Jewelry Glossary

Watch Glossary Jewelry Glossary


A gold alloy that includes 41.7% pure gold and 58.3% alloy


A gold alloy that includes 58.5% pure gold and 41.5% alloy


A gold alloy that includes 75% pure gold and 25% alloy


A gold or gold alloy that is over 99.95% pure gold



A mixture of metals or a combination of a metal and another element is an alloy. All gold that is less than 24 carats is a mixture of pure gold and one or more other metals. Sterling silver is an alloy composed of 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper. Alloying is typically used to improve the properties of the primary metal: it can make it harder, less tarnish-prone (or the opposite can be a disadvantage), a different color, more affordable, or add other desirable features.


An amulet or good luck charm is a small object believed to protect its owner from harm or to bring them good fortune. Occasionally, in the context of jewelry, the term 'amulet' is misused to refer to a 'pendant,' a purely decorative item attached to a necklace (see below). A pendant can be an amulet, but it all depends on the piece's intention.


Division of a piece of jewelry (usually a bracelet) into segments that give it flexibility.


An assay is used to determine precious metals' purity and verify that they were manufactured to the specified purity.

Aurora Borealis

An iridescent coating on crystals. They were invented in 1955 by Manfred Swarovski (the grandson of the founder of the Austrian firm that has produced superior imitation stones since 1895). Faceted stones and beads with this finish change color from different angles, creating a sense of movement.



A faceted gemstone with a more complex rectangular cut than an emerald


Typically, a finding component secures pendants or charms to a necklace. It can be as simple as a wire jump ring or as intricate as a detailed design.


A trademark for a type of plastic that can be molded or carved, invented in 1909 by Belgian chemist L.H.Baekeland.


A non-flexible bracelet that must be slipped over the hand or has a hinge for opening.

Baroque pearl

 A baroque pearl has an irregular shape. These pearls can be smooth and in the form of an egg or a teardrop, or they can be lumpier and have more complex shapes. Frequently, baroque pearls are large when used in jewelry. Baroque pearls can occur in cultured and natural pearls, but they are more prevalent in cultured freshwater pearls.

Base Metal

A non-precious metal such as copper, brass, tin, zinc, or nickel. These metals can be used to create inexpensive jewelry. They may cause skin irritation or discoloration to the skin and may also wear poorly over time. We strongly advise against wearing base metals against the skin. We recommend that you always check the metal composition of a piece of jewelry before purchasing, as it may not be obvious.

Beaded Jewelry/Beadwork

Beaded jewelry, also known as beadwork jewelry, is made by stringing, wrapping, stitching, or otherwise connecting beads. It can be as simple as a single bead attached to an ear wire or as complex as beads strung together to form a necklace. Additionally, more intricate woven beading designs are created. 

Bezel Setting

Typically used for cabochon gemstones, a similar setting utilizing a small tube can be used with faceted gemstones (this may be called a tube setting). A metal rim is pushed and/or rubbed around the gemstone's edge in a bezel setting to secure it. These settings are typically made of silver or gold. 


A birthstone is a particular gemstone (or, in some cases, a group of gemstones) associated with a specific birth month. The tradition of wearing birthstones dates to the 16th or 17th centuries, but it took off in more recent times. Numerous gemstone societies have developed more modern lists of birthstones that do not always agree, so your birth month may have more than one stone associated with it.

Bolt Clasp/Bolt Ring

A circular clasp. It contains a tiny spring connected to a bolt that you can open with your fingernail or fingertip before it springs shut. 

Blood Diamonds/Conflict Diamonds

Blood diamonds or conflict diamonds are diamonds that have been mined in a war zone and sold to finance various aspects of the conflict. The term has been used to draw attention to grave ethical issues surrounding the diamond trade in certain parts of the world. The Kimberley Process was established to halt the trade in such diamonds, but it has been criticized for its flaws, most notably corruption. Discover more. Due to natural diamonds' ethical concerns and their exorbitant price, many jewelers are now creating jewelry using lab-grown diamonds or alternatives such as moissanite.


