4 C's - The Grading System for Grading Diamonds as designed by G.I.A. which includes: Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight! Read: The 4 C's!
10x - 10x Means Ten Powered Magnification! It's used in Jeweler's Microscopes & Jeweler's Hand-Held Loupes for Grading Gems.
Alloys - Alloys are Metals or Minerals that are mixed with other Metals to make them stronger and more durable. Like 14kt Gold is 14% Gold & 10% Alloy.
Amethyst - The Birthstone for February. This lovely Purple Quartz is one of the most Popular, Beautiful, and Inexpensive Gemstones found on Earth.
Annealing - this is a process of heating and pounding glass, metal or pottery to harden it.
Appraisal - Replacement Value of Jewelry Items. Whether it is Rings, Pendants, Bracelets or Earrings. Jewelry Appraisals are used for Insurance.
Aquamarine - Aquamarine is the Birthstone for March. This beautiful Light-Blue Gem resembles Water and is often a favorite for people who wear Blue.
Bail - a connecting piece at the top of a pendant or brooch so that it can be hung from a chain. Also referred to as bale.
Baguette - A Cut of Diamond that is long & narrow. Baguette is French for "Little Sticks". Baguettes & Tapered Baguettes are often used in Wedding Sets.
Base Metal - a collective term used to refer to all nonprecious metals.
Bead Setting - A way of Setting Gemstones and Diamonds into Mountings. The Stones are held into the Pave Setting by tiny, little Beads of Metal.
Beryl - A popular Parent Gemstone for which both Emeralds and Aquamarines come from. Beryl often comes from Pegmatites in Caves.
Bezel Facets - Small Facets that are cut into the top Crown of a Diamond. They help bend light into the Diamond to reflect back Fire and Brilliance.
Bezel Setting - Bezel Setting a Stone into a Mounting with nothing more than a Wall of Metal that circles the Stone and holds it down securely.
Birthstones - Gemstones that are designated for the 12 Months of the Year. Even though there are 12 Months, there are actually 17 Birthstones.
Blemishes - Tiny Marks or Flaws that show on the outside surface of a Diamond. Blemishes are usually graded differently than Internal Inclusions.
Blue Diamonds - A Natural Fancy Blue Colored Diamond that emits a beautiful Blue or Blue-Green shade of Color like the well known Hope Diamond.
Bow-Tie - A dark shadow that looks like a Bow-Tie and forms inside Fancy Cut Diamonds because of their elongated style of Cut!
Brilliance - The amount of White Light that reflects back from the body of a Diamond. White Light is called Brilliance. Colored Light is called Fire.
Bridal Set - A term used to describe the combination of the Ladies Engagement Ring and the Ladies Wedding Band! Usually sold together as a Set!
Brilliant Cut - The most popular Cut of Diamond in the World. Brilliant Cut is a Round Cut Diamond that has 58 Facets on it, 57 if there is no Culet!
Burnished Setting - a setting where the gemstone is held in place without the use of prongs or beads. It is set flush with the settings surface.
Carat - The word Carat is used to describe the Weight of a Stone. There are 1.00 Points to a Carat Diamond. Read: Carats and Carat Weights!
Carat Weight - Carat Weight refers to the actual Weight of the Stone. Carat Weight is one of the 4 C's that are used to Grade and Price Diamonds!
Carbon Spots - Carbon Spots are Inclusions or Imperfections inside a Diamond. Carbon Spots are more noticeable when they are Black Carbon Spots!
Cavities - Inclusions that extend into a Diamond. A Cavity usually looks like a rough hole or deep chunk taken out of the Diamond's surface!
Channel Setting - A way of Setting Diamonds or Gemstones into a Mounting. Channels are Walls that are built into the Ring which then hold the stones securely!
Citrine - The official Birthstone for the Month of November. Citrine is a wonderful Yellow-Orange Gemstone that often resembles a Golden Sunset!
Clarity - One of the 4C's that refers to the amount of Inclusions inside a Diamond. The cleaner the stone, the higher the Clarity! Read: Diamond Clarity!
Clarity Grades - Clarity Ranges are: Flawless, Internally Flawless, Very Very Slightly Included, Very Slightly Included, Slightly Included & Imperfect!
Clouds - Foggy areas in a Diamond that are Imperfections in the stone. They are often mistaken for a "White" Diamond because they resemble Salt!
Cleavage - Cleavage refers to the way a Diamond is Cut. Cleavage lines are followed by the Cutter to determine the Shape & Cut of the stone!
Color - Color is one of the 4 C's of Diamond Grading that refers to the Hue of the Diamond, whether it be White, Yellow, Brown or Fancy Colored!
Corundum - Corundum is one of the most sought after Gemstone families there is. Both Ruby and Sapphire come from this wonderful rock!
