Glossary of Jewelry Terms from Harris Michael

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Antiqued: Process used to give jewelry an aged appearance.

Avolto: A jewelry style that uses a wire to form a necklace into a round shape.

Bail: A loop of sheet metal or wire attached to a pendant to hang it from.

Bangle bracelet: A circular rigid band that slips over the hand.

Barrel clasp: Used on most rope chains to make the chain more secure. The barrel clasp looks like part of the chain and makes it easier to get a pendant on and off.

Base metal: A non-precious metal.

Bezel: Rim of metal that surrounds and secures a stone.

Box chain: A chain with wide, square links that form boxes.

Bracelets:
Bangle: A circular rigid band that slips over the hand.
Charm: A linked bracelet with suspended charms.
Cuff: Round or oval bracelet with clasp and hinge.
Tennis: Linked bracelet of set stones, where the stones are usually the same size.
Brooch: Alternative name for pin.

Byzantine chain: A chain with close-fitting links, creating an intricate design that for ms a tube.

Cable chain: A chain with round links of the same size.

Cameo: A shell or gem material with two distinct colored layers. The top layer is carved and the bottom layer provides contrasting background.

Carat: Abbreviated ?ct.? and spelled with a ?c? for gemstones (?k? is used for karat in gold). One carat is equal to 1/5 of a gram (200 milligrams). Stones are measured to the nearest hundredth of a carat. A hundredth of a carat is also called a point. Thus a .10 carat stone can be called either 10 points, or 1/10 of a carat. Small stones like .05, and .10ct, are most often referred to by point designations. A one-carat round diamond of average proportions is approximately 6.5 mm in diameter, but this relationship of weight and size is different for each family of stones. (Ruby and sapphire are both heavier than diamond.)

Chains:
Box: A chain with wide, square links that form boxes.
Byzantine: A chain with close-fitting links, creating an intricate design that forms a tube.
Cable: A chain with round links of the same size.
Curb link: A chain with oval links that are twisted to lie flat.
Figaro: A chain with long and round links that are not uniform in size.
FOB: A short chain with a decorative seal or other device attached to the end.
Herringbone: A chain with small, slanting links that appear flat.
Mesh: Fabric-like chain woven from very fine wire.
Omega: Flat chain with a solid surface formed by the links.

Charm bracelet: A linked bracelet with suspended charms.

Choker: A wide necklace worn tight around the neck above the collarbone.

Clasps:
Barrel: Used on most rope chains to make the chain more secure. The barrel clasp looks like part of the chain and makes it easier to get a pendant on and off.
Lobster claw: An interlocking catch with a spring mechanism and a safety lock.
Spring ring: Used on lightweight chains.
Toggle: Consists of a ring on one end of a necklace or bracelet and a short bar on the other end. The bar slides through the ring to keep it closed.


Cloisonne: Decorative enamel set in thin strips of wire.

Cluster: A setting of stones grouped together.

Cocktail ring: Oversized ring with precious or semi-precious stones.

Created (or simulated) gemstone: A human-made gem with nearly the same optical, physical and chemical properties of a natural gemstone.

Cuff bracelet: Round or oval bracelet with clasp and hinge.

Curb link chain: A chain with oval links that are twisted to lie flat.

Earring jackets: An accessory designed to decorate a stud earring.

Electroplating: The process of covering a base metal with a thin film of gold.

Enamel: In its simplest terms, all enamel is produced by fusing colored powdered glass to metal to produce a vitreous or glass-like decorative surface.

Facet: A flat surface, which is polished onto a gemstone.

Figaro chain: A chain with long and round links that are not uniform in size.

Filigree: Delicate, thread-like decoration.

FOB chain: A short chain with a decorative seal or other device attached to the end.

Herringbone chain: A chain with small, slanting links that appear flat.

Inlay: The placing of material into the surface of another.

Karat: The fineness of gold (also see ?carat,? used for gemstones). 24K is pure gold. 18K is 18 parts gold, 6 parts other metals. 14K is 14 parts gold, 10 parts other metals. 12K is 12 parts gold, 12 parts other metals. 10K is 10 parts gold, 14 parts other metals.

Lariat: Long-strand, open-ended necklace usually looped in a knot or used with a slide so the two ends hang free.

Lead crystal: Colorless, transparent glass resembling rock crystal. Must be 10% lead to be considered crystal.

Lobster claw clasp: An interlocking catch with a spring mechanism and a safety lock.

Matinee length: Used to describe a chain or single strand of pearls or beads that is 20? to 24? long.

Mesh chain: Fabric-like chain woven from very fine wire.

Mohs Scale of Hardness: The gem trade standard for hardness. The higher the Mohs Scale number, the harder the stone. The highest Mohs Scale rating is 10 (diamonds). Any piece of jewelry with a Mohs Scale rating of less than 7 is easily scratched (coral, opal, pearl, turquoise).

Natural gemstones: Rubies, emeralds, amethysts and others that occur naturally in the earth.

Omega chain: Flat chain with a solid surface formed by the links.

Opalite: A human-made opalized glass resin that is fused with metal to create an opalescent effect.

Opera length: Used to describe a chain or single strand of pearls or beads that is 28? to 30? long.

Overlay: Decorative layer.

Oxidizing: Darkening the surface of metal by chemical or heat application.

Precious stones: Rare and costly gems, including diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires.

Princess length: Used to describe a chain or single strand of pearls or beads that is about 18? long.

Rope length: Used to describe a chain or single strand of pearls or beads that is 45? to 120? long.

Scalloped: An ornamental edge made up of a series of curves.

Signet: A ring with an insignia, monogram, coat of arms or family crest.

Simulated (or created) gemstone: A human-made gem with nearly the same optical, physical and chemical properties of a natural gemstone.

Slide: An ornament that can be slid onto another piece of jewelry, typically a necklace.

Spring ring clasp: Used on lightweight chains.

Tennis bracelet: Linked bracelet of set stones of the same size, commonly diamonds.

Toggle clasp: Consists of a ring on one end of a necklace or bracelet and a short bar on the other end. The bar slides through the ring to keep it closed. 

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