Jewelry Glossary

Agate

Agate is described as a cryptocrystalline variety of quartz. Rather than a single crystal, it is composed of myriad miniature crystals that can only be seen with extreme magnification. In appearance agate is often banded. The concentric bands may be oval, rounded, elliptical, or totally irregular in shape, and may be multiple colors, or different shades of a single color. 

Akoya Pearl

The term "Akoya" refers to pearls produced by the Japanese Akoya oyster whose proper name is Pinctada Fucata Martensii. The Akoya are the most famous of all pearl producing oysters and are primarily cultivated in the ocean waters off the coasts of Japan and China. Akoya pearls are recognized for their intense luster, beautiful color, and superb roundness. It is still considered that the Akoya are superior to the freshwater pearl. Due to the relatively small size of the oyster, true Akoya pearls range in size from only 2 to 11 mm. Our Auset pearl rings contain pearls that are over 12mm in size, therefore a rare size.

Amethyst

Purple amethyst is one of the better-known members of the quartz family. Color can range from soft lilac to intense purple or violet. It is a semi-precious stone in today’s classifications, but to the ancients it was a “Gem of Fire,” a precious stone worth, at times in history, as much as a diamond. In the spiritual world, Amethyst provided a connection to the Divine. In the ancient Egyptian  Book of the Dead it was said that amethyst was to be carved into heart-shaped amulets for burial.

Art Deco

The Art Deco style features linear, geometric patterns, abstract designs, and vibrant colors. Art Deco flourished in the 1920s and 1930s, synthesizing a variety of influences such as ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean culture with modern technology.

Art Nouveau

Art Nouveau is a decorative style (circa 1890-1914) noted for its free-flowing lines and natural motifs.

Baguette

The baguette is a small, rectangular gem shape usually used as accents to larger stones. Baguette-shaped stones are normally step cut.

Band

A band is a ring that usually has a uniform width and thickness. Bands may or may not be set with gemstones, but usually more than one gem and usually gems of similar or equal size.

Bangle

A bangle is a rigid bracelet that slips over the wrist. Bangles may or may not open with clasps. Bangles that open to be put on or removed and close with or without clasps are known as hinged bangles.

Base Metal

Base metal is a common and inexpensive metal, like Copper, Nickel, Brass and Zinc as opposed to precious metals mainly Gold and Silver.

Bezel

A beveled surface- usually a beveled edge- is cut at an angle less than 90 degrees.

Bezel Setting

A bezel is a narrow piece of metal used to hold a gem in place on a piece of jewelry. The bezel surrounds the gemstone all the way around. A bezel is also the part of the watch surrounding the crystal on a watch face that holds the crystal in place. Bezels may or may not be set with gems and may or may not be textured.

Black Onyx

Onyx was used in Egypt as early as the Second Dynasty to make bowls and other pottery items. Onyx is a banded variety of the silicate mineral chalcedony. Agate and onyx are both varieties of layered chalcedony that differ only in the form of the bands: agate has curved bands and onyx has parallel bands. Commonly, specimens of onyx contain bands of black and/or white.

Brilliance

Brilliance is the reflection and refraction of light displayed through a stone. Brilliance is generally applied to diamonds but can also refer to colored gemstones.

Brilliant Cut

Brilliant cut is the style of cutting a stone with multiple facets in a particular way to maximize the gem's brilliance. Modern round brilliant-cut stones have 58 facets.

Brooch

Designed to be pinned onto clothing, a brooch is an ornamental piece of jewelry that usually attaches with a pin and clasp (a bar clasp).

Cable Chain

A cable chain is a standard chain consisting of round or oval uniformly sized links.

Cabachon

A cabochon consists of a polished, domed surface stone. This style may be used on any shape of rough, but the most common forms are round, oval, and cushion.

Carat

Carat is a metric unit of weight used for precious gemstones.

Casting

A casting is a jewelry setting for a gemstone that is formed in a mold.

Channel Setting

A channel setting holds a number of gemstones side by side in a grooved channel. Each stone is not set individually, so there is no metal visible between stones.

Choker

Similar to a collar necklace, this close fitting necklace style is just slightly looser.

