A mix of two or more metals. For example: Rose gold which is primarily a mix of yellow gold and copper.


The process of visually aging the metal itself by adding a tarnished look, usually via the application of a chemical agent.


Decorative materials or metals affixed to another piece of jewellery.

Appraisal MISC

An evaluation of the actual replacement value of a piece of jewellery. This practice is often done by a licensed gemologist.

Asscher Cut CUT

Similar to an emerald cut, an Asscher-cut stone is a stepped cut gemstone with cropped corners and a flat pavilion. Its overall shape is a square as opposed to the rectangular emerald cut. The length-to-width ratio for an Asscher-cut stone traditionally falls between 1.00 to 1.05. Asscher cut gems are nearly octagonal in shape and feature 58 facets.


Also known as the star effect, asterism is the property of a gemstone to display a star-like reflection on the surface when cut in cabochon.

Baguette Cut CUT

Similar to an emerald cut, baguette cut stones feature a step-cut with an overall long rectangular shape and cropped corners. Frequently used as an accent stone, the length-to-width ration is traditionally around 1.5 with 20 facets. This cut is commonly associated with the art deco and art nouveau styles that were at the height of their popularity during the 1920s and 1930s.


A jewellery componant used to attach a pendant or stone to the necklace or chain.


It is an inflexible bracelet worn around wrist. These are ring like ornaments, sometimes endless or with a hinged clasp. Bangles are frequently considered traditional and symbolic ornaments in South Asia.

Bead Setting SETTING

A type of setting, where a gemstone is set directly into the metal surface using gravers. In the bead setting, gemstones are placed very close to each other and the prongs are very small like, tiny beads themselves. The setting is also known as grain setting or threading.

Beryl Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

Beryl is the mineral formed with beryllium aluminium cyclosilicate. Beryl in its purest form is a colorless gemstone. However, impurities in beryl gives it many colors. Ranking 7.5-8 on the Mohs scale of hardness, the mineral is found in igneous and metamorphic rocks at different geographic locations around the world. The six primary varieties of beryl include aquamarine, morganite emerald, goshenite, heliodor and red beryl.


A frame, frequently a strip of metal, which secures a stone or watch crystal in place. In gem cutting, bezel may also refer to the sloping facet of a stone that surrounds the larger flat table facet.

Bleaching Enhancement TECHNIQUE

An enhancement technique that uses heat, light and/or chemical agents to lighten or remove a gemstone's color that changes its appearance. Abbreviation: B

Brilliant Cut CUT

Also known as diamond cut. This typically conical style has numerous kite-shaped and triangular facets arranged in a symmetrical pattern radiating from a large center table facet. Brilliant cut style is used to maximize the amount of light return through the top of the gemstone. This cut typically has 57 facets.

Bubble Inclusion ATTRIBUTE

A microscopic bubble of liquid or gas trapped with a crystal.

Burnish Setting ATTRIBUTE

A setting where the gem is recessed below the metal surface. The surrounding metal is formed around the top of the stone to create a bezel, thus holding the gem in place.

Cabochon Cut CUT

A polished gemstone with a flat bottom and a convex or rounded dome top. Typically applied to opaque stones or gems displaying properties of chatoyancy or asterism.


A unit of measurment based on weight or mass used for diamonds, gemstones and pearls. 1 carat = 0.2 grams. Also known as the metric carat. Spelled with a "c" and abbreviated as "ct". A heavier diamond is almost always worth more than a smaller diamond with the same clarity and cut. Carat-weight plays a large role in determining a diamond's value.

Channel Setting SETTING

A setting where the gemstones are suspended between two frequently parallel bars or strips of metal creating a channel. May also be called a bar set. An excellent setting for protecting gemstones from being scratched.

Chatoyancy ATTRIBUTE

The technical term for the cat's eye effect, from the French for "eye of the cat" (oeil de chat). The chatoyant effect comes from the reflection of light through fibrous materials or channels within the gemstone. Also referred to as tiger's eye effect.


A close-fitting necklace typically measuring 15 inches in length.

