Diamonds are not only ‘a girl’s best friend’, they can also be an excellent investment. When shopping around for diamond jewellery, the most important points to remember in terms of judging quality are the Four C’s – cut, carat, clarity and colour.
A type of chalcedony quartz found in a variety of colours and patterns, frequently with varying colour layers.
A stone which changes colour or appears to change colour as the source of light changes.
A mixture of two or more metals.
Fossilized resin of conifer trees. colours range from honey through yellow to reddish brown.
Transparent variety of crystallized quartz, typically purple or violet in colour.
Process by which something takes on the look associated with age. Usually a darkened or tarnished appearance.
An ornamental piece which is created separately and then applied to a piece of Jewellery.
A blue semiprecious stone in the beryl family.
Translucent greenish quartz mineral, internally granular. Often mistaken for jade, another stone of a green colour.
Small stones which are rectangular-shaped and faceted. Often used as an accent to another stone.
A metal finding that is folded closed, from which a pendant, watch, stone, etc., may be hung from a chain or cord.
A ring which is the same in width all around.
A stiff bracelet that slips over the hand or is hinged.
A fancy setting with numerous side piercing to provide a lacy or basket-looking appearance.
A stone cut in the shape of a small sphere.
A lightly coloured mineral which when transparent and dark green is called emerald. When blue in colour, it's called aquamarine.
A form of any shape which incorporates a continuous groove to fit something, generally a stone. The metal at the top of the groove is then burnished over the edge of the mounted item to hold it, forming a setting.
A variety of chalcedony that is usually greenish in colour with red spots resembling blood.
A type of chain where links are wide and square so they form boxes.
A round cut of 58 facets mathematically devised to produce the greatest brilliance.
A flat, usually round earring which sits on the earlobe and has no dangling parts.
A domed gemstone. Highly polished curved surface without faceting.
A carved gem or shell in which the outer layers are cut away so that the design stands out in relief against a background of a different colour.
Unit of weight for gemstones with 100 points to a carat, where one carat equals to one-fifth of a gram.
Pale red quartz. Once believed to benefit the wearer's health and love life. Most carnelian comes from Brazil, India, Siberia, and Germany.
A series of connected loops, links, rings, or beads used to create bracelets or necklaces.
Refers to various types of coloured quartz, usually those with a milky appearance like carnelian, agate, cat's eye, and jasper.
Grooved metal built into a Jewellery setting for holding stones. Also a number of uniformly sized small stones set in a row.
A decorative pendant or trinket to be worn on a bracelet, earrings or necklace.
A link bracelet which charms can be attached to.
A motif consisting of short lines joining at angles to form an inverted 'V.'
A variety of chalcedony which is apple-green in colour.
A brownish-orange quartz variety.
Any type of attachment that connects the two ends of a piece of Jewellery.
For non-pierced ears. Works like a hinge to secure the earring to the earlobe.
Setting in which stones are grouped together.
A ring with a setting in which stones are grouped together.
An earring back which slides onto and secures post back earrings.
A large, oversized ring set with precious or semiprecious stones.
A rubber or plastic pad that goes over the clip of a clip earring to cushion the earlobe.
Hollow and curved, like the inside of a hollow ball.
Curving outward, like the surface of a ball.
The skeletal remains of marine animals, and has a range in colour from red, pink, and salmon.
A gem mineral of crystallized aluminum and oxygen. Ruby and sapphire are the most valuable corundum.
Created through a painstaking process of mimicking the natural pearl process in live mollusks. A pearl is formed as a result of implanting a piece of mantle from a mollusk into another host mollusk.
The links are oval and twisted so they lie flat.
A square cut with rounded corners.
see DROP EARRING
Derived from the style of Art Deco, which originated in France in the 1920's and 1930's, and is typified by abstract designs and linear, geometric patterns.
A precious gemstone composed of pure carbon. Hardest of all known substances. Rated 10 on the Mohs scale.
A portion of the chain is cut away at an angle and then polished to a high shine. See also ROPE CHAIN.
A mineral which ranges in colour from white, deep green, to almost black.
A flat, usually round earring which sits on the earlobe and has no dangling parts.
DOOR KNOCKER EARRING
An earring with a hinged bottom that hangs below the earlobe.
A small ornament suspended from a piece of Jewellery.
Any earring which hangs below the earlobe. Also called a dangle earring.
A disk or bead that fits over an earring post and holds it securely in place.
An earring accessory designed to be worn with a stud as a decorative backdrop.
A green beryl and one of the most valuable of all gemstones.
A cut which is usually rectangular, but sometimes square, with rows of step cuts along the edges and at the corners.
A mineral which occurs in colours of green and brownish-green.
A resin used in strong glues and enamels.
A curved wire which passes through the earlobe of a pierced ear and clasps shut.
A chain which may be attached to another in order to provide a longer length.