 You may come across cheaper jewelry that appears gold but is made of brass. It may discolor your skin over time, may cause an allergic reaction, and is quite likely to leave a green stain. We do not recommend wearing brass in direct contact with your skin. A low price indicates that the gold-colored jewelry is not genuine gold: gold is a costly metal.


A diamond-cut style. Typically round in shape, brilliant cut stones have 58 facets.


A faceted, teardrop-shaped stone. Briolette beads can be attached to jewelry via holes drilled through the sides at the top through the center from top to bottom.



A stone without facets, shaped like a dome. Cabochons are gems that have a flat back and a rounded top. Although cabochon gemstones have a smooth, highly polished surface, they can also be faceted on top in a technique known as rose-cut.


Traditionally, this term refers to a method of carving an object that results in a raised (positive) relief image that is usually colored differently than the background. Often, these designs were carved using gemstones, shells, or bones. Today, the term is loosely applied to objects that are not carved and lack color contrast. The term is now frequently used to refer to an image of a head, typically framed in an oval frame.

Carats/Karats: Gold

A carat is a unit of purity when applied to gold. In the United States and some other countries, the term is spelled 'karat,' but the meaning is identical. The higher the number, the purer the gold, with 24 being the purest (pure gold). Gold is alloyed with other metals at lower carats to make it more suitable for jewelry making. Jewelers will use' ct,' 'kt,' or 'K' to refer to gold carats or karats.

Carats: Gemstones

In this case, the spelling is consistent throughout the world.


A type of chalcedony (quartz) usually translucent red or reddish-brown in color. Also spelled cornelian.

Chain Necklace

A chain necklace is merely a chain necklace without a pendant. Typically, chain necklaces consist solely of a length of silver or gold chain, but the chain design itself can be pretty intricate. Moreover, you can find designs with more ornate pieces linked together.

Chandelier Jewelry

Chandelier jewelry designs incorporate a metal framework into which multiple beads or other findings are suspended – like how a chandelier light fixture contains crystals. This design element is most frequently seen in long, ornate statement earrings, but it can also be found in pendants.

Channel setting

This is a method of setting gemstones in which the stones are slotted into a channel to form a continuous strip. It is most frequently found in rings.

Charm Bracelet

A charm bracelet is embellished with charms, which are decorative pendants or trinkets that represent significant aspects of the wearer's life and are sentimental in nature. Charm necklaces are also available.


A modern name for jewelry (usually a necklace) comprised of open-back, clear- or colored-glass stones set in/on metal mountings linked together.


A type of necklace designed to fit tightly around the neck.


A type of chalcedony (quartz) that is apple green.


A type of quartz usually pale yellow but sometimes red-brown to red-orange in color.


The term "clarity" refers to how a gemstone is free of flaws: the more significant the clarity, the more valuable the stone. However, lab-grown gemstones typically have perfect clarity while remaining reasonably priced.

Claw/Prong Setting

A gemstone setting for faceted stones. These settings feature notched claws or prongs that are slightly pushed over to secure the gemstone's edges.


A brooch with either a hinged, double-prong fastener with sharp tips to pass through the fabric or a hinged, triangular-shaped mechanism with teeth to grip the material.

Clip-back earring

An earring held in place by a spring-clip mechanism.


This is a method of enameling in which colored enamel is placed in cells surrounded by metal, separating each cell from the others. This enables the creation of highly complex patterns, with each piece of enamel separated by thin metal walls that are usually polished to stand out.

Cluster Setting

A style of jewelry in which smaller gemstones are arranged around a larger stone that serves as the focal point and is frequently seen on rings.

Cocktail Ring

To make a statement, a cocktail ring typically features a relatively large focal point that sits on top of or in the center of the band. These rings, which are frequently large, may not be suitable for everyday wear, as they may obstruct daily activities.


A collar of metal that encloses a stone.


