. The wedding band is a symbol of commitment to one another.
Wheat Chain:
A type of chain style also known as a Spiga or Espiga Chain. Wheat chains consist of four strands of braided and twisted oval metal links that create a wheat-like appearance.
White Gold:
A white colored gold attained by alloying yellow gold, copper, nickel and zinc, then plating the resulting alloy with rhodium.
A type of ring that is worn with and encompasses an engagement ring. Ring wraps are generally used to enhance the appearance of a diamond solitaire ring. They can be used in addition to a wedding band or can be used as the wedding band itself, creating a coordinated wedding ring set.


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Yellow Gold:
A yellow colored gold attained by alloying gold with a blend of copper and silver.

Additional Information

The following websites provide additional jewelry terms:

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