Crown - Crown can mean 2 things: It's the top part of a Diamond. And also, it's the end of a Watch Stem that's used to set the time and hands!
Crystals -Crystals can mean 2 different things: It's a type of Inclusion found in a Diamond. And it's also the Glass on the Face of a Watch!
Cubic Zirconia - Cubic Zirconia, or CZ or Cubic Zirconium, is a man-made Diamond Look-a-like. CZ is Inexpensive, very Pretty, Colorful, but also very Brittle!
The Culet is the Facet on the bottom or tip of the Diamond. Most Diamonds have a Culet, but it's not necessary for the Beauty or the Cut!
Cultured Pearl - Pearls that are man-made in a Laboratory to duplicate how Nature makes them. Cultured Pearls are often better looking than Real Pearls!
Cut - Cut is one of the 4 C's that refers to the Cut of the Diamond, and not the Shape! Cut, Proportions, Facets and Depth are all rolled into one!
Depth - Depth is often referred to as the Depth of a Diamond. The Depth can determine whether your Diamond is Cut to Proper Proportions!
Diamond - Diamond is not only the Hardest Natural Substance known to Man, but it's also the Official Gemstone or Birthstone for the Month of April!
Diamond Tester - A Diamond Tester is a device used to determine if a stone is a Genuine Diamond or another Stone like CZ or a Lab-Made Diamond Simulant!
Doublet - A gemstone that is made from two layers to make the finished product more affordable. The lower part of the stone is glass or a non precious stone, and the top layer is the more expensive stone. Common with opals but can be found in other gemstones as well.
Emerald - One of the Precious Gemstones that is very Rare & Deep Green in Color. Emerald is also the official Birthstone for the Month of May!
Emerald Cut - A Cut of Diamond that's Rectangular in Shape. Emerald Cuts used to be very popular, that is until the Princess Cut took over!
E.S.P. - Stands for Extended Service Plan which is a great additional plan that Jewelers sell you to cover the cost of Repairing your Jewelry!
Extra Facets - Extra Facets can be a Diamond with more than 58 Facets. Or a Diamond with an Extra Facet Cut out to rid the Diamond of a defect or Inclusion!
Facets - The actual Cut Polished Angles & Slants of the outer surface of a Diamond. All Facets should be Symmetrical and Exact. Read: All about Facets!
Fancy Color - Fancy Colored Diamonds are Diamonds graded below a Z+ on the G.I.A. Color Grading Chart. The Hope Diamond is a Fancy Colored Diamond.
Fancy Shapes - Fancy Shapes are all Diamond Shapes other than Round. Fancy Shapes are: Marquise, Princess, Pear, Oval, Trilliant, Baguette, Heart, and more.
Feathers - Feathers are small Inclusions that are found inside a Diamond. These Imperfections can sometimes look like the Feathers of a Bird.
Finish - Can mean 2 things: The Polish & Finish of a Diamond. Or, the surface of Gold, like Polished, Sand Blasted, Diamond Cut, Hammered, Satin.
Fire - Fire is the name given to flashes of Light that emit from a Diamond that are bent and form all the colors of the Rainbow. Fire is Colored Light!
Fish-Eye - The effect a Diamond gives off when the Depth of the Diamond is too Shallow. A circle appears around the inside that looks like a Fish Eye.
FL - FL is short for Flawless! Flawless is the highest Clarity Grade given to any Diamond. It is free from any Internal Inclusions or External Imperfections!
Flawless - (FL) Flawless is Clarity Perfection in a Diamond! Being the highest Clarity Grade on the Clarity Chart, it's free from any Imperfections what-so-ever!
Fluorescence - A crazy Optical Property that Diamonds have with a reaction to Light. Fluorescence makes a Diamond look foggy and often Glows in the Dark.
Flush Setting - Flush Settings are when Diamond or Gemstones are set Flush or Level in the Mounting. Sometimes called Burnished Settings or Gypsy Settings.
Fracture Filled - Fracture Filling is a process where a Laser Beam is drilled down into an Inclusion, which is Dissolved out, then filled with a clear substance.
FreshWater - Pearls found in Freshwater. F/W Pearls are great because they are Natural, look wonderful in Jewelry and Necklaces, and are very Inexpensive!
Fool's Gold - Fool's Gold is great Mineral called Pyrite that got it's name because most miners confuse the Shiny Metallic Rock for Gold! Read: Fool's Gold!
Full Cut - A name given to a small Diamond that has all 58 Facets to it. Some small Diamonds are called Single Cuts and have only 18 Facets!
Garnet - The official Birthstone for the Month of January. Garnets are a wonderful Red-Orange-Rust hue that often resembles fine Wine!
G.I.A. - G.I.A. is short for the Gemological Institute of America. G.I.A. is the company that devised the well known 4 C's Diamond Grading System.