A base metal that is a brilliant orange color and incredibly soft. Because it tarnishes quickly and can stain the skin green or black when used alone in jewelry, it is rarely used in its pure form. However, it is frequently alloyed with pure silver or gold: sterling silver, for example, is a 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper alloy that produces a much stronger metal than either pure copper or silver (the copper content in sterling silver is not high enough to stain skin).

Costume jewelry

Adornments made from non-precious materials (e.g., glass, crystal, and plastic) made into beads or stones set in sterling silver or base metal. It is mass-produced to meet a fashion trend. They were created to imitate fine jewelry. In the 1930s-1940s – the golden age – the availability of new materials and the acceptance of costume jewelry by women at every income level enabled designers to become more creative.

Costume jewelry (or fashion jewelry) is generally defined as any piece of jewelry that is not made of precious metals or gemstones. These terms date back to the early twentieth century. Historically, costume jewelry was made with less expensive materials such as rhinestones, nickel, brass, or pewter. It was trendy during the Great Depression and World War II when materials were in short supply or were prohibitively expensive. Modern costume jewelry incorporates various materials, including simulated gemstones, glass, plastic, shell, and plated base metals.

Crimp Bead

A type of beading component that is commonly used to secure the knotted ends of a necklace. Typically, tiny crimp beads are flattened or secured in place with pliers.


High-quality, artificial glass containing lead oxide, often used to make beads and stones for costume jewelry. Although all crystal is glass, not all glass is crystal.

Cultured Pearls

Pearls that are grown in controlled conditions with the assistance of farmers. Pearls can be cultured using freshwater river mollusks or traditional saltwater pearl oysters.


Dangle Earrings

Dangle earrings are like drop earrings in that they hang below the earlobe, swing back and forth, and from side to side. They can be short or hang down to your shoulders. 'Dangle earrings' and 'drop earrings' are occasionally used.


 A faceting of glass stones forms an eight-pointed star design.

Design patent

Government protection granted to an inventor for how an article looks.


The French term for imitation diamond.

Double clip brooch

A pair of clips that can be worn separately or together as a brooch when nestled on a frame.Clip-Mates is Trifari’s term for a double clip brooch; Coro’s term is Duette.

Dress clip

See the clip.

Drop Earrings 

Drop earrings are like dangle earrings, but the focal point is slightly below the earlobe. They may or may not swing, as opposed to dangle earrings, which always do. Drop earrings and dangle earrings are terms that are used interchangeably at times.


See double clip brooch.


Earring Back/Scroll/Nut

The small component that attaches to the back of a post earring and secures it on the ear. The tension created by the scrolled metal pieces keeps the earring in place.


A wire-based earring component that is worn with pierced ears. A popular style is the traditional shepherds' hook, with the design's focal point suspended from the front of the ear wire. These are also known as ear hooks and are frequently found on dangle or drop earrings.


This relatively simple gemstone cut is square or rectangular and is typically reserved for large, clear gemstones.

Enameled Jewelry

Jewelry covered in a relatively thick decorative coating applied to a metal. Typically, the enamel is tinted. Enamel is traditionally made of glass powder blended with metal at high temperatures, usually in a kiln. Today, cold enamel is available, an epoxy-based colorant that dries hard and adheres to metal. It is critical to understand which type you purchase when purchasing enameled items.


In terms of jewelry, this is the process of cutting an intricate design or text into the surface of the metal using specialized tools called gravers. It can also be accomplished with power tools equipped with tiny burs, but the results are significantly less satisfactory. Engraving properly requires a high level of skill and is frequently carried out by a Master Engraver specializing in this type of work.


This is a method of creating designs on metal by eroding the desired portion of the design with an acid. This produces a less crisp finish than engraving, but it has its own grace.


Faceted Gemstones

Faceted gemstones have cut surfaces that help them catch and reflect light. Usually, the most popular cut is a classic diamond shape. The top of the gemstone is faceted, while the back ends at a point in the center and is generally set with a claw or a prong. Additionally, cabochon cut gemstones may be faceted on the top and flat on the back, referred to as a rose-cut.