Chrome Diapsode

Diopside is a gemstone that belongs to the pyroxene mineral group. It is best known for its rich-green variety, called chrome diopside. The name is an allusion to the chromium content responsible for the color. Sources for diopside include Austria, Finland, India, Madagascar, Myanmar (Burma), South Africa, Sri Lanka, and the United States.

Clarity

Clarity is one of the major factors in the process of grading and valuing gemstones. Clarity grading evaluates the effects of blemishes (external flaws) and inclusions (internal characteristics). Factors such as size, number, location, type, and contrast all modify the clarity grade of a gemstone.

Clasp

A clasp is an adjustable catch, bent plate, or hook that connects two ends of a necklace or bracelet. Clasps may be simple or ornate.

Cocktail Ring

A cocktail ring is a large, oversized ring set with gemstones. Cocktail rings were highly popular in the 1940s and 1950s.

Cubic Zirconia

Cubic zirconium (singular) is a man-made gemstone that is commonly used as a diamond simulant. Because of its lower cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically  and economically important competitor for diamonds. Cubic zirconia, or CZ, can be found in every color of the rainbow.

Diamond

Diamond is the only gemstone composed of a single element – carbon. It is also the hardest natural gem, holding the position of 10 on the Mohs scale. Diamonds come in all colors of the rainbow. Those not represented on the normal diamond color-grading scale are known as fancy color diamonds, the rarest being red diamond. Color in diamond is caused by structural irregularities, or trace elements. Notable sources of diamond include Canada, Australia, India, Russia, Botswana, Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Africa and Angola.

Earring Jacket

An earring jacket is a piece of jewelry designed with a hole to allow a stud earring to hold it in place. The earring jacket is intended to enhance/change the look of the earring, adding versatility to the stud alone.

Electroplating

Electroplating is a process that electrochemically (electric current plus a chemical solution) bonds a thin layer of atoms to the surface of a host material. Precious metals, such as gold, silver, platinum, and rhodium are often used in the jewelry industry.

Enamel

Enamel is colored, powdered glass that has been fused to metal with extreme heat of fire resulting in a glossy surface.

Facet

Facets are flat or curved surfaces applied to the exterior of gemstones. The shape size, number, angle, and placement of facets are the key to maximizing the brilliance and fire of a gem.

Fancy-Colored Diamonds

The term fancy colored refers to any diamond that is not graded on the normal color scale. The color has to be natural to qualify for this designation.

Fool's Gold

Fool's gold is a common slang term for pyrite stone because of its gold and brassy color.

Freshwater Pearl

The term freshwater refers to pearls that are cultivated in ponds, lakes, and rivers, as opposed to saltwater environments.

Garnet

Garnet is a precious stone consisting of a deep red vitreous silicate mineral. The January Birthstone, garnet is a deep red crystal, a revered and popular precious stone. The Garnet has long been used as a talisman for protection by tribes and sects. According to legend, possessing or wearing a garnet ensures success and health, for the stone is believed to possess curative powers.

Gold

Treasured for centuries for its warm sensuous glow, gold is the most beloved of all metals. Its versatility and ductile nature has made gold the perfect medium for countless artisans and craftsman throughout the ages. For thousands of years, gold has been shaped into jewelry, ornaments, religious icons, talismans, and currency. Gold in its purest state is referred to as 24-karat gold. Pure 24k gold is normally too soft for use in jewelry, so jewelers mix gold with another metal like nickel or silver to harden it, creating gold alloys of various purities: 10 karat gold is 41.7% pure gold; 12 karat gold is 50% pure gold; 14 karat gold is 58.3% pure gold and is ideal for jewelry because of its durability and affordability; 18 karat gold is 75% pure gold and is preferred in jewelry for its beauty and durability; and again, 24 karat is 100% pure gold and is therefore too soft for most jewelry.

Gold Vermeil

Gold vermeil is a sterling silver base coated with a thick layer of gold - to ensure quality, the gold should be no less than 14K. We use 18K gold micron plating.

Karat

Karats are a unit of measure indicating the fineness of gold. Gold in its purest state is referred to as 24-karat gold.

Marquise

Named after Marquise de Pompadour, Mistress of King Louis XV, the marquise gemstone shape is similar to an oval but with pointed ends.

Padparadscha

Literally the Sinhalese word meaning "lotus flower," padparadscha refers to a lush pinkish-orange sapphire.

