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By NorthWest Jewelers
ALBERT & SMITH DESIGNS
We sell 14k and 18k gold jewelry.  Our gold is yellow, white and rose gold.  We have exclusive rose gold and vintage rose gold jewelry.  Some are one of a kind jewelry pieces.  Some are custom to your jewelry specifications. Another jewelry line is Sterling silver.  We also cast in Sterlite, a tarnish resistant silver with bright color and great durability.  We can cast Platinum / Silver pieces, a mixe of the two with great results.  Let us dazzle you with our unique silver jewelry. Custom jewelry is 2nd nature to us.  Your idea in jewelry.  Jewelry art with your flair.  Get started with custom jewelry today. Standard jewelry repairs, custom jewelry repairs and specializing in opal and mother of pearl inlay repair.  We deal direct with the consumer for any repairs.  A great add-on service for any jewelry retailer.  We match opal from our vast inventory in every piece of jewelry we repair. Recreational miners welcome!  Mining has become a great hobby and we can help you get that hard worked rough turned into gemstone.  You be delighted the brilliant cut and great usage for your gems. Retail partners, you now have opal and mother of pearl inlay services at your fingertips.  CAD designs eagerly sought for our custom casting at low cost and great value.  Any CAD or AutoCAD file can be cast in silver or gold.
Home and navigation banner for the entire site.  The site map for our little, local jewelry company.  Come to us for our specialites: green jewelry, green gems, jewerly factory tour, gem cutting, sell your gold, gemstone library, gem treatments, synthetic gems, jewelry cleaning and care, mining trips & adventures, outside links and our unusual and custom jewelry glossary.
What do those jewelry terms mean?
There are many glossaries of jewelry terms available. What we have compiled here is a
list of terms we found in few other glossaries or specific significance to our business.  
Read, learn and enjoy.

Abalone
Abalone is a mollusk with a pearly shell that is often used in jewelry.

Adamantine
Adamantine, meaning “diamond-like luster and hardness,” is derived from the Greek
word adamas (invincible) for diamonds.

Adularescence
Adularescence is the billowing shimmer of light floating across the surface of a
moonstone.

Agate
Agate is a quartz crystal and a sub-variety of chalcedony. It is found in a wide range of
pale colors including green, yellow, red, reddish-brown, white and bluish white. On Mohs’
scale of hardness, agate is 6.5-7. It has a waxy or dull luster and primary sources include
South of Brazil (Rio Grande do Sul), north of Uruguay, Australia (Queensland), China,
India, the Caucasus, Madagascar, Mexico, Mongolia, Namibia, Wyoming, and Montana.
(See Agate Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Akoya Pearls
Saltwater cultured pearls that are harvested from Akoya mollusks in oceans off the
coasts of Japan and China.

Alexandrite
Discovered in Russia in 1830, this mineral has a unique ability to change colors in
various lights.  It is also traditionally given for the 55th wedding anniversary.

Almandite/Almandine
Almandite is a variety of garnet. It is usually found in a violet red hue. On Mohs’ scale of
hardness, almandite is 7.5. It has a vitreous luster and primary sources include Brazil,
India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and the United States. (See Almandite Facts.) (Note:
Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Amorphous
Amorphous is an adjective meaning shapeless or lacking crystal structure (such as
Amber).

Andradite
Andradite is a species of gemstones within the garnet family. It includes several
significant gem varieties such as demantoid, melanite and topazolite. On Mohs’ scale of
hardness, it is 3.7 – 4.1. For color and sources, see individual gemstones. (Note:
Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Apatite
Apatite is a naturally occurring beautiful gemstone. While it is known for its asparagus
green hues, apatite actually can be found in a wide variety of colors ranging from
colorless to pink, yellow, blue and violet. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, apatite is a soft 5.
It has a vitreous luster and primary sources include Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, India,
Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Norway, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the United States.
(See Apatite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Art Deco Style
The Art Deco style features geometric patterns and vibrant colors. It flourished in the
1920s and 1930s, synthesizing a variety of influences such as ancient Egyptian and
Mediterranean culture with modern technology.

Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau is a decorative style (circa 1890-1914) noted for its free-flowing lines and
natural motifs.

Asterism
Four-rayed or six-rayed bands (cat’s eye) caused by light reflecting from needle-like
inclusions within some gem crystals. (See Chatoyancy, Cat’s Eye and Tiger’s Eye).

Baguette
A stone cut into a small rectangular or tapered shape with a step cut and often used as
accents to larger stones.

Bangle
A rigid bracelet that slips over the hand, sometimes with a clasp.

Barrel Clasp
Two metal pieces on either end of a necklace or bracelet screw or click together, forming
a clasp that looks like a barrel.

Bar Closure
Also known as a bar and clasp, this is a bar-shaped fastener that inserts into a catch
with a pin.

Baroque Pearls
These distinctive pearls are found in unusual, intriguing shapes that lend themselves to
uniquely designed pieces of jewelry.

Base Metal
A base metal is any non-precious metal such as copper, zinc and manganese.

Bead Setting
A decorative setting in which stones are set evenly with the metal surface and secured
by small metal bead-like prongs.

Bevelled
Beveled refers to a surface cut at an angle that is less than 90 degrees. Watch bezels
are commonly bevelled.

Bezel Setting
Metal is wrapped around the girdle of the stone, making only its crown and table visible.  
This setting is admired for its protection, security, wearability and its ability to minimize
inclusions.

Black Hills Gold
From the Black Hills of South Dakota, this jewelry style blends yellow, rose and green
golds in a grape leaf-inspired design.