A type of necklace that drapes in the front.


Thin metal wire that is twisted into delicate lacy patterns. A highly decorative technique for creating jewelry in which precious metal wire is twisted into delicate tracework patterns.


Components that are used to connect or decorate jewelry pieces. They are typically not the focal point of a design and may include clasps, jump rings, earring backs, earring wires or hooks, and brooch pins, among others.

Fine jewelry

Ornaments made from precious metals (gold, silver, platinum) and gemstones (e.g., diamonds, emeralds, sapphires, rubies, and pearls). While there is debate over whether the term fine jewelry should be limited to pieces made of solid gold, platinum, and precious stones, the term is now widely accepted to refer to jewelry made of any precious metal and gemstone.

Fine Silver

Essentially, fine silver is pure silver. Pure silver, according to technical standards, contains at least 99.9 percent silver. Although it tarnishes much less than sterling silver, it has limited applications in jewelry due to its extreme softness and flexibility. Most jewelry is made of sterling silver alloy.

Flush Setting

The stone is flush (at the same level) with the metal it is set into in this setting style. The gemstone is set into a hole, and the metal surrounding it is pushed over the stone's widest point (the girdle) to secure it.


 A thin sheet of metal placed on the back of a glass stone to reflect light or enhance its color.

French jet

Black glass or imitation jet.

Freshwater Pearls

Freshwater pearls are cultured in freshwater mollusks rather than in saltwater oysters. These pearls are more affordable than saltwater pearls and can be created in various shapes.


An ornamental design that is intricately cut into metal (or, more traditionally, wood) using a fretsaw or jeweler's piercing saw, removing sections of the design.

Fruit Salads 

Molded red, blue, and green glass or plastic stones (to simulate carved rubies, sapphires, and emeralds) in shapes such as leaves or fruits.  Pastel shades were also produced to simulate moonstone, coral, and turquoise. Tutti Frutti is another name for Fruit Salads.



The European name for Casein, a milk-based type of plastic invented in 1897 by Adolph Spitteler. Galalith was very popular in the 1920s and 1930s because it resembles natural horn and tortoiseshell, physically and chemically. It can be turned, drilled, milled, stamped, soldered, stained in all colors, and highly polished.


A gemstone is defined as a mineral crystal that has been cut and polished for use in jewelry or other decorative items. However, certain rocks (for example, lapis lazuli, opal, and jade) and organic materials (such as pearl and amber) are also used similarly and are frequently considered gemstones. Diamonds, rubies, emeralds, and sapphires are considered precious gemstones, while all other gemstones are considered semi-precious. Lab-grown or simulated gemstones are artificial and, while they may be more perfect, are generally less expensive than natural stones. Pastes, glass beads, and Swarovski-style jewelry are not considered gemstones.


Numerous decorative techniques for embellishing a surface with delicate gold leaf, foil, or powder. In terms of jewelry, occasionally, ancient techniques are employed for bonding gold foil to other metals, most notably sterling silver. Gilded finishes should be handled with caution due to their fragility.


Gold is a precious metal found in nature. It is a bright, slightly orange yellow that is quite soft and malleable in its purest form. Because it is one of the least reactive chemical elements, it is highly prized in jewelry making because it tarnishes slowly and is unaffected by most chemicals. Solid gold is also quite costly: typically, around 50 times the price of silver per gram. Gold is generally alloyed with other metals before being used in jewelry to increase its hardness. Carats denote the purity of gold, with 24ct representing pure gold and 9ct representing minimal gold.  

Gold-Filled/Rolled Gold

A layer of solid gold that has been pressure-bonded to other metals to create highly durable but inexpensive gold-filled jewelry. The amount of gold used must be at least a twentieth of the product's total weight; the gold's caratage. With appropriate maintenance, gold-filled jewelry will last a very long time.