Girdle - A Girdle is a Smooth, Faceted, or Rough Edge that goes around the Outer Portion of the Diamond. The Girdle is the Widest part of a Diamond.
Gold Allergies - An Allergic reaction to Gold. Most people with Gold Allergies are not Allergic to the actual Gold itself, but to the nickel alloy or zinc-copper mixed with the Gold.
Golden Jubilee - A name given to the 50th Wedding Anniversary because Gold is one of the official Gifts to give for such a momentum occasion.
Grading System - The Grading System is actually the 4 C's Diamond Grading System, that refers to the Diamond's Cut, Clarity, Color and Carat Weight!
Gypsy Setting - Same as Flush Setting. Where a Gemstone is set flush and even with the mounting using no prongs, beads or other forms of holding in the stone.
Hallmark - this is the term used for an official mark made on metal. It is used to indicate the metal content. Sometimes, the year of manufacture will be noted. Examples are 925 which indicates silver content, or 18K for gold content. See also Maker's Mark.
Head - The portion of the Ring or Jewelry that holds the Diamond or Gemstones. Heads often have 4 or 6 Prongs and are Soldered onto the Mounting.
Heat Treated - Heat Treated refers to a treatment used to help enhance Color in a Diamond or Gemstone. Often used with Blue Diamonds or Blue Topaz.
I Clarity - I Clarity is the lowest Clarity Grade given to Diamonds. I Clarity has eye-visible Inclusions, and is broken down into the I1, I2 and I3 Clarity Range.
Ideal Cut - Marcel Tolkowsky devised a Cut of Diamond that maximized both the Brilliance and Fire of a Diamond. Ideal Cuts are exceptional & expensive.
IF - IF stands for Internally Flawless. IF Diamonds have no Inclusions inside the Diamond, but can have some blemishes on the Diamond's surface.
Imperfections - Imperfections are Identifying Marks or Inclusions that are found inside or outside the Diamond. Imperfections are what Clarity is Graded upon.
Inclusions - Same thing as Imperfections. Any Flaws that can be seen either with the naked-eye or under 10x magnification. Read: Clarity and Inclusions!
Inlay - this is a term for a process in which a piece of material such as glass or stone is partially embedded into another material. The finished result is that the two materials make a level surface. Mother of pearl is often seen as an inlay in jewelry items.
Inscriptions - Inscriptions are Laser Etched Numbers & Letters (Report #) that are laser burned into the Girdle of a Diamond. Often for Identifying the stone.
Karat - Term given for the amount of Gold in a particular Metal. 14 Karat (14kt) is 14 parts Gold and 10 parts Alloy. 10kt Gold is 10 parts Gold & 14 parts Alloy.
Lab Grown - A term given to Gemstones that are not found in Nature but are actually grown and processed in a Laboratory. Moissanite is a man-made stone.
Lapidary - The name given to the person that actually cuts the Diamonds and Gemstones. Lapidarists often take years to cut a single Diamond.
Laser Drilling - A procedure where a Laser Drill Hole is tunneled into a Diamond to dissolve out any Imperfections or Flaws. Laser Drilling is a permanent process.
Light Carat - A term given to a Diamond that's rounded up. Like a .44 pt Diamond is actually called & sold as a 1/2 Carat Diamond. Read: Light Carat Weights!
Loupe - A hand-held tool that Jewelers use to view and grade Diamonds and Gemstones with. Jeweler's Loupes are often 10x Magnification.
Luster - Often referred to as the shine and reflection coming from the body of a Pearl. The more the Luster, the better the shine and thicker the shell.
Marquise - A Shape of Diamond that looks like a Football. It has two pointed sides that help give the Marquise Diamond that great Bow-Tie Effect!
Melee - A term given to very small Diamonds. Usually small Diamonds are sold in a Melee Package of Diamonds ranging from .01 pt to .18 pts. each.
Mohs Scale - The Mohs Scale is a Scale that rates the hardness of Gemstones and Minerals. Diamond is the highest on the scale being a 10. Gold is 2.5
Moissanite - Moissanite is a man-made Gemstone that looks similar to a Diamond, but has more Fire and a Yellow Cast to it. Read: Moissanite or Diamond?
Moonstone - Moonstones are from a family of rock called Feldspars. Ranging in many wonderful Colors, Moonstones are known for their great healing powers!
Mounting - Name given for the Setting, Ring, or Jewelry that Diamonds & Gemstones are set into. Mountings can be Gold, Platinum, Silver, or any type of Metal!
Naturals - External Inclusion found on the outside of the Diamond. Usually around the Girdle of the Diamond looking like a rough nick. Read: Clarity & Inclusions!
Nickel - A Metal usually mixed with Gold to form 14kt or 10kt Gold. Nickel makes the Metal durable enough to be used for Jewelry. Read: Nickel Allergies!