Black Onyx
Black onyx is neither onyx nor black. It is actually dyed chalcedony. According to some
experts, “Black onyx is produced by boiling slabs of grayish chalcedony in a solution of
sugar which enters the pores between the submicrocrystallites.” The dye is stable and
requires no special care.

Blemish
Imperfections found on the external surface of a diamond.

Blister Pearl
A blister pearl is a pearl that forms attached to the shell.

Bloodstone
From the chalcedony family, this green stone has red spots that look like blood.

Boulder Opal
Boulder opal is a member of the opal family. It has a dark base surface with an exciting
play of color. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, boulder opal is 1.98-2.50. Its primary sources
include Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia,
Nevada, and Idaho. (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Box Clasp/Tongue & Groove Clasp
Used to connect two ends of a chain, this clasp incorporates a box with a notch on one
end and a metal spring that slips into the box and locks.

Box Chain
A classic chain with small box-like links.

Box Clasp
A piece of folded metal on one end of a chain or bracelet fits into the opening of a box
on the other end and securely fastens the chain or bracelet together.

Bridal Set
A matching set of rings that include an engagement ring and a wedding band.

Bruting
Bruting is the initial shaping of a rough gemstone.

Burnishing
Burnishing is a polishing method that magnifies the shine and luster of a metal by
combining friction and compression without eliminating any metal.

Buttercup Setting
Resembling a buttercup flower, this deep setting has six prongs that flare out from a
scalloped shaped base.

Butterfly Chain
A style of chain that has tiny butterfly-shaped links and oval-shaped “wings.”

Button earrings
These earrings look like buttons, laying flat with no dangling parts.

Brushed Finish
A firm metal brush creates tiny grooves in the surface of the metal to add texture.  This
effect slightly reduces the reflection of the metal and creates a wispy, feathery look.

Buckle Clasp
Similar to a belt buckle, this clasp is the most popular for non-metal watchbands.

Calcium Carbonate
This is one of the most common minerals on the face of the earth and is found in calcite,
aragonite and vaterite. Thousands of microscopic calcite and aragonite crystals form the
layers of nacre forming a pearl.

Cat’s Eye
A term that describes the sharply reflected play of light on certain round gems such as
chrysoberyl and some chalcedony that appears similar to the slits in a cat’s eye.

Channel Setting
This type of setting holds a number of gemstones side by side in a grooved channel.
Each stone is not secured individually and there is no metal visible between stones.

Charm
A charm is a decorative ornament hanging from a bracelet, necklace or earring.

Charm Bracelet
A charm bracelet designed to hold charms that was particularly popular in the 1960s.

Chatoyancy
Chatoyancy is the appearance of a shimmering light that moves across the surface of
certain stones and appears as a narrow line similar to a cat’s eye. This effect is most
noticeable on a cabochon cut stone.

Chevron Style
Often found in heraldry, this design is made up of short lines forming an inverted “V”
pattern.

Choker
Similar to a collar necklace, this close fitting necklace style is just a little looser. A choker
pearl necklace is usually 14 to 16 inches long

Cigar Band Style
A cigar band ring is the term used to describe a ring with a wide band.


Claddagh Ring/Pendant
This is a unique design with two hands clasping a heart topped by a crown. The design
is over 300 years old and used to symbolize faith, trust and loyalty.

Cleavage
Among gemstones, cleavage refers to the act of splitting or the tendency to break
parallel to certain flat planes. Cleavage is rarely entirely on one level but can have a
step like appearance. A gem???s cleavage can be easy or difficult and can range from
perfect to imperfect, depending on the cohesive properties of atoms in the gemstone
and the strength of those bonds based on direction of growth. Some gemstones such as
quartz have no cleavage.

Cloisonné
This type of enamelwork incorporates thin metal strips soldered onto a metal plate. The
outlined design is filled with enamel paste, creating a decorative pattern.

Clutch
An attachment used to secure a piece of jewelry such as an earring back.

Cocktail Ring
This large, oversized ring set with gemstones was highly popular in the 1940s and 1950s.

Coin Style Edge
A coin style edge is a ridged edge on jewelry similar to the look of the edge of a coin.

Collar
At 12 to 23 inches, this necklace style fits tightly around the neck and sometimes has
several strands.

Color (Diamonds)
Color (or the absence of color) is one of the most noticeable characteristics of a
diamond. Color grading, using the GIA scale, ranges from D to Z, with D being colorless
and Z being heavily (usually yellow) colored. Colorless stones (designated D, E, and F)
command the highest prices. (For more information, see our Diamond Grading article.)

Color (Gemstones)
Color is the one of the most important characteristics in appreciating gemstone. Color in
gemstones is described by hue, saturation and tone.

Color Change Gems
Color change gems change color due to different light sources, such as a light bulb or
sunlight (Alexandrite) or from different angles (Dichroic Sunstone).

Comfort Fit
A ring designed with a rounded interior finish, providing long term comfort for the wearer.

Convex
“Curving outward” like the surface of a sphere.

Crystal
Crystal contains a minimum of 10% lead oxide giving it an extraordinary character of
brilliance.

Cable Chain
Metal ovals are strung together in a rotating pattern to create this chain.

Cabochon-Cut
A common cut for gemstones that features a smooth, rounded surface rather than
faceted.

Cathedral Setting
Cathedral-like arches rise above the band on either side of the stone.  May contain
diamond or colored stone accents.

Certification
A certification provides an unbiased description of the individual qualities that determine
a diamond's value and worth as evaluated by expert gemologists.

Channel Setting
Stones are placed side by side within a metal channel.  There is no metal between each
stone.

Cluster Setting
Several stones that are grouped together for a unique design or to look like one large
stone.