Halllmarks/Purity Stamps

A mark or stamp that is used to identify the purity and sometimes the provenance of gold and silver items, including jewelry. In Europe, mainly, there are stringent laws governing the use of hallmarks, with some countries allowing the use of only specific stamps.

Hoop Earrings

Earrings in the hoop shape, with a portion of the earring passing through an ear piercing to secure them in place. They can be as simple as wire circles or as elaborate and bulky as designs. Hoop earrings are an earring style that dates to ancient times.



These are visible flaws within a gemstone. These can include foreign objects, stone fractures, and abnormal crystals, among others. The more inclusions a gemstone contains the lower its value. On the other hand, inclusions can be lovely and contribute to the uniqueness of each gemstone. Certain gemstones, such as moss agate, are highly prized for their exquisite inclusions.

Invisible setting

A technique used to set stones from the back so that no metal mounting shows, giving the impression of a larger single stone. This technique was invented by Van Cleef & Arpels for precious gems.



Metal treated with a black finish.

Jelly Belly

A figural with a clear Lucite stone representing the animal’s belly or body center, created by Trifari in the 1940s but copied by Coro and others.


A variety of coal formed by pressure, heat, and chemical action on ancient driftwood, which can be highly polished, carved, faceted, and engraved. They were used extensively for mourning jewelry in the 19th century. See also French jet.

Jump Ring

This is a very straightforward and frequently used jewelry component: it is simply a ring that serves as a connector for clasps, pendants, beads, and ear wires, among other things. Typically, jump rings are relatively small and are added as an afterthought to the design for practical purposes.


Key stone

A stone that resembles the shape of a kite, i.e., a long, rectangular stone that is wider at one end. Also known as kite-shaped.


Lab-Grown Gemstones

Typically, they are created the same way natural variation is, but more quickly, cheaply, and environmentally friendly. The result is a virtually identical gemstone to the mined counterpart, but lab-created gemstones are typically flawless quality and clarity. The advantages of lab-grown and simulated gems are significantly more affordable and frequently more environmentally and ethically responsible than high-value mined gems. 


The process of cutting and polishing gemstones and performed by specialist craftspeople.

Lapis lazuli

A deep-blue opaque gemstone sometimes with white mottling or brassy-colored inclusions.

Lariat Necklace/Lasso Necklace

A lariat necklace is like a lasso in that one unclasped end is threaded through a loop to secure it in place. Alternatively, a lariat may refer to a long necklace that can be folded in half and both ends threaded through the center loop. Some lariat necklaces can be significantly longer than other necklace styles, depending on how they are secured. Always double-check the length details.

Layering Necklace

Layering necklaces is a term that refers to the act of wearing more than one necklace to create a layered look. Frequently, the necklaces will be of varying lengths. You can mix and match different necklaces to complete your look, which takes some practice to master. Alternatively, a single-layered necklace can be purchased. Consider our layering necklaces for examples of necklaces that we believe work well when layered.

Lobster Clasp 

A strong clasp with a lobster claw shape and an internal spring for operation. Similar clasp styles are also known as parrot clasps or caribiner clasps.


It is a pendant with different front and back pieces that open to reveal a space between them. Historically, the space has been used to store a photograph or other small item, such as a curl of hair, indicating that these jewelry pieces have a high sentimental value. Consider our locket necklace designs, which include more contemporary open lockets.


Maker’s mark

The identifying mark stamped by the maker on a piece of jewelry. The mark may be a registered trademark. Costume jewelry from the early decades of the 20thcentury typically was unsigned.


Pyrite is cut into small pointed or rounded facets to reflect light. Used as substitutes for diamonds as early as the 1700s. Popular in the 1920s and 1930s.

Marquise cut

An oval-shaped gemstone cut with two pointed ends along its longest axis – also known as a navette.

Matinée Length

 A slightly longer necklace than the standard length. It is typically 55-65cm (22-26") long and sits at the top of the cleavage for most women.

