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A universal grading system developed
by GIA (Gemological Institute of America) to
evaluate the quality of a diamond. The 4 Cs are
Carat, Color, Clarity, and Cut.
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
A process used to bring metal
alloys to a desired consistency, texture, or
hardness by gradually heating and cooling.
A ring of three or
more diamonds or gemstones, typically set in
a channel or prong setting. The stones partially
encircle the ring.
Jewelry that is 100 years old or more.
A form that is curved in two
directions opposite one another (saddle-shaped).
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.
A characteristic of a product that
can include a color, design, style, form, shape,
A mounting that leaves a
gemstone's pavilion facets uncovered so that
light can enter.
Describes items small in
scale to be worn by babies, toddlers, and teens.
Earring posts are usually shorter and are often
threaded or have some sort of safety clasp.
Rings are usually sizes 0–3. Bracelets are
usually 5–5½" long. Necklaces are usually
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
A ring, usually uniform in width,
with no distinguishable “top”; may be set
A closed, rigid
bracelet – with or without hinge and clasp –
that slides over the hand.
An irregular-shaped stone or
pearl. Also an art style characterized by
A setting technique where the
gemstone is secured between two parallel bars,
while the sides of the gem remain open.
A term informally referring
to non-precious metals (such as copper, zinc, tin,
nickel, lead, or iron), which are commonly used
in costume jewelry.
A type of prong setting
with open sides similar to a basket weave, that
allows the lower portion of the gemstone to
An enameling technique in
which a low-relief pattern is created in metal by
engraving or chasing, then the entire pattern is
filled with translucent enamel (similar to French
“low height” champlevé). See Enamel.
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 method for securing a
gemstone in which a band of metal encircles
the girdle of the gemstone and is folded over
the gem to hold it in place.
A precious or semi-precious
gemstone popularly associated with the month
January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Opal
November - Citrine
December - Topaz
was manufactured specifically for use in
An ornamental band or circlet
for the wrist, arm, or sometimes for the ankle.
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
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, 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,
A piece of jewelry that may
be fastened to clothing, usually with a
mechanism that consists of a straight, sharp
pin finding, a hinge, and a catch.
Chain that does not include
a clasp assembly. It has raw, cut ends and
cannot be worn in its current state.
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.
Computer-aided design and manufacturing.
A design cut in relief, usually into a hard gemstone or shell.
A unit of weight for precious and
semi-precious gemstones, equal to 200
milligrams. See 4 Cs.
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.
The main gemstone
in the design which is usually the focal point of
A series of connected metal links or
loops with an attached clasp assembly.
used to secure a chain and typically consists of
a chain end and clasp.
The hoop located on one end
of a chain, through which the other end can
A flat metal piece with a hole
in each end where the quality mark or trademark
can be stamped.
An enameling technique
of decoration in which the design is made by
lines or cells cut into a metal base. Similar to
cloisonné, but the partitions are part of the base.
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 miniature object that may depict
symbols, figures, letters, etc., usually attached
to a bracelet using a spring-type clasp or a
A Dangle Charm has a jump ring or
bail-type clasp allowing it to swing to
A Bead Charm is a large, fancy bead
with large holes allowing it to be strung
onto a bracelet.
A bracelet to which
charms may be or have been attached.
Chevron or V-Prong
A prong in the
shape of a V usually found on gemstone shapes
with sharp corners.
A non-rigid 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 term used to describe the absence
or presence of internal or external flaws in a
gemstone. See 4 Cs.
A mechanism used to attach objects or
parts together, such as both ends of a chain.
A wire used to fasten and
hold a gemstone in a setting.
An ancient enameling
technique in which a design is outlined on a
metal base with bent wire of metal strips
(typically soldered to the base) forming
individual sections or compartments that are
filled in with colored enamel (French “cloison”
= cell or partition). See Enamel.
Multiple gemstones grouped
together in a setting, which may or may not
overlap each other.
See Earring Clutch.
