Glossary

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

A

Abalone
Also called Mother Of Pearl. Made from the inside of the seashell.


AB
Short for Aurora Borealis


Alpaca
Sometimes spelled Alpacca is an alloy metal consisting of approx 60% copper, 20% nickel, 20% zinc, and 5% tin

Amulet
An amulet is a pendant or charm worn for its protective magic powers


Art Deco
Art Deco was popular from the 1925-1939. The art deco style was characterized by angular geometric shapes, zigzags, bold colors, molded or faceted Czech glass beads, plastics such as celluloid and bakelite. This era began to use colored stones more. Jade, onyx and sometimes coral was set in geometric shapes. The art deco period began with very light designs but as the period progressed designs become bolder and more blocky.


Art Nouveau
Art Nouveau was popular from 1895 until World War I. Art Nouveau style was characterized by curves and naturalistic designs. It was especially focused on depicting long - haired, sensual women, flower styles, sensual curves, and naturalistic.


Arts and Crafts
The Arts and Crafts movement that began in the late 1800s as a rebellion against the mass - produced, machine made that were common in the late Victorian era. The designers felt that their work should look handmade, so jewelry of this era will often have tiny hammer marks on it. Gold was used but silver was more common because it was used to emphasize the craftsmanship of the piece rather than the value of the metal. Cabochon stones such as moonstone, mother of pearl, agate, amber were quite popular.


Aurora Borealis
Faceted glass beads that have an added iridescent coating are called aurora borealis. The coating is used on beads and rhinestones and produces a multi color light reflection. The Aurora borealis means northern lights. The iridescent surface occurs when a very thin layer of metallic atoms are deposited on the lower surface of the stone. The process was invented by the Swarovski Co & Christian Dior in 1955.


Amethyst
According to Greek mythology, the god Dionysus, master of revelry and drunkenness, created amethyst as he wept over the statue of a fair maiden. According to legend, Dionysus was in a terrible mood and vowed to have his vicious tigers attack the next mortal who crossed his path. As fate would have it, a fair maiden by the name of Amethyst was strolling in the wood. As the tigers rushed forward to attack the maiden, the chaste goddess Artemis took pity on the lady and transformed her into a figure of pure quartz. Dionysus, mortified by his actions, wept over Amethyst, turning the crystal to the color of deep wine, creating the first amethyst. For the Greeks, this crystal would come to serve as a protection against intoxication. The word amethustos means not drunken, and the Greeks would carve goblets and vessels from the stone to prevent inebriety. Like a beautiful wine, prized amethyst is the color of deep purple, but can be found in shades of light lavender, violet, and lilac. The stone has been used by cultures for centuries, most notably by the Greeks and people of Central and South America, who used it to carve one of the legendary crystal skulls. The skull supposedly has mystical powers, most likely due to the chemical principals of the crystal. Amethyst is a form of quartz, composed of silicon dioxide, iron, and aluminum. Like all quartz, it is piezoelectric, creating an electric charge when rubbed or heated. Although its mystic qualities may be hocus pocus, this wine colored stone is certainly enchanting.

Aquamarine- March
Gazing into the swirling depths of this stone, men caught glimpses of the future, eternal youth, and eternal happiness. With a name whose Latin meaning is sea water, the aquamarine reflects the most delicate tones of the most soothing sea. Yet despite its delicate appearance, it is plenty tough, with a score of 7.5 to 8 on the Mohs Scale. A variation of beryl, which is the same mineral that makes up emerald, aquamarine, or beryllium aluminum silicate, has been valued throughout the ages. It was known to the ancients as the sailor’s gem, a gift from the sea, and would protect those who set sail on the treacherous oceans. The Romans believed that an aquamarine engraved with a frog would allow the owner to make peace with his enemies. The stone reached enormous popularity in the 1300’s, not because of its remarkable beauty, but because of its rumored ability to act as an antidote to any poison. Although this tradition faded away, aquamarines still evoke images of ancient seas and eternal love.