A polished surface; a small plane which is cut into a surface and enhances its reflection of light.
Refers to gems which are cut other than in the round brilliant shape such as single cut marquise, emerald, pear, heart, oval, square, baguette, triangle, etc. Also called fancy shape.
Similar in style to a curb chain, but instead of uniform links, the links alternate between long ones and round ones.
FIGURE EIGHT SAFETY CATCH
A type of safety catch in which a hinged wire in the shape of a figure eight snaps over the pin.
Lace-like ornamental work made from intricately arranged, intertwined wire.
The way the surface of a piece is polished or textured.
Variety of opal which is yellow, orange, or red in colour.
A fishhook-shaped finding used to make earrings with the hook end passing through the pierced ear.
The royal insignia of France. It's often used in ornamentation and has a design resembling a flower such as a lily or iris.
A surface ornamented by channels or grooves.
A type of clasp in which a hinged part opens, fits through a ring and snaps closed to hold the ring in place.
A curved wire which passes through the pierced earlobe and has a catch closure. Used mostly in dangling earrings.
An irregularly shaped pearl formed naturally by a mussel living in a lake or river.
see BRILLIANT CUT
A strip of metal used to make settings for Jewellery.
A family of crystals whose name is derived from their resemblance to red pomegranate seeds. A semi-precious stone, usually a reddish-brown colour; can range from true red to violet- or blackish red, often semi-opaque.
A stone which has been cut and polished for use in Jewellery and fulfills the requirements of beauty, durability, and rarity. A fine stone of unusual quality. Precious or semi-precious stones.
A heavy, yellow, metallic element used for coins and Jewellery since prehistoric times.
Jewellery done in a gold colour.
Jewellery done in a finish so that it has the look of gold.
Earring which appears to be hoop shaped but is not fully circular.
A variety of garnet which is yellow in colour.
HIDDEN BOX CLASP
Two short barrels which are screwed together to form a clasp.
A surface which is polished to a mirror-like finish.
A circular-shaped earring made from metal wire or tubing. Variations include the traditional shape as well as hoops with charms and other ornaments to be hung from the hoop.
A decorative element, such as a stone, which is imbedded into another surface so it is flush (or level) with it.
A mineral used as a gemstone and appears as deep blue, light blue-gray, and yellow-white.
An interplay of various colours.
An ornamental gemstone, typically greenish in colour.
A variety of jade which is rarer than the other varieties of nephrite. It is hard and translucent and comes in many colours such as orange, pink, yellow, brown, blue, violet, and black.
A semi-opaque to opaque rose quartz. Usually yellowish, reddish, or brown. The U.S. and Brazil are the most common sources. Jasper was once believed to have curative powers.
KARATA measure, from 1 to 24, used to indicate how much of a piece of Jewellery is gold content and how much an alloy. Eg . 14 karat (14K) gold is 14 parts of gold to 10 parts other metals.
A semi-precious stone azure blue in colour.
An earring with a unique back that delicately bends and connects behind the ear. This is an old-fashioned design that has come back in style.
Series of loops which make up a chain.
Produced by drawing small ribbons of sterling silver through a draw plate that forms a thin, silver tube. These tubes are carefully cut & hand strung together. Liquid silver is an example of the Native American Jewellery making technique of Heishi.
LOBSTER CLAW CLASP
A clasp used for necklaces and bracelets which features an elongated hook (like a lobster claw). It contains a spring mechanism and can be opened to catch the ring from the other end of the chain.
A Japanese term for half-sphere pearls, which are cultured against the shell so that only half a pearl is formed.
A mineral which is characterized in appearance by bands of light and dark green.
Crystallized iron pyrites ("fool's gold") mounted in groups, cut or uncut, in pins and other pieces of Jewellery. Marcasite is a gray, lustrous mineral.
An oval shape gemstone cut with pointed ends. It's named for the Marquise de Pompadour, Mistress of King Louis XV.
A frosted, non-shiny surface or finish.
A look which is knurled, or has the look of small beads or ridges, such as the edge of a coin.
A variety of beryl that is pink. Named after J.P. Morgan. Found in California, Brazil, and Madagascar.
Hard, iridescent substance that forms on the inside layer of a pearl-bearing mollusk.
A shiny, iridescent substance made from the lining of mollusk shells or fish scales.
A hard type of jade with colours ranging from white to dark green and shades of grey or brown to black.
A lump or irregularly shaped mass.
A semi-precious stone composed of chalcedony (a variety of quartz) found naturally in white or gray. The white variety is generally dyed black for onyx.
A non-crystalline, iridescent silica
Something which is not transparent and does not reflect light; dull
Metal blackened by a reaction with oxygen. The appearance is accomplished by chemical means.
A setting in which small stones are set as close as possible, so that the piece literally looks "paved" with stones.
An ornament suspended from a single chain.
A transparent gem which is olive green in colour.
Designed for wear in ears which are pierced. A wire or post is inserted through the ear lobe.
Unit of weight for gemstones equal to one-hundredth of a carat.
Process used to make metal smooth and glossy. Increases shine and eliminates flaws.
A pin-like finding attached to an earring. It passes through the pierced earlobe, and may be held in place by a back.
Rare and costly gems such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires
A modification of a brilliant square-cut gemstone.
One of several claw-like wires used to hold a gem or stone in place.
A crystalline mineral used for gems, usually colourless and transparent.
A type of faceting.
Real rhinestones are cut from rock crystal. Today, most rhinestones that are used in Jewellery are made of glass which has the look of natural stone.
A white, metallic element.
A variety of pyrope garnet ranging in colour from rose-red to pale violet.
Named after the Greek word for pink. A reddish-pink colour with thin veins or patches of gray to black. Found in the former Soviet Union, the U.S., India, and Australia.
A textured effect consisting of ridges.
A piece of Jewellery which is worn on the fingers and slides on and off.
A ring worn above another ring to keep it from slipping off the finger.
A mineral; see also QUARTZ
Chain with a spiral appearance, giving the effect of two thick strands woven together.
An alloy of gold and copper.
Delicate pink quartz with a somewhat milky appearance. Popular for Valentine's Day, Mother's Day, and other gift occasions.
A highly precious and valued red corundum whose colour is obtained from chromium oxide. Rubies symbolize beauty, charity, love, passion, power, and royalty.
A variety of quartz with inclusions of rutile crystals, which are minerals that sometimes appear in a needle-like fashion in a reddish-brown to red and sometimes yellowish appearance.
Added to a closure to prevent the opening of a clasp.
A highly valued precious stone and a member of the corundum group. Most commonly seen in blue.
A matte finish achieved by sandblasting, brushing with a stiff wire brush, or chemically altering a high shine surface. Satin finish has a soft, pearl-like luster
instead of a bright polish.
An ornamental edge that consists of a series of curves.
A gemstone cut in the shape of a beetle and copied from the ancient Egyptian fertility symbol.
Natural stones including amethyst, aventurine, carnelian, garnet, opal, rose quartz, etc. Some semi-precious stones are quite costly (up to thousands of dollars). They are used in fine Jewellery as well as fashion Jewellery.
Part of the ring that circles the finger and to which the setting is attached.
The part of the ring that extends from the shank to the center of the setting.
A fine silver film deposited on a base metal through electroplating. Base metal may be nickel, silver, copper, or brass.
Glass beads coated in the ground-up iridescent nacre from fish scales.
Brownish coloured quartz with a smoky appearance.
A mineral which is a component of lapis and generally translucent, usually blue in colour
A gemstone found in a wide range of colours, the most valuable resembling ruby red.
SPRING RING CLASP
A rounded, hollow, circular wire which fits into a hollow circular tube and is kept shut by a coiled spring on the inside.
A style in which the stone is square and bordered by four long narrow facets that are step cut. Similar to emerald cut.
The setting is square shaped with four prongs forming the corners.
Rings which are designed to wear two or more on the same finger.
A gem cut with a varying number of sloping parallel rows of four-sided facets which give the impression of steps.
Silver that is at least 92.5 percent pure with 7.5 parts of another metal, usually copper, to make the piece harder.
A straight pin worn vertically on a scarf, tie, or a lapel. Has some kind of ornamentation on the top.
A technique in which the design is formed by a series of pricks made with a steel punch.
A single stone or metal ball on a straight post worn on pierced ears.
A flexible bracelet made up of evenly matched stones, commonly diamonds. There are variations on the style, such as alternating stones.
A short pin with an ornamental top or face that goes through the tie, pinning it to the shirt.
The name given to a gem which when cabochon cut shows a single light streak across its face. A semi-precious variety of quartz found in South Africa, it may be yellowish-brown , bluish, or red in colour.
A fastener consisting of a ring on one end of a necklace or bracelet and a short bar on the other end. The bar is slid through the ring and sits across it so it does not slide or pull.
A transparent gem, the most precious type is wine-yellow in colour. It also may be found in other colours, such as white, blue, brown, orange, and pink.
A crystalline mineral which is used as a gemstone. It typically comes in a variety of colours, the most common of which is black.
Allowing light to pass through, but not transparent
Easily seen through; light rays are transmitted
A modified brilliant cut stone.
A modified brilliant cut triangular stone with 44 facets.
A transparent, emerald green variety of garnet.
Semi-precious stone which is greenish-blue in colour.
An alloy of gold, nickel, copper, and zinc.
This style gets its name from its shape which features its own delicate dangle forming a Y-shape around the neck. Usually 16 to 18 inches in length.
The most popular gold alloy. An alloy of gold, silver, copper, and often zinc.