Old European - An Old Cut of Diamond that dates back for Centuries. Old European Cut Diamonds are hand-cut, & often Thicker, Deeper, with a large Culet!
Oval Cut - A wonderful Cut of Diamond that's Oval in Shape. Oval Cut Diamonds tend to look larger than other Cuts of Diamonds due to it's soft edges & curves.
Partial Bezel - Unlike true Bezel Set Mountings where a wall of Metal would encircle around the entire stone to hold it in, Partial Bezels only have half a Bezel!
Pave - Pave Setting is used to describe small beads of Metal that are used to hold Diamonds or Gemstones in the Mounting versus Prongs or Heads.
Pavilion - The Pavilion is the bottom section of a Diamond. The entire bottom half of the Diamond (from the Girdle down) that comes to a point is the Pavilion.
Pear Shape - A Fancy Diamond Cut that's Round on one end, and Pointed at the other. Also called Tear Drop Shape! It's half Round Cut and half Marquise Cut.
Pinpoints - Very Tiny Imperfections or Inclusions inside a Diamond that look like dots or a group of dots. Pinpoint flaws affect a Diamond's Clarity Grading!
Platinum - Platinum is a very durable Pure Metal that's used for making White Metal Jewelry. Platinum is a tough to work with and very, very expensive.
Plumb Gold - When you see Plumb Gold or KP (Karat Plumb) stamped inside your Ring or Jewelry, it means that it's at least 14kt Gold or higher in Gold content.
Polish - Polish can mean the Finish or Smooth Surface of a Diamond. It can also mean the Finish or Surface of Metals like Gold, Silver and Platinum.
Posts - Posts are the long thin Metal ends of an Earring that go through your ears. Earrings that have Posts & Backs are referred to as Post Earrings!
Princess Cut - Princess Cut Diamonds are normally Square in Shape, but are often found in Rectangular as well. Very Popular, Princess Cuts tend to look Large!
Promise Ring - A Ring given as a token of Appreciation, Love & Commitment. Promise Rings have taken new meanings lately symbolizing Abstinence & Waiting!
Prong Setting - Type of Mounting that holds stones in with Prongs. Prong Settings are perfect for showing off Diamonds like in a Diamond Engagement Ring!
Proportions - The Angles, Cuts & Percentages that make up the Diamond. If the Facets, Girdle, Depth & Angles are all Cut well, it can have a Great Proportion.
Radiant Cut - A Shape of Cut that is Rectangular. Radiant Cuts are wonderful Cuts of Diamond that never really became as popular as the Princess Cut.
Remount - A term used to remove your Gemstones from your old mounting & reset them into a brand new one. Jewelry Remount Shows are very popular!
Retipping - Retipping is when the Prongs of your Ring or Jewelry get low & the Jeweler adds Gold or Metal to the tips of them making them durable again.
Rhodium Plating - A durable White Metal that's Plated to the outside of Rings & Jewelry. White Gold is Rhodium Plated to make it look Whiter. Silver may be as well.
Ruby - A member of the Corundum Family that includes Sapphire. Ruby is very durable, a 9 on the Mohs Scale. Ruby is Deep Red, Precious & Expensive.
Sapphire - A member of the Corundum Family (also Ruby) that's very Durable and very Expensive. Sapphire comes in all colors of the Rainbow except Red!
Shape - Shape refers to the Physical Shape of the Stone. Round, Marquise, Oval, Princess Cut, Trilliant, Radiant, Heart, are all great Diamond Shapes!
Shank - The word Shank refers to the bottom part of a Ring. The actual band that wraps around your finger is called the Shank! A Thin Shank is Bad!
SI Clarity - SI Clarity makes up the Clarity Range of SI1 and SI2. (SI3 also) An great average Clarity that has Small Inclusions when viewed at 10x Magnification.
Silver - A very Abundant, Soft White Metal that's used for Jewelry all over the World. Silver is 100% Pure. Sterling Silver is 92.5% Pure making it more durable.
Single Cut - Single Cut Diamonds are small Diamonds with just a couple of Facets to them. Usually around 18. Single Cuts are used a lot for side Diamonds.
Sizing - Process of Sizing a Ring up or down to fit a finger. Sizings are done by Cutting the Shank, Adding/ Removing Metal, & Soldering it back together.
Stainless Steel - A Durable White Metal that's used in Today's Modern Jewelry. Being very Distinct, Masculine, Durable & Inexpensive, Men love the look & feel.
Switching - Diamond Switching is when a Jeweler switches out your Beautiful Diamond with a Lower Quality Diamond. Prevent Diamond Switching!
Symmetry - Symmetry refers to how perfect a Diamond is Cut. Facets should be Proportional & line up with all the other Facets to form a Great Symmetry.
Table - The Table of a Diamond is the top flat Plate of the Diamond. A smooth Surface that Reflects Light & also allows Light to enter & exit the Diamond.
