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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LASER a noun: an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.

LASER FINISH A frosty glittery finish applied with a laser.

LASER WELDING The laser welder uses amplified light instead of heat and fire to safely repair or manufacture jewelry. Common laser welding applications include the assembly of complex, multi-colored jewelry pieces, replacing prongs, sizing rings, assembling diamond tennis bracelets, repair stone settings, and attaching settings to ring shanks. Gold, platinum, silver, and titanium alloys all produce excellent welds. The resulting weld is considerably stronger than a traditional solder joint. Laser-welded connections are 260% stronger than solder and 95% as strong as the original metal.

LASERING The use of a laser to remove inclusions from inside a gem by "drilling" or burning a fine hole to the depth of the inclusion.  In some cases the inclusion is evaporated and in others it may be bleached out.

LEVER BACK An earring finding with a snap back "lever" which can be affixed to an earring or have a loop at the bottom from which the earring will dangle. 

LOCKET A charm or pendant that opens to hold one or more pictures.

LOST WAX CASTING A method of manufacturing jewelry that duplicates a design made of wax in a metal such as gold or silver. A wax model is suspended in a canister that is then filled with a plaster like substance called an investment. When the investment hardens the wax is then burned out and lost, hence the name of the process.  The cavity remaining in the investment is an exact duplicate of the original wax and is then filled with molten metal.  When large quantities or intricate designs are being cast, the use of centrifugal force created by spinning the canisters in a drum will force the metal into the thinnest cavities allowing fine detail reproduction.  When the molten gold cools and hardens the investment is broken and a duplicate of the wax remains cast in metal.

LOUPE A hand held magnifying glass used by members of the jewelry industry to examine diamonds and gemstones.  Loupes are available in different levels of magnification. A ten-power loupe, which magnifies an image ten times, is used for diamond grading. A diamond graders loupe is corrected for color and distortion.

MABÉ PEARL A type of cultured pearl that forms on the shell of a mollusk. When cut away from the shell it has an unfinished flat surface on the back that is polished. Mabẻ pearls are most commonly dome shaped like a cabochon.
MARCASITE A steel gray, metallic like gemstone, flat on the bottom and faceted on top, commonly set in sterling silver jewelry.
MARQUISE A gemstone shape pointed at both ends and oval shaped in the center, like a football.
MATTE FINISH A dull finished surface created by sandblasting, stone finishing or brushing.
MELEE Diamonds up to .20 carats in size.
MOSAIC A design made from pieces of gemstones. 
MOTHER OF PEARL The lining of a seashell that exhibits iridescence.
MOUNTING A piece of jewelry, into which gemstones can be set.
  NATURAL Used to describe a gemstone, which is mined from the earth or a pearl that is created without the assistance of man.  Lab created gems may be considered real or genuine because they are of the same chemical composition as their natural counterparts; they are however created by the hands of man rather than those of Mother Nature and cannot be called natural.
OLD EUROPEAN CUT A round cutting style, the forerunner of the modern Brilliant Cut. It has a large culet, small table and high crown.
OLD MINE CUT Commonly called Old Miners, the Old Mine Cut has a large culet, a high crown, a small table and is somewhat square, with rounded corners, in outline. 
OMEGA CLIP A type of earring back with a hinge that flips over a post to provide additional security.
OVAL CUT A gemstone in the shape of an oval, faceted similar to a round brilliant cut.
OXIDATION A film or coating that forms, like a skin on the exterior of metal resulting from a reaction with oxygen. Antiquing is a chemical process used to create an oxidized look.
PALLADIUM A member of the platinum group. Palladium is lighter and less expensive than platinum and can be mixed with yellow gold to create white gold.

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rev. January. 2017