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.
Describes the convex interior of a ring or band.
Designs that are
up-to-date with current trends in the industry
with a modern flair.
Metal alloys and industrial metals that are not
part of the traditional “precious metal” group.
These low-cost alternatives include, but are
not limited to, titanium, tungsten carbide,
stainless steel, and cobalt chrome.
See Shadow Band.
with inexpensive materials or imitation gems.
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.
As it refers to a cut gemstone, the
faceted area of a gemstone located above the
girdle, but below the table.
A rigid bracelet designed with an opening for easily slipping the bracelet onto the wrist.
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.
Refers to the base point of a diamond.
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.
Short for Cubic Zirconia, a man-made
gemstone created to simulate a diamond.
Approximately 64% heavier than diamond.
An earring that
extends below the earlobe and is designed
to swing to and fro.
A design style using
elements from the period of the 1960s. The
designs are of the “form follows function”
genre and are minimalist in presentation.
In reference to a gemstone,
it is the length from table to culet.
An attribute type
used to describe features of a jewelry item.
In reference to a gemstone,
it is the overall width.
cut onto the surface of a chain so that the
links flash and catch the light.
A process for manufacturing
heads in which the item is stamped under
extreme pressure, resulting in a work-hardened rigid part. See Anneal.
The power of a diamond
when breaking up its light into its constituent
colors. See Fire.
An earring that extends
below the earlobe and is stationary.
A corrosion and wear resistant contemporary metal alloy consisting of cobalt and chromium.
Abbreviation for pennyweight. There are 20 pennyweights in an 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.
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 type of earring back
that attaches to an earring post after it passes
through a hole in the earlobe. The earring clutch
is used to secure an earring in place.
A wire used for pierced earrings.
Popular styles include French hooks, lever back,
lace-like, fine filigree work with milgrain set-tings. 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.
only by women (especially in Western cultures),
an engagement ring is a ring indicating that the
person wearing it is engaged to be married.
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.
A band set with one or
more continuous rows of gemstones that
completely encircle the band.
The flat, polished surface of a
gemstone that affects a gemstone's brilliance
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
A jewelry item created
with personal significance to the family usually
using birthstones to represent each member of
Fancy Wedding Band
band with more decorative styling than a simple,
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.
A component or part used in the
making of a piece of jewelry.
A decorative texture applied to the
surface to enhance its appearance.
Dispersed light that appears as flashes
of spectral colors (rainbow) on a diamond.
A setting technique consisting of four prominent triangular corners cut from the existing shank that hold the gemstone in place. When viewed through the finger view it looks like the tail of a fish.
See Shadow Band.
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
An ornamental groove in a surface
which creates visual interest.
An asymmetrical, flowing shape or design.
An earwire shaped like a
hook used for pierced drop earrings.
The negative space located on a head/setting.
A mineral or organic material with sufficient beauty, rarity, and durability to be set into jewelry.
The metal rim
located on a head/setting, below the girdle
of a gemstone.
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
A gemstone that is
produced by nature without interference from
man, other than cutting or fashioning. Do not
confuse “natural” with untreated gemstones.
The narrow band or edge
separating the upper and lower faceted
portions of a gem.
A precious, yellow, metallic element,
highly malleable and ductile and not subject to
oxidation or corrosion.
A gram is a metric system unit of
mass/weight. One ounce (troy) is equivalent to
A tool used to cut designs into metal and for precision gemstone setting that is made of highly polished steel.
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.
An enameling technique in
which precise, intricate, symmetrical patterns
are mechanically engraved into a metal base;
sometimes referred to as “engine turning.”
It was named after a French engineer who
invented a machine to replicate these precise
patterns that were previously done by hand
(Example: Faberge’ eggs).
See Flush Set.
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 (10kt, 14kt, 18kt, platinum, etc). Typically stamped on a jewelry item in an inconspicuous location (back, inside ring shank, etc.). FTC requires the manufacturer or distributor of said product to disclose their identity by accompanying the quality mark with a trademark or company name.