Chrysoberyl Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

The gem commonly known simply as chrysoberyl is a yellowish-green, brownish-yellow, or colorless transparent to translucent mineral. There are three main types or varieties of chrysoberyl include alexandrite, cat's eye or cymphane and chrysoberyl itself.


The ability for light to pass through a translucent gemstone. When a gemstone is formed, it contains multiple impurities. These impurities are called inclusions and can affect the clarity of a stone. Gemstones with no visible inclusions when view with the naked eye are called "eye clean." Gemstones with no visible inclusions when viewed with a 10X magnifying loop are called "loop clean." Diamond clarity grades rank from "I" for imperfect to "FL" for flawless loop-clean gems. By nature, all diamonds have tiny flaws. The fewer obvious flaws in a diamond, the more valuable the stone is.


Some gemstone have a natural tendency to split along structural planes contained within the crystal. These planes are areas of weakness in the stone and can affect the gemcutter's ability to shape a gem. Diamond is traditionally prized because of its natural lack of cleavage.

Cloud Inclusion ATTRIBUTE

A grouping of fine bubbles, cavities or material within a gemstone that creates a hazy or cloudy area.

Cluster Setting SETTING

Close setting of multiple gemstones to form a cluster or give an illusion of bigger gemstone. Often the same prongs are used to hold multiple gemstones in place.

Clutch Earring Back ACCESSORY

A push-back style earring back that slips over an earring's post, stud or wire to secure your jewellery. Available in disk, wire guard and barrel clutch varieties.

Coating Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The use of surface enhancements such as the lacquer, enamel, ink, foil or optical films applied to the surface of the gem to improve appearance, provide color or add other special effects. Abbreviation: C


"The color of a gemstone is caused by the absorption and reflection properties of elements and impurities contained within the base mineral. Gemstone colors are considered either idiochromatic, allochromatic or pseudoisochromatic. Idiochromatic coloration is due to the inherent chemical makeup of the mineral. Allochromatic coloration is due to the presence of impurities within a mineral's chemical makeup. Pseudochromatic coloration is caused by surface or subsurface reflective properties of the mineral."

Color saturation ATTRIBUTE

Gemstone color is not always evenly saturated throughout a single sample or stone. This is because color saturation is affected by many changeable factors present during the formation of the stone, like pressure, temperature, and chemical concentrations. These factors can cause irregularity, color banding and zoning as the mineral crystallizes.

Concave Cut CUT

A three-dimensional conical-shaped facet applied to the pavilion of the gem that increases brilliance by giving the appearance of more facets than are actually present. Instead of facets being joined by an angle they are joined with a groove. This cut enhances the interior glow.

Corundum Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

Corundum is a hard and tough crystalline form of aluminum oxide and basic rock-forming mineral. Ruby and sapphire are the two basic varieties of corundum.

Crown CUT

The visible upper part of the stone containing the table facet located above the girdle.

Culet CUT

Refers to the last and smallest facet of the stone, located at the bottom tip of the pavillion. This facet should be invisible or nearly invisible to the naked eye. Its purpose is to protect the tip of the gem from being chipped or damaged.

Cushion Cut CUT

A square cut gemstone with rounded corners and larger facets to increase brilliance. Also known as a pillow cut, European cut, candlelight cut or antique cut. Typically features 64 facets.


Gemstones may be fashioned into different shapes depending on the size and shape of the rough stone. See also Asscher cut, baguette cut, brilliant cut, cabochon cut, cushion cut, diamond cut, emerald cut, fancy cut, heart cut, marquise cut, mirror cut, octogon cut, pear cut, princess cut, square cut, step cut and trillion cut. Cut is the single most important factor in appraising any diamond. A well-cut diamond allows as much light as possible to be reflected through its table, creating the stone's trademark luster. The round-shaped conical cut best displays this luster and brilliance, and has traditionally been the most popular shape of diamond.

Dangle Earring SETTING

An earring which hangs below the earlobe and moves freely.

Diffusion Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The use of chemicals in conjunction with high temperatures to induce color change and/or asterism-producing inclusions. Abbreviation: DF

Dispersion MISC

The splitting of light as it enters a gemstone. Also known as the stone's "fire".