Cultured Pearl
Cultured pearls are created when tiny irritants are inserted into a mollusk shell.  Nacre
builds around the irritants over time, resulting in cultured pearls.  Most pearls today are
cultured.

Curb Link Chain
Oval links interweave to form a long metal chain.

Cushion-Cut
A type of cut in which a four-sided stone has smooth, rounded edges.

Danburite
Danburite is a lesser known gemstone originally discovered in Danbury, Connecticut. It is
found in colors of wine-yellow, brown and even pink. On Mohs’ scale of hardness,
danburite is 7-7.5. It has a vitreous or greasy luster and sources include Burma
(Myanmar), Japan, Madagascar, Mexico, Russia and Connecticut. (See Danburite
Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Dangle Earrings
Also known as drop earrings, this style hangs below the earlobe.

Demantoid
Demantoid is a highly valued andradite garnet. It exhibits a range of greens from dull to
bright emerald green and on rare occasions displays yellow. On Mohs’ scale of
hardness, demantoid is relatively soft at 6.5. It has an adamantine luster and sources
include China, Korea, Russia, the United States, and Zaire. (See Demantoid Facts.)
(Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Demi-Hoop Style
Also known as half-hoop design, this earring looks like its name forming only half a circle.

Depth Percentage
The fire and brilliance of a diamond is based on the depth percentage and table
percentage, which equals diamond height divided by diamond width. For a lovely round
cut stone, the depth percentage should normally range between 58 and 64 percent.

Diamond-Cut Rope
This is a chain made of flat diamond-shaped links.

Dichroism (Dichroic)
In a doubly refractive crystal, a light beam reflects two different rays. The eye cannot
normally see both rays at the same time, but by moving the stone, the eye will observe
both rays. The result? The stone exhibits one of two or more different colors (or two or
more different color depths) from each angle. This effect is known as dichroism (two-
color) or the more common pleochroism (many colors). (Sunstone is a perfect example.)

Dinner Ring
See Cocktail ring.

Diopside
Diopside is from the pyrozene mineral group. Known for its pure green color, it also can
be found in chrome, violet-blue, black, yellow, brown and colorless. It has perfect
cleavage and on Mohs’ scale of hardness, diopside is 5-6. Sources include Burma
(Myanmar), Finland, India, Madagascar, Austria, Sri Lanka, South Africa and the United
States. (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Disc Earrings
A disc earring is a round flat earring attached to an earlobe.

Door Knocker Earring
This hinged bottom earrings hangs below the earlobe.

Doublet
Assembled opals combine natural opal with other materials. A doublet contains a slice of
opal glued to common opal, glass or other material. A triplet contains a slice of opal
glued between a base and a crystal or a glass top. Triplets are usually less expensive
than doublets, and both are less expensive than natural opals.

Druse
Druse is an unusually beautiful crust of small crystals on the surface of a rock or mineral.

Deployment Clasp
This metal watch clasp is divided into three parts that extend out to fit over the wearer's
hand.  When closing the clasp, the metal parts fold internally as the top latches onto the
band.  This clasp can also include push buttons on either side of the band for added
security.

Endless Backs
Typically found on hoop earrings.  A curved piece of wire goes through the ear and
secures into the other side of the hoop, creating a continuous circle.

Euro Wire Backs
Long curved wires that attach to the earrings on one end, while the other end goes
through the ear and secures with a clasp.

Earring Back
An earring back is a disk or bead that attaches to an earring post to secure the earring
in place.

Earring Jacket
This earring piece is designed with a hole, allowing a stud earring to hold it in place.

Etched
A decoration or design lightly scratched onto the surface of a jewelry piece.

Eternity Ring
An eternity ring is a ring with gemstones encircling the band.

Feldspar
Feldspar refers to a group of minerals that play an important role in the formation of
rocks: popular varieties include Moonstone and Sunstone.

Figure Eight Safety Catch
This safety catch is a hinged wire in the shape of a figure eight.

Filigree
Fine wire shaped into intricate, intertwined patterns used in jewelry as an open design or
soldered to a metal base.

Fire
Also known as "dispersion," fire refers to the flashes of color appearing in many
gemstones as white light is separated into spectral colors (red, orange, yellow, green,
blue and violet).

Fire Opal/Cherry Opal
Fire Opal is a unique member of the opal family that displays little or no play-of-color. It is
transparent to translucent and displays an orange-red to red to yellow body color. On
Mohs’ scale of hardness it is 5.5 – 6. Sources include Australia, Brazil, Guatemala,
Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Russia, Nevada, Idaho and Oregon. (See Opal.)
(Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Fissure
A fissure is a surface crack on a gemstone.

Fleur-de-lys
This royal insignia of France is an iris with three petals, and is often used as a
decoration in jewelry.

Florentine Finish
This surface finish pattern includes a series of engraved parallel lines crossed lightly by
perpendicular lines.

Fluted
This design motif features rounded grooves in the surface of the piece.

Fossilized
Organic remains from an ancient geologic period, such as a insects, skeletons or even
plants that become preserved over time and hardened into a stone-like substance.

Fracture Filling
This refers to a stone enhancement method filling in tiny fractures. Fillers include glass,
plastic, polymer, resins and oils. For example, emeralds commonly have wax and resins
incorporated into fissures to improve appearance. For more enhancement information,
see our Gemstone Enhancements chart.

French Wire
Primarily used for dangling earrings this curved wire passes through the pierced ear and
closes with a catch.

Fishhook Clasp
Also called a Hook and Eye Clasp, this fastener has a hook on one end of the chain and
a metal loop on the other.  The hook fits through the loop to keep the chain together.

Florentine Finish
The texture on a metal's surface in which small lines are engraved in a crosshatch
pattern.

