Dictionary

Gold Quality

10 karat:
10 karat (10K) gold is 10 parts gold to 14 parts other metals.

 

12 karat:
12 karat (12K) gold is 12 parts gold to 12 parts other metals.

 

14 karat:
14 karat (14k) gold is 14 parts of gold to 10 parts other metal.

 

18 karat:
18 karat (18k) gold is 18 parts of gold to 6 parts other metals.

 

24 karat:
24 karat (24k) gold is pure gold containing no other metals.

A

Agate: A type of chalcedony quartz found in a variety of colors and patterns, frequently with varying color layers.

Alexandrite: A stone that changes color or appears to change color as the source of light changes.

Amber: Fossilized resin of conifer trees. Colors range from honey through yellow to reddish brown.

Amethyst: Transparent variety of crystallized quartz, typically purple or violet in color.

Apatite: Is an abundant mineral found in many types of rock but most gem quality material is associated with pegmatites.

Aquamarine: A blue semiprecious stone in the beryl family.

Aventurine: Transluscent greenish quartz mineral, internally granular. Often mistaken for jade, another stone of a green color.

Azurite Malachite: A mineral that is characterized in appearance by bands of light and dark blue.

 

B

Baguette: Small stones which are rectangular-shaped and faceted.

Bail: A metal finding that is folded closed, from which a pendant, watch, stone, etc., may be hung from a chain or cord.

Base metal: Any non-precious metal.

Beryl: A light colored mineral that when transparent and dark green is called emerald, and when blue in color, aquamarine.

 

C

Cabochon: A domed gemstone. Highly polished curved surface without faceting.

Cameo: A carved gem or shell in which the outer layers are cut away so that the design stands out in relief against a background of a different color.

Carat: Unit of weight for gemstones with 100 points to a carat, with one carat equaling one-fifth of a gram.

Carnelian: Pale red quartz. Once believed to benefit the wearer's health and love life. Most carnelian comes from Brazil, India, Siberia, and Germany.

Chalcedony: Refers to various types of colored quartz, usually those with a milky appearance like carnelian, agate, cat's eye, and jasper.

Citrine: A brownish-orange quartz variety.

Chrysocolla: Chryscolla usually occurs as a bright green or bluish crust. Crystals intergrown with quartz or with opal.

Chrysoprase: A variety of chalcedony that is apple-green in color.

Coral: The skeletal remains of marine animals, and has a range in color from red, pink, and salmon.

Corundum: A gem mineral of crystallized aluminum and oxygen. Ruby and sapphire are the most valuable corundum.

Crystal: A top-quality colorless, transparent glass resembling natural or rock crystal. About 200 kinds of crystal are associated with jewelry. Made through an ancient process that involves lead oxide. To be crystal, there must be a minimum of 10% lead.

Cultured Pearl: Created through a painstaking process of mimicking the natural pearl process in live mollusks. A pearl is formed as a result of implanting a piece of mantle from a mollusk into another host mollusk.

 

D

Diamond: A precious gemstone composed of pure carbon. It is the hardest of all known substances and rated 10 on the Mohs scale.

Diopside: A mineral that ranges in color from white, deep green, to almost black.

 

E

Emerald: A green beryl and one of the most valuable of all gemstones.

Enamel: Colored, opaque glassy material fused onto metal, pottery or glass.

European Wire: A curved wire that passes through the earlobe of a pierced ear and clasps shut.

Extender Chain: A chain that may be attached to another in order to provide a longer length.

F

Faceted: A gem of plane faces or facets.

Fish Hook: A fishhook-shaped finding used to make earrings with the hook end passing through the pierced ear.

French Wire: A curved wire that passes through the pierced earlobe and has a catch closure. Used mostly in dangling earrings.

Freshwater Pearl: An irregularly shaped pearl formed naturally by a mussel living in a lake or river.

G

Garnet: A family of crystals whose name is derived from their resemblance to red pomegranate seeds. A semi-precious stone, usually a reddish-brown color; can range from true red to violet- or blackish red but can often be semi-opaque.