Mohs Scale

This scale of 1 to 10 is used in the jewelry industry to determine the hardness of gemstones. Diamonds have a ten-point hardness, making them one of the hardest materials known.

Mother of Pearl

 A lustrous coating that forms on the inside of oyster shells. It is used to manufacture beads and pendants and is also referred to as nacre.



Nacre is another term for mother of pearl. It is also the material from which genuine pearls are made.

Nickel Silver- German Silver

Make no mistake about the name: nickel silver or German silver contains no silver. Nickel silver is an alloy of copper and nickel, whereas German silver may also have zinc. Many people can develop nickel allergies at any age, resulting in itchy skin rashes. Once you develop a nickel allergy, it is permanent. There are additional concerns about nickel's toxicity, and we strongly advise against wearing it.


See marquise cut.



A type of chalcedony (quartz) usually dyed black or green.

Opera Length

A relatively long necklace. It's usually 70-85cm (28-34") long and sits at the breastbone for most women.

Oxidized/Blackened Silver

Silver or sterling silver that has been treated with a chemical to darken it as a decorative element. It is a technique used in patination (see below). Typically, you'll see a blackened recessed pattern with shiny silver raised areas. Sulfur liver or a hydrochloric acid solution is the most frequently used chemicals in this process. After producing the blackened appearance, the substances are thoroughly rinsed from the metal. Blackening is a delicate surface finish that may wear away over time, especially in exposed areas.



A matched set of jewelry, usually consisting of a necklace, bracelet, earrings, and brooch.


See strass.

Paste Jewelry

Pastes are hand-cut glass reproductions of gemstones. Often, the glass is coated or placed on metallic foil to give it a gemstone-like sheen. Although paste jewelry is considered costume jewelry, it has its appeal and generally provides a great deal of sparkle for a small investment.


This is a thin layer of metal on the surface that alters the color or finish of the metal in some way. Frequently, it is a jeweler's application of a desirable finish. Patinas are often vibrant and can be created by following a recipe of chemicals applied in a precise manner. Patinas can also form naturally or inadvertently, as when copper is exposed to air and gradually turns green.


Small stones set so closely together that almost no metal shows between them.


A teardrop-shaped gemstone.

Pendant Necklace

 A necklace with a pendant is a piece of jewelry that features a suspended ornament. Typically, the pendant is the necklace's focal point. Pendants are frequently suspended from chains but can also be worn on a beaded necklace. Pendants are not used in every necklace design. Walsh Simone Although pendants are always sold with necklaces, some retailers sell them separately.


A surface treatment in which a metal is deposited on a conductive surface; in jewelry, this is typically another metal, such as gold plating applied to brass or silver plating applied to nickel. Plates are available in a variety of thicknesses, which affects their durability. Flash plating is extremely thin, whereas vermeil plating is typically quite thick (and is applied to sterling silver rather than a base metal) - for more information on vermeil, see below. Because all plating eventually deteriorates, caution should be exercised when using such designs.


A naturally occurring metal that is very heavy and white in color. As with gold, it is usually corrosive-free. It is more challenging to work with and more expensive than gold.


This is a variation on cloisonné enameling, in which the metal cells lack a backing, allowing light to pass through. This imparts a stained-glass appearance to the enamel.

Precious Gemstones

Diamonds, rubies, sapphires, and emeralds are the only gemstones classified as 'precious.' Historically, these four gemstones were the most valuable and sought-after, but that is no longer the case. Although this is not a scientific definition, and we believe it is a highly flawed method of distinguishing between gemstone types, the term is still widely used. You will come across it while shopping for jewelry.

Porphyry glass

Glass with straight-line striations running through it.


A square-cut faceted gemstone. Additionally, it is referred to as a quadrillion or squarillion.

Princess/Standard Length

The length of necklace that is most frequently worn. Typically, it measures 45-50cm (18-20") in length.

Pot metal

A gray-colored alloy of tin and lead, used in early 20th-century costume jewelry. During World War II, pot metal was not available for jewelry-making, as needed in the war effort.



