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Author Topic: Jewelry Terms, Abbreviations & More  (Read 4776 times)

innerchild

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Jewelry Terms, Abbreviations & More
« on: April 23, 2007, 02:05:25 AM »

Howdy- hopefully something from this list may have value to someone. 
Source: eBay Community 12/05

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AB
Aurora Borealis
Art Deco
Art Deco was a style popular from the mid-1910's until the mid-1920's. This style originated in Paris, France. Art Deco pieces are characterized by geometric lines and angles, with very few curves. This art movement eventually became bolder and evolved into Art Moderne.
Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau was a style popular from roughly 1895 until World War I. Art Nouveau pieces are characterized by curves and naturalistic designs, especially depicting long-haired, sensual women. Louis Comfort Tiffany made archetypal Art Nouveau pieces.
Alpaca
Alpaca (also spelled alpacca) is an alloy consisting of mostly copper (roughly 60 percent), and approximately 20 percent nickel, about 20 percent zinc, and about 5 percent tin. This metal is a a silver substitute.
Arts and Crafts
Arts and Crafts was an artistic movement that produced hand-crafted pieces toward the end of the 1800's. Pieces purposely look hand-made, incorporating hammer marks and simple cabochon settings. The Arts and Crafts movement also revived the art of enamel. A prominent Arts and Crafts jeweller was C.R. Ashbee (1863-1942); Ashbee founded The Guild of Handicraft in 1888. Other important Arts and Crafts jewelers included Arthur Gaskin (1862-1928), Georgina Gaskin (1868-1934, Arthur's wife), Fred T. Partridge, John Paul Cooper (1869-1933), Bernard Cuzner (1877-1956), Henry Wilson (1864-1934), Alexander Fisher (1864-1936), and Edgar Simpson.
Aurora Borealis
Aurora borealis (meaning "northern lights") rhinestones have a special iridescent finish that shines with many colors. The iridescent surface is a result of a very thin layer of metallic atoms that have been deposited on the lower surface of the stone. This process was invented in 1955 by the Swarovski company together with Christian Dior.
Bezel Setting
A bezel setting is a way of setting a stone in which the stone is held by a band of metal around the outside of the stone.
CFW
CFW is an abbreviation for cultured freshwater pearls.
Channel Set
Channel set jewels rest in a metal channel, held in only by a slight rim which runs along the edges of the channel. Channel set jewels are usually round or baguette shaped.
Claw Setting
A claw setting is one in which a series of metal prongs (called claws) holds a stone securely in a setting (the claws grips the stone just above the girdle of the stone), with no metal directly under the stone (it is an open setting). This setting lets light in under the stone, so this type of setting is usually used for transparent, faceted stones. The modern-day claw setting became popular in the 1800's.
Closonne
Cloisonne is a method of applying enamel to metal in which the design is first outlined on the metal surface using a metal wire. The space between the wires is filled with enamel and then fired to a glassy sheen.
Closed Setting
A closed setting is one in which the back of the stone is not exposed (the metal is not cut away behind the stone).
Cluster Setting
Small stones set clustered around a larger center stone.
CTW
Carat Total Weight
Cubic Zirconium
Cubic zirconium (also known as cubic zirconia) is an inexpensive, lab-produced gemstone that resembles a diamond. Cubic zirconia was developed in 1977.
"Dead" Stone
A "dead" stone is a foil-backed rhinestone that has lost its original shininess, usually after water has damaged the foil. For example, a "dead" clear rhinestone will appear dull and off-white, greenish or yellowish.
Demi-Parure
A demiparure is a matching set of jewelry, usually containing a necklace, earrings, and a pin. See parure.
Doublet
A doublet (also dublette) is a gem made from two layers in order to save expenses; the lower part of the composite stone is glass or a non-precious stone, the top is the more valuable stone. Many different types of doublets have been manufactured (including opal doublets). One common doublet contains a layer of real garnet and a layer of glass. A thin, red garnet top is glued to a colored glass bottom. A green glass bottom with a red garnet top layer produces an emerald-like stone. A diamond is enlarged by cementing it to a crystal base.
Edwardian Period
The Edwardian period (also known as the Belle Epoque) was the time of the reign of Edward VII of England (1901-1910). Edwardian jewelry is delicate and elegant. Edwardian designs frequently use bows and filagrees. Pearls and diamonds were also frequently used.
Electroplate
Electroplating (also called Galvanotechnics after its inventor, Luigi Galvani) is a process in which one metal is coated with another metal using electricity. In jewelry, inexpensive metals are frequently electroplated with more expensive metals, like gold (gold plating), copper (electrocoppering), rhodium (rhodanizing), chromium (chromium plating), or silver (silver plating). The thickness of the metal coat varies. Electrogilded coating is the thinnest (less than 0.000007 inches thick); gold-cased metals have a coating thicker that 0.000007 inches.