See Flush Set.
A jewelry style featuring a central
gemstone surrounded by a border of smaller
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
A (usually) circular, ring like earring that may be a complete circle or may only go part of the way around.
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.
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 (Mystery Setting) 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.
A device for holding keys
together usually consisting of a metal ring.
Jewelry designed to move,
rotate, or revolve. Moving parts are trapped
and cannot usually be removed from the main
An assortment of products, often
components, sold together, usually for back of
store use, often at a lower price than if the items
were purchased individually.
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
A long cord-like
necklace without a clasp, usually looped into a
knot, thus allowing the ends to hang down in
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.
A bracelet made from
connecting or linking various, sometimes similar,
components together. The links are usually
interlocking, eliminating the need for hinge pins.
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
Looking Down/Top View
A way to
describe looking at a ring from the top down or
bird’s eye view.
Medical ID Jewelry
Designed with a
medically identifiable emblem and engraved to
inform others of medical issues such as drug and
food allergies and other medical conditions.
Classification used in the sorting of diamonds weighing less than 0.17 carats or 17 points each.
A highly precise setting
technique similar to pavé but using extremely
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
A rare mineral discovered
by Henri Moissan, later synthesized in the
laboratory and used as a high-quality
A folded clip used to
keep folded cash and/or credit cards in lieu
of a wallet.
A jewelry item that has stone
settings, but in which no stones have been set.
It requires no further assembly work; the
exception being an unset semi-mount mounting
which requires a head to be attached.
A piece of jewelry that may be
a string of gemstones, beads, jewels, etc., or a
metal chain worn around the neck.
A silver-gray contemporary metal.
See Shadow Band.
Jewelry designed to mimic and exaggerate the
look of a native lump of precious metal, usually
A wire attached and
hinged on the back of an earring and used
as a mechanism to hold the earring in place.
A design style using free flowing curves and surfaces similar to those from nature such as in leaves, vines, etc.
See Selling Systems.
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 pavéd.
The lower part of a cut
gemstone below the girdle.
A pendant with a hinged, clasp-type bail that allows it to be attached to a pearl or bead necklace, or any necklace that does not allow a pendant to be slid onto it.
A setting with a peg attached
to it that can be easily attached to a jewelry
item by inserting the peg into a drilled hole.
Peg heads are commonly used in semi-mount
An adornment designed to be
suspended from a necklace.
designed so that another pendant, usually a
solitaire, can be suspended inside of it.
Pennyweight is a common weight unit of measure used in the valuation and measurement of precious metals. One pennyweight equals 1⁄20 of an ounce (troy). See DWT.
In jewelry it refers to perforated
or openwork designs with regular patterns of
openings and holes.
Any type of jewelry that is fastened
to clothing using a sharp, pointed post and a
catch or clasp. May be a brooch, lapel pin, or
Jewelry findings used
to secure a pin to the wearer. This assembly
is comprised of a pin-stem and pin-catch.
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.
A heavy, non-corrosive white
metal with high tensile strength which dulls
as it is worn but holds its detail for many
years, giving it heirloom characteristics.
An enameling technique by which the design is outlined with metal and filled in with colored enamels, but with no backing so that the effect is similar to a stained glass window.
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.
The metal alloy that,
when describing a two-tone item, makes up
the majority of the weight of the jewelry item.
See Secondary Metal.
A profile is a cross sectional view. Flat inside round, comfort fit, inside round, flat, knife edge, etc., are examples of band profiles.
A ring worn to show
commitment to a monogamous relationship,
usually set with one or more diamond melee.
A setting technique in
which a gemstone is held in place by metal
projections or tines, called prongs.
An example of a piece
of jewelry created from inexpensive,
Several rings that fit
together to create a single ring.
The act of removing gems from one jewelry item and setting them into a new jewelry item. The term remount is sometimes used interchangeably with “semi-mount,” when referring to jewelry designed for this purpose.
