Gemstones within a jewelry design that are not the main focus, but instead accent or complement the center gemstone and side gemstones. Accent gemstones are typically comprised of melee gemstones.
A mixture of two or more metals to create more desirable characteristics and/or added strength.
Jewelry that is 100 years old or more.
A decorative style of the 1920s and 1930s that features bold geometric shapes, linear patterns, and diverse colors.
A decorative style from the late 1800s to early 1900s characterized by free-flowing lines and stylized natural forms such as flowers, leaves, and feminine form.
The process used when determining the proportions of precious metal contained in a piece of gold, silver or other alloys.
An arched (often oval, teardrop, or d-shaped) metal component used to hang a pendant from a chain or cord. It is meant to slide onto the chain rather than being soldered to it so that the pendant moves independently from the chain and is not a permanent part of the chain or cord.
An irregular-shaped stone or pearl. Also an art style characterized by ornate detail.
A setting technique where the gemstone is secured between two parallel bars, while the sides of the gem remain open.
A type of prong setting with open sides similar to a basket weave, that allows the lower portion of the gemstone to be visible.
A small, usually spherical component made from a variety of materials, which may be partially drilled or fully drilled. A full drilled bead will have one or more holes through it, allowing it to be strung singularly or with others in a sequence. Beads in shapes other than round are sometimes described as “fancy.”
A method for securing a gemstone where a small bur of metal is raised with a graver and pushed over the edge of the gemstone.
A ring mounting in which the prongs for the setting are formed from the shank of the ring so that the gemstone does not extend above the circumference of the shank.
A precious or semi-precious gemstone popularly associated with the month of birth.
October- Opal and Tourmaline
A bead-type adornment designed with two sets of holes to allow it to be strung onto a bracelet constructed of two rows of chain. The resulting bracelet is known as a slide bracelet.
A matching set of rings that includes an engagement ring and a wedding band, which are worn stacked together.
The structural portion of a mounting that connects one side of the shank to the other.
A design element located beneath the center stone that can be seen when looking at the ring in the through finger view.
A metal engraving technique created by chiseling the metal with a polished tool creating a highly reflective surface.
Pertaining to diamonds, this term has two components: brightness and contrast. Brightness refers to the amount of light returned from the diamond’s surroundings and back to the observer. To be brilliant, a diamond also needs contrast, the intensity of the white light from the crown of a polished diamond or other gemstone. Brilliance is affected by: hardness, refractive index, reflectivity, polish, luster, and proportions.
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A setting usually consisting of six prongs connected to a scalloped-shaped base that resembles a buttercup flower.
A ring mounting design in which the two sides of the band do not meet in a straight line, but overlap or crisscross each other as seen in the top/looking down view.
A polished, convex-cut, unfaceted gemstone.
A unit of weight for precious and semi-precious gemstones, equal to 200 milligrams. Abbreviated "ct"
A style of mounting in which the sides of the ring arch above the band on either side of the stone as seen in the through finger view.
A series of connected metal links or loops with an attached clasp assembly.
One of a pair of long ornate earrings that dangle from the earlobes, usually dropping more than one level.
A setting style in which a series of gemstones are set close together into grooves in two parallel walls.
A necklace that fits snugly around the throat, usually 14"–15" in length.
A traditional Irish ring design depicting two hands holding a crowned heart, representing friendship or love.
A mechanism used to attach objects or parts together, such as both ends of a chain or bracelet.
Multiple gemstones grouped together in a setting, which may or may not overlap each other.
A rigid choker-style necklace that fits snugly around the neck.
As it pertains to diamonds, color is one of the characteristics used to define the quality of a diamond. The GIA color scale ranges from D to Z, D being considered colorless and higher in value. See 4 Cs.
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Describes the convex interior of a ring or band.
CONTOURED OR CURVED BAND
A long, thin, flexible strand that can be used instead of chain for necklaces and bracelets. Cord can be made from satin, leather, rubber, and other alternative materials.
A decorative fastener – similar to a button – which is used to secure the ends of a shirt cuff. It may consist of two buttons or button-like parts connected with a chain or peg that passes through two slits in the cuff.
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As it refers to a round diamond, cut is the factor that determines the diamond‘s brilliance. Cut qualifies the brilliance, fire, and scintillation of a round brilliant cut diamond by analyzing the diamond‘s symmetry, proportions, and polish. See 4 Cs.
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Short for Cubic Zirconia, a man-made gemstone created to simulate a diamond.