Emboss
Embossing is a method of surface decoration in which a design is raised slightly above the surface. Sheets of metal, leather, and plastic can be embossed.
Faux
Faux means false. A faux gem is an imitation.
French Jet
French jet is black glass (pyrolusite glass) designed to imitate real jet. It was frequently carved.
Freshwater Pearl
A freshwater pearl is a pearl that was harvested from a freshwater mussel (a mollusk). These pearls are frequently shaped like crisped rice cereal, and are less valuable than oyster pearls. Biwa pearls are very good quality freshwater pearls.
FW
Fresh Water as is refering to Pearls.
German Silver
German silver (also know as nickel silver) is an alloy consisting of mostly copper (roughly 60 percent), and approximately 20 percent nickel, about 20 percent zinc, and sometimes about 5 percent tin (then the alloy is called alpaca). There is no silver at all in German silver. This alloy was invented around 1860 in Germany as a silver substitute.
Gold Filled
Gold filled (abbreviated G.F.) jewelry is made of a thin outer layer of gold atop a base metal. For example, jewelry marked 1/20 G.F. 12 Kt. is at least 1/20th gold and is layered with 12 karat gold. To be classified as gold-filled, a piece must be at least 1/20 gold by weight.
Gold Plated
Gold-plated metal has a very thin layer of gold on the surface, usually applied by the process of electroplating. Pieces that are gold plated are often marked G.E.P., gold electroplate, or gold plated.
GR
The Abreviation for Grams
Gunmetal
Gunmetal is a metal alloy that is composed of 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin.
Hair Jewelry
Hair jewelry is jewelry containing or composed of locks of hair. This type of jewelry was popular in the mid-1800's as a remembrance of deceased loved ones.
Hallmark
A hallmark is an official mark (or a series of marks) made in metal that indicates the fineness of the metal and the manufacturer's mark. For example, a hallmark of 925 indicates 925 parts of gold per 1000 weight. Other hallmarks indicate the maker of the piece and sometimes the year of manufacture. In many countries (like Britain) it is illegal to hallmark metal incorrectly; some countries are notoriously lax in their enforcement of hallmark honesty.
Herkimer Diamond
Herkimer diamonds are clear, lustrous, doubly terminated crystals of quartz - they are not true diamonds. These brilliant stones are also called "Middleville Diamonds" or "Little Falls Diamonds." Herkimer diamonds have a hardness of 7. This stone is found in Middleville and Little Falls, Herkimer County, New York, USA.
Inclusion
An inclusion is a particle of foreign matter contained within a mineral. Inclusions can be solid, liquid, or gaseous. Many inclusions decrease the value of a stone, but some, like rutile forming asterisms in star sapphires and needles in rutilated quartz and tourmalinated quartz, are prized.
Inlay
An inlay is a piece of material (often stone or glass) that is partially embedded in another material (usually metal) such that the two materials make a level surface.
Intaglio
Intaglio is a method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface. Signet rings are frequently decorated with intaglio, as are seals.
Iridescent
An iridescent object displays many lustrous, changing colors. Iridescence is caused by the reflection of light from the jewel.
Irradiated Diamonds
Irradiated diamonds are diamonds that have been exposed to radiation. This changes the diamond's color (as the radiation changes the crystalline structure of the diamond). The change in the diamond is permanent. Older radiation treatments involving exposing the stone to radium; newer treatments bombard the stone with atomic particles in a cyclotron (which accelerates protons, neutrons, or alpha-partices to high speeds). The irradiated stones take on a greenish or an aquamarine hue. Irradiations of diamonds was first done in 1904 by Sir William Crookes, who exposed diamonds to radium, giving them a permanent greenish color; his diamonds are still slightly radioactive (at the level of radium-painted watch). Newer irradiation techniques bombard the crystal with atomic particles in a cyclotron, and then the stone is heated to about 800 degrees Centigrade, producing a stone with very little radioactivity and a permanent color change.
Irradiation
Irradiation is the act of being exposed to radiation. Many stones (like kunzite) are irradiated in order to enhance their color. Being irradiated changes the crystal structure of the mineral by moving electrons. Irradiation techniques bombard the crystal with high-energy radiation (like gamma rays), producing a stone with very little radioactivity and a change of color. Some color changes caused by Irradiation are permanent, others care unstable and be reversed by heating or exposure to sunlight. For example, colorless topaz changes to a cinnamon brown color after ibeing irradiated with cobalt-60 radiation, but the color fades as the stone is exposed to sunlight. A new method of irradiation changes clear topaz to a brilliant, non-fading blue.