Atomic Movement
Watches with atomic movements are the most accurate timekeepers in the world. Each watch synchronizes with the National Institute of Science and Technology’s atomic clock several times daily via radio signal. As a result, the watch will only lose a second once in every one million years. It adjusts automatically to time zones, leap years, and daylight savings time. Most atomic watches use quartz movements to keep time between synchronizations.

Automatic Movement
Automatic watches operate using the same principal as mechanical watches. The chief difference is that one does not need to wind an automatic watch; the motion of the wearer’s arm ensures that the spring is wound. The watch contains a semicircular rotor attached to a ratcheted winding mechanism that swings back and forth as the watch moves. As a result, the watch never needs a battery. Self-winding mechanisms were invented in 1770 when days Abraham-Louis Perrelet created a movement for pocket watches. When wristwatches became popular after World War I, John Harwood created a bumper watch. This watch included a rotor that did not rotate fully, but bumped back and forth to create the necessary ratcheting motion. With the perfection of the mechanism, today’s automatic watches will run for two days with a fully wound spring. The watch may need to be occasionally reset to maintain accuracy, or one can purchase a watch winder that will keep the watch’s spring wound when not being worn.

Alexandrite
On April 17, 1834, Tsar Alexander II came of age and became the ruler of Russia. On that same day in an emerald mine in the Urals, a miraculous stone was discovered. The green stone was originally thought to be an emerald, until it was illuminated under incandescent light and turned a deep shade of red. The new stone was called alexandrite after the new tsar. Alexandrite became the nation stone of tsarist Russia, whose colors were red and green, and was very popular in jewelry stores in St. Petersburg and Moscow. The gem did not become popular in America until Tiffany’s master gemologist George Kunz released a collection of jewelry using the stone. Alexandrite is composed of chrysoberyl containing chromium, which gives the gem its ability to change color. With a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale, it is ideal for jewelry. It is quite a rare gem and a wonderful addition to any gem lover’s collection.


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B

Bakelite
Bakelite was patented in 1909 and is also called catalin. It is a synthetic material which was extensively used in jewelry during the 1930s Depression. It can be molded or carved and multi colors can be inlaid together. It has a distinct scent when rubbed to warm, somewhat like formaldehyde


Baguette
A gemstone cut in a narrow rectangular shape. Small diamonds are sometimes cut this way to use as accent


Baroque
An irregular, rounded stone, glass or bead. Imitation pearls with an uneven shape are also referred to as baroque.


Base metal, pot metal, white metal
Any combination of alloys of non - precious metals.


Bezel Setting
The way of setting a stone in which the stone is held in place by a narrow band of metal around the outer edge of the stone.


Birthstone
Birthstones have their roots in ancient astrology, and there have been many birthstone lists used over the years. This is one of the more common lists. January – Garnet; February – Amethyst; March – Aquamarine; April – Diamond; May – Emerald; June – Pearl or Moonstone; July – Ruby; August – Peridot; September – Sapphire; October – Opal; November – Citrine or Topaz; December – Turquoise or Zircon


Bookchain
A Victorian chain of which the links are rectangular folded pieces of metal, made in gold, gold fill, and sterling silver. Book chains often had large locket attached and they were usually elaborately engraved.


Brass
An alloy of copper and zinc which has a nice yellow color.
Britannia or pewter
A somewhat dull silver - colored alloy of tin, antimony, and copper.


Blue Topaz
Al2(SiO4)F1.1(OH)0.9
Never has a stone suffered from such confusion as topaz. The name itself is a mystery. Some concede that the name came from the Indian Sanskrit tapas, meaning fire. Others believe the word is of Greek origin, coming from the name of the island Topazo where peridot was mined. Another possible origin is the Greek topazos which means shine. Whatever origin is correct, they all evoke beautiful images of this stunning gem. A silicate mineral of fluorine and aluminum, it comes in many colors, perhaps the most alluring to be blue. Blue topaz has three variants, Sky, Swiss, and London Topaz, ranging from the faintest azure to darkest navy. All forms are quite hard with a Mohs score of eight, and have been thought to possess mystical powers which could protect, heal, or enlighten the wearer.