Fob
The short chain attached to a pocket watch on one end and adorned with a decorative
ornament on the other.

Foxtail Chain
Resembling the fullness of a foxtail, this chain is expertly designed by interweaving bent
circles of metal together in a continuous pattern.

Freshwater Pearl
Freshwater pearls are harvested from freshwater rivers and/or lakes in China, Japan and
the United States.

Friction Back
A small metal back is pushed on the earring's post through a hole, preventing it from
slipping off.

Gallery
Gallery describes stamped or patterned wire or strips with a repeated design that is
sometimes inspired by antiquity. There are two types of gallery: open (upstanding parts
on one side that can shape around a stone) and closed (used in borders).

Gem
Most gemstones are actually mineral crystals (except for non-mineral gems like pearls,
coral and amber). Mineral crystals form through a naturally occurring combination of
chemicals, heat and/or pressure. These chemicals affect the shapes and colors of the
crystals. Most mineral crystals are tiny, but a few can be cut into gemstones of rare
beauty. The three chief characteristics that qualify a mineral crystal as a gemstone and
help determine its value are durability, beauty and rarity.

Greek Key
This design dating back to ancient Greece, features repetitive, interlocking rectangles.

Grooved
A long row or channel cut formed in a line on a jewelry piece.

Grossular
Grossular gemstones are a species within the Garnet family. This species includes
several significant gem varieties such as hessonite, tsavorite, leuco garnet, and
hydrogrossular. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, it is 3.57 – 3.73. For color and sources,
see individual gemstones. (See Grossular Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of
primary and secondary deposits.)

Guard Chain
Fastening to a clasp on a bracelet or wristwatch band, the guard chain keeps charms or
ornaments safe from falling in case the clasp accidentally comes undone.

Green Gold
The result of combining pure gold with a silver, copper and zinc alloy.

Half-Bezel Setting
Metal wraps around either side of the stone's girdle, rather than around the entire stone.

Half-Channel Setting
Either side of a stone is bordered and secured by a strip of metal.

Hardness (Moh's Scale of Hardness)
The ability of a stone or mineral to resist scratching. Hardness is measured from 1-10,
10 (diamonds) being the hardest.

Half-Hoop Design
Also known as demi-hoop design, this earring looks like its name, forming only half a
circle.

Hammered
A dimpled surface treatment created by a small hammer.

Head Shape
The shape on the face of a ring is determined by the shape of the gemstone set in it.

Head Size Range
Head size range is the range of carat weight that a ring can mount in one specific head.

Heating
Heating is an ancient and normally stable enhancement that permanently transforms
gems. Gemologists use low, medium and high temperatures in furnaces to alter
gemstone color, clarity and phenomena. Nearly all of the world’s ruby, sapphire and
tanzanite owe their color and clarity to heating. Many aquamarines are also heated to
eliminate traces of green and gray. For a list of stone treatments, frequency and stability
of treatments, and care instructions, visit our Gemstone Enhancements and Treatments
chart.

Heishi
Literally meaning, “shell,” heishi (hee shee) is considered the most ancient jewelry form
of New Mexico and is linked to the Santo Domingo and San Felipe Pueblo Indians. Heishi
originally referred to pieces of shell exquisitely crafted and strung on necklaces. Now it
may also refer to small hand-made beads of other materials.

Herringbone
A herringbone chain has small, slanted links that join to form a flat chain.

Hessonite
Hessonite is a brown red variety of garnet.

Hidden Box Clasp
This stylish design hides a box clasp under the last link of the chain.

Hoop Earring
This refers to an earring in the shape of a hoop.

Hue
Hue is one of three characteristics used to describe the appearance of color. Hue is the
dominant wavelength of color attributed to a particular stone. (See also saturation and
tone.)

Hidden Clasp
A watch clasp that cannot be seen from the outside of the band.  Portions of the metal
band expand out to fit over the hand and internally fold, bringing the ends of the band
together for a seamless look.  Can include push buttons for added security.

High-Polish Finish
Metal polished to a shiny, reflective surface.

Hinged Backs
Very popular in hoop earrings, this back has a hinged piece of metal that goes through
the ear and snaps into a latch on the opposite side of the earring.

Inlaid Setting
A portion of the metal setting has been cut away and replaced by a stone.  In this setting,
the stones are flush with the metal surface.

Invisible Setting
Several stones are mounted together by metal under the stones.  The metal cannot be
seen from above, making the stones appear as if they have no setting at all.

I.D. Bracelet
This bracelet, with a curved plate, displays the name or initials of the wearer.

Inlay
Inlaying is a decorative technique of binding one surface into the surface of another
material mechanically (by incision and undercut). (Also see overlay.)

Intaglio
An Intaglio is an ornamental stone with a design formed into the stone, sitting below the
surface. (In contrast with a cameo.)

Intarsia
Also known as Florentine Mosaic, Intarsia is an art form created by cutting various
gemstones together in a pattern. It originally referred to inlay of wood veneers, ivory, or
metal into a wood ground.

Iolite
Iolite is a gemstone with a slight variability in chemical composition between stones. It
exhibits a blue-to-violet range of colors and sometimes shows a brownish streak. On
Mohs’ scale of hardness, iolite is 7-7.5. It has a greasy luster and primary sources
include Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, India, Madagascar, Sri Lanka and the United States.
(See Iolite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Iridescent
A rainbow range of colors reflected from the surface of a gemstone.

Irritant
Key to the formation of pearls, an irritant is any intruder such as a parasite or particle
that gets inside a mollusk’s shell. The mollusk produces a secretion known as conchiolin
to soothe the irritant. Another substance known as nacre is secreted over the conchilin.
Layer after layer of nacre surrounds the irritant and eventually produces what we know
as a pearl.

