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Glossary Product Guide


Jewelry Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


  • ABALONE Often used as an inlay in jewelry because of its striking color, abalone comes from the iridescent inner layer of a mollusk shell.

  • B

  • BAIL Bail is a hooplike component used to attach a pendant to a chain or cord.

  • BANGLE A bangle is a nonflexible bracelet that is sometimes hinged.

  • BIRTHSTONE Birthstones are stones symbolically associated with months of the year.

  • BRILLIANCE Brilliance is the total amount of light reflected from both the interior and exterior surfaces of a stone.

  • C

  • CAMEO A cameo is an ornamental piece of jewelry featuring a head in profile over a contrasting background.

  • CARAT (ct.) Carat is a unit of weight used to measure diamonds and gemstones. One carat equals 200 milligrams.

  • CARAT TOTAL WEIGHT (Carat T.W.) The combined carat weight of all diamonds or gemstones in a piece of jewelry is the carat total weight.

  • CENTER STONE A prominent, single stone found in the center of a piece of jewelry.

  • D

  • DIAMOND DUST Diamond dust is a fine dust left over from the cutting of diamonds, which is applied to the surface of jewelry to make it shimmer and shine.

  • DICHROIC GLASS Dichroic glass is glass composed of multiple layers of metal oxides that produce an intensely colorful, metallic and reflective appearance.

  • E

  • ENAMEL Enamel is a substance applied to the surface of metal or glass to add a glossy finish and color.

  • ETERNITY RING Eternity rings feature a row of stones circling the entire band seamlessly. Eternity bands symbolize unending love.

  • F

  • FACET The flat, polished surfaces of a cut stone are its facets.

  • FILIGREE Intricate patterns or designs of metal used to decorate a piece of jewelry. Filigree usually features openwork or fine wire.

  • G

  • GALLERY The negative space found on the setting of a ring. The gallery is often decorated with filigree or gemstones.

  • GEMSTONE A gemstone is a natural or manmade mineral or other substance (e.g., amber, coral or pearls) used in jewelry and other ornamentation.

  • GRADUATED A term used to describe when elements gradually increase or decrease in size. For example, some necklaces feature pearls that gradually become larger in size, with the largest pearl placed at the center of the strand.

  • H

  • HAMMERED A hammered texture is produced by striking metal with a texturing hammer. These hammers have interchangeable plates to produce a variety of textures.

  • I

  • INCLUSION An inclusion is an internal flaw or imperfection caused during the formation of a diamond or gemstone. Each stone has a unique "fingerprint" based on its inclusions.

  • INFINITY DESIGN An infinity design is a looped design symbolizing eternal love.

  • INLAY An inlay is a piece of material, often a stone, inserted into the surface of a piece of jewelry.

  • J

  • JOURNEY DESIGN A journey design features a relaxed S-shaped setting embedded with graduated stones to symbolize a significant life journey or event.

  • L

  • LAB-CREATED A lab-created gemstone is a manmade stone that shares the same properties as its genuine counterparts.

  • M

  • MURANO GLASS See Venetian glass.

  • N

  • NACRE Nacre is a material secreted by mollusks to coat foreign substances that enter their shells. Layers of nacre form pearls.

  • O

  • OPENWORK Openwork refers to decorative, often patterned, metalwork with openings that allow the passage of light.

  • P

  • PATINA Patina is a tarnish that forms on the surface of some metals. Patina forms over long periods of time through weathering and wear.

  • PRECIOUS STONE Precious stone is a term often used to describe diamonds, emeralds, rubies, sapphires and pearls.

  • PRONG A small metal claw used to securely fasten a gemstone to a piece of jewelry.

  • R

  • RESIN Resin is a lightweight and tough natural or synthetic material. Plastic is an example of a synthetic resin.

  • RONDELLE Rondelle is a ring-like bead made of stone, crystal or a piece of metal.

  • S

  • SHANK The part of a ring that is elevated from the shank and holds the gemstones in place. The setting is also known as the "head" of a ring.

  • SIDE STONE A stone that is set adjacent to the center stone of a ring. Side stones are designed to complement or enhance the center stone.

  • SIMULATED Simulated describes a manmade stone that looks like, but does not have the same physical properties as, its genuine counterpart. Simulated stones are often composed of glass or plastic.

  • SOLITAIRE A diamond, gemstone or pearl set alone on a piece of jewelry.

  • V

  • VENETIAN GLASS Venetian glass has long been world-renowned for its elaborate, colorful designs. Because the Venetian glassmaking industry moved to the island of Murano in the late 13th century, "Murano" and "Venetian" are now used interchangeably.

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