A stone made of two components, generally held together by a clear or colored adhesive.

Drop Earring SETTING

An earring which hangs below the earlobe. The drop is generally an adornment of charm, gemstone or bead that is attached to the base of the earring and has a limited movement.

Dyeing Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The introduction of a dye or coloring agent into a gemstone to give it a new color, intensify the original color or improve color uniformity. Abbreviation: D

Electroplating TECHNIQUE

Metallic jewellery can be plated or covered with an alternative metal, like gold, in a variety of ways, including electroplating. During electroplating, an electrical current is used to bond the two metals on a molecular level. Since pure gold is a relatively soft metal, electroplated designs combine the beauty of gold with the strength of an alternative base metal. Gold plating can wear away with use, but it depends on how often the item is worn and how thick the plating is.

Emerald Cut CUT

And emerald cut stone features stepped facets with mitered corners and a rectangular face and rectangular pavilion. The length-to-width ratio for a classic emerald cut traditionally falls between 1.30 and 1.40 with 50 facets. See also Asscher cut and baguette cut.


Enamel is a decorative technique in which a glass "paste" is applied to the surface of a metal--normally bronze, copper or gold. This glass composition fuses to the metal under very high temperaturescreating a vitreous or glass-like decorative surface. The color of the enamel and its degree of transparency dependd on metal oxides in the glass and the temperature at which the glass melts and coheres to the surface. Higher temperatures produce more durable translucent enamel, and lower temperatures produce softer, more opaque enamel. Translucent enamel placed over intricately engraved and patterned metal is a style called guilloché (ghee-YOSH). A solid black blue or white enamel used to fill engraved designs was especially popular during the mid-Victorian era.

Enhancements TECHNIQUE

Special treatments which improve a stone's durability, color or clarity. See also bleaching, coating, diffusion, dyeing, fissure filling, heat, high pressure high temperature, impregnation, irradiation, lasering, oiling/resin infusion, plated, polymerization, stabilization and waxing/oiling.


Removing metal from a surface using acid to create a decorative effect.

Facet CUT

The flat surfaces of a cut gemstone. The largest top facet is referred to as the table. A cut's style depends on facet shapes and arrangement. There are three basic styles. Brilliants have triangular and kite-shape facets in a radial pattern. Step cuts have a rectangular facets in a row. Mixed cuts combine brilliant and step facets.

Fancy Cut CUT

Recent advancement in gemstone cutting technology has made it possible to produce breathtaking innovative shapes. Flowers, clover, leaves, stars and kites are some examples of fancy cut.


Faux (sounds like snow) is a French word used to describe something made to resemble something else. The word means fake, imitation or artificial.

Feather Inclusion ATTRIBUTE

A fissure within a gemstone that resembles the barbs of a feather, usually created during the formation of the stone. Feather inclusions can be highly reflective, colored, colorless or transparent.

Feldspar Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

Feldspar is a non-metallic mineral with a vitreous luster that breaks on distinct planes. Feldspar produces two main subgroups of gem-quality material: Potassium and plagioclases. Among the well-known gemstones of the feldspar family are moonstone, orthoclase, amazonite, andesine, labradorite and sunstone.

Figaro Chain SETTING

A popular chain design in which the links of the chain alternate between one elongated oval and two or three round circular links.

Figure Eight Safety Catch SETTING

A safety catch shaped like a figure eight which snaps over a pin to secure your jewellery.


Fine metal work using tiny beads and twisted threads soldered onto an object of the same metal to produce intricate patterns.

Fingerprint Inclusion ATTRIBUTE

An internal characteristic of a gemstone that is made up of a network of fluid-filled tubes in a pattern that resembles human fingerprints. Typically found in sapphire and ruby.

Fissure Filling Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The filling of surface-breaking cavities or fissures with colorless glass, plastic, solidified borax or similar substances. This process may improve durability and/or appearance. May also be used to add weight. Abbreviation: FF

Florentine Finish TECHNIQUE

The finished metal has a brushed or striated appearance, typically in a crosshatch pattern.