Tightening - When your Gems or Diamonds are loose in the Setting, Jewelers will Squeeze the Metal Prongs, Channels or Mounting together to tighten them.
Titanium - An extremely durable Metal that has a Gun-Metal Gray look to it. Titanium is a very Popular and Inexpensive White Metal used in Jewelry Today.
Total Weight - The Entire Diamond Weight added up as one lump sum. A Ring may have 1.00 Carat in the Center, but have 1.50 Total Diamond Weight all together.
Trigon - Trigons are Triangular Shaped Growth Lines that appear on the outside of a Diamond. Usually seen on the Diamond's Girdle, they do affect Clarity!
Trilliant - Diamond Shape that looks like a Triangle. Also called Trillion! Trilliant Cuts are beautiful Cuts that were once popular, but now hardly seen!
Ultrasonic - Ultrasonic Cleaners use Ultrasonic Sound Waves to break up dirt particles off Rings & Jewelry to Clean them! Read: Ultrasonic Jewelry Cleaners!
Vermeil - (Vehr-MAY) Silver with gold plating.
VS - VS stands for Very Slightly Included. VS Clarity is a great Diamond Clarity that has hard to see flaws only visible under 10x Magnification.
VVS - VVS (Very Very Slightly Included) is one of the Best Diamond Clarity Grades on the market. Very Clean, Very Awesome, Very Expensive!
Weight - Weight refers to Carat Weight or Karat Weight. Diamond Carat Weight is usually marked as CW and Gold Karat Weight is usually marked as KT.
White Gold - A man-made White Metal that was made as a substitute for Platinum. White Gold is Yellow Gold with White Alloys added to make it look Whiter.
Jewelry Terms - List 1
Jewelry Terms - List 2
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Abalone - a deposit made from inside a seashell, also called mother-of-pearl.
Baguette setting -- A rectangular-shaped stone with rows of step-like facets. If the baguette's two long sides taper inward, it is called a Tapered baguette. Baguettes in long, thin cut rectangles are often used as enhancements to a lager center stone, or on a watch bezel
Bar setting -- Similar to the channel setting, it is a circular band of diamonds or gemstones that holds each stone in by a long thin bar, shared between two stones.
Barion cut -- This has a traditional step-cut crown and a modified brilliant-cut pavilion. A square barion cut diamond has 61 facets, excluding the culet.
Bearding or girdle fringes -- The outermost portion of the stone, called the girdle, can develop small cracks that resemble whiskers during the polishing process. The bearding can sometimes be removed, if not too dramatic, with slight re-polishing, and if the weight allows.
Bezel -- With a bezel setting, a rim holds the stone and completely surrounds the gem. It is the upper portion above the girdle of a cut stone. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone. A watch bezel is the upper part of the case surrounding the dial. They can be set with diamonds or other gemstones.
January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Aquamarine
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl or Moonstone
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Opal
November - Citrine or Topaz
December - Turquoise or Zircon
Blemishes - The term blemish is used when the diamond has scratches or marks on the external area of the stone.
Brilliance - Liveliness, or sparkle in a stone when light is reflected from the surface and from the total internal reflection of light.
Brilliant-cut -- Brilliant cuts are scientifically found to reflect the most light from within the stone, and often are considered to have the most brilliance of all cuts. A round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets. Other brilliant cuts include the heart, oval, marquise and pear shaped.
Britannia or pewter - A somewhat dull silver-colored alloy of tin, antimony, and copper.
Cabochon - A facet-less style of cutting that produces a smooth surface. They can be in many shapes, including round with high domes to squares.
Carat -- Unit of measure of weight of diamonds and gemstones. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams. One carat can also be divided into 100 "points." A .75-carat stone is the same as a 75-point or 3/4-carat stone.
Cameo - A style of carving in which the design motif is left and the surrounding surface is cut away leaving the design in relief. Cameos in jewelry are often made of shell, although hard stone cameos such as sardonyx are more valuable. Cameos have been carved from ancient times, and ancient motifs such as the goddess Athena or a Baccante or follower of Bacchus were popular cameo subjects in Victorian times, through the 1930's. Cameos are still being made today in Italy. A cameo habille is one in which "jewelry" such as a miniature diamond pendant is actually attached to the carving.
Cast - Made by a centrifugal method of casting metal which becomes thick and hard.
Certification (or Diamond Grading Reports) -- There are many recognized gemological laboratories that can grade your stones for a fee. The most well known is the GIA, Gemological Institute of America.
Channel setting -- Used most frequently for wedding and anniversary bands, a channel setting will set the stones right next to each other with no metal separating them.
Choker - A short, close fitting necklace; like a collar
Clarity - A diamond often has natural imperfections, commonly referred to as inclusions, which contribute to its identifying characteristics. Inclusions are found within the diamond, and can be white, black, colorless, or even red or green. Most are undetectable by the human eye, and can only be seen with 10X magnification. Inclusions are ranked on a scale of perfection called clarity.
