The colorful iridescent mother-of-pearl lining of an abalone mollusk’s shell. Resembling a dark rainbow, abalone shell comes in a variety of colors, including combinations of green, purple, black, white, brown and even pink and red. Abalone is rated a 2.5 to 4.5 on the Mohs Hardness scale and its toughness is fair.
A phenomenon caused by scattering light commonly displayed in moonstone. Also known as “schiller,” this property produces the effect that the stone is glowing from below the surface.
A variety of chalcedony with a layered appearance consisting of curved or angular bands. Agates may be found in a variety of colors are used for both jewelry and décor. Agate has a hardness of 6.5 to 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale, making it a fairly durable gemstone.
Akoya Cultured Pearls
A high-quality saltwater cultured pearl grown in the Akoya oyster. Farmed off the coasts of Japan and at times China, Akoya cultured pearls are the classic pearl most used for the traditional cultured pearl strand necklace and cultured pearl earrings.
A rare mineral of the chrysoberyl variety, whose primary distinction is the change-of-color from bluish green in daylight to purplish red in incandescent light. This unusual light-absorbing gemstone is the modern gemstone of June and is relatively hard, with a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Metals other than gold, silver and platinum, used to make jewelry primarily wedding bands. Alternative metals include palladium, titanium, tungsten carbide, stainless steel and cobalt.
Also known as an altitude meter, the device measures the altitude of an object based on barometric pressure. This function is featured in some watches and used by pilots, skydivers, hikers and sailors.
The purple variety of the mineral quartz that ranges in hue from lilac to violet, with the deeper purple gemstones being more valuable. Amethyst is February’s birthstone and rates a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A charm-type item worn close to the body, typically as a pendant, to bring good luck or ward off evil.
A watch type utilizing a traditional clock face with hour and minute hands as well as twelve hour markers as opposed to a digital display.
A ring that is gifted to commemorate a wedding anniversary. Anniversary bands generally feature diamonds and can be added to the wedding set or worn alone on the right hand.
A document created by a professional jewelry appraiser and used for a jewelry owners insurance, that describes a piece of jewelry’s detail and assesses its value.
An icy-blue semi-precious mineral from the beryl family. The gemstone ranges in hue from very pale blue to teal. Aquamarine is March’s birthstone and rates at a 7 to 8 on the on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Part of the “step-cut” family, an Asscher cut diamond or gemstone is a square emerald cut with deeply clipped corners.
A phenomenon displaying intersecting needles typically creating a shape with 4 or 6 rays. Commonly seen in rubies and sapphires.
A long rectangular stone cut that is part of the “step cut” family. A popular side or accent stone they resemble the emerald cut but are more elongated and have only 14 facets.
A type of bracelet style that characteristically is made of one or two pieces of rigid material with no clasps and is meant to slip over your hand. Typically round or oval in shape.
Baroque Cultured Pearl
Cultured pearls irregular in shape from the traditional sphere.
Diamonds or colored gemstones are set evenly with the surface of the metal, and secured by bead-like prongs between the stones.
A mineral composed of beryllium aluminum cyclosilicate. The species of emerald, morganite and aquamarine.
A ring framing the crystal dial of a watch.
The most secure and protective type of setting for diamonds and gemstones, a bezel setting is one where a metal frame wraps around the entire girdle of the stone.
Gemstones that correspond with each month of the year.
An imperfection on the surface of a diamond.
Used in bracelets and necklaces, a bolo clasp consists of an adjustable cord or chain and sliding clasp to ensure a secure fit and easy on and off capability
A strong sturdy chain type made of square links that resemble boxes connect together.
The effect of all internal and external reflections of white light in a gemstone.
A cut of diamond or gemstone made to maximize light return through the top of the stone for added brilliance.
A pear shaped gemstone cut with facets, used primarily as a bead.
Chain made of round or oval chain links that are the same size.
A polished gemstone without facets resembling an orb.
A measurement of weight for gemstones and diamonds. Abbreviated “ct.” a carat is equal to approximately 1/5 of a gram.
A gemstone from the chalcedony family. Carnelian is orange to brownish red in color and is a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Cat’s eye gemstones display a phenomenon called chatoyancy; concentrated bands of light across their cabochon-cut tops. Many gems such as garnet, corundum and chrysoberyl have chatoyant varieties.
A ring setting with arches that resemble a cathedral above the shank.