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C

Cabochon
A stone with a rounded surface, rather than with facets. Most often seen with opal, moonstone, jade, turquoise, and faux gems.


Carat
Abbreviated "ct." and spelled with a "c" is a measure of weight used for gemstones. A.15 carat stone can be called either 5 points, or 1/5 of a carat. The relationship of weight and size is different for each family of stones.


Cameo
A style of carving in which the design motif is left and the surrounding surface is cut away leaving the design in relief. Often made of shell, hard stone, glass, and more recently plastics


Cast
Made by a centrifugal method of casting metal which becomes thick and hard.


Celluloid
Celluloid is derived from cellulose which is a natural plant fiber. It was first synthesized around 1870. Celluloid items for were often set with pave rhinestones. Celluloid is flammable and it does deteriorate quickly if exposed to moisture.


CFW
Abbreviation for cultured freshwater pearls


Channel Set
A gem setting technique in which a number of square or rectangular stones are set side by side in a grooved channel. The stones are not secured individually, so there is no metal visible between the stones. Used mostly on round or baguette


Chatelaine
A chatelaine is a set of implements worn at the waist which then carries various items such as needle cases, pencil, scissors, dangling from chains attached to it.


Chaton Setting
It is a setting in which the stone is held in by many metal claws around a metal ring.


Claw Setting
A claw setting is one in which a series of metal prongs called claws holds a stone securely in a setting. The claw settings used today date back to the 1800's


Cloisonné
Cloisonné is a method of applying enamel to metal in which the design is first outlined on the metal surface using a metal wire. The space between the wires is filled with enamel and then fired to a glassy sheen


Closed Setting
The back of the stone is not exposed, meaning the metal is not cut away behind the stone


Cluster Setting
Small stones set clustered around a larger center stone


Coin Silver
A silver colored metal that is a mixture of 80% silver and 20% copper. A lot of European silver pieces are coin silver and are marked 800.


Coral
Coral comes in colors ranging from vivid orange to palest pink. During the mid - Victorian large brooches of coral finely carved in high - relief florals or faces were very popular.


Crimp Bead
Small, soft metal beads that are squeezed shut to secure loops of threading material fasteners onto clasps.


Crystal
A glass stone or bead, usually with high lead content.


CTW
Carat Total Weight


Cubic Zirconium
Also known as Cubic zirconia or CZ is a lab produced gemstone that resembles a diamond.


Citrine
Citrine reflects nature’s sweetest and sunniest shades. Its tones capture every color of the sun, from the soft, pale sunrise, to a midday gleam, to a fiery sunset. The gem’s name comes from the French citron, meaning lemon, and the stone certainly captures this citrusy flavor. As sweet and lovely as honey, citrine has been prized as a healing stone which evokes joy and jubilation. This stone makes the perfect gift for the sunshine in your life.

Cultured Pearl vs. Natural Pearls
Culture pearls are identical to natural pearls in physical composition and appearance. The only difference between the two types is that a natural pearl forms when a particle enters the mollusk by chance, and a cultured pearl forms when the particle is placed in the shell by man. Cultured pearls are not imitation pearls because they are made of nacre. One can distinguish a true pearl from an imitation by rubbing the object against one’s teeth. Pearls feel gritty, whereas imitations will be smooth. Due to the rarity and price of natural pearls, the majority of pearls on the market these days are cultured. The modern process of culturing was created by three Japanese men in the early 1900’s. Tokichi Nishikawa and Tatsuhei Mise simultaneously discovered the method of inserting a particle into the shell, but it was Kokichi Mikimoto who truly founded the industry by focusing on creating truly round pearls. The industry has spread to many nations, including China and Australia and now includes freshwater as well as saltwater pearls.