Genuine Pearl: A smooth, round growth formed naturally within the shell of a mollusk due to an irritant; used as a gem.

Gold: A heavy, yellow, metallic element used for coins and jewelry since prehistoric times.

Gold Filled: The jewelry is not actually filled, but is made of base metal (usually brass or copper) covered by sheets of gold in a mechanical bonding process.

Gold Plated: A thin coating of electroplated or mechanically plated gold on top of a base metal.

H

Hessonite: A variety of garnet that is yellow in color.

Hoop Earring: A circular-shaped earring made from metal wire or tubing . Variations include the traditional shape as well as hoops with charms and other ornaments to be hung from the hoop.

I

Iolite: A mineral used as a gemstone and appears as deep blue, light blue-gray, and yellow-white.

J

Jade: An ornamental gemstone, typically greenish in color.

Jadeite: A variety of jade that is rarer than the other varieties of nephrite. It is hard and translucent and comes in many colors such as orange, pink, yellow, brown, blue, violet, and black.

Jasper: A semi-opaque to opaque rose quartz that is usually yellowish, reddish, or brown. The U.S. and Brazil are the most common sources. Jasper was once believed to have curative powers.

Jet: Organic in origin which was formed from the remains of wood immersed in stagnant water millions of years ago then compacted by the pressure of burial.

K

Karat: A measure, from 1 to 24, used to indicate how much of a piece of jewelry is gold content and how much an alloy.

Kyanite: This crystal is a cut stone that is pale to deep blue or white, gray, or green.

L

Labradorite: It is a faceted gemstone that may be orange, yellow, colorless or red. Occurs in metamorphic and igneous rocks in Labrador.

Lapis Lazuli: A semi-precious stone of an azure blue color.

Lariat: An open-ended, long strand necklace. Sometimes looped into a knot or used with a slide so that the two ends hang free.

Lever Back: An earring with a unique back that delicately bends and latches behind the ear. This is an old-fashioned design that has come back in style.

Lobster Claw Clasp: A clasp used for necklaces and bracelets that features an elongated hook (like a lobster claw). It contains a spring mechanism and can be opened to catch the ring from the other end of the chain.

M

Mabe: A Japanese term for half-sphere cultured pearls, which are cultured against the shell so that only half a cultured pearl is formed.

Malachite: A mineral that is characterized in appearance by bands of light and dark green.

Maltese cross: A cross with four broad arms of equal length, with tops that look like inward-pointing arrowheads.

Marcasite: Crystallized iron pyrites ("fool's gold") mounted in groups, cut or uncut, in pins and other pieces of jewelry. Marcasite is a gray, lustrous mineral.

Morganite: A variety of beryl that is pink. Named after J.P. Morgan. Found in California, Brazil, and Madagascar.

Moonstone: A translucent stone that is often bluish in color, yet sometimes white.

Mother-of -pearl: A hard, iridescent substance that forms on the inside layer of a pearl-bearing mollusk.

N

Nacre: A shiny, iridescent substance made from the lining of mollusk shells or fish scales.

Nephrite: A hard type of jade with colors ranging from white to dark green and shades of gray or brown to black.

O

Obsidian: Is a natural glass that is formed from lava that cooled too quickly to crystallize.

Omega: Flat chain with a solid surface formed by the links and worn high on the neck.

Onyx: A semi-precious stone composed of chalcedony (a variety of quartz) found naturally in white or gray. The white variety is generally dyed black for onyx.

Opal:  A non-crystalline, iridescent silica.

Oxidation: Metal blackened by a reaction with oxygen. The appearance is accomplished by chemical means.

P

Pave setting: A setting in which small stones are set as close as possible, so that the piece literally looks "paved" with stones.

Pearl: A smooth, round growth formed naturally within the shell of a mollusk due to an irritant and used as a gem.

Pendant: An ornament suspended from a single chain.

Peridot: A transparent gem that is oliReal rhinestones are cut from rock crystal. Today, most rhinestones that are used in jewelry are made of glass that has the look of natural stone.ve green in color.