Pavé

Pave is a unique setting that looks as if the piece is literally paved or encrusted with stones

Peridot

Peridot is a gemstone in the olivine family. It exhibits a range of greens from yellow-green to olive green to brownish green. Peridot is also the August birthstone of Diaboli Kill jewelry designer Angie Marei.

Platinum

Thirty-five times rarer than gold, platinum is a treasured and highly sought after precious metal. Platinum is 95% pure, reflecting a brilliant white luster that does not fade or tarnish. Its purity also makes it hypoallergenic and perfect for sensitive skin. It is highly pliable and can be shaped into many intricate, detailed patterns not possible with other metals.

Pyrite

Natural pyrite has a brassy appearance and is sometimes confused for gold, earning it the nickname "fool's gold." Used by jewelers for thousands of years, pyrite has been found in ancient Greek jewelry and the tombs of Incas.

Quartz

Quartz is one of the most common gem families and can be found all around the world. Crystalline quartz includes amethyst, aventurine, rock crystal, blue quartz, citrine, hawk's eye, prasiolite, quartz cat's-eye, smoky quartz, rose quartz, and tiger's eye. Cryptocrystalline quartz is also known as chalcedony and includes agate, bloodstone, carnelian, chrysoprase, jasper, moss agate, onyx, and sard.

Rhodium

A member of the platinum group, rhodium is a shiny white metal that is highly reflective, durable, and expensive--much more expensive than even platinum! Rhodium is often used as a hardening agent for platinum. We plate most of our sterling silver jewelry to increase luster and eliminate tarnishing.

Rose Gold

This pink-tinted metal is gold with an added copper alloy. The more copper alloy in the metal, the deeper the rosy tones will be. Rose gold accentuates the color of all skin tones. 

Ruby

Ruby is a gemstone in the corundum family. It exhibits a range of red colors, and the most desired color is luscious red with a hint of blue.

Sapphire

Sapphire is a gemstone in the corundum family. Known for its beautiful "cornflower blue" color, sapphire also comes in a wide range of colors. In fact, corundum comes in every color of the rainbow, and they are all sapphire--except red, which is ruby.

Shank

The shank is the part of a ring that circles the finger.

Signet Ring

Also known as a seal ring, the signet ring traditionally bears a crest or other family insignia on the table of the ring. Signet rings were historically used like a stamp to impress the crest or insignia into wax that was used to seal important documents.

Silver

Silver is a wonderfully versatile metal. Second only to gold, silver is valued for its excellent malleability and ductility as well as its high luster. Pure silver is too soft for use in jewelry, so it is often used with other alloys. Sterling silver is an alloy consisting of .925 parts pure silver and the rest pure copper, sterling silver is often used for jewelry.

Tahitian Pearls

Setting the standard for black pearls, Tahitian pearls are some of the most popular pearls in the world. They have a gentle, velvety luster and often exhibit a strong iridescence. Tahitian pearls come in a variety of jewel-tone colors like dark greens, purples, aubergine, black, and gray, as well as silver and sometimes white.

Tarnish

Tarnish is the undesirable dulling or discoloration of metals due to the effects of humidity, temperature, and other atmospheric conditions. You can prevent or slow down tarnishing of jewelry with proper cleaning and air tight storage.

Tourmaline

Tourmaline is a fascinating mineral that can actually exhibit two or more colors in one crystal. Tourmaline possesses one of the widest color ranges, reproducing every conceivable color in a rainbow.

Trillion

A trillion cut is a variation of the brilliant cut triangular stone with 44 facets.  

Tsavorite

Tsavorite is one of the most valuable gemstones in the garnet family. Tsavorite exhibits a slightly yellowish green to emerald green color.

Vermeil

Vermeil is real gold that is chemically bonded onto sterling silver. 

White Gold

White gold uses silver-colored alloys like silver, zinc, or nickel to decrease the yellow tint of gold. To intensify its white luster and eliminate the yellow tint, white gold is sometimes plated with rhodium or platinum.

Zircon

Zircon is a beautiful, natural gemstone with a high refractive index and strong dispersion. Zircon should not be confused with cubic Zirconia, as the two are completely unrelated. Zircon exhibits a range of colors including yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, blue, green, and colorless.