Cleavage - A natural area of the diamond where a weak bond holds the atoms together. The gem will be split along these planes by the cutter.
Cluster setting -- This setting surrounds a larger center stone with several smaller stones. It is designed to create a beautiful larger ring from many smaller stones.
Color - Diamonds are graded on a color scale established by the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). Fancy colors refer to diamonds with hues like pink, blue, green, yellow, and very rarely red. Fancy colors are not included in this color scale and are considered extremely rare.
Crown - This is the upper portion or the top of a diamond.
Culet - The bottom point of the diamond. It may be polished in some stones. Sometimes, a cutter may choose to make the culet a surface instead of a point.
Cushion cut -- A mixed-cut diamond shaped like a square pillow.
Cut -- Cut refers to the angles and proportions a skilled craftsman creates in transforming a rough diamond into a polished diamond. Based on scientific formulas, a well-cut diamond will internally reflect light from one mirror-like facet to another and, disperse and reflect it through the top of the stone. This results in a display of brilliance and fire. Diamonds that are cut too deep or too shallow lose or leak light through the side or bottom, resulting in less brilliance, and ultimately value.
Cutting style -- Cutting styles are different than diamond shapes. The simplest and most common way to explain cutting style is to categorize it into the following three basic types: Step-cut, Brilliant-cut and Mixed-cut.
Deep cut -- When a diamond is cut too deep, it will lose or leak light through the side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and value.
Diamond -- A diamond is the hardest known natural substance. It is crystallized carbon. Diamonds are mined in their rough form and then, cut and polished to reveal their brilliance.
Diamond Grading Reports -- There are many recognized gemological laboratories that can grade your diamond for a fee. The most well known is the GIA, Gemological Institute of America.
Dispersion -- When light enters a diamond it reflects off the facets and the angles cut into the stone. This distribution of light is known as dispersion, or the display of the spectral colors.
Dog Collar - A wide "choker" style necklace worn tight around the neck above the collarbone just like a dog's collar, this look was popular in Edwardian times, around the turn of the twentieth century. This look was popularized by Queen Alexandra, who had a long graceful neck.
Doublet - A form of gemstone trickery that was devised to allow inexpensive materials to imitate the more valuable gemstones before modern synthetics were available. A doublet can take several forms but always involves a fake gemstone produced by gluing together two different materials to form an illusion.
A very common one in Victorian times was the garnet and glass doublet. This involved a red garnet top, glued to a colored glass bottom. The refractive properties of a faceted stone are such that the red of the garnet only shows at odd angles, or if the stone is immersed in a special liquid with a high refractive index. Thus, for example, a green glass bottom with a garnet top will give the appearance of a fine emerald because the top is a natural gemstone with cut facets, and a few natural imperfections, and the bottom is bright green which reflects throughout the stone. The effect is hard to appreciate unless you've seen one.
Electroplated - Jewelry can be mechanically plated with gold in a variety of ways, including electroplated. Eventually, the gold plating wears away, but it depends on how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is.
Emerald cut -- A rectangular or square-shaped cut-cornered diamond. A form of step cutting, this cut is favored for diamonds and emeralds, as well as many other stones, when the principle purpose is to enhance color rather than brilliancy. It is also sometimes used to emphasize the absence of color in diamonds.
Engrave - To decorate metal by gouging a design with graver's tools; embellishing metal or other material with patterns using a stamping tool or drill. This was a popular technique in mid-Victorian jewelry. The resulting depressions were often filled with colored enamel. Also refers to inscribing a dedication or monogram to identify a piece. Stamped pieces can be designed to imitate hand engraving. Under magnification, the design is much more sharp in a hand engraved piece, with subtle irregularities.
European Cut - The style of diamond cutting popular from approximately 1890 to the 1930s. Unlike the old mine cut preceding it, the European cut has a round girdle (perimeter) made possible by the introduction of the power bruiting machine (Bruiting is the term for shaping the girdle of a diamond, the first step in the cutting process). The European cut can be distinguished by the size of the table (the top, flat facet) in relation to the diameter of the stone. In a European cut, the table is smaller in relation to the diameter of the stone. Also, the culet (the bottom facet, is often large, often appearing to create a hole at the bottom of the diamond, when viewed from the top, since the large culet lets light escape instead of reflecting back to the viewer
Facet - Any flat polished surface of a diamond or gemstone. This style of cutting gives the stone many small faces at varying angles to one another. The placement, angle and shape of each facet are carefully planned and executed to show the stone's inherent beauty, fire, color, and brilliance to the fullest advantage.
Fancy Cut - A diamond cut other than round -- such as baguette, emerald, pear, marquise, square, oval, heart, etc.