Chrysoprase
Also known as Australian Jade or the Victory Stone, chrysoprase is an apple green variety of chalcedony that contains nickel. According to legend, Alexander the Great wore a chrysoprase into every battle, which was the key to his incredible military conquests. The young commander, who was undefeated on the battlefield, was only overcome by death after a snake bit the stone and it was lost in a river. With a hardness of 7 on the Mohs scale, chrysoprase is great for jewelry. Perhaps it will lead to some conquests of your own.

Chronograph
A chronograph is a watch that includes a stopwatch. The stopwatch is usually operated by buttons on the side of the watch that start, stop, and reset the timer.

Ceramic watch
With the advent of new technology, researchers have been able to create highly durable, scratch-resistant, remarkably light ceramics that are perfect for watches. These new ceramics are b enough to be used in bulletproof body armor. The ceramic can be formed into thin, smooth pieces that are both light and comfortable for the wearer.
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D

Dead Stone
A foil - backed rhinestone that has lost its original shininess, usually after water has damaged the foil.


Demi Parure
A matching set of jewelry consisting of two pieces - a necklace and earrings, a pin and earrings.


Diamante
A Faceted, glittery glass bead; rhinestone.


Dog Collar
A wide choker necklace worn tight around the neck above the collarbone just like a dog's collar. Very popular in Edwardian times


Doublet
A form of gemstone trickery that was devised to allow inexpensive materials to imitate the more valuable gemstones before modern synthetics were available.


Duette
A combination of two clips on a pin back. Duette was a registered design by Coro, but is now used generically for this design.

DiamondAura® is a laboratory created substitute for a naturally mined diamond. The physical characteristics of DiamondAura®, such as a hardness of 8.5 on the Moh’s Scale, a dispersion (fire) of .066 that exceeds a diamond, and a high refractive index (brilliance) of 2.176, establishes it as true “perfection from the laboratory”. And like a mined diamond, DiamondAura® will also cut glass. It is a beautiful diamond simulation that is durable, inexpensive and visually indistinguishable from a mined diamond except by an experienced technician utilizing the proper equipment.
Technically, DiamondAura® is an oxide of the metallic element zirconium and the finished simulated diamond is approximately 87.5% zirconium oxide and 12.5% yttrium oxide. To produce DiamondAura®, our extremely modern laboratory must heat the rare mineral baddeleyite (ZrO2) to nearly 5,000 degrees F in some very expensive equipment, which causes the mineral to become isometric. A substantial number of other scientific laboratory procedures are then necessary to finally produce the gorgeous simulated diamond known as DiamondAura®. The finished product is clear in color, unlike most mined diamonds that contain impurities and inclusions.
As with any jewelry, oils from the skin and dirt need to be removed frequently. DiamondAura® can be cleaned with warm, soapy water and a soft cosmetic brush (like the type used to apply eye shadow). An ultrasonic jewelry cleaner may also be used and will not damage the stone. When using soaps or detergents, the stone should be thoroughly wiped dry to prevent a film from forming that will dull its brilliance.
• More Fire than a Mined Diamond
• Will Cut Glass
• High Refractive Index
• 8.5 Hardness on the Mohs scale

Diamond
The King of Gems needs no introduction. Diamonds are the most famous and desirable jewels. With a 10 on the Mohs scale, diamond is the hardest natural substance on earth. As the 6th century Indian text Ratnapariksa says, “the diamond scratches all and is not scratched by any.” What is most remarkable is that diamond is made of pure carbon, the same material that makes up charcoal or pencil lead. It is the crystalline structure that gives the gem its incredible strength. Most diamonds are formed in the oldest nuclear portions of continents in rocks more than 1.5 billion years old. A diamond is by far the oldest thing that most people will ever own. Diamonds were first discovered in India, where their name in Sanskrit, vajra, meant thunderbolt. Indian royals valued the stone for its brilliance and rainbow dispersion, and believed those that carried one of the stones would lead a charmed life. Diamonds did not become widely used in Europe until the 13th century, and were reserved for the top echelon of society. King Louis IX of France passed a law that allowed only the king to wear diamonds.