A short chain with a decorative seal or other device attached to the end. The fob and chain hung outside watch pocket, and could be used to pull the watch out of the pocket.


Adding a foil background to the rhinstoen to enhance its appearance.


Representing carat (weight), clarity, color and cut to analyze the quality of gemstone or diamond.

Four-Prong SETTING

The most commonly used setting, this secure setting uses four contact points, allowing maximum light exposure to the sides and bottom of the gemstone.

Full Cut CUT

A round-shaped, brilliant-cut gem of small proportions.

Garnet Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

Garnets are a group of silicate minerals. Almandine, Andradite, Grossular, Pyrope, Spessartine and Uvarovite are different varieties of garnet. The varies differ on the basis of their chemical composition.


The term gemstone is used for any mineral or organic material used for personal adornment, display or object of art. From thousands of minerals found on earth, only a few possess the three primary qualities as beauty, durability and rarity which denote gemstones.

Geode MISC

A hollow rock cavity, usually containing some form of one or more gems. Two excellent examples of gems often found in geodes are amethyst and peridot.


A thin gold plating.

Girdle CUT

The widest part of the cut stone, like a belt that divides the visible upper crown of the stone from the lower pavilion.

Gold Overlay TECHNIQUE

A material layered with 10K or finer gold. This plating must be 1/20 of the total metal weight. If not, the actual percentage must be listed. May also be called “gold filled” or “rolled gold plate.”


A layer of gold applied to base metal. Gold must be a minimum of 10K fineness. Measures a minimum of one-half micron in thickness.


A base metal coated with a layer of gold-coloring thick enough to provide a durable coating.


Gold washed describes products that have an extremely thin electroplating of 10K fineness gold or better that is less than 0.175 microns thick.


Gold-filled, also known as rolled gold, is a technique where a sheet of 10K or finer gold is applied to the surface of a base metal using heat and pressure. Gold-filled pieces must be at least 1/20 by total metal weight.


In jewellery, grams are used for expressing the weight of precious metals such as gold or silver.

Heart Cut CUT

Heart shaped gemstones are essentially a pear-cut stone with a cleft at the top. This cut possesses a nearly round pavilion that provides beautiful brilliance and is generally used in solitaire settings. This cut's length-to-width ration is typically 1:1 with 59 facets.

Heat Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The use of only heat to alter the color or clarity of a gemstone. Abbreviation: H


This treatment is used to alter the color or clarity of a gemstone by prolonged exposure to high heat. Abbreviation: H

High Pressure High Temperature Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The use of heat and pressure alter the color, clarity and/or phenomena of a gemstone. Abbreviation: HPHT

Impregnation Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The impregnation of a porous gemstone with a colorless agent (usually plastic) to improve durability and appearance. Abbreviation: I


Naturally occurring variant within the gemstone otherwise known as an impurity. See also bubble inclusion, cloud inclusion, feather inclusion, needle inclusion, fingerprint inclusion and silk inclusion.


The art of carving a shell or similar matter beneath its background. An intaglio is the opposite of a cameo.

Iridescence ATTRIBUTE

The play of colors seen within a gemstone as a result of inclusions interfering with light entering the stone.

Irradiation Enhancement TECHNIQUE

A treatment using neutrons, gamma rays or beta particles (high energy electrons) to alter a gemstone's color. The irradiation may be followed by a heating treatment. Abbreviation: IR

Jade Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

Jade is an ornamental metamorphic stone made up of different silcate minerals. The name jade has been used to describe both of its variations: jadeite and nephrite.


A small wire ring, not soldered shut, used to link elements of jewellery.


Unit of measurement indicating the quantity of fine gold in a piece of jewellery. For example, 18-karat gold contains eighteen parts fine gold and six parts other metal alloys.


One who cuts and polishses gems to their finished state.

Lasering Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The use of a laser and chemicals to reach and alter inclusions in gemstones, usually diamonds. Abbreviation: L

Loupe TOOL

A compact magnifying glass used to examine stones and settings. The average loupe magnifies an object up to 10 times.


The outward appearance of a gem or organic material.

