Jewellery Terms

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Jewellery Terms

Jewellery Terms often seen on eBay stores that sell jewellery.
We all know that it can be very confusing when sellers include terms that you don not always understand what they mean.  I thought it may be a good idea to write down a few that you will always see on stores within as well as my own store.
These are a few of the most commons terms you will stubble across.
Alloy? - An alloy is a combination of two or more metals. Common alloys used in jewellery are: gold under 24 Kt (mixed with silver, copper, and/or other metals), sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper), brass (roughly half copper, half zinc), bronze (at least 60% copper with tin and perhaps other metals), and pewter (tin, lead, antimony, and a bit of silver or copper).
Acrylic? - Acrylic (also known as "acrylic glass", "plexiglas", "perspex") is the synthetic polymer or simply plastic.

Acrylic has multitude of applications in many many industries: from photographic lenses and scientific instruments to windows in your home and utility boxes.

In jewellery (especially the cheaper pieces) it is used to imitate diamonds. Some of the more expensive costume jewellery items could be made entirely out of acrylic (like necklaces or bracelets) of various

Beads? -Beads are small objects, each with a hole through it for stringing. Beads are made of glass, stones, wood, plastics, seeds, and ceramics.
Bib Necklace? - A bib necklace (also known as a collarette) is a short necklace with flowing ornaments in the front.
costume Jewellery? -  Any jewellery made from faux gemstones instead of precious or semi-precious stones, and/or from materials other than gold, silver, or platinum.

Originally, costume or fashion jewellery was made of inexpensive simulated gemstones, such as rhinestones set in pewter, silver or brass. Modern costume jewelry incorporates a wide range of materials. Austrian (Swarowski) crystals, cubic zirconia (CZ), simulated and semi-precious stones are used in place of precious stones. Metals include gold- , silver- or rhodium-plated brass, copper, steel or sterling silver. Some pieces incorporate plastic, acrylic, leather, wood, mother of pearl, feathers and other cheap or relatively cheap materials.

crystal? -Crystal is high quality glass containing at least 10% lead oxide giving the stone a very clear appearance resembling rock crystal.
cubic zirconia ? - Cubic zirconia or CZ for short is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colour. Under shortwave UV cubic zirconia typically luminesces a yellow, greenish yellow or "beige".

As an inexpensive stone with high durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia remains it's most important competitor since 1976.

CZ can be coloured to resemble other precious and semi-precious stones, and are a staple of high quality costume jewellery.

Cubic zirconia has an 8.5 to <9.0 on the Mohs hardness scale. Cubic zirconia has a refractive index of 2.176, compared to a diamond's 2.417.

Electroplating ? - Electroplating is the process that includes coating one metal with another using electricity. Inexpensive metals are electroplated with more expensive metals, such as gold, copper, rhodium, chromium, or silver


fashion jewelry ? - Fashion jewellery is another term for costume jewellery.
Faux ? - (Rhymes with 'glow') a synthetic or fake version of something. When used in reference to jewellery, it generally means a rhinestone or cubic zirconia version of a gemstone.


gold plated ? - Gold plate is a very thin layer of gold applied by electrode position.


 Nickle Free ? - Gold or sterling silver that is ALLOYED without using nickel, because some people have allergic reactions and/or skin irritation when wearing the metal.
Noble Metal ? - The noble metals are gold, platinum, and silver. These are metals that are relatively impervious to chemical actions: oxidation and corrosion.


rhinestone ? - A "gem" made of glass with a foil backing to reflect the light. They are usually glued in place, but can also be set like traditional stones. Rhinestones are a staple of costume jewellery and inexpensive pieces.

A rhinestone or diamante is a diamond simulation made from rock crystal, glass or plastic.

Rhinestones originally where gathered from river Rhine, hence the name.

Crystal rhinestones are produced mainly in Austria by Swarowski and in Czech Republic by Preciosa.

rhodium ? -  (Row-dee-um) A noble metal, member of the platinum group of metals. Rhodium is often used to give a reflective white finish and durability to silver or gold by applying a top layer coating using electroplating. This is known as 'rhodium flashing' in the jewellery business.

Rhodium is the most expensive precious metal. As of October 2007, rhodium cost approximately eight times more than gold, 450 times more than silver, and 27,250 times more than copper by weight.

Rhodium has been used for honours, or to symbolize wealth, when more commonly used metals such as silver, gold, or platinum are deemed insufficient. In 1979 the Guinness Book of World Records gave Paul McCartney a rhodium-plated disc for being history's all-time best-selling songwriter and recording artist. Guinness has also noted items such as the world's "Most Expensive Pen" or "Most Expensive Board Game" as containing rhodium.

The Mohs hardness of this metal is 6.

Swarovski ? - Swarovski is an Austrian company that manufactures high quality rhinestones, crystals, costume jewellery, and other glass type products.


swarovski crstal ? - Swarovski crystal was born when Daniel Swarovski invented an automatic cutting machine in 1892. Swarovski crystal is very popular in costume jewellery and contains approximately 32% lead to maximize its shine.

In order to create a crystal that allows light to refract in a rainbow spectrum, Swarovski coats some of its crystals with special metallic chemical coatings. Aurora Borealis, or "AB", is one of the most popular coatings, and gives the surface a rainbow oil slick appearance. Other coatings include Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado. Coatings may be applied to only part of an object; others are coated twice, and thus are designated AB 2X, Dorado 2X etc.

I hope this helps a little to understand some of the many terms out there 
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