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innerchild

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Re: Jewelry Terms, Abbreviations & More
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2007, 02:10:57 AM »

Japanned
A Japanned finish in jewelry is when metal is finished with a lustrous, black lacquer.
Jet
Jet (also known as gagate) is fossilized coal. It is a hard, lightweight lustrous black stone that was used in mourning jewelry during the Victorian era (especially after Queen Victoria's husband died in 1861 and she went into long period of mourning, greatly affecting jewelry fashion). Jet is frequently cabochon cut. Most jet is from Whitby, England; jet has been mined near Whitby (on the Yorkshire coast of England) since prehistoric times. It is also found in Spain, France, Germany, and Russia, but these other sources are said to be inferior to the harder, more elastic Whitby jet. Jet has a hardness of 2.5-4 (quite soft) and a specific gravity of 1.30-1.35 (it is relatively lightweight). Jet leaves a brown streak. When burnt with a red-hot needle, jet smells like coal. Black glass and plastics are often used to imitate jet (glass is much heavier and harder than jet) - jet is warm to the touch
Lavalier
A lavalier is a pendant with a dangling stone that hangs from a necklace. Lavaliers were named for the infamous Duchess Louise de La Valliere (1644-1710), a French woman who was a mistress of the French king Louis XIV (and was involved in many intrigues at court).
Luster
A stone's luster is its sparkle or sheen - the way it relects light. The luster depends on the nature of the stone's surface reflectivity. Some types of luster include: adamantine (also called brilliant or diamondlike, like a faceted diamond), earthy (with little reflectivity- also called dull, like shale or clay), greasy (like nepheline or apatite), metallic (also known as splendent, like pyrite or marcasite), resinous (like amber), pearly (with an iridescent reflectivity, like pearls or mica), pitchy (tarry minerals that are radioactive, like uraninite), silky (with a fibrous structure, like some tiger's eye or satin spar), vitreous (also known as glassy, like olivine, transparent quartz, or obsidian), and waxy (like halite or turquoise). A pearl's luster is derived from its nacre
Matinee-Length
A matinee-length necklace is a single strand that is from 22 to 23 inches (56 to 58 cm) long. Matinee-length generally refers to a string of pearls that hangs to the top of the cleavage.
Melee
A melee is a small diamond, under .20 carat.
Memory Wire
Memory wire is a tough, stiff wire that retains its shape. It is often used for necklaces and bracelets.
Mexican Diamond
Mexican diamond is a misleading term for rock crystal, and not a diamond at all.
Mine Cut
Mine cut stones have a cushion-shaped girdle. This type of cut was popular in the late 1800's.
MM
Millimeters - Metric measurement used for Pearls & Gemstones
Molded Cameo
Molded cameos are cameos that are made by the molding process and not by carving the material (as traditional cameos are). Molded cameos are usually made from plastic, glass, or porcelain that is formed in a mold. Often, two colors of material are used, one for the relief pattern (often depicting a person or scene) and another for the background.
Montana Ruby
A Montana ruby is actually a pyrope garnet (and not a ruby at all).
MOP
Mother of Pearl
Mourning Jewelry
Mourning jewelry is a type of jewelry worn when one is mourning the loss of a loved one. It is often black, subdued jewelry (often made of jet or black glass and metal with a Japanned finish) or jewelry that commemorates the dead (like hair jewelry or cameos). After England's Queen Victoria's beloved husband (and cousin) Albert died (in 1861), she went into an extended period of mourning. During these years, she wore black clothing and mourning jewelry. English fashion was greatly influenced by this, and mourning jewelry, especially jet, became quite fashionable.