Lab-Created
A color stone produced in a laboratory setting.  Lab-created stones have the same
chemical, physical and optical properties as natural gemstones.

Labradorite
Labradorite is a gemstone in the feldspar family. It is known for a brilliant play of color
and exhibits lustrous metallic tints of blue, green, yellow, red, gold and purple. On Mohs’
scale of hardness, labradorite is 6 – 6.5. It has a vitreous luster and primary sources
include Canada (Labrador, Newfoundland), Australia (New South Wales), Madagascar,
Mexico, Russia and the United States. (See Labradorite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in
order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Lapidary
Lapidary is the art and science of cutting, polishing and shaping precious gemstones.

Lever Back
An earring closure for pierced ears that is secured by a hinged lever attached to the
back of the earring.

Luster
The quality and quantity of light reflected by a stone’s surface. Luster can also refer to
the unique glow that emanates from a pearl as a result of the microscopic crystals in the
nacre of the pearl.

Jadeite
Jadeite is a sodium aluminum silicate and has become the most popular form of jade. It
comes in a variety of colors from the popular greens to orange, yellow, brown, blue,
purple and black. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, jadeite is 6.5-7. It has a greasy luster and
primary sources include Burma (Myanmar), China, Japan, Canada, Guatemala,
Kazakhstan, Russia (Siberia), and California. (See Jade Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in
order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Jasper
A fine-grained quartz, jasper is opaque and most commonly exhibits a brownish-red
color, but it can also appear in green, yellow, brown or black. On Mohs’ scale of
hardness, jasper is 6.5-7. Primary sources include Egypt, Australia, Brazil, India,
Canada, Kazakhstan, Madagascar, Russia, Uruguay, and the United States. (See Jasper
Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Kunzite
Kunzite is a variety of the Spodumene family. It is known for a range of pink-violet to light-
violet colors but has also been identified in canary yellow, colorless, brown and green-
violet. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, kunzite is 6.5-7. It has a vitreous luster and its
sources include Brazil (Minas Gerais), Afghanistan, Burma (Myanmar), Madagascar,
Pakistan and the United States. (See Kunzite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of
primary and secondary deposits.)

Kyanite
Kyanite has a similar chemical composition to andalusite and fibrolite but it has a
different crystal structure. It exhibits a range of colors including blue to colorless, blue-
green and brown. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, kyanite is 4 – 4.5. It has a vitreous luster
and primary sources includes Burma (Myanmar), Brazil, Kenya, Austria, Switzerland,
Zimbabwe and the United States. (See Kyanite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of
primary and secondary deposits.)

Markings
The time increment symbols located on the watch dial, or stamping found on fine jewelry
indicating gold content, manufacturer's trademark and sometimes the stone weight.

Milgrain
A decorative technique in which a beaded design is impressed into the metal.

Minimum Clarity
In jewelry that has more than one diamond, the clarity may vary from one stone to the
next. All of the diamonds in that piece have a clarity equal to or better than the minimum
clarity rating given.  Diamond clarity is one of the 4Cs.  It measures the amount/absence
of inclusions in and blemishes on a diamond.  Clarity ranges from flawless to
included/imperfect.

Minimum Color
In jewelry that has more than one diamond, the color may vary from one stone to the
next. All of the diamonds in that piece have a color equal to or better than the minimum
color rating given.  Diamond color is one of the 4Cs.  It measures the amount of body
color (tint) in a diamond on a scale from colorless to yellow/brown or gray.

Mixed-Cut
A way in which diamonds are cut.  Mixed-cut diamonds combine the qualities of the
brilliant and step-cuts.

Moh's Scale of Hardness
The scale used to measure the degree to which a stone or mineral is resistant to
scratches.  Hardness is measured from 1-10, 10 (diamonds) being the hardest.

Mother of Pearl
Thin layers of nacre that make up the iridescent interior of a mollusk shell.  These layers
are removed and used for watch faces and other pieces of jewelry.

Mabe' (Or Mobe') Pearl
A dome shaped pearl that is normally round or tear shaped but also comes in a variety
of shapes and sizes. The mabe is assembled by placing a small half sphere object
against the shell of an oyster. After the oyster coats this irritant with nacre, the new pearl
is cut from the oyster. The flat side of this new pearl is hollow and filled with epoxy and
then covered with mother of pearl. Mobe pearls are a great way to get a large pearl for a
lower price, but they are fragile and require special care.

Maltese Cross
A cross made up of four arrowheads facing one another with their points meeting in the
center.

Mantle
Mantle tissue is the soft tissue found in an oyster and is the medium for the cells that
start the production of conchiolin and nacre. In cultured pearls, a round bead is inserted
into the oyster with a piece of mantle tissue. In the unique irregular shaped freshwater
cultured pearls, mantle tissue alone is implanted into the oyster. These are known as
“tissue graft” or “non-nucleated” cultured pearls.

Marcasite
Marcasite jewelry is actually pyrite. The minerals marcasite and pyrite are similar in
composition but they crystallize differently. True marcasite is unsuitable for jewelry. The
confusion between the two dates back several hundreds years due to the confusion
between pyrite and marcasite based on their similarities. Marcasite jewelry (pyrite) is a
popular style that became fashionable during Queen Victoria’s reign. Marcasite jewelry
normally uses pyrites cut and polished in circular outline and mounted in a rhodium-
plated silver setting.

Matinee
This necklace style that ranges from 20 to 25 inches long and is perfect for semi-formal
occasions

Matte
A dull, non-reflective finish.

Mill Grain Edge
Created with a special engraving tool, a millgrain edge is a raised design along the edge
of the jewelry.