Fracture Filling - A process that injects a substance into a diamond to hide inclusions.
Feather - A type of inclusion or flaw within a diamond. It is described often as a small crack or fissure
Finish - Describes the exterior of the diamond. If a diamond is well polished, it has a very good finish.
Fire -- Often a term used instead of "dispersion," it is the variety and intensity of rainbow colors seen when light is reflected from a diamond.
Filigree - A technique used to produce fine intricate patterns in metal. Often used for metal beads, clasps, and bead caps.
Flat-top setting - Like the Gypsy setting, this setting has a band that is one continuous piece that gets thicker at the top. A flat-top setting grows broader at the top so that a faceted stone can be inserted into the ring at the broadest part. The stone is held in place by metal chips attached at the stone's girdle.
Fluorescence - When exposed to ultraviolet light, a diamond may exhibit a more whitish, yellowish or bluish tint, which may imply that the diamond has a property called fluorescence. The untrained eye can rarely see the effects of fluorescence. Diamond grading reports often state whether a diamond has fluorescent properties. Fluorescence is not considered a grading factor, only a characteristic of that particular diamond
Gemological Institute of America (GIA) -- A nonprofit teaching institute considered the standard-bearer in the grading of diamonds and colored gemstones.
Girdle - The outer edge of a cut stone, the dividing line between the crown and the pavilion. Sometimes the girdle is polished and sometimes it is unpolished. Ideally the width of the girdle should be even and proportional to the cut of the stone.
Gold - Since ancient times, gold has been prized for its beauty, and purity since it does not oxidize or tarnish like most other metals. It has also been used as a store of value to build wealth and shield against hard times. Gold used in jewelry is almost always alloyed with other metals since gold in its pure form is very soft and malleable, and would not wear well by itself. Much gold jewelry from the 19th century and before is not marked. Tests must be done to determine if it is solid gold and to determine purity.
The familiar Karat marking system used in the United States did not become popular until around 1890 or so. (Note that Karat with a "K" refers to gold purity, while Carat with a "C" refers to the weight of a gemstone, e.g. a one carat diamond set in a 14 karat gold ring.) The karat number refers to the parts of pure gold per 24 in the alloy. So a 14K alloy is 14/24 parts pure gold, or about 58% gold.
Other countries used a marking system well before the United States. For example, Britain has had a system of hallmarking in place for hundreds of years.
It is also common in many European and other countries to mark gold with a three digit number indicating the parts per thousand of gold. Thus gold jewelry is often marked "750" for 750/1000 gold. (Equivalent to US 18K).
In addition to many purities, alloyed gold also comes in many colors. Variations in the metals alloyed with the gold account for the ability to produce white, pink and even green gold, in addition to the familiar yellow gold. Pink gold was popular in late Victorian times, and again in the 1940s. White gold was very popular from 1900 through the 30's
Gold Filled - Goldfilled, or gold-filled, abbreviated g.f. = lower in gold content than 10 KT, usually 1/20 or 1/12 KT.In this technique a sheet of gold is mechanically applied to the surface. Victorian pieces are likely to be unmarked, but later pieces are marked with the fineness of the gold layer, and the part by weight of the gold. For example a piece marked "1/10 12K G.F." is composed of at least 1/10 12K gold based on the weight of the finished piece. In the U.S., gold filled pieces must be at least 1/20 by weight to be classified as gold-filled. An older unmarked gold piece may often be identified by wear through to base metal, especially when viewing corners or edges under magnification. Look for a change to a darker, brassy colored material at these spots
Goldplate - A layer of gold applied to base metal, usually by electroplating. This is usually a very thin layer, only a few microns, which is likely to wear much more quickly than gold-filled.
Growth or grain lines - These can be considered internal flaws, and can often be seen only by rotating the diamond very slowly. They can appear and disappear almost instantaneously. They appear as small lines or planes within the diamond.
Gypsy setting - The Gypsy setting is predominantly used for men's jewelry. The band is one continuous piece that gets thicker at the top. The top is dome shaped and the stone is inserted in the middle.
Hardness -- Resistance a material offers to scratching or abrasion. Generally measured using the MOHS scale.
Inclusion - "Internal characteristics" apparent to a trained or professional eye at 10x magnification. Inclusions can be bubbles, crystals, carbon spots, feathers, clouds, pinpoints, or other impurities, or even cracks and abrasions. They are what make a diamond so unique, as a fingerprint does for a person.
Illusion setting -- This setting is more intricate than others in that it surrounds the stone to make it appear larger.
Loupe - Any small magnifying glass mounted for hand use, to hold up to the eye socket or attach to a pair of glasses.
Luster - The hue and depth of reflection from pearls, opals or other opaque stones.
Mabe' or Mobe' - A half sphere or domed stone, usually a cultured pearl.