A piece of jewelry worn on the finger.
Very small rings may be worn on the toes.
A ring designed with two
shanks assembled so that a solitaire ring may
be inserted into it.
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.
See Flush Set.
A secondary closure
added to some bracelets and necklaces for
A technique for setting
gemstones in which the prongs are created
from the shank. Fishtail is one example of a
The intense sparkles and
flashes of light visible when either the person
viewing the diamond or the lighting moves.
A band with a
concave groove on the inside of the band,
designed to lessen the weight of the piece,
therefore lowering the price.
When describing a
two-tone item, the metal alloy that makes up the
minority of the weight of the jewelry item. See
A pre-merchandised collection of items marketed in a packaged format, designed as a turnkey sales solution.
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.
Any engagement ring set and
sold to the jeweler with side stones or melee,
but without the center stone. The fixed head for
the center stone is in place.
Any engagement ring
set and sold to the jeweler with side stones or
melee but without the center stone. The head
for the center stone is NOT in place. May also
be referred to as a set shank since it is not a
completely assembled ring.
The act of securing a gemstone.
The term setting is sometimes used
interchangeably with head and/or mounting.
A wedding band designed and contoured to be worn with a specific engagement ring. The design is such that it would not usually be worn on its own.
A ring designed for, but stocked
without a center head and that is not complete
without such head. The part of a ring that
encircles the finger.
See French Hook.
The upper part of a ring shank.
complement and place emphasis on the center
gemstone. Side gemstones are typically larger
than accent gemstones.
A way to describe looking at a
ring from the side.
A precious metal that is
commonly alloyed to create the more durable
alloy known as sterling silver.
A ring with letters (usually
one’s initials), or a design carved into it. A
college ring is an example of a signet ring.
The area at the bottom of
a ring shank where metal can be inserted or
removed to reduce or increase the finger size
of the ring.
Abailless pendant. May incorporate holes into the design to allow passage of a chain or cord.
A piece of jewelry containing or
designed to hold a single diamond.
metal (a form of steel containing chromium
and/or nickel) resistant to tarnishing and rust.
A necklace with repeating elements.
metal alloy of 92.5% silver and copper,
or another material.
A metal strip jewelry
finding that is usually comprised of repeating
patterns in which gemstones can be set.
Jewelry attached to the
ear with an earring post through a piercing
and secured with an earring back.
A surface or a portion of a
surface that is curved towards the same side
in all directions.
Referring to the top, flat part of the
cut of a gemstone.
See Line Bracelet.
A setting that holds the gemstone in place entirely with compression/tension and not prongs.
A ring consisting
mainly of three larger stones.
Through Finger View
A way to describe looking at a ring through
the finger hole.
Tie Tack/Tie Clip
A piece of jewelry
used to hold a necktie in place.
A strong, low density, highly corrosion-resistant and lustrous white element that occurs widely in igneous rocks and is mainly used to alloy aircraft metals. It is also a popular choice for piercing jewelry.
A structure of open
latticework especially used as a gallery
support for gemstones.
A decorative finding that can be
added to another jewelry component to create
a finished jewelry item.
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
A contemporary metal
containing equal parts of tungsten and
A jewelry item
comprised of two different metals or alloys
of different color.
A ring mounting
designed to hold side stones or melee, but in
which no stones have been set and the head
for the center stone is NOT in place. May also
be referred to as a shank.
Gold-plated or gilded silver. The FTC allows a product to be described as "vermeil" if it consists of a base of sterling silver coated or plated on all significant surfaces with gold or gold alloy of not less than 10 karat fineness that is of substantial thickness and a minimum thickness throughout equivalent to 21⁄2 microns of fine gold.
A white colored alloy of gold with nickel, platinum, or another metal.
The change in
hardness of metal due to repeated cold flexing
or stress. The annealing process can be used
to relieve the stress.
A gold alloy that is usually made by combining gold, copper and silver.