Mystic Fire
Mystic fire (also called mystic topaz or rainbow topaz) is topaz that has been color enhanced by coating it with a fine layer of metal atoms (in a process called vacuum deposition). This stone has red, green, violet, and blue streaks. Mystic fire has a hardness of 8.
Nacre
Nacre is a usually whitish crystalline substance which oysters, mussels, snails, and other mollusks secrete around a foreign object (like a tiny stone) that has made its way into their shell. As layers of nacre coat the intruder, a pearl is formed over a period of many years.
Nickel Silver
Nickel silver (also know as German silver) is an alloy consisting of mostly copper (roughly 60 percent), and approximately 20 percent nickel, about 20 percent zinc, and sometimes about 5 percent tin (then the alloy is called alpaca). There is no silver at all in German/nickle silver. This alloy was invented around 1860 in Germany as a silver substitute.
Oiling
Oiling is a process of applying mineral oil to a stone in order to enhance it and mask inclusions, make them more transparent, and darken their color. Emeralds are frequently oiled to mask their many inclusions.
Opal Triplet
An opal triplet is a manufactured stone that is composed of three thin layers that are glued together. A thin layer of opal is sandwiched between a layer of clear quartz and a layer of either obsidian or ironstone. The clear quartz is the top layer, making the gem harder (and less susceptible to scratches). An opal triplet is an opal doublet with a quartz layer on top. Triplets must be cleaned very carefully.
Opaque
Opaque means blocking the passage of light (as opposed to translucent or transparent).
Opera-Length
An opera-length necklace is a single strand that is from 30 to 35 inches (60 to 90 cm) long. Opera-length generally refers to a string of pearls that hangs to the breastbone.
Parire
A parure is a matching set of jewelry, usually containing a necklace, earrings, brooch and a bracelet (or two bracelets). See demi-parure.
Paste
Paste is glass that is cut and faceted to imitate gemstones.
Patina
Patina is the change of an object's surface layer that result from aging. Exposure to the air for an extended period of time oxidizes many metals, turning copper and bronze green, and gold reddish. Artificial patinas can be applied to newer objects by using acids or electrolytes.
Plating
Plating or electroplating (also called Galvanotechnics after its inventor, Luigi Galvani) is a process in which one metal is coated with another metal using electricity. In jewelry, inexpensive metals are frequently electroplated with more expensive metals, like gold (gold plating), copper (electrocoppering), rhodium (rhodanizing), chromium (chromium plating), or silver (silver plating). The thickness of the metal coat varies. Electrogilded coating is the thinnest (less than 0.000007 inches thick); gold-cased metals have a coating thicker that 0.000007 inches.
Princess Length
A princess length necklace (usually referring to a string of pearls) is 18" long.
PT or PLAT
Platinum is usually marked one of these ways in the United States .
PWT
Pennyweights - A weight measurement for gold
Reconstructed Stone
A reconstructed stone is one that is made from pieces of smaller stones or crystals). Reconstructed stones often have telltale air bubbles. For example, "Geneva rubies" (reconstructed rubies) are made from tiny ruby crystals that have been fused together. This type of stone is generally no longer manufactured (except reconstructed amber, which is stilll made) because synthetic stones are vastly superior to reconstructed stones.
Repousse
Repousse is a method of decorating sheet metal in which designs are hammered into the back of the metal. Special punches are used to form the designs, which form in relief (raised designs) on the surface of the metal.
Retro
Retro jewelry is chunky, geometric jewelry from the 1940's. Pink gold was often used in retro pieces.