Mineral Crystal
Most gemstones are actually mineral crystals (except for non-mineral gems like pearls,
coral and amber). Mineral crystals form through a naturally occurring combination of
chemicals, heat and/or pressure. These chemicals affect shapes and color of the
crystals. Most mineral crystals are tiny, but a few can be cut into gemstones of rare
beauty.

Moissanite
Moissanite is a lab-created stone based on the structure of natural moissanite, which is
linked to meteorites. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, moissanite is 95. It has more brilliance,
fire and luster than any hard jewel on earth, including diamond. (See Moissanite Facts.)
(Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Mollusk (mollusk or mollusc)
A mollusk is an animal with a soft body and an external skeleton or shell. The shell
protects and supports this fragile animal. There are over 100,000 species of mollusks on
the planet, but only a few produce the wondrous beauty of pearls.

Morganite
Morganite is a gemstone in the Beryl family. It exhibits a range of colors from soft pink to
violet to salmon. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, morganite is 7.5-8. It has a vitreous luster
and primary sources include Afghanistan, Brazil, China, Madagascar, Mozambique,
Namibia, Zimbabwe and the United States (California, Utah). (See Morganite Facts.)
(Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Mother of Pearl
“Mother of pearl” is the pearl lining of an oyster. Only mollusks that have this lining can
produce pearls. This lining is also used as inlay in jewelry and other ornamental items.

Nacre
A substance produced in mollusk shells that coats particles and other foreign objects.  
Over time, layers of nacre build up around the particles to form pearls.

Natural Fancy Color Diamonds
Diamonds with a deep body color, including brown, yellow, blue, violet, orange, pink and
red.  Fancy color diamonds are unusual and therefore highly valued.  They are rated Z+
on the color scale and have nine saturation levels from Faint to Fancy Vivid.

Nick Setting
The nick setting is similar to the channel setting.  Stones are placed in a row, with metal
bordering either side.  In a nick setting, small prongs are nicked from the surrounding
metal to secure the stones.

Nacre
Nacre is a silky substance secreted over a forming pearl. Layer after layer of nacre build
up to form what we call a pearl. When light touches the pearl, it travels through all the
layers of nacre, and each tiny crystal reflects the light like miniature prisms. The end
result? A lustrous, breathtaking pearl.

Natural Pearl
A pearl formed through a process of a mollusk secreting nacre around an irritant that
enters the shell naturally without artificial insertion. (See pearl.)

Nucleus
A nucleus is the implant (the bead or mantle tissue) inserted into a mussel to create a
cultured pearl.

Omega Back
An earring closure for pierced ears that is secured by a hinged lever attached to the
back of the earrings. Similar to lever back earrings, omega back earrings end in an O
shape that secures over a post instead of a clutch.

Omega Chain
Treasured for its sleek sophistication, an omega chain is worn high on the neck and
made up of tightly interlocking links that form a flat solid surface.

Opal
Opal is a unique gemstone with a beautiful play-of-color display. It exhibits all colors and
both light and dark base colors reflect a rainbow-like display of multiple colors when
viewed from different angles. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, opal is 5.5-6.5. Primary
sources include Australia, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico,
Russia, Nevada and Idaho. (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary
deposits.)

Open Work
Similar to filigree, this ring setting is designed to allow viewing of the bottom of the
gemstone.

Opera
Ideal for formal engagements, this necklace style drapes elegantly at 28 to 34 inches
long. Sometimes it is also doubled and worn as a shorter necklace.

Organic Gemstones
While most gemstones are minerals with an inner structure that result in crystal forms, a
few gemstones known as organic gemstones (such as amber and pearl) are primarily
non-mineral, being formed by plants and animals.

Orient
The layers of nacre that form a pearl contain tiny light-reflecting crystal. When there
enough layers of crystals and they align in a certain way, the reflected light will form a
prismatic effect on the surface of the pearl. The beautiful rainbow-like effect is known as
“orient.”

Overlay
There are two techniques of physically joining two materials together: one is inlay and
the other is overlay (or encrustation). Overlay unites one surface onto another surface
chemically through an additional substance such as soldering when joining metal to
metal or an adhesive/cement when joining metal to nonmetal (such as gemstones or
shell).

Onyx
A traditionally black gemstone used to celebrate the 7th wedding anniversary.

Opal
This gemstone is believed to reflect the colors of all other gemstones.  Opal is the
birthstone for October and the traditional gift for the 14th wedding anniversary.

Pavé Setting
Multiple small stones set in a curved or flat surface and held in place by prongs.  The
prongs are created by hand from the surrounding metal with the use of a fine sharp
gravers tool.  The tables of the stones will all be level with the jewelry surface.

Pearl
Organic gemstones created from layer upon layer of nacre and produced in mollusk
shells.  Pearls are the traditional anniversary gemstone for the third and 30th year of
marriage and the birthstone for June.  Today, because of their rarity in nature, most
pearls are cultured.

Rose Gold
The result of combining pure gold with large amounts of copper.  Also called "Rose" or
"Red" Gold.

Polish
The condition of a diamond or metal's surface.

Push On Screw Off Earring Backs
A small metal back is pushed onto the earring's post and unscrewed when removed.

Padparadscha
Literally meaning “lotus flower,” padparadscha refers to a lush pink and orange
sapphire. Also, the most valuable topaz is pink to reddish orange and is called
“padparadscha topaz.”