A mineral that can be colorless (Rock Crystal) but is also found in many colors. Amethyst and citrine are other examples of quartz.



A technique used to create a design with a raised surface by hammering and punching metal from the back.


Originally, rock crystals were found along the banks of the Rhine River and used to imitate diamonds. A misnomer for faceted, colorless glass in costume jewelry.


A greyish-white metal (related to platinum) often used to plate silver or a base metal to give it a shiny, smooth finish and prevent tarnishing.

Ring Band or Shank

This is the portion of a ring that wraps around the finger; it is also referred to as the band.

Ring Size

This is a letter or number that indicates the size of a ring that will fit your finger: the size indicates the circumference or diameter of the ring's inside. Around the world, there are numerous ring sizing systems, but the most widely used are the American numbered size system and the British alphabetical (or wheatsheaf) system. We have a ring size conversion chart and a handy ring size measuring guide to assist you in determining your ring size.

Rock crystal

Colorless natural quartz, which is a gemstone. It is not leaded glass (crystal), which is artificial.


A disc-shaped metal ornament placed between beads, often set with diamanté. Rondelle beads are available in two finishes: faceted or smooth.

Rope Length

The longest necklace defined as one that exceeds the opera length of 85cm (25.5") in length. Necklaces made of rope are typically long enough to wrap twice around your neck or fold in half and wear as a lariat with one end threaded through the folded loop (see above).

Rose-Cut Gemstone

A cabochon gemstone cut variation with a flat bottom and a dome-shaped top. In contrast to a smooth cabochon, the top of a rose-cut gem is cut with several facets (anywhere from 3 to 24).

Rose Gold

Rose gold jewelry is made of a gold and copper alloy, with the copper content imparting the rose color to yellow gold. Rose gold is also referred to as pink gold and red gold, but the various names refer to the amount of copper used: the more copper used, the more intense the red coloration.

Rose montée

A faceted glass stone with a flat base and hole for sewing onto fabric or wiring onto a metal base.



A long strand of beads or pearls, often ending in a tassel. Popular in the 1920s.

Screw-back earring

An earring held in place by an adjustable screw attachment.

Seed Beads

Seed beads are tiny glass beads that are typically shaped like tubes. They are mass-produced by cutting skinny glass tubes into small slices. The beads are available in various colors and finishes and are frequently combined in large quantities. 

Semi-Precious Gemstones

All-natural gemstones that do not fall into one of the four 'precious gemstones' categories are semi-precious stones. This category includes gemstones that are generally more valuable than the four precious stones and gemstones related to the precious stones.

Simulated Gemstone

A simulated gemstone has been artificially created to resemble the natural stone it is simulating closely. It may bear no resemblance to its composition, unlike a lab-grown gemstone, nearly identical to its natural counterpart. Simulated and lab-grown gems offer significant cost savings and are frequently more sustainable and ethical than high-value mined gems.


A delicate, white, and lustrous precious metal that occurs naturally. It is the most reflective metal available and is frequently used to create high-end jewelry and other decorative items. When used in jewelry, it is commonly alloyed with copper to increase its strength (sterling silver). Discover more about sterling silver.


This is a ring where the focal point is a single diamond or other gemstone. Additionally, you may see it used on pendants with a single diamond.


Although most jewelers refer to joining their designs as soldering,' they are brazing. This technique uses extremely high temperatures generated by a blow torch to form a powerful fused metal bond with the aid of specialized precious metal solders. Jewelers who work with precious metals never use a soldering iron, a much lower temperature method of joining metals that lacks the fused strength and generally invisible finish of brazing.


A decorative element placed between beads to enhance a piece.

Stacking Rings

Stacking rings can be stacked in a variety of ways on one finger. If a stacking ring features a gemstone setting, it will either flush with the band or sit on top, allowing other stacking rings to be stacked beneath its sides.