Marquise Cut CUT

A brilliant cut on an elliptical or oval-shaped stone, which tapers to a point at both ends. It is sometimes called a navette cut. A stone cut in a boat shape, pointed at both ends with rounded sides can also be considered as marquise cut stone. The recommended length-to-width ratio for this cut is 1.75 to 2.25 with 57 facets. Pronounced "Mar-KEYS".

Millennium Cut CUT

A commemorative cut created in the year 2000 to celebrate the new millennium, this stone features 1,000 facets.


An inorganic element of the Earth of consistent atomic structure and chemical composition.

Mirror Cut CUT

A round cut gemstone that features an extraordinarily large table and thick girdle consisting of up to 90-percent of the width of the gem. This increases the stone's reflective ability mimicking that of a mirror.

Mixed Cut CUT

A gemstone cut featuring a combination of both brilliant and step facets.


The Mohs hardness scale is a universally used ranking system for distinguishing minerals. Minerals are ranked one to ten with one (talc) being the softest and ten (diamond) being the hardest.

Mollousk MISC

Mollusk refers to invertebrate animals such as clams and snails. These species have a soft body and no backbone. They usually live within a shell. Mollusks are a source of pearls and mother-of-pearl.

Mother-of-Pearl MISC

The substance that lines inside the oyster or other mollusk.

Navette Cut CUT

A crystal inclusion shaped like long thin needles. Occasionally, these can align in opaque stones to produce optical effects like asterism and chatoyancy.

Needle Inclusion ATTRIBUTE

A crystal inclusion shaped like long, thin needles. Occasionally these can align in opaque stones to produce optical effects like asterism and chatoyancy.

Nickel silver METAL

A white metal mixture made of copper, zinc and nickel.

Octagon Cut CUT

A step cut gem four mitered corners, this cut is differentiated from an emerald cut by presenting steps on the pavilion that are not equidistant. The facets run in steps parallel to the gemstone circumference and typically features 53 facets.

Oiling/Resin Infusion Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The filling of surface-breaking fissures with a colorless substance like oil, wax or resin to improve the gemstone's appearance. Does not include glass or plastic fillers. Abbreviation: O

Opal Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica, available in two main varieties: common opal and precious opal. The precious opal group includes white opal, black opal, fire opal and boulder opal.

Opalescence ATTRIBUTE

Opalescence is primarily used to describe iridescence in a gemstone. Though named for opal, this should not be confused with “play-of-color,” which describes the phenomenon seen in many opals.

Optical features ATTRIBUTE

These features play a very important part in determining the value of a gemstone. Some light is reflected off the surface of the gemstone. The amount of reflection and the angle of light off the surface determines the luster of the gemstone. Some light enters the gemstone through the surface and gets refracted, scattered, and dispersed as the light exits the stone. The light beam is also broken into its component parts (dispersion) causing the effect known as "fire." This dispersion widens the beam to the point that the observer can see the full visible spectrum of the beam from red to violet, simulating a rainbow. As the stone is moved, the refraction and reflection points of the facets change showcasing the stone's scintillation or "play of color."

Organic Gem MISC

Gemstones that are formed through biological process with organisms like animals and plants. For example, cultured pearl, amber and ammolite are all organic gemstones.


A technique of layering a metal over the top of a base metal. This technique is used when creating costume jewellery.


Patina refers to the change in an object's surface due to natural aging. In bronze sculptures, patina specifically refers to the surface of the bronze altered by the sculptor with acid or the application of other chemicals.

Pavé Setting SETTING

A tight grouping of identically sized stones laid across a flat or convex surface. The stones are held in place using three to six raised beads per stone.

Pavilion CUT

The bottom faceted area of a cut gemstone, located below the girdle, usually covered by the setting.

Pear Cut CUT

Shaped like a teardrop, a pear cut gemstone is generally one that is well cut with a polished girdle. With dramatic color display, this cut typically features 58 facets.