Platinum: Platinum forms in igneous rocks, it may also occur in placer deposits in river sands and gravels. It is silvery gray, gray white, or white in color, opaque and has a metallic luster.

Post: A pin-like finding attached to an earring. It passes through the pierced earlobe, and may be held in place by a back.

Q

Quartz: A crystalline mineral used for gems, usually colorless and transparent.

R

Rhinestone:  Real rhinestones are cut from rock crystal. Today, most rhinestones that are used in jewelry are made of glass that has the look of natural stone.

Rhodium: A white, metallic element.

Rhodolite: A variety of pyrope garnet ranging in color from rose-red to pale violet.

Rhodonite: Named after the Greek word for pink, it is a reddish-pink color with thin veins or patches of gray to black. Found in the former Soviet Union, the U.S., India, and Australia.

Rhodochrosite: Derives its pink color from Manganese. Rhodocrosite occurs in veins associated with Manganese, Copper, Silver, and lead deposits.

Ribbed: A textured effect consisting of ridges.

Rock crystal: One of the most common minerals of the earth's crust. The crystals are usually found as colorless hexagonal prisms with pyramidal ends.

Rose quartz: Delicate pink quartz with a somewhat milky appearance. Popular for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and other gift occasions.

Ruby: A highly precious and valued red corundum whose color is obtained from chromium oxide. Rubies symbolize beauty, charity, love, passion, power, and royalty.

Rutilated quartz: A variety of quartz with inclusions of rutile crystals, which are minerals that sometimes appear in a needle-like fashion in a reddish-brown to red and sometimes yellowish appearance.

S

Sapphire: A highly valued and precious stone and a member of the corundum group. Most commonly seen in blue.

Satin finish: A matte finish achieved by sandblasting, brushing with a stiff wire brush, or chemically altering a high shine surface. Satin finish has a soft, pearl-like luster instead of a bright polish.

Simulated tortoise: Imitation of the mottled brown and yellow color found on tortise shells.

Slide: An ornament that can be slid onto another piece of jewelry such as a necklace.

Smoky quartz: Quartz that's brownish in color with a smoky appearance.

Smoky topaz: see SMOKY QUARTZ

Sodalite: Whose name reflects its sodium content, is found in all shades of blue and is a major constituent of the rock lapis lazuli.

Spinel: A gemstone found in a wide range of colors, the most valuable resembling ruby red.

Sterling silver: Silver that is at least 92.5 percent pure with 7.5 parts of another metal, usually copper, to make the piece harder.

Stud: A single stone or metal ball on a straight post worn on pierced ears.

Sunstone: This occurs in metamorphic and igneous rocks in Norway, the USA, India, and Russia. It has reflective inclusions of red, orange, or green platy crystals, which give it a metallic glitter.

T

Tanzanite: A deep blue-violet variety of zoisite.

Tiger's eye: The name given to a gem which when cabochon cut shows a single light streak across its face. A semi-precious variety of quartz found in South Africa, it may be yellowish-brown, bluish, or red in color.

Toggle clasp: A fastener consisting of a ring on one end of a necklace or bracelet and a short bar on the other end. The bar is slid through the ring and sits across it so it does not slide or pull.

Topaz: A transparent gem, the most precious type is wine-yellow in color. It also may be found in other colors, such as white, blue, brown, orange, and pink.

Tourmaline: A crystalline mineral that is used as a gemstone. It typically comes in a variety of colors, the most common of which is black.

Tsavorite: A transparent, emerald green variety of garnet.

Turquoise: Semi-precious stone which is greenish-blue in color.

V

Vermeil: A heavy gold electroplate over sterling silver.

W

White Gold: An alloy of gold, nickel, copper, and zinc.

Y

Y Necklace: This style gets its name from its shape which features its own delicate dangle forming a Y-shape around the neck. It is usually 16 to 18 inches in length.

Yellow Gold: The most popular gold alloy. An alloy of gold, silver, copper, and often zinc.