An earring that extends below the earlobe and is stationary.
Abbreviation for pennyweight. There are 20 pennyweights in a ounce (troy). See Pennyweight.
An earring designed to follow the contour of the ear.
A piece of jewelry worn on the lobe or edge of the ear. Popular earring types are chandelier, cluster, dangle, drop, earring jacket, ear trim, huggie, hinged, hoop, lever back, and stud.
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An adornment for the ear that is an accessory to an earring, designed to be secured to the lobe with a stud.
A pin-like or wire finding attached to the back of an earring that passes through a pierced earlobe. Examples included screw posts and friction posts.
A disc or bead with a hole, through which an earring post is threaded for the purpose of securing the earring to the earlobe. Examples include nut, screw, tension, omega, and clutch.
A wire used for pierced earrings. Popular styles include French hooks, lever back, and kidney
Characteristically containing lace-like, fine filigree work with milgrain settings. Popular from 1900-1914, it was usually produced in platinum for strength. Intricate, airy, and feminine. See Filigree and Milgrain.
An opaque or semi-transparent glass or substance applied to a metal surface for protection or ornamental purposes.
An enhancer attaches to an existing jewelry item to create a new look. Some examples of enhancers include ring enhancers, pearl enhancers, and pendant enhancers.
The process or art of cutting or carving a design into a hard surface.
The flat, polished surface of a gemstone that affects a gemstone's brilliance and sparkle.
Describes any jewelry that incorporates whimsy, fun, and innovation in its design. It is trendy and stylish and may not become a classic or be considered a basic item. It makes a great fashion statement or conversation starter.
Also known as a Mother’s Ring, this is a jewelry item created with personal significance to the family usually using birthstones to represent each member of the family.
Fancy Wedding Band
A wedding band with more decorative styling than a simple, traditional band.
A type of ring worn to express style or a current trend.
Lace-like ornamental work formed from thin wires of intricately-arranged intertwined precious metal. May be plain, twisted, or plaited.v
A decorative texture applied to the surface to enhance its appearance.
A setting technique consisting of four prominent triangular corners cut from the existing shank that holds the gemstone in place. When viewed from the through finger view it looks like the tail of a fish.
A setting technique in which the gemstone is embedded within the band and the metal from the band is used to secure the gemstone, leaving only the top of the gem visible.
An ornamental groove in a surface that creates visual interest.
An asymmetrical, flowing shape or design.
An earwire shaped like a hook used for pierced drop earrings. Also known as a Sheperd’s hook.
The negative space located on a head/setting.
A mineral or organic material with sufficient beauty, rarity, and durability to be set into jewelry.
Referring to the potential options of shape and size that a gemstone can be cut. The outline form of a gemstone, not to be confused with the faceting pattern.
A gemstone that is produced by nature without interference from man, other than cutting or fashioning. Do not confuse “natural” with untreated gemstones.
A surface adornment technique in which minute grains or tiny balls of precious metal are applied to a surface in patterns to create visual interest.
Similar to Flush-Set, a setting technique in which the gemstone is embedded within the band and the metal from the band is used to secure the gemstone, leaving only the top of the gem visible.
A method for securing a gemstone in which a band of metal partially encircles the girdle of the gemstone and is folded over the gem to hold it in place.
A quality mark indicating precious metal content (10k, 14k, 18k, etc). Typically stamped on a jewelry item in an inconspicuous location (back, inside ring shank, etc.).
The part of a jewelry item that secures the gemstone. This is sometimes referred to as the setting.
A bail located inconspicuously on the reverse side of a pendant, so that the pendant appears to float on the chain or cord. See Bail.
A pin that fits through pieces of metal tubing that allow an item to articulate. Hinges are commonly found on lockets, charms, and boxes.
A small hoop earring that fits closely around the ear lobe. It is thicker than a standard hoop so that it appears to be “hugging” the ear lobe. It is designed with a hinge at the base of the hoop, facing the shoulder, and a groove in the post enables it to snap into place to close securely.
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A term used to describe items (in this case jewelry) that cause or are claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions. Depending on the allergen of the subject, these may include metals such as stainless steel, titanium, gold, etc.
A setting technique patented by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1933 (MysterySetting) in which a diamond is placed in a collet of reflective, highly-polished metal so that it appears to be part of the gemstone in order to enhance the perceived size of the diamond.
The insertion of pieces of gemstones, wood, ivory, etc. into slots created on a surface for embellishment.
