Glossary

JEWELRY TERMS

Bezel Setting: The earliest method of setting stones into a piece of jewelry. The bezel is a band of metal that has been shaped into the size of the gemstone to be placed. The setting is then soldered to the piece of jewelry and the prepared stone is placed into position.

Brilliance: Relating to, or being a hue that has a strong combination of lightness and strong saturation. Refers to the amount of white light that reflects through or from the surface of a gemstone.

Burnished: Having a smooth, glossy finish as though rubbed or polished.

Byzantine Chain: A type of chain that features links that are set closely in an intricate pattern. This design creates a cylindrical tube with circular links going vertically, horizontally, and diagonally across one another.

Cabochon:  A stone that has been rounded as opposed to faceted. Cabochon cuts are popular with opaque stones and those with asterisms or chatoyancy. In rings, most cabochon cuts feature a rounded dome surface with a flat base. In necklaces or charms, the cabochon cut may more closely reflect a complete sphere affixed with a specialized setting.

Clarity: Clearness of appearance.

Closure: The point where a bracelet, necklace, earring or other type of jewelry comes together at the clasp. There are many different types of closures each specialized for a specific type of jewelry category.

Facet: Surface of a cut and polished gem.   
   
Faceting: Cutting and polishing of the surfaces of a gemstone into facets.

Findings: The various pieces commonly used by jewelers when crafting jewelry such as clasps, bales, settings, o-rings, jump rings, hooks and often even refers to the tools the jewelers use.   
       
Finish: Refers to the way a metal surface has been done. Metal can be glossy, brushed, hammered, etc. These are all types of finishes popularly used in jewelry.

G. I. A. - Gemological Institute of America: Established in 1931, GIA is the world's largest and most respected nonprofit institute of gemological research and learning. Conceived 75 years ago in the august tradition of Europe's most venerated institutes, GIA discovers (through GIA Research), impar

Gauge: The width, of a bracelet or necklace. Most commonly used to measure the size of an earring post. Traditional piercings are done with a 20

Hammered Finish: A type of metal finish achieved by hammering the piece of metal in such a way that it becomes multifaceted. This type of finish is often used with gold or silver creating more planes from which light can reflect. They are commonly used on hoop earrings, bangle bracelets and large pendants. Hammered Finishes can be glossy, satin, or matte depending on the finishing technique.

High Polished Finish: Also called a gloss finish or high gloss finish, this vibrant finishing technique is achieved through excessive buffing and polishing. The result is an extremely smooth, unblemished surface with a glossy shine.

Illuminated:  Designed to light with an LED Light.  All lights are separate from the jewelry.  Lights are interchangeable.  A variety of colors are available.  Batteries last an average of 15-20 hours and are easily replaceable.

Jump Ring: A jump ring is a piece of round or oval metal that is used at the end of a piece of jewelry to close the piece or to connect different part of the jewelry. Also called an O-ring, these small gold or silver circles are used in jewelry fabrication. The small wire circles can be used for adding gemstone beads to a piece, connecting links, as the female half of a jewelrys closure, to connect pendants or charms to a chain, or fulfill any other need as a small connector. Jump rings, though a circle, can be opened by gently twisting one side down with a pair of jewelry pliers.

Lapidary:  The art of cutting, polishing, and shaping gemstones for use in jewelry. One who cuts, polishes or shapes gemstones.

Offset: Stone is not centered.

Opaque:  Not transparent or translucent; impenetrable to light; not allowing light to pass through.

Pendant:  Any charm that is used on a chain necklace. Pendants, unlike necklaces, can be switched from chain to chain. They feature a fixed bale and as long as the bale is wide enough to fit over a clasp, it can be worn with that chain.

Poison Ring: A ring with a hidden hinged compartment that could conceivably contain poison. They became popular in Europe during the sixteenth century. The poison ring was used either to slip poison into an enemy's food or drink, or to facilitate the suicide of the wearer in order to escape capture or torture.

Rings like this have been used throughout history to carry perfume, locks of hair, devotional relics, messages and other keepsakes, so they have also been known by other names. Artists would paint tiny portraits of loved ones, to be carried in what was called a “locket ring,” which was popular during the Renaissance. By the 17th century, jewelers were creating locket rings in the shape of caskets which served as mementos for mourners. These were called “funeral rings.”

Polishing Cloth: cloth used to clean and polish jewelry safely.

Promise Ring: A ring given to another or worn by the purchaser that symbolizes a promise or vow. Commonly worn by couples, friends or those who take a vow to remain pure. The latter are also called purity rings.

Rough: Term used to describe a rock or crystal still in its natural state, before faceting or polishing.
Shank: The part of a ring that wraps around your finger and where gemstones are set.

Silver: Silver, with elemental abbreviation Ag and atomic number 47, is a precious metal often used in jewelry. This soft alloy is both the highest thermal conductivity and electrical conductivity of any metal. When exposed to aid, the metal oxidizes and tarnish

Solitaire: A pendant or ring with a single gemstone.

Sterling Silver An alloy of 92.5% silver and copper or another material for strength.

Translucent: Clear; permitting the passage of light.
       
Transparency: The quality or state of being transparent.

Tri-color: Also referred to as tri-tone, this type of jewelry refers to a piece of jewelry crafted from three different types of metal. Tri-color jewelry is popular with woven or tressere jewelry as it artfully combines the three different metal types.

Triple Ring:  Designed to fit on two finger at once, creating an illusion that the three stones are floating.  Inspired by Brooklyn-reared modernist jeweler Arthur Smith (1917–1982) http://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/art_smith/

Ultrasonic Cleaner:  Used to clean jewelry by using energy released from the collapse of millions of microscopic cavitation bubbles, which are formed when ultrasound passes through the cleaning liquid.

 

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