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innerchild

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Re: Jewelry Terms, Abbreviations & More
« Reply #2 on: April 23, 2007, 02:23:57 AM »

Reverse-Carved Lucite
Reverse-carved lucite is lucite (a transparent plastic) that is carved on the back side. The incised areas are often painted, highlighting the carving.
Rhinestones
Rhinestones are highly reflective glass made to imitate gemstones. The original rhinestones were quartz stones (rock crystal) obtained from the Rhine river. These stones were cut to resemble gemstones. The best rhinestones today are made of highly reflective leaded glass which is faceted and polished. The Trifari pin above has baguette cut and round cut rhinestones.
Rhodium
Rhodium is a white precious metal. Rhodium is extremely expensive and is often used to plate precious and base metals, giving jewelry a hard, platinum-like sheen.
Rocaille
Rocaille is jewelry whose design is based on sea life, sea shells, or rocks.
Rolled Gold
Rolled gold is a very thin sheet of gold that is laminated to a lesser metal (usually brass). The two layers of metal are heated under pressure to fuse them together. The sheet is them rolled into a very thin sheet and then used to make jewelry or other objects. Jewelry made from rolled gold wear well over time.
Rope
A rope is a string of pearls that is over 40 inches long.
Russian Gold Finish
A Russian gold finish is a matte, antique-look finish. Miriam Haskell jewelry often has a Russian gold (plated) finish.
Satin Finish
A satin finish on a metal is between a matte finish and a brilliant one. This semi-glossy finish is done by making shallow parallel lines on the surface of the metal, reducing its reflectivity.
Sautoir
A sautoir (also known as a rope) is a long necklace (longer than opera-length), often with an ornament (a tassel or pendant) at the end. Sautoirs were common during the Edwardian era.
Shank
The shank is the part of a ring that encircles the finger.
Signed
The term used when a Manufacturers or Designers name or identifying mark is etched, carved, or stamped into the Jewelry.
Signet Ring
A signet ring is a ring that was used as a means of identification for relatively important people. The signet ring was engraved with a symbol (a coat of arms or initials) identifying a particular person. Some signet rings also had intaglio-carved seals. The earliest-known signet rings date from ancient Egypt, thousands of years ago.
Slide Bracelet
(also called slide charm bracelet) A slide bracelet is a type of modern-day charm bracelet made from stringing Victorian era watch fob charms together on a double chain - the charms can slide along the chains. When pocket watches (used by men) and nceklace watches (used by women) went out of style after wrist watches were invented, the charms on the watch chain were removed and then strung together to make bracelets. Modern imitations are made using modern-manufactured charms.
Snake Chain
A snake chain (also called a Brazilian chain) is a metal chain made up of a series of small, linked cups.
Souvenir Jewelry
Souvenir jewelry is made for tourists as a remembrance of their trip. The mother-of-pearl Eiffel Tower pin above is a souvenir of Paris.
Spectroscope
A spectroscope is an instrument that is used to identify gemstones. It works by determining the light waves that a stone absorbs; different stones absorb different wavelengths of light.
SS
SS is an abbreviation for sterling silver.
Star Setting
A star setting is one in which a gem is set within an engraved star; the gem is secured by a small grain of metal soldered to the base of each ray of the star. This type of setting was popular in the 1890s.
Striations
Striations are grooves, lines and scratches found naturally in some minerals.
SW
Salt Water as refering to Pearls.
Synethetic Stone
Synthetic stones are made in laboratories; these stones generally lack imperfections. It is very difficult to distinguish a synthetic stone from a natural stone.
Table
The table is the large, flat area at the top of a cut gemstone.
Taxco
Taxco is a town in the State of Guerrero in Mexico, that is famous for its silver jewelry production. The American silversmith William Spratling, set up shop in Taxco in 1929, and many other silversmiths followed. Early Taxco jewelry is avidly collected. Modern pieces are distinguished by a registration mark of two letters followed by a series of numbers (this mark was required by the Mexican government since 1979).
Temper
To temper is to strengthen or harden metal (or glass) by heating it or by heating then cooling it. Harder tempers are stronger, more spring-like, and brittler (when they are bent, they may break). Softer tempers are weaker but bend easily.
Torsade
A torsade is a necklace made of many strands that are twisted together.
Translucent
Translucent materials allow light to pass through them, but the light is diffused (scattered). Some translucent stones include moonstones, opals, and carnelian. Lucite and other plastics can also be translucent.
Transparent
Transparent materials allow light to pass through them without diffusing (scattering) the light. Some translucent stones include diamond, zircon, emerald, rock crystal, and ruby. Plastics like lucite can also be transparent. In the confetti lucite bangle above, the glitter within the lucite is visible.
Trembler
A trembler is a piece of jewelry that has a part (or parts) set on a spring; the spring-set parts move as the wearer of the jewelry moves.
Triplet
A triplet is a manufactured stone that is made by sandwiching three thin layers of stones together. For example, an opal triplet had a top, protective layer of clear quartz, a thin middle layer of opal, and a base layer of dark, color-enhancing matrix (usually black onyx or ironstone).
Troy Weight
Precious metals (like gold, platinum, and silver) are measured in troy weight, which has units of pennyweights, ounces, and pounds. Troy ounces and pounds are different from everyday US measures.
Tumbled
Tumbled stones were finished in a tumbler, a mechanical device that smooths and rounds the surfaces of stones. Tumbled stones look very much like stones that have been in a fast-flowing river or stream for a long time.
WG
White Gold
YG
Yellow Gold


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