Pictorial Glossary of Jewelry Terms


 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

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CULTURED PEARL A pearl formed within a mollusk such as an Oyster.  In a cultured pearl, a bead known as a nucleus is inserted into a mollusk to start the process that creates a pearl, and in nature a grain of sand or some other irritant that enters a mollusk starts the process that results in a natural Pearl.  Layers of "nacre" are secreted by the mollusk as a natural reaction to a foreign body and are built up layer after layer.  The length of time a pearl is allowed to grow and/or the size of the nucleus will determine the size of the pearl that will be harvested.  Cultured pearls are cultivated on farms in fresh water or saltwater.
CURB-CHAIN A flat link chain with rounded edges
CUSTOM DESIGN Any jewelry made to order.
CUSHION CUT An emerald cut or square cut gemstone with rounded edges.  Cushion cut stones are found in many antique style pieces of jewelry.
DIAMOND CUT Small scallop like bright cuts in metal created with a diamond cutting tool that create the illusion of diamonds being set into the metal.
DIAMOND GRADE A value used in a Diamond grading system to categorize the color or clarity of a Diamond, (See Color Grade or Clarity Grade).  The American Gem Society (AGS) developed a system that is the most respected.
DIE CASTING A method of casting where the metal to be cast is forced under pressure into a mold, usually made of metal.
DIE STRUCK A manufacturing process employing machinery that applies great pressure to metal against a die or between two dies. The high pressures create a denser product than the casting method of manufacturing and can be used to create large quantities of identical items with great precision and fine detail.
DOUBLET A stone made of two pieces.  Any natural or synthetic materials may be used in any combination.
ELECTROFORMING A jewelry manufacturing process, similar to electroplating, that creates a lightweight layer of gold or silver over a wax model which is then melted out of the finished piece.
ELECTROPLATING The Process of placing a thin layer of metal upon another metal by suspending an item to be plated in a solution containing the plating material. An electric current is then applied to the solution causing the negatively charged plating material to adhere to the positively charged item being plated. The amount of time used in the process determines the thickness of the plating.
EMERALD CUT A rectangular shaped gemstone. A style of faceting that creates a rectangular gemstone, usually with cut corners to prevent chipping. The pavilion facets run parallel to the girdle, in steps and is also known as a step cut. 
ENAMEL Glass or similar material fused to the surface of metal.
ENGRAVING A process of etching a design, initials, family crest or anything else into the surface of metal.   The traditional method of hand engraving is becoming less common as it is replaced by sophisticated computerized techniques. 
ESTATE JEWELRY Any previously owned jewelry offered for sale again. Also describes jewelry purchases from the estate of someone who is deceased. All antique jewelry which is resold is estate jewelry, however all estate jewelry is not necessarily antique.
ETCHING A process similar to engraving in which acid is used to etch a design into the surface of metal, glass or gemstones.
FACETING The process of applying facets, or flat polished surfaces to a gemstone. The goal of a gem cutter, who creates the facet arrangement on a gemstone, is to create the most brilliance and best appearance possible for the gem in hand. When faceting colored gemstones particular attention must be given to how light reflection will affect the gemstones apparent color.
FACE UP Describes the viewing position of a gem as seen when looking at it perpendicular to the table facet.  A gemstone that faces up well is excellent in appearance in relation to its color or clarity grades.
FANCY COLOR DIAMOND A Diamond that exhibits a strong color, such as yellow, as opposed to an off colored white diamond. Fancy colored diamonds can be very expensive and are often highly prized by collectors. Fancy colored diamonds have been found in many colors of the spectrum.
FANCY CUT A gemstone cut into a shape other than round.  Fancy cuts include princess, pear, marquise, oval, baguette, emerald, heart and less common but very unique shapes such as stars.
FAMILY RING A ring set with the birthstones of children, grandchildren, or other family members. A motherís ring is one type of family ring. A crest is another often worn by men in the family.
FILIGREE An openwork, pierced design, generally delicate in nature and fine in construction.
FINDING Jewelry parts, such as clasps, settings and others used in the manufacturing or repair of jewelry.
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rev. January. 2017