Marquise shape -- A double-pointed, boat-shaped stone that is long and thin with gently curved sides coming to a point on either end. Marquise is part of the brilliant-cut family; ideally cut it has 58 facets.
Mine Cut - A style of diamond cutting popular before 1890 or so, it features a cushion shaped outline, rather than the round outline of the modern cut and old European cuts, and has a different facet arrangement
Mixed-cut - This cut has both step-cut and brilliant-cut facets. Mixed cuts combine the beauty of the emerald cut with the sparkle of the brilliant cut.
MOHS Scale - A scale of hardness with numbers from one to ten assigned to ten minerals of increasing hardness from talc to diamonds.
MOHS Rating Gemstone
9 Ruby, Sapphire Corundum
8 Topaz Topaz
7.5 Emerald, Aquamarine Beryl
7 Amethyst, Citrine, Green Quartz Quartz
5.5 - 6.5 Opal
Mele - Small, usually round diamonds less than .10 carats in size.
Natural - A diamond characteristic that is part of the surface of a polished diamond that was not cut or polished during the cutting process.
Oiling - This technique is commonly used on emeralds. The purpose of this technique is for the oil to fill the fine cracks that weaken the green color. The oil fills the cracks making them "disappear" and thereby improving the color.
Pave - A type of setting where a number of small stones are set together. It literally means paved with diamonds. The surface appears to be paved with diamonds. Most commonly seen with diamonds, but may be used with any stone.
Pavilion - Bottom portion of the stone, under the girdle, measuring to the culet. It is the area below the girdle consisting of 23 facets in the round-brilliant-cut diamond.
Pear shape - Term used to describe any diamond whose girdle outline resembles a pear shape. Ideally cut pear shapes have 58 facets.
Pinpoint - An inclusion within a diamond. A gathering of pinpoints is called a "cluster" or "cloud." A cloud or cluster can appear as a hazy area in the diamond, a pinpoint appears as a dot. Also a type for diamond setting for very small diamonds.
Point - Term meaning one-hundredth of a carat -- approximately the size of one-half a grain of sand.
Polish -- Indicates the care taken by the cutter in shaping and faceting the rough stone into a finished and polished diamond.
Poor cut - A poorly cut diamond can be either cut too deep or too shallow. A deep or shallow cut diamond will lose or leak light through the side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and value.
Princess cut - A square or sometimes rectangular-shaped modified brilliant-cut diamond.
Prong or claw setting - The metal tip or bead that actually touches the stone and holds it into place. This setting usually consists of four or six claws that cradle the stone. Because this setting allows the maximum amount of light to enter a stone from all angles, it sometimes can make a diamond appear larger and more brilliant than its actual weight. This setting can also hold larger diamonds more securely.
Proportion - The proportions of a diamond are very important, so that the maximum amount of light be reflected off and out of a stone. Proportion is the relationship between the angles of the facets of the crown and pavilion.
Radiant cut - A rectangular or square shaped diamond with step-cut and scissor-cut on the crown, and a brilliant-cut on the pavilion.
Refraction - The bending of light rays as they pass through a diamond or gemstone.
Rhodium-plating - A thin plating of rhodium, which is one of the members of the platinum family, applied over either sterling or other alloy to give a bright, shiny, longlasting silver-colored finish to a piece
Rough -- Uncut diamonds or gemstones.
Scintillation - When light reflects from a diamond, the sparkling flashes that come from the facets of the gem are known as scintillation.
Shallow cut - When a diamond is cut too shallow, it will lose or leak light through the side or bottom. This results in less brilliance and value.
Shape - Form or appearance of a diamond; i.e.: whether the diamond is round, triangular, square, marquise, pear, oval or heart-shaped.
Solitaire - A single diamond or stone set by itself in mounting.
Step cut - With rows of facets that resemble the steps of a staircase. The emerald cut and the baguette are examples of the step cut.
Symmetry - Symmetry is the arrangement of the facets and finished angles created by the diamond cutter. Excellent symmetry of a well-cut and well-proportioned diamond can have a great effect on the diamond's brilliance and fire. Grading reports will often state the diamond's symmetry in terms Excellent, Very good, Good, Fair, or Poor.
Table - The top surface of a cut diamond or gemstone.
Table facet - This is the largest facet of a diamond. It is located on the top of the diamond. The table facet is sometimes referred to as the "face."
Table spread - Term used to describe the width of the table facet, often expressed as a percentage of the total width of the stone.
Tension setting - A diamond is held in place by the pressure of the band's metal, which is designed to "squeeze" the stone.
Trillion shape - Is a triangular-shaped diamond with 50 facets. Trillions are commonly used as side-stones.
Well cut - Well-cut proportions ensure the maximum compromise between fire and brilliance. When light enters a properly cut diamond, it is reflected from facet to facet, and then back up through the top, exhibiting
Choker - maximum brilliance, fire and sparkle.