Stainless Steel

A type of steel with high chromium content. Unlike most other types of steel, stainless steel is tough and resistant to corrosion caused by certain acids and atmospheric oxidation. It is incorporated into some contemporary jewelry designs.

Statement Jewelry

Often, these designs are quite large or bulky, but the primary requirement is that they are bold and eye-catching. Although necklaces are the most frequently associated with making a statement j, jewelry, earrings, bracelets, rings, and brooches also work well.

Sterling Silver - 925 Silver

An alloy of 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper produces a significantly more robust and durable metal than pure silver. Sterling silver is a metal that is frequently used in jewelry. The disadvantage of sterling silver is that it tarnishes quickly. When discussing sterling silver, you may come across the term 925; this is the purity stamp that indicates a piece is 92.5 percent pure silver.


A form of lead glass that has been faceted to imitate gemstones. Named after Georges-Frédéric Strass (1701-1773). Also referred to as paste.


Parallel scratches, grooves, or lines in a stone.

Stud/Post Earrings

Earrings with studs and post-earrings are designed for pierced ears. They are made with a metal post inserted into the piercing and secured in place with an earring back or scroll on the back of the ear (see above). Stud earrings are typically quite petite, with the focal point resting directly on the post. Post earrings are similarly secured to the ear but may include a dropped or dangling feature.


Tarnish or Oxidation

This chemical reaction occurs on the surface of certain metals (including sterling silver), causing them to appear dull, darker, and possibly stained. It is most frequently caused by an oxygen-oxygen reaction and is exacerbated by moisture. However, do not panic. This is entirely normal and can be easily removed with silver dip or polishing cloths. You should wear and store your jewelry correctly and establish a cleaning routine to keep it at bay.


A naturally occurring metal that is extremely hard, extremely light, and exhibits an array of stunning colors when heated. It is used in a few jewelry pieces, primarily for its color.

Toggle Clasp

It is a method of cleaning and polishing components (jewelry or gemstones) by rolling them in a barrel or vibrating them frequently for several hours. We use stainless steel shot in various shapes and a simple soap mixture to create a beautifully clean and polished finish on the surface of precious metal jewelry.


A gemstone that is found in a wide range of colors, including blue, red, pink, green, brown, and yellow, as well as pink and green in the same crystal (known as watermelon tourmaline).


Ultrasonic Cleaning

This method is highly effective for cleaning intricate jewelry and gemstones. It removes embedded dirt and debris using ultrasonic waves and a mild detergent solution. It is important to note that it does not remove tarnish from metal. We use a professional ultrasonic cleaner regularly in our workshop to remove debris created during the jewelry-making process. Domestic versions are also available for home use, which we highly recommend. However, we do not recommend using this method to clean softer gemstones such as pearls or opals or to clean jewelry that has been decorated with patina or oxidation.

Utility patent

Government protection granted to an inventor for how an article is used and works.  In jewelry, utility patents pertain to mechanisms such as earring clips or brooch fasteners.


Vermeil or Gold Vermeil

Gold vermeil findings and components are made of solid sterling silver that has been heavily plated with gold, typically yellow or rose gold. This combines the benefits of solid precious metal jewelry with the durability of plating at a fraction of the cost of solid gold. Gold vermeil may bear the sterling silver hallmark. Discover the various types of gold, including gold vermeil.



A term used to describe a bi-color stone with the coloring of a watermelon, i.e., a fuchsia center and green outer edge.

White Gold

This gold has been alloyed with other metals to give it a silvery hue rather than the typical yellow gold. Manganese, nickel, or palladium may also be used. Remember that genuine white gold does not have the bright white finish found in many jewelry stores; it is typically a warm grey color. The bright white finish is generally achieved by plating the white gold with rhodium, which will eventually wear off and must be replaced.

Wire Wrapping

This is a straightforward technique for securing stones or other components without soldering or using jump rings. You'll see it most frequently in our designs for attaching small gemstone beads to a design or chain via a pin. Some jewelers specialize in wire wrapping to create highly intricate and complex designs.