Pearl
A pearl is a lustrous, organic gem produced by saltwater oysters, freshwater mussels
and occasionally by some shellfish. It exhibits a range of colors from white to pink, silver,
cream, peach, gold, green, blue and black. Oh Mohs’ scale of hardness, pearl is 2.5 –
4.5. Primary sources of Sea Pearls include Persian Gulf; Gulf of Manaar; along the
coasts of Madagascar, Burma (Myanmar), and the Philippines; many islands in the South
Pacific, northern Australia; and the coastal lines of Central and northern South America;
and some small beds in Japan. Primary sources of freshwater Pearls include United
States, some in Europe (restricted in Central Europe). Note: Sources listed in order of
primary and secondary deposits.)

Pewter
This dull silver-colored alloy is made from tin, antimony and copper.

Phenom Gems
Gems that display unusual optical properties such as color change gems.

Play of Color
Opal displays a burst of striking colors known as play of color. As the stone is moved, the
appearance changes and a different display of rainbow-like colors can be seen from
different angles. This play-of-color is caused by the diffraction of light hitting the stone. In
the 1960s, intensive microscopes magnifying between 20,000x and 40,000x revealed
that tiny silica spheres (150 to 300 nanometers) with water interspersed make up opals.
The shape, size, and alignment of these spheres affect the color of the opal.

Pigeon’s Blood
While rubies come in a variety of red tones, the most valued color is pure red with a hint
of blue, known as “pigeon’s blood” red.

Pleochroism
In a doubly refractive crystal, a light beam reflects two different rays. The eye cannot
normally see both rays at the same time, but by moving the stone, the eye will observe
both rays. The result? The stone exhibits one of two or more different colors (or two or
more different color depths) from each angle. This effect is known as dichroism (two-
color) or the more common pleochroism (many colors). Tourmaline is a perfect example.)

Point
Gemstone unit weight equal to one-hundredth of a carat.

Pyrope
Pyrope is a variety of garnet. It usually exhibits a blood-red color but can also be tinged
with yellow or purple. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, pyrope is 7-7.5. It has a vitreous
luster and primary sources include Burma (Myanmar), China, Madagascar, Sri Lanka,
South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States. (See Pyrope Facts.) (Note: Sources listed
in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Return of Light
The amount of light that reflects out the top of the diamond to the eye, or the
measurement of diamond brilliance.

Rhodium
A shiny platinum group metal that increases whiteness and strength of other metals.  A
rhodium finish also helps to prevent tarnishing.

Refractive Index
The amount a beam of light bends as it enters a gemstone and then strikes a
subsequent surface(s). The amount of refraction depends on the structure of the stone.

Rhodolite
Rhodolite is a variety of garnet. An intermediate stone between pyrope and almandine
garnets, rhodolite exhibits a lovely rhododendron red color with a lively luster. On Mohs’
scale of hardness, rhodolite is 7-7.5. It has a vitreous luster and primary sources include
Burma (Myanmar), China, Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, and the
United States. (See Rhodolite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and
secondary deposits.)

Ribbed
A ribbed design element is simply a ridged texture.

Riviére
Sleek and alluring, the Rivière is a long necklace style covered with a single strand of
gemstones, usually diamonds.

Rose Gold
Revealing a distinctive pink hue, this alloy contains gold mixed with copper.

Safety Catch
Used on a clasp, this catch prevents the clasp from becoming undone or from extending
beyond the edge of the brooch.

Sapphire Crystal
A timepiece crystal that is crafted of natural or lab-created sapphire, the second hardest
mineral on the Moh's Scale of Hardness (diamonds are the hardest).

Satin Finish
Similar to a brushed-finish, a satin-finish adds texture with small grooves in the metal's
surface.  This reduces the metal's reflectivity and adds a desirable soft sheen.

Saturation
Saturation is one of three characteristics used to describe the appearance of color.
Saturation (also known as intensity) refers to the brightness or vividness of a color. (See
also hue and tone.)

Scalloped
An adorned edge with a series of curved projections.

Scintillation
The sparkle or flash emitted by diamonds when they are moved under light.

Semi-Mount/Semi-Mounting
Perfect for setting your own stone, a semi-mount is a piece of jewelry that has already
been partially finished with gemstones and/or engraving with the exception of the center
stone.

Shell
Shell is originally the external skeleton for many shellfish but it also makes an appealing
ornament in jewelry.

Signature
A style or design element common to all the pieces of a particular designer.

Slide
A slide is an ornament that hangs from a chain or rope.

Slide Bracelet
This is a bracelet consisting of two strands that are connected to a main clasp. The
bracelet is designed so that strands are threaded through slide charms. Each slide
charm has horizontal holes through which the strands of the bracelet are threaded. The
antique style of slide bracelet contains more of a gold look incorporating the use of
precious and semi-precious stones. The contemporary style of slide bracelet is based
more upon lettering and personalization of the charms.

Snap Bar Closure
The hinged bar on a lever back or omega back earrings.

South Sea
Sometimes referred as the “queen” of cultured pearls, South Sea pearls are unusually
large regal pearls primarily from Australia, Indonesia and the Philippines.

Spessartite
Spessartite is a variety of garnet. The color ranges from a yellowish-orange to an
intense aurora red to a deep-orangey color. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, spessartite is
7-7.5. It has a vitreous luster and primary sources include Burma (Myanmar), China,
Madagascar, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Tanzania, and the United States. (See Spessartite
Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)
A round shape.

Spinel
Spinel is the classification of a large group of related minerals that has a small group of
gemstone quality stones. Spinel exhibits a wide range of colors including red, pink,
orange, yellow, brown, blue, violet, purple, green and black. On Mohs’ scale of
hardness, spinel is 8. Sources include Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Sri Lanka,
Afghanistan, Australia, Brazil, Madagascar, Nepal, Nigeria, Tadzhikistan, Tanzania,
Thailand and the United States (New Jersey). (See Spinel Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in
order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Stack Ring
Rings designed to be stacked in multiples on one finger.