Plated Enhancement TECHNIQUE

To cover the base material with a thin coating or film or a different material to enhance the appearance, protect, or strength of the gemstone. Abbreviation: PL

Pleochroism ATTRIBUTE

Pleochroism refers to a feature of gemstone when it displays different colors as viewed from different angles.


A polymorphic gemstone shares the same chemical composition with another gem or mineral, but takes a separate form based on its crystal structure. Occassionally a polymorph can be converted to another gem or mineral with the addition of heat or pressure.

Princess Cut CUT

Also known as a square modified brilliant cut, the princess cut is a square version of the round brilliant cut with typically 76 sparkling facets. This is a relatively new cut. The design this cut requires more weight to be directed toward the gem's depth in order to maximize brilliance.


The most common setting, a prong setting uses the least amount of metal to secure a gemstone, allowing more of the stone to be exposed to light. Stones are set with two or more individual prongs securing them into place.

Quartz Gemstone Family CLASSIFICATION

One of the most prolific gemstone families, quartz makes up close to 12 percent of the earth's crust and occurs in a variety of igneous metamorphic and sedimentary rocks. Examples of quartz include amethyst, citrine, and jasper.

Refraction MISC

The bending of light as it enters the stone and the surfaces slow down the light display.

Rhodium METAL

Rhodium is part of the platinum metal family. Silver, gold and other base metals were frequently rhodium plated during the 30s and 40s for a white shiny look. Genuine rhodium in its raw state is a liquid.

Rough MISC

The raw or natural state in which the gemstones is found.

Safety Catch SETTING

Prior to the 1900s, brooches had a simple catch with no locking mechanism. The pin would often extend beyond the catch far enough to weave back into clothing for security. The safety catch includes a locking mechanism to help keep the jewelry in place, and protect the wearer from the pin.


A cut made across the table of a gemstone. This cut changes the appearance making it look as a higher carat weight stone.

Silk Inclusion ATTRIBUTE

Refers to a grouping of needle-like inclusions within the stone which intersect each other and shine like silk.


A silver-plated coated metal that is not solid sterling silver.

Single CUT

A specialized cut gemstone with seventeen or less facets.

Square Cut CUT

A square cut gemstone with sides of equal length similar to a princess cut. Typically with 57 step cut facets parallel to the edges in the manner of a pyramid with its top chopped off.

Stabilization Enhancement TECHNIQUE

A method to protect the gemstone and retain its natural color by mixing gemstone material and clear resin or a bonding agent into a porous material. Stabilization is not a color enhancement. Used to "stabilize" hardness and clarity. Abbreviation: S

Step Cut CUT

In this cut, facets are rectangular or more precisely trapezoidal and they're arranged in rows that look like flight of stairs.

Sterling Silver METAL

Sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. Sterling silver is harder than pure silver and has a lower melting point than pure silver and pure copper. This is a legal standard that requires stamping for identification.

Synthetic TYPE

Gems made in laboratories with an identical chemical composition to a gemstone that comes from the earth.

Table CUT

Table refers to the largest flat surface on the top of a cut gemstone.


Denotes Total Diamond Weight which is the total of the carat weight of all the diamonds studded in the jewelry. This is an approximate weight based on the average carat weight of all the diamonds used in the production of an entire batch of these pieces, and therefore each piece of jewelry may vary (+/-) in total diamond weight.

Tension Setting SETTING

In a tension setting, the metal is spread apart and the girdle of the stone is settled into small grooves carved into the inside surface of the metal. Tension settings are only appropriate for high density gemstones with Mohs hardness scale rankings of 9 or 10.


Denotes Total Gem Weight, which is the total of the carat weight of all the gems, including diamonds, in the jewelry. This is an approximate weight based on the average carat weight of all the gems used in the production of an entire batch of these pieces, and therefore each piece of jewelry may vary (+/-) in total gem weight.

Trillion Cut CUT

A triangular cut, usually with truncated corners and displaying a variety of facet designs.This polyhedron typically features 43 facets, creating a spectacular wedge of brilliance.

Waxing/Oiling Enhancement TECHNIQUE

The infusion of a colorless wax, paraffin or oil into porous opaque or translucent gemstones to improve their appearance. Abbreviation: W