A microcrystalline form of quartz occuring in several different forms including onyx, agate and jasper. It is a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A ring setting that holds diamonds displayed down the side of the shank by a band of metal on either side forming a row of stones.
A decorative object or ornament that hangs from a necklace, bracelet or anklet.
The gemstone or mineral made up of beryllium aluminum oxide. Types of chrysoberyl include the rare gemstones alexandrite and cat’s eye. Chrysoberyl has a rating of 8.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A transparent yellow form of quartz. Citrines range in color from pale to golden yellow, orange to brown. It is a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
The clarity grade is the degree to which a gemstone or diamond is free of inclusions and blemishes.
The range on the diamond color scale where the stone has no color. The absolute finest white diamond carries a “D” color grade. These exceptionally white diamonds make up a small fraction of all mined diamonds.
The point or very small facet at the bottom of a diamond.
A brilliant cut diamond or gemstone which is square or rectangular in shape with rounded corners.
The term “cut” can mean many things. In the jewelry industry, it is used to describe the shape, cutting style, proportions and finish of a diamond. Diamonds can be cut into almost any shape.
The length from the table to culet of a gemstone or diamond.
Also known as a watch or clock face, the dial displays the time on an analog watch.
A precious stone made of carbon which is the hardest material on Earth; 58 times harder than any other material in nature.
Also known as fire, this optical effect occurs in all transparent gemstones and describes the spreading of white light that then reflects our as all the spectral colors.
An assembled gemstone comprised of two materials, generally a natural gemstone and a less expensive material.
A process used to enhance the color of low quality cultured pearls as well as turquoise, onyx, lapis lazuli, emerald, ruby and other gemstones.
A green gemstone of the beryl variety, this precious stone is May’s birthstone and has a hardness of 7.5 – 8 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Part of the “step-cut” family, the emerald cut stone has facets cut parallel to the girdle (cut corners). This cut was designed specifically for emeralds.
A ring comprised of a band of diamonds or gemstones that go completely around the ring.
A chain, typically two inches, meant to add length to necklaces, bracelets and anklets.
Flat surfaces cut into a gemstone to better reflect light.
Any cut of diamond other than a round brilliant.
Delicate metalwork done on silver or gold jewelry consisting of tiny beads or twisted threads or both.
Jewelry-making components used to assemble finished pieces like clasps, bails and connectors.
The highest and rarest clarity grade of diamonds with no inclusions and no blemishes visible under 10x magnification.
The visible light some gemstones emit when they are exposed to UV rays. Only 25% to 35% of diamonds display fluoresce.
Visible when looking at a ring from the side, the gallery is the open space below the center stone when mounted.
A mineral or stone that is precious or semiprecious that is used in jewelry when cut and polished.
The perimeter of a diamond that separates the top crown from the pavilion below and is where a diamond is set and held in a piece of jewelry.
A precious metal used in jewelry to coins.
Impressions in the metal of jewelry to indicate their origin, purity, genuineness or designer.
Diamonds or gemstones that encompass a center stone and/or side stones.
The ability for a gemstone to resist scratching. Measured by the Mohs Hardness Scale, 1 being the softest of stones and 10 being the hardest.
The part of a ring that holds the diamond. Consists of some type of prong, a base and a peg attached to the shank.
A gemstone treatment where heat is applied to enhance color and/or clarity.
A mineral form of iron oxide that looks like black polished metal. Seen used most commonly in jewelry as a bead, hematite has rating of 5.5 – 6.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale.
A diamond cut to ideal proportions and angles and an excellent polish and symmetry due to the alignment of its facets. Only round brilliant diamonds can earn an ideal grading.
Internal characteristics of a gemstone.
The gem-quality variety of the mineral cordierite. This violetish blue to indigo gemstone displays the phenomenon pleochroism appearing three different colors as it’s turned in light: violet blue, yellow gray and light blue.
A treatment using radiation to color enhance gemstones.
Either of two durable minerals: jadeite and nephrite that come in a number of different colors, most commonly, green.
The rarer, more valuable type of the gemstone jade. Though the vibrant emerald green variety “Imperial Jade” is the most valuable, jadeite comes in a variety of colors including lavender, red, orange, yellow, brown, white, black and gray.
A variety of chalcedony. Typically red, it can also be found in green, black, yellow, brown and blue. Jasper has a rating of 6.5 -7 on the Mohs hardness scale.
Small metal rings used to connect jewelry components such as clasps on a necklace or bracelet, charms onto chains or earring pieces.
