Glossary of Jewelry Terms: Key Terms Every Jewelry Enthusiast Should Know

Glossary of jewelry terms

Welcome to our definitive Glossary of Jewelry Terms! Whether you’re a passionate jewelry collector, an aspiring designer, or simply fascinated by the artistry of exquisite adornments, this comprehensive guide will equip you with the essential terminology to navigate the captivating world of jewelry manufacturing.

80 Glossary of Jewelry Terms

Jewellery or Jewelry

Mold or Mould

With 80 carefully curated key terms, we invite you to delve into the intricacies of settings, alloys, gemstones, and finishes, empowering you to speak the language of jewelry with confidence and expertise. Let’s embark on this enlightening journey into the heart of jewelry craftsmanship. Lets start with our Glossary of Jewelry Terms:

Glossary of Jewelry Terms

  1. Alloy: A metal created by combining two or more metals to enhance strength and durability.
  2. Anklet: A decorative chain or bracelet worn around the ankle.
  3. Antique: Antique jewelry refers to pieces that are at least 100 years old. They often showcase unique design elements and craftsmanship of a specific era.
  4. Articulated: In jewelry manufacturing articulated refers to a design feature where individual components are connected by small hinges, allowing movement and flexibility.
  5. Baguette: A rectangular-shaped gemstone or diamond with stepped facets.
  6. Bail: A loop or finding on a pendant or charm to attach it to a chain.
  7. Baroque: A style of jewelry featuring irregularly shaped pearls or gemstones.
  8. Beadwork: Beadwork is the art of creating jewelry or decorative items using small beads, often woven together using threads or wires.
  9. Bezel: A metal rim or setting that holds a gemstone in place.
  10. Birthstone: A gemstone associated with a particular month, often used in jewelry.
  11. Brooch: A decorative pin or clasp worn to fasten clothing or accessories.
  12. Cabochon: A cabochon is a gemstone that has been shaped and polished into a smooth, rounded, and unfaceted form, often with a domed top.
  13. Cameo: A carved gemstone or shell depicting a raised image or design.
  14. Carat: A unit of measurement used to determine the weight of gemstones.
  15. Channel Setting: Channel setting is a method where gemstones are placed into a metal channel, creating a smooth and continuous line of stones.
  16. Choker: A close-fitting necklace that sits snugly around the neck.
  17. Clasp: A fastening device used to secure jewelry, such as a lobster clasp or spring ring.
  18. Cluster: A jewelry design featuring a group of gemstones or diamonds closely set together.
  19. Cufflinks: Decorative fasteners worn by men to secure the cuffs of a shirt.
  20. Cut: The style or shape into which a gemstone is fashioned, such as round, princess, or emerald cut.
  21. Deco: Short for Art Deco, a jewelry style popular in the 1920s and 1930s, characterized by geometric designs.
  22. Diamante: Imitation diamonds or rhinestones used in costume jewelry.
  23. Drop Earrings: Earrings that hang below the earlobe, typically featuring a dangling element.
  24. Enamel: vitreous enamel and cold enamel which both used in the world of jewelry and decorative arts.
    1. Vitreous Enamel: Vitreous enamel, is created by fusing powdered glass onto a metal surface through a high-temperature firing process. This type of enamel is highly durable, with a glossy and smooth finish. It can be translucent or opaque, and it offers a wide range of vibrant colors.
    2. Cold Enamel: Cold enamel, also referred to as epoxy enamel or resin enamel, is a type of enamel that doesn’t require high-temperature firing. Instead, it is a two-part epoxy resin that hardens at room temperature or with the application of heat. Cold enamel is available in various colors and can be applied directly to metal surfaces using a brush or other application methods. It is commonly used in jewelry making as an alternative to traditional vitreous enamel, as it allows for easier application and doesn’t require the use of a kiln. However, it is generally not as durable as vitreous enamel and may be more prone to scratching or fading over time.
  25. Eternity Band: An eternity band is a ring with gemstones or diamonds set all the way around its circumference, symbolizing endless love or commitment.
  26. Filigree: Delicate metalwork in which intricate patterns or designs are created using thin wire.
  27. Gemstone: A mineral or organic substance that has been cut and polished for use in jewelry.
  28. Gold-plated: A piece of jewelry coated with a layer of gold, providing a thin layer of gold color.
  29. Hallmark: A hallmark is a stamped mark or symbol on jewelry that indicates its authenticity, purity, origin, and other relevant information. It serves as a mark of quality and trust.
  30. Hammered Finish: A hammered finish is a textured surface created by using a hammer to strike the metal, resulting in a unique pattern of irregular dents and indentations.
  31. Halo: A ring of smaller gemstones surrounding a larger central gemstone.
  32. Hoop Earrings: Circular-shaped earrings that form a complete or partial loop.
  33. Inclusion: Natural internal flaws or imperfections found within gemstones.
  34. Invisible Setting: Invisible setting is a technique where gemstones are set into a piece of jewelry using minimal visible metal, giving the illusion of a continuous gemstone surface.
  35. Jade: A green-colored gemstone often associated with good luck and prosperity.
  36. Karat: A unit used to measure the purity of gold, with 24 karat being pure gold.
  37. Laser Welding: Laser welding is a precise and efficient method of joining metal components in jewelry manufacturing using a focused laser beam.
  38. Locket: A small hinged pendant that opens to reveal a space for holding a photograph or keepsake.
  39. Marcasite: A metallic mineral that is often used as an alternative to gemstones in jewelry.
  40. Matte Finish: A matte finish is a textured surface achieved by using abrasives or chemicals to create a non-reflective and slightly grainy appearance.
  41. Marquise Cut: A marquise cut is an elongated gemstone cut with pointed ends, resembling a boat or a football shape.
  42. Medallion: A round or oval-shaped pendant often worn on a chain, featuring a decorative design or inscription.
  43. Micro-pavé: Micro-pavé is a technique where extremely small gemstones are set closely together, creating a finely detailed and shimmering surface.
  44. Mounting: A mounting is the part of a piece of jewelry that holds the gemstone. It can be a complete setting or a semi-finished component.
  45. Mother-of-Pearl: The iridescent lining found on the inside of certain mollusk shells, used in jewelry.
  46. Necklace: A piece of jewelry worn around the neck, typically made of a chain or string of beads.
  47. Opal: A gemstone known for its unique play of colors and iridescence.
  48. Pave: A jewelry setting in which numerous small gemstones are closely set together, covering a surface.
  49. Palladium: Palladium is a precious metal similar to platinum, often used as an alternative for white gold due to its durability, hypoallergenic properties, and silvery-white appearance.
  50. Pearl: A smooth, lustrous, and often spherical gemstone produced within the shell of an oyster or mollusk.
  51. Pendant: A hanging ornament or charm that is suspended from a necklace or chain.
  52. Platinum: A rare and valuable metal often used in fine jewelry due to its durability and luster.
  53. Polishing: Polishing is the process of refining the surface of a piece of jewelry using abrasives or polishing compounds to achieve a smooth and reflective finish.
  54. Prong: A claw-like metal projection that holds a gemstone securely in place.
  55. Quartz: A crystalline mineral available in various forms, including amethyst, citrine, and rose quartz.
  56. Replication: Replication is the process of recreating a piece of jewelry by closely copying its design and craftsmanship, often for restoration purposes or to create identical pieces.
  57. Repoussé: A metalworking technique in which a design is created by hammering the metal from the reverse side.
  58. Rhodium: A precious metal used to plate or coat jewelry, providing a shiny and reflective surface.
  59. Ring: A circular band worn on the finger, often symbolizing commitment or adornment.
  60. Rhodium Plating: Rhodium plating is the process of applying a thin layer of rhodium, a precious metal, onto the surface of jewelry to enhance its shine, whiteness, and resistance to tarnish.
  61. Setting: In jewelry manufacturing, a setting refers to the metal framework that securely holds gemstones or other decorative elements in place within a piece of jewelry.
  62. Shank: The shank is the band or part of a ring that encircles the finger, providing support and stability to the setting and gemstones.
  63. Soldering: Soldering is a technique used in jewelry manufacturing to join metal components together using a filler metal that melts at a lower temperature than the base metals.
  64. Solvent Casting: Solvent casting is a technique where a wax model is immersed in a solvent, dissolving the wax and leaving behind a mold into which molten metal is poured to create the final piece.
  65. Solitaire: A single gemstone set in a piece of jewelry, typically a ring.
  66. Sterling Silver: A high-quality silver alloy containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals.
  67. Strand: A length of beads or pearls used to create necklaces or bracelets.
  68. Tarnish: Tarnish is a natural process that occurs on certain metals, such as silver, resulting in a dull or discolored appearance due to oxidation.
  69. Tension Setting: Tension setting is a modern technique where a gemstone is held in place by the pressure of the surrounding metal, creating the illusion of a floating stone.
  70. Tennis Bracelet: A flexible bracelet featuring a continuous line of diamonds or gemstones.
  71. Titanium: A lightweight and durable metal often used in contemporary jewelry design.
  72. Tourmaline: A gemstone available in various colors, prized for its vibrant hues.
  73. Trillion Cut: A triangular-shaped gemstone or diamond with curved sides.
  74. Vermeil: A jewelry piece made of sterling silver and plated with a thick layer of gold.
  75. Victorian: A jewelry style popular during the reign of Queen Victoria, characterized by intricate designs and sentimental motifs.
  76. Watch: A timepiece worn on the wrist or carried in a pocket, often featuring decorative elements.
  77. Wirework: Jewelry created by manipulating and shaping wires to form intricate designs or structures.
  78. X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF): A technique used to analyze the elemental composition of jewelry.
  79. Yellow Gold: Pure gold alloyed with other metals, resulting in a warm yellow hue.
  80. Zircon: A natural gemstone known for its brilliance and wide range of colors.

Glossary of Jewelry Terms Bonus

jewelry or jewellery
Jewellery or Jewelry ?

Both “jewelry” and “jewellery” refer to the same thing, which is decorative items that are worn for personal adornment. The term “jewelry” is primarily used in American English, so it is commonly used in the United States and other countries that follow American English conventions. On the other hand, the term “jewellery” is primarily used in British English, so it is commonly used in the United Kingdom and other countries that follow British English conventions.

Countries where “jewelry” is commonly used:

  • United States
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Philippines
  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • India (due to British influence on English language usage)

Countries where “jewellery” is commonly used:

  • United Kingdom
  • Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • South Africa
  • India
  • Canada

It’s important to note that language usage can vary within countries as well, and there may be individuals or businesses in countries primarily using one term who choose to use the other term due to personal preference or other factors.

Mold or Mould ?

The terms “mold” and “mould” both refer to the same thing—a hollow container or form used to give shape to a material or substance. The difference in spelling comes from the variation between American English and British English.

Congratulations on expanding your Glossary of Jewelry Terms and vocabulary with these 80 essential terms! By familiarizing yourself with these key terms, you’ve gained a deeper understanding of the intricacies of jewelry craftsmanship. Whether you’re discussing settings, alloys, gemstones, or finishes, you can now speak the language of jewelry with confidence and expertise. So go forth, explore the world of jewelry with your newfound knowledge and appreciate the artistry that goes into every exquisite piece.