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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FLORENTINE FINISH A finish applied to metal, usually applied by hand, consisting of a series of parallel lines engraved in two directions perpendicular to each other.

FOUR CíS An abbreviation used to describe the Color, Clarity, Carat Weight and Cut of a gemstone. Curt does not refer to the shape.

FRICTION BACK An earring back, also called a push back, which uses friction to secure itself against an earring post and hold an earring against the ear.

GOLD an element, whose symbol is AU on the atomic charts, gold is very malleable, meaning it can be hammered, bent, drawn, shaped or formed with relative ease compared to other metals. Gold is usually mixed with other metals called alloys to give it rigidity or change its color. See 14kt, 18kt. 22kt.

GOLD ELECTROPLATE A final finish applied to non-gold jewelry equal to 7-millionths of an inch of  fine gold or more.

GOLD FILLED An item made of a base metal such as brass or copper, to which a sheet of gold is bonded by pressure or other means.  To qualify as gold filled; an article of jewelry must have a layer of gold at least 1/20th, or 5% of the weight of the entire article.

GOLD OVERLAY Has the same meaning as "gold filled".
GOLD PLATED A thin layer of electroplated gold on base metal. All gold plated items are not plated with fine gold; some are only plated gold in color.  A marking of 14K H.G.E. or 18K H.G.E. (Heavy Gold Electroplate) for example would indicate that some amount of fine gold was actually used.
GOLD TESTING The gold content or karat can be tested in a piece of jewelry by rubbing the item to be tested on a testing stone, similar to slate (slate is sometimes used) and using Hydrochloric acid, in different strengths to determine the gold content. 
GREEN GOLD An alloy of gold that appears green in color. The green color of gold is achieved by mixing silver, zinc, and cadmium with gold.
HEAD A finding, typically the prong portion of a ring that holds a gemstone.
HEART A gemstone cut into the shape of a heart. The shape of love.

HAND MADE Created completely by hand. Not assembled from parts or made in a die or mold.

HIGH POLISH A finish achieved by buffing the surface of metal so it shines brightly, often with a mirror-like finish.
IDEAL CUT A set of proportions used when cutting a round Diamond, created by a man named Tolkowsky, believed by many yield the best balance of fire and brilliance.
ILLUSION SETTING A setting used to make Diamonds appear larger than they are. 

IMITATION GEMS Any gems made of material other than the gemstone they are intended to mimic. This stone is glass and made to look like a Tanzanite.

INITIAL RING A ring with an initial.
INLAY The process of setting stones into a channel or cut out so that they are flush with the surface of the metal.  A stone is said to be  inlaid when it is set in this manner.
INVISIBLE SETTING  Gemstones set next to each other, usually in multiple rows, with no metal between them, giving the appearance that they are set invisibly (without prongs, beads or channels). The stones actually have tiny grooves sawn on the bottom of them so they interlock or are held in place with wires like a puzzle.
IRRADIATED A gemstone treated with radiation for the purpose of changing the color of the gemstone. 
  KARAT A unit of measure of gold content.  Pure gold is 24 karat and one karat is equal to1/24 part pure gold in an alloy. (14kt. gold is 14 parts gold and 8 parts other metal.)
LAPIDARY A gem cutter or polisher, usually well versed in finishing all types of gems other than diamond. 
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rev. January. 2017