A unit of measure of the purity of gold. Pure gold equals 24 karats.
A necklace style consisting of a long chain, looped through a knot that controls the length, without a clasp in the back.
A charm or ornament worn on a necklace or bracelet that opens to reveal a small photo or keepsake.
A small handheld magnifying glass jewelers and watchmakers use to view stones and small parts.
Acrylic resin resembling glass that can be dyed a variety of colors and used for bold accessories both modern and vintage.
Tiny diamonds smaller than .15 carats that are single or full cut and sold in parcels.
Mohs Hardness Scale
A scale of hardness used for gems and minerals, based on the relative ease or difficulty with which one mineral can be scratched by another.
Nacre is the iridescent 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.
A variety of the mineral chalcedony known for its parallel bands. Onyx comes in a variety of colors, most recognizably, black. Onyx’s hardness is a 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A gemstone form of the mineral hydrated silica. Opal comes in multiple types and a variety of colors. Precious opals are known for their play-of-color, flashing multiple colors in a single stone while common opals do not display this phenomenon but are available in a rainbow of colors. Opal is the birthstone for the month of October and is rated 5.5 – 6.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
The bottom section of a cut gemstone or diamond. The pavilion begins below the girdle and is typically cut with a culet facet.
An organic gemstone harvested from oysters, mollusks or clams. Developing as an irritant that makes its way into the shell of its host, then built up overtime from fluid used to coat the irritant as a protection to the carrier. Pearls are June’s birthstone and have a hardness rating of 2.5 – 4.5 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A vibrant green to pale yellowish semi-precious gemstone variety of the mineral olivine. Peridot is the birthstone for August and a 6.5 – 7 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A silver-white colored heavy and strong metal. Platinum is hypoallergenic and scratch resistant, making it a popular choice for engagement and wedding rings.
Metal pieces used to secure gemstones and diamonds into their jewelry settings.
The most abundant mineral on earth, quartz has many variations used for gemstones including amethyst, citrine and smoky quartz.
A movement within clocks and watches using an electronic oscillator regulated by a quartz crystal, to keep time. The movement found in many standard watches, a quartz movement uses a battery as it’s power source.
A gemstone and diamond cut is a mix of an emerald cut and brilliant cut with clipped corners for eight sides.
A part of the garnet family of gemstones with colors ranging from light pink to dark purple-red. Rhodolite garnet has a hardness of 7 – 7.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale.
A red gemstone variety of the mineral corundum. Ruby hue varies from pink to blood red with the richest red hues being the most valuable. Ruby is the birthstone of July and has a hardness of 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
A gemstone variety of corundum excluding rubies. Sapphire comes in a variety of colors including the most recognized blue hue as well as orange, pink and yellow. Sapphire is the birthstone for September and is a 9 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
The sparkle or flash created by a diamond when it is moved in light.
The metal part of jewelry that holds a gem. Typically refers to a ring style and also called a mounting, setting styles include prong, basket, channel, bezel and peg head.
Jewelry that feature a single stone including rings and pendants.
Tahitian Cultured Pearl
Cultured pearls created by the black lip oyster (Pinctada margaritifera) off the islands of French Polynesia. Though called black, these cultured pearls vary in color from metallic silver to deep charcoal and can have blue, purple and green tones.
A flat facet on the top of a gemstone, the table is the largest facet and the one you see when looking directly down through the stone.
A blue and violet gemstone variety of zoisite. Tanzanite is only found in Tanzania and is a pleochroic stone, displays three different colors and it’s moved through light. Tanzanite is a birthstone if December and has a hardness of 6 – 6.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale.
A piece of jewelry or timepiece made of two different metals of different colors.
Gemstones that have not been subjected to any chemical or heat treatments in any way.
Jewelry made of the base metal of genuine sterling silver then gilded with a thin layer of gold.
Wheat Chains resemble the tips of wheat stalks, and are formed with four oval links braided together in the same direction.
White gold is created from yellow gold alloyed with white metal. All white gold is Rhodium plated to create a bright white finish.
A precious metal, yellow gold is pure gold combined with alloys such as copper and zinc and is closest to the natural color of gold.
This alloy metal is used with gold in jewelry to prevent rust.
A mineral that when treated is used as a gemstone that comes in a variety of colors but most notably blue. The brilliant blue color is a birthstone of December. Zircon has a hardness of 7.5 on Mohs Hardness Scale.