A setting technique with no visible prongs or supports. The gemstones are grooved so that a thin wire framework holds the gemstones in place.
A wire ring of any size, usually round or oval in shape, used for attaching jewelry parts.
A unit of measure of the purity of gold. Pure gold equals 24 karats. Abbreviated as K.
A small piece of jewelry with a post-type pin affixed to it with a clutch mechanism to secure it. May also be assembled with a small brooch-type, hinged pin assembly. A lapel pin is usually smaller than an inch in length.
A long cord-like necklace without a clasp, usually looped into a knot, thus allowing the ends to hang down in the front.
A spring-loaded closure on the back of some earrings. When in the closed position, it secures the earring to the earlobe.
A flexible bracelet that can be unclasped and laid out to form a “line.” The links are usually joined by hinge pins. A tennis bracelet is a type of line bracelet.
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A bracelet made from connecting or linking various, sometimes similar, components together. The links are usually interlocking, eliminating the need for hinge pins.
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A small, decorative case with one or more spaces to hold a picture or memento, designed to be suspended from a chain. May also be incorporated into the design of a ring or bracelet.
Classification used in the sorting of diamonds weighing less than .17 carats or 17 points each.
A highly precise setting technique similar to pavé but using extremely small gemstones.
Having the edge shaped into fine beading.
A term used to describe a movement in design and architecture around the 1960s and 1970s, where the subject is reduced as much as possible to only its necessary elements.
A folded clip used to keep folded cash and/or credit cards in lieu of a wallet.
Jewelry designed to mimic and exaggerate the look of a native lump of precious metal, usually yellow gold.
A wire attached and hinged on the back of an earring and used as a mechanism to hold the earring in place.
In jewelry, it refers to perforated or openwork designs with regular patterns of openings and holes.
A design style using free-flowing curves and surfaces similar to those from nature such as in leaves, vines, etc.
Discoloration that forms naturally over time on metals such as silver and bronze. Patinas may also be introduced artificially through certain chemicals for aesthetic value.
A field of bead-set gemstones closely set, usually in rows, whereby the entire surface of the jewelry is covered or "paved."
A pendant with a hinged, clasp-type bail that allows it to be attached to a pearl or bead necklace, or any necklace that doesn’t allow a pendant to be slid onto it.
An adornment designed to be suspended from a necklace.
Pennyweight is a common weight unit of measure used in the valuation and measurement of precious metals. One pennyweight equals 1⁄20 of a ounce (troy). See DWT.
In jewelry, it refers to perforated or openwork designs with regular patterns of openings and holes.
The securing mechanism for a pin-stem.
A sharply-pointed pin on a hinge that is suitable for piercing fabric or clothing. It is secured with a pin-catch.
Metals that are rare and have high economic value. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium.
The group of gemstones consisting of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.
A setting technique in which a gemstone is held in place by metal projections or tines, called prongs.
The act of removing gems from one jewelry item and setting them into a new jewelry item.
A necklace style comprised of flexible gemstone links which are typically tapered in size.
A ring usually consisting of three or more bands. As the ring is slid on and off the finger, the bands roll over one another.
A doughnut-shaped or flattened, disk-shaped bead that is used as a spacer or an accent between other beads.
A secondary closure added to some bracelets and necklaces for extra security.
A gemstone that is not a diamond, emerald, sapphire, or ruby – historically thought to be less valuable than a precious gemstone, i.e., amethyst, peridot, aquamarine, etc.
The part of a ring that encircles the finger.
An earwire shaped like a hook used for pierced drop earrings. Also known as a French hook.
The upper part of a ring shank.
A ring with letters (usually one’s initials), or a design carved into it. A college ring is an example of a signet ring.
A bail-less pendant. May incorporate holes into the design to allow passage of a chain or cord.
A contemporary metal (a form of steel containing chromium and/or nickel) resistant to tarnishing and rust.
A necklace with repeating elements.
A flexible bracelet featuring gemstones that can be unclasped and laid out to form a “line.” The links are usually joined by hinge pins. Also known as a Line Bracelet.
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A setting that holds the gemstone in place entirely with compression/tension and not prongs.
Tie Tack/Tie Clip
A piece of jewelry used to hold a necktie in place.
A structure of open latticework especially used as a gallery support for gemstones.
A unit of troy weight, used for weighing precious metals. The ounce contains 20 pennyweights (dwt) each of 24 grains. One troy ounce is equivalent to 31.10 grams.
Source: The Basics of Jewelry by Stuller