Today, diamond engagement rings are universal symbols of love. The Romans began the tradition of exchanging bands, which were placed on the ring finger which was said to have a vein that lead directly to the heart. Diamonds entered the picture in the 15th century when Emperor Maximilian I gave his bride, Mary, Duchess of Burgundy, a diamond wedding band, and the tradition has continued. In the 1870’s, major finds in South Africa allowed more people than ever to purchase diamonds. The value of a diamond is based on the Four C’s: cut, color, clarity, and carat. Diamonds should be cut in such a manner that will emphasize its brilliance and fire. Although diamonds are usually thought of as completely colorless, they come in almost every color, including blue, yellow, and even black. This range of colors is due to the chemical composition of the stones. Natural diamonds are pure carbon, but may contain impurities, such as nitrogen, which creates yellow diamonds, or boron, which creates blue gems. The most valuable diamonds are described as flawless, and have no inclusions that change their color or affect their brilliance. Carat describes the size of a diamond. One carat is equal to 200 milligrams.

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E

Edwardian
The period during the reign of Edward VII of England from 1901 – 1910. The style actually began during the final years of Victoria, and continued until shortly before World War. Jewelry was characterized by delicate filigree in white gold and platinum, with diamonds and pearls predominating, and colored stones used less frequently, producing a light, monochromatic look. Delicate bows, swags, and garland effects were used in necklaces, and brooches


Electroplated
A process in which one metal is coated with another metal using electricity. In jewelry, inexpensive metals are frequently electroplated with more expensive metals, like gold [gold plating], copper [electrocoppering], rhodium [rhodanizing], chromium [chromium plating], or silver [silver plating]. The thickness of the metal coat varies. Electrogilded coating is the thinnest [less than 0.000007 inches thick]; gold - cased metals have a coating thicker that 0.000007 inches.


Engrave
Decorate metal using a graver's tools; embellishing metal or other material with patterns using a stamping tool or drill. This was a popular technique in mid - Victorian jewelry. The resulting depressions were often filled with colored enamel.


Enamel
Enamel is produced by fusing colored powdered glass to metal to produce a vitreous or glass - like, decorative surface. Translucent enamel with fancy engraving on the metal underneath was popular during the Victorian era.


European Cut
The style of diamond cutting popular from approximately 1890 to the 1930s. The European cut has a round girdle made possible by the introduction of the power bruiting machine.


Eyepin
A wire finding with a loop at one end. used for linking beads or beaded links together


Emerald
They say geniuses pick green, and there is no more stunning green than that of an emerald. From Cleopatra’s jewels, to the halls of Incan palaces, emeralds have held a place in history. They represent life, joy, wisdom, and even love, for the Romans dedicated the stone to the goddess Venus. According to ancient medicine, the stone could provide clarity of thought or even reveal a lover’s fidelity. The breath-taking, yet soothing hue comes from the composition of the gem, which is a compound called beryllium alumino silicate. This formula can contain chromium or vanadium to produce the magnificent green shade. It is a relatively hard stone with a score of 7 to 8 on the Mohs Scale. Color is the most important factor for an emerald, and the stones are cut to show off the gem’s wonderful tone.

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F

Faceted
Cut with many facets or planes.


Faux
Faux is a French word used to describe something made to resemble something else. The original French word means false, fake, imitation or artificial.


Filigree
A technique used to produce fine intricate patterns in metal. Often used for metal beads, clasps, and bead caps.


Findings
All types of fasteners, and construction components used in jewelry making.