Stippled Finish
A series of dots or short lines created by a pointed graver is known as a stippled finish.

Slide
A piece of jewelry that slides onto an omega chain and acts as the centerpiece.

Spring Ring Clasp
This popular clasp features a small metal ring with a gap that can be opened and closed
by a spring-powered lever.  This ring attaches to a metal ring with no gap on the
opposite end of the chain.

Stainless Steel
A strong metal used for jewelry that is less likely to rust, tarnish or corrode than regular
steel or other jewelry metals.

Sunstone (Oregon, USA)
Sunstone is uncommon in its composition, clarity, and colors.  It is a large, brightly
colored transparent gem with colors ranging from water clear to yellow, as well as many
shades of green, red and pink; the exact color is determined by the
amount of copper within the gem. Some contain from two to three of these colors. Many
Sunstones also contain copper inclusions that cause an extra flash or shimmer as
millions of the shiny aligned particles reflect light. This feature is called "schiller". Schiller
has a wide range of shapes and intensities, depending both on the original stone and
on how the artist orients it during cutting

Tachometer (also, Tachymeter)
An instrument on the watch that measures time and distance to determine speed.  
Tachymeters are typically used to measure high rates of speed, such as polishing
motors and motorized gem setting tools.

Tahitian Pearl
Dark colored pearls grown in black-lipped oysters.  Because of their rarity in nature,
most Tahitian pearls are now cultured.

Tanzanite
A fairly new gemstone discovered in Tanzania in 1967.  Tanzanite is known for its bluish-
purple hues and is December's newest birthstone as well as the traditional gift for the
24th wedding anniversary.

Tension Setting
A stone is held on either side by the metal setting, as if it was floating in the air.  Unlike
other settings, the tension setting exposes almost the entire stone.

Three-Piece Set
A three-piece (or trio) set is a bridal set (engagement ring and her wedding band) with a
matching wedding band for him.

Toggle Clasp
A metal bar on one end of the chain fits through a small metal ring on the opposite end.  
When flat, the bar cannot fit back through the ring, securing the ends together.

Tongue Clasp
This clasp has a V-shaped piece of metal that securely fits into a box on the opposite
end of the chain.

Toughness
The ability of a stone to resist pressure from impact.

Tanzanite
Tanzanite is a variety of zoisite. It has naturally occurring shades of blue, green, yellow,
pink, brown and khaki but virtually all gemstone quality crystals are heat treated to
produce the highly valued shades of sapphire blue, amethyst and blue violet. On Mohs’
scale of hardness, tanzanite is 6.5-7. The prime source of all the world’s tanzanite is in
Tanzania near Arusha.

Tone
Tone is one of four characteristics used to describe the appearance of color. Tone
refers to the lightness or value of the lightness in a particular stone. (See also saturation
and hue.)

Tourmaline
Tourmaline is a fascinating mineral that can actually exhibit two or more colors in one
crystal. It possesses one of the widest color ranges, reproducing every conceivable color
in the universe. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, tourmaline is 7.5. It is vitreous on crystal
surfaces and greasy on fractures. Sources include Brazil (Minas Gerais, Paraida),
Afghanistan, Australia, Burma (Myanmar), India, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique,
Namibia, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Russia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, the
United States (California, Maine), Zaire, Elba (Italy) and Switzerland (Tessin). (See
Tourmaline Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Translucent
There are several ways a light travels through a stone. In a translucent stone, the light is
diffused as it travels through stone. Translucent stones are not clear but frosted like ice.
(See also transparent and opaque.)

Transparent
There are several ways a light travels through a stone. In a transparent stone, the light
travels through stone with virtually no distortion. Transparent stones are clear and easy
to see through. (See also translucent and opaque.)

Triplet
Assembled opals combine natural opal with other materials. A doublet contains a slice of
opal glued to common opal, glass or other material. A triplet contains a slice of opal
glued between a base and a crystal or a glass top. Triplets are usually less expensive
than doublets, and both are less expensive than natural opals. Triplets are great for ring
stones as they have the protective coating over the opal.

Tsavorite Garnet
avorite is a gemstone within the Garnet family. It exhibits a green to emerald green color.
On Mohs’ scale of hardness, tsavorite is 7-7.5. It has a vitreous luster and sources
include Kenya and Tanzania. (See Tsavorite Facts.) (Note: Sources listed in order of
primary and secondary deposits.)

Turquoise
Turquoise is a translucent to opaque gemstone. It exhibits a range of blue and green
colors from sky-blue to blue-green to apple-green. On Mohs’ scale of hardness,
turquoise is 5-6. Sources include Iran (near Nishapur), Afghanistan, Argentina, Australia,
Brazil, China, Israel, Mexico, Tanzania, and the United States.  (Note: Sources listed in
order of primary and secondary deposits.)

Venetian Glass
Colorful hand-blown glass crafted in Venice, Italy.  Some Venetian glass is blown with
24K gold or silver leaf.

Vitreous
Vitreous refers to a glass-like luster on a stone.

Y Necklace
Forming a dangling y-shape around the neck, the Y-necklace style is usually 16 to 18
inches long.

Zircon
Zircon is a beautiful gemstone with a high refractive index and strong dispersion. (It
should not be confused with Cubic Zirconia because the two are completely unrelated.)
Zircon exhibits a range of colors including yellow, brown, orange, red, violet, blue, green
and colorless. On Mohs’ scale of hardness, it is 6.5-7. It has a vitreous to brilliant luster
and sources include Burma (Myanmar), Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Australia, Brazil,
Korea, Madagascar, Mozambique, Nigeria, Tanzania and Vietnam.
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