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WR2U Glossary

30 March 2017 15:42

Everything wedding rings and jewellery related. Some you might know, some you might have heard of, some you’ll be amazed to find out about. Glossaries are great as reference resources and also a fascinating read.

 

A is for…

 

Abalone:

The pearly coloured inside of a mollusc shell, sometimes used for jewllery embellishment.

 

Ag

This is the chemical symbol for silver in the Periodic Tables.

Agate

A type of quartz. Agate comes in lots of different colours and patterns.

Alloy

Generally, a mixture of two – or sometimes more – metals.

 

Amber

This is the name for a type of resin. It comes in many colours, from deep honeys and browns to yellows.

 

Amethyst

A type of quartz. The purple-coloured stone can be light or dark in shades.

 

Aquamarine

A blue-coloured semi-precious stone often seen in jewellery, such as necklaces, bracelets and rings.

Assay

This is a process, worked out using chemicals, that reveals the content of precious metals in materials. For example, in gold, the system is carats. Eg. 9ct gold.

Au

This is the chemical symbol for gold in the Periodic Tables.

 

Austrian crystal

This is the name for an imitation form of crystal.

 

B is for…

 

Baguette

This is a precious stone or gem that is shaped like a rectangle. These days the stone shape is becoming increasingly popular in wedding and engagement rings.

 

Baroque Pearl

This is a pearl that is not regular in shape. It can also have an uneven surface,

Base Metal

In jewellery, a base metal is the word used to describe a non-precious metal, such as brass, copper, aluminium or steel.

Basket

This is a word used to describe a ring setting. It is usually a fancier style of setting with many sides, so as to create a basket-style appearance.

 

Belcher

This is the common name for a chain or necklace that is made from D-sections of wire.

Bevelled

If you look at a stone or the edge of a ring, the angled part is called the bevelled edge.

 

Bezel

This is a part of jewellery that offers a mount on a ring. The bezel is the mount between the ring’s surface and the stone/setting.

 

Bi-Metal

An alloy or sorts, but simply two metals bonded together.

Box Chain

This term is used to describe a jewellery chain with box-styled links. The result is a string of tiny boxes to form a chain.

Brilliant Cut

This is the term given to a stone or gem or jewel that is created to produced the most dazzling, brilliant look.

Brooch

This is a piece of jewellery that is created rather like a badge. It is ornamental, often extremely eye-catching and is affixed to the wearer with a pin.

Burnisher

This is the name for a handtool that is mostly used to polish metal.

 

Byzantine Chain

This is a jewellery chain that has close-fitting links, made to look like a tubular chain.

C is for…

 

Cabochon

This is a cut of stone or gem that has a flat base and a domed top surface. It is usually highly polished.

Cameo

The name for a carved gem or jewel. It would normally have layers that ae cut away to reveal a design on top.

 

Carat (gems)

Carat is an international unit of measurement and it is used to test the weight of a diamond. There are 100 points to a carat, with one carat equalling one-fifth of a gram. But size or weight of a diamond is not necessarily the same as quality. Some larger diamonds may have a less perfect cut and so their dazzling qualities might not be as high as a smaller diamond that has a better cut.

Carat (gold)

This term is used when talking about fine gold, such as 24ct gold. So 9ct is 9/24 or 37.5 per cent pure.

Chandelier

In the jewellery world this is the word to describe drop earrings or pendants in a chandelier design.

Channel Setting

This is a ring setting where the gems or stones are inlaid into grooves in the metal. You’ll see this design used a great deal in the making of traditional eternity rings, and increasingly in wedding and engagement  rings.

 

Charm

A charm is a small pendant that is affixed to a charm bracelet (see below).

Charm Bracelet

A link bracelet, to which charms are attached.

 

Citrine

This is the name for a browny-orange colour of quartz.

 

Claw

This is a jewellery setting used to hold stones or gems in place on a ring or necklace.

Cluster

This is a ring setting whereby gems or stones are grouped together.

 

Concave

The term often used to describe rings, in which the inner surface resembles that of a ball.

 

Convex

The term often used to describe rings, in which the outer surface resembles that of a curved ball.

 

Coral

The skeletal remains of marine animals, which come in a range of often bright colours, such as reds, pinks and salmon.

 

Corundum

This is a gem mineral made of crystallised aluminium and oxygen. Ruby and sapphire are examples of the most valued corundum.

Crown

This is the top part of a cut stone or gem.

 

Cu

This is the chemical symbol for copper in the Periodic Tables.

 

Cuff Link

A decorative fastener worn to close the French cuff (a cuff without buttons) of a man’s shirt.

 

Curb Link Chain

A style of jewellery chain where the links are oval and twisted so that they lie flat.

Cushion Cut

A word used to describe a square cut with rounded corners.

 

Cut

The jewellery term used to describe the way that a stone is cut or faceted.

D is for…

 

Dapping block (or doming block)

This is a steel block used in jewellery making with depressions that are used to form domes.

Diamond

The popular precious gemstone that because of its pure carbon composition is the hardest of all known substances. Diamond is still the number one choice for wedding rings, engagement rings and jewellery.

Diamond cut

This term refers to the cuts that are made in the surface of jewellery metal, which creates a light-reflecting pattern. Diamond cut is a pretty option for al kinds of rings.

Die

This is a mould used in jewellery making that shapes metal by force.

Divorce ring

A growing trend, mostly among women, for a ring worn to signify one’s divorce. See blog

Draw down

This is a term used to describe wire that has been stretched thin and shaped in the process of making various types of jewellery.

Drawing

The mechanical process that reduces wire in size by passing it though a series of reducing plates or dies.

Drop ear-ring

This is the name to describe ear-rings that hang below the earlobe. (As opposed to “stud” ear-rings.)

Ear-ring back

This is the piece of the ear-ring that fits over the stem of the jewellery item to secure it to the ear-lobe. I tis usually a disc or bead shape and can be made form metal or, in some cases, plastic.

E is for…

Electroplating

This is the term used to describe an electrical process of covering a metal with a thin film of another metal.

Emerald

A wonderfully attractive green-coloured gemstone that is considered one of the most valuable of all stones used in jewellery making.

Emerald cut

This describes the shape of the gem, rather than the type or colour. Emerald cut is a rectangular or square shape with rows of step cuts along the edges and at the corners.

Enamel

The opaque, usually coloured, glassy material that is affixed on to metal in the process of making rings and other items of jewellery.

Engrave

An engraving can be added to all kinds of jewellery and rings by making a marking. Many people choose to have their wedding rings engraved with the date of their big day.

Epoxy

This is a resin that used in strong glues and enamels during the process of some jewellery making.

Extender chain

If you want to extend the size of a jewellery chain, necklace or bracelet it is possible to utilise an extender chain.

F is for…

Facet

If you’re talking bout the facet of a gem, it is the cut and polished surface that is called the facet. Facets are used to cut into a gem’s surface of the stone to enhance its reflection of light.

Fancy cut

This is the term to describe gemstones that are cut into shapes other than the standard round brilliant shape. They include oval cut, triangle, baguette, marquise etc.

Figaro

This is the name given to a style of chain that comprises a series of long and short links.

Filigree

The form of lace-style ornamental work that is sometimes used in jewellery making when working with inter-twined wires.

Fittings

This is the jewellery term used for a wide variety of components, such as catches and joints.

Fine gold or silver

This is gold and silver in its purest form and with strictly no alloy.

Finish

Used in its purest sense, the finish of an item of jewellery is the way that the surface of the ring is polished or textured.

Fish hook

You’ll have seen a fishhook used in ear-rings. It is the clasp that is shaped with a hook end passing through the pierced earlobe.

Fleur-de-lis

This is the royal insignia of France and frequently used in jewellery decoration. The design resembles a lily or iris.

Fluted

This describes the surface of rings that are ornamented by channels or grooves.

Flux

This chemical solution is used as part of the soldering process when making some items of jewellery.

Foldover clasp

This is a type of clasp with an opening hinge.

G is for…

Ga

This is the chemical symbol for gallium in the Periodic Tables.

Gallery

The name for metal in which stones are set. Also “gallery strip”, which is a length of metal that is pierced to produce a continuous series of claws.

Garnet

A semi-precious stone, ranging from true red to violet or very dark red in colour.

Gem

Also called a gemstone, and the name given to a mineral, rock or other natural material that has been cut and polished for use in jewellery.

Germanium

Germanium is a grey-ish-white metalloid, meaning that it has both metallic and non-metallic properties.

Gilding

The term gilding covers a number of decorative techniques for applying fine gold leaf to solid surfaces such as metal, and frequently used in decorative jewellery.

Gold

A metal of yellow colour that is used in jewellery for the making of rings and necklaces etc.

Gold plated

This refers to a thin coating of electroplated gold on top of another metal.

Green gold

The industry term for an alloy of gold and silver, which leads to a green-ish coloured metal.

H is for…

 

Hallmark

This is the official stamped mark that is applied to items of jewellery and silverware by the Assay Offices of Britain as a guarantee of the item’s authenticity.

Hammer

A tool used by jewellery crafts people for beating metal.

Hardness (of rings)

This is the hardness/resistance, measured on the VPN scale (Vickers Pyramid Number), that reveals whether a metal or alloy is open to wear or abrasion from another metal. Metals are measured for their HV (Hardness Value) This is an important consideration when choosing two rings, eg an engagement and wedding ring, to be worn next to each other on the same finger.

Herringbone

 

The name given to a chain formed from slanting links – usually small – to give a flat effect.

 

Hoop ear-ring

The name for a circular-shaped ear-ring.

In

This is the chemical symbol for indium in the Periodic Tables.

 

Ingot

A metal that is cast into a bar shape.

 

Iridescent

This term is used in the jewellery world to indicate the ability of surfaces to appear to change colour as the angle or view changes.

J is for…

 

Jade

This is an ornamental gemstone that usually comes in a green colour.

 

Jump rings

This term refers to a ring made of wire, which is attached to both ends of a length of chain.

K is for…

Karat

(See Carat)

L is for…

 

Lapis Lazuli

These are beautiful, semi-precious stones in an azure-bluey colour.

 

Lariat

This is a long, open-ended style of necklace.

Lemels

These are precious bits of off-cuts that are created in the general process of making jewellery. Although off-cuts they can be collected and sold to refiners who recover the precious metal content.

 

Ligne

This is a unit of measurement used in the jewellery industry to describe bangle widths. For example, here are 40 lignes to the inch.

 

Lobster Claw Clasp

This is a style of clasp that is used for necklaces and bracelets. It has an elongated hook, which look like a lobster claw, and hence the name.

M is for…

Malachite

This is a mineral characterised by bands of light and dark green and often used in ornamental and decorative jewellery.

 

Malleable

The technical term used to describe a material than can be formed without breaking. Many materials used in jewellery are malleable.

 

Marcasite

This is the proper name for Fool’s Gold, or crystallised iron pyrites.

Marquise

This is the name of a gemstone that is cut to form an oval shaped. It’s believed to be named after the Marquise de Pompadour, who was the mistress of King Louis XV.

 

Matt finish

A non-shiny, frosted finish that is given to some surfaces on rings and other pieces of jewellery.

 

Mirror finish

A smooth and highly polished that is given to some surfaces on rings and other pieces of jewellery.

Mohs Scale

This is a hardness scale that refers to minerals. It was created by Frederich Mohs in the early 1800s and include as range from talc (1) to diamonds (10), the hardest minerals.

Moonstone

 

The stunning stones are usually semi-transparent to transparent and have a blue-ish sheen to them.

 

Mother of Pearl

The gorgeous iridescent substance is formed on the inside layer of a pearl-bearing mollusc, and is used in jewellery making.

 

N is for…

Nephrite

The name given to a type of jade that includes colours from white to dark green and even black.

 

Ni

This is the chemical symbol for nickel in the Periodic Tables.

 

Nugget

 

A lump or irregularly shaped mass of something, and usually metal in jewellery circles.

 

O is for…

Omega

This is the name for a chain with a flattened, solid surface formed by the creation of dense links.

 

Onyx

The name for a semi-precious white or grey stone composed of chalcedony, which is a variety of quartz.

Opal

A type of gemstone that is non-crystalline and stunningly iridescent.

 

Overlay

The term used for a decorative layer in jewellery making.

 

P is for…

 

Pave setting

This term is used to describe a setting in which small stones are set as close as possible. The final look is one of “paving”.

Pd

This is the chemical symbol for palladium in the Periodic Tables. Palladium is an increasingly popular choice instead of platinum. It is admired for its affordability yet good looks and hard wearing qualities.

Pearl

This is the smooth, round growth that is formed naturally within a mollusc shell of a mollusc. Pearls are often used in the creation of specialised jewellery items.

Pendant

This is the name for an item of jewellery that forms a suspended adornment, perhaps as part of ear-rings or a necklace.

Penny weight

The unit of weight measurement for precious metals. For example, there are 20 pennyweights in 1 troy ounce.

 

Peridot

This is an unusual transparent olive green gemstone.

 

Point

The unit of weight for gemstones, which is equal to 100th of a carat.

 

Polishing

This is a commonly used process in jewellery making to bring a high shine to an item, such as a wedding or engagement ring.

Precious stones

This is another term for gems such as diamonds, emeralds and sapphires.

 

Princess cut

This is the cut of a diamond that is similar to a brilliant square-cut gemstone.

Pt

This is the chemical symbol for platinum in the Periodic Tables.

Quartz

A crystalline mineral that is used for gems and jewellery making. You’ll find that quartz is most often colourless and transparent.

Radiant cut

This gemstone cut is created to give maximum brilliance and sparkle. It is usually a square or rectangular brilliant cut stone with 70 facets.

 

Rh

This is the chemical symbol for Rhodium in the Periodic Tables.

Rhodium

This is a white metallic element sometimes used in jewellery making work shops.

Rock Crystal

Another type of mineral sometimes utilised in the making of jewellery items such as wedding rings.

Rolled gold

This is the base metal alloy that is bonded with a veneer of precious metal, usually 9ct.

Rolling

The mechanical process that reduces the thickness of a material, such as metal, by compressing.

Rondells

These are small pieces of cut tube used in the making of of gate bracelets.

 

Rope

This is a style of chain in which the links are intertwined to look like a length of rope.

 

Rose gold

The term given to an alloy of gold and copper, which most often displays a pinkish hue.

Rose Quartz

The pretty pink quartz.

Ruby

A highly precious and valued red corundum gemstone, much used in jewellery such as engagement rings and eternity rings.

 

S is for

Sapphire

This stone is much loved and admired and is most commonly used as a setting for an engagement ring or necklace. Sapphires are usually blue.

Satin finish

This is the term given for a finish to metal that looks satin matt. It is an increasingly popular choice for wedding rings for both him and her.

 

Scalloped

This is an ornamental edge created on some items of jewellery that comprises a series of curves.

 

Semi-precious stones

This is the term used for some natural stones such as amethyst, garnet, opal and rose quartz, to name a few.

 

Shoulder

This is the term given to the sides of a ring that extend from the shank to the centrepiece where the gemstone sits.

Signet

This is the name of a ring with a centrepiece of a flat surface.

Sleeper

This is a circular ear-ring made from wire or hollow tube that can be open or closed.

Smoky Quartz

This brownish quartz has a smoky appearance.

 

Sn

This is the chemical symbol for tin in the Periodic Tables.

Snake Chain

This is a style of jewellery chain or necklace with links that fit together to form a bendy chain.

 

Solder

The name given to an alloyed metal that melts at a lower temperature than the alloy for which it is intended. It is most often used for joining metals together to create different arrangements of jewellery.

Solitaire

A ring that has a single stone in a simple setting. Solitaire rings are very popular as engagement rings.

 

Square Cut

This cut of gemstone is similar to emerald cut. It is generally square and bordered by long narrow facets.

Stack ring

Rings that are designed to be worn in sets of two or more on the same finger.

Stamping

A manufacturing process in which a pattern e.g., rings, earrings, pendants etc are pressed from sheet material.

Step cut

A gem cut that has a number of sloping parallel rows to give the impression of steps.

Sterling silver or standard silver

These are the names used to describe silver that is at least 92.5% pure with 7.5 parts of another metal, usually copper. The idea is to create a harder metal than silver alone.

Stickpin

A straight pin worn vertically on a tie, a scarf or a jacket lapel.

 

Stud

This is the name for an ear-ring with a single stone or metal ball.

Table

This is the flat, horizontal top facet of a ring.

 

Temper

This is the term for the degree of hardness exhibited by a metal. See also Hardness.

 

Tiffany setting

A round, six-pronged setting with long, slender prongs that flare out from the base.

Tipping Wire

Thin square section wire usually 1 mm in measurement. So called as its usual application is for replacing damaged claws in stone set rings.

 

Titanium

 

This is an alternative metallic element that is more frequently used in jewellery making in the 21st century. It is very hard, long-lasting and anti-corrosive.

 

Topaz

A gem that ranges in colour through yellow, white, blue, brown, orange and pink. It is transparent.

 

Triangle Cut

This is the term that refers to the triangular shape of a brilliant cut stone.

 

Trillion cut

A brilliant cut triangular stone that has 44 facets.

 

Turquoise

The stunningly gorgeous greeny-blue semi-precious stone.

 

Vermeil

Means to be gilded silver, bronze or gold.

 

VPN

Abbreviation for Vickers Pyramid Number. See Hardness.

 

Z is for…

 

Zn

This is the chemical symbol for zinc in the Periodic Tables.

Zoisite

The name given to the a mineral that is usually grey, brown or pink.