Florentine Finish
Finish has a brushed or striated appearance.


Foilback
A method of coating the back of a stone with silver, gold, or colored foil. This enhances the brilliancy of the stone, by reflecting back as much light as possible. It is commonly seen in costume jewelry.


French Jet
French jet is black glass designed to imitate real jet. It was frequently carved.

Freshwater Pearl
Explorers first came to the New World searching for a route to the riches of India, and troves of gold to supplement the treasures of Europe. Although the English and French never discovered the El Dorado of their dreams, they soon found that America had riches that were completely unexpected. The rivers of Ohio, Mississippi, and Tennessee were full of pearls, earning America the title of Land of the Pearls. The explorers began shipping the gems back to Europe in mass quantities satisfying the cravings of their monarchs. American freshwater pearls could be found in royal jewels across the continent. Today, China is the current leader in freshwater pearl production, although many pearls still come from the US. Freshwater pearls are just as valued as their saltwater cousins, consisting of the same organic material often possessing interesting shapes and varied colors.

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G

Gemstones
Include diamond, brilliant, beryl, emerald chalcedony, agate, heliotrope; onyx, plasma; tourmaline, chrysolite; sapphire, ruby, synthetic ruby; spinel, spinelle; oriental topaz; turquoise, zircon, cubic zirconia; jacinth, hyacinth, carbuncle, amethyst; alexandrite, cat's eye, bloodstone, hematite, jasper, moonstone, sunstone.


Genuine
It is common to see the following words when describing costume jewelry amethyst, diamond, garnet, emerald, ruby, sapphire. These words should not be interpreted to mean the precious stones with these names. The terms are used only to describe the color of the non - precious stones. If the genuine stone is meant, it is usually indicated with the word genuine in the description. This general rule also applies to words for metals, such as gold, silver, copper, and pewter. When used to describe costume jewelry, they mean gold - tone, pewter colored, etc.

German Silver
German silver is also known as nickel silver. It is an alloy consisting of approx 60% copper, 20% nickel, 20% zinc, and sometimes about 5 %. There is no silver at all in German silver.

Green Amethyst
Also known as prasiolite, green amethyst is a relatively rare stone. Ranging from the palest sea foam to the boldest hunter green, it reflects some of nature’s most beautiful hues. Like all amethyst, it is b and eye-catching.

Garnet- January
In Ancient Greece, the pomegranate was a gift of love and eternity. This may not seem to be the most romantic of gifts, but this tradition inspired the Greeks to name a truly beautiful gem. The name garnet comes from the Greek granatum, meaning seed, as the stones are reminiscent of the pomegranate seeds. While the fruit has fallen out of fashion as a token of devotion, the stone has remained a popular symbol of love. Comprised of silicate minerals, the stone is most often seen in a bold red that rivals any ruby. Light not only reflects off of the gem, but seems to come from within the stone due to its high refractive index. This attribute is most famously recorded in the Bible, when Noah uses a garnet lantern to light the ark. Reaching the peak of its popularity during the Victorian Age, garnets are often found in antique settings reminiscent of this era. Many of these fine stones originated in Bohemia, where mines have produced some of the finest quality garnets. Bohemian settings reflect the garnet’s ancient roots, as the gems are arranged in a cluster that mimics the pomegranate. Garnets are tradition gifts for departing lovers, ensuring a safe return.

Gold
Gold is the most prized of all metals. It has been a symbol of power and divinity throughout history. The Incans believe it was the sweat of the sun and its name in Latin, aurum, means glowing dawn. Gold was one of the first metals used by man, for it was easily spotted gleaming in riverbeds or in veins of rock. Gold objects dating from 4400 BC were found in a Thracian archeological site in Bulgaria. Since that time gold has been used in everything from jewelry to currency, from architecture to even food. The Ancient Egyptians filled their tombs with gold ornaments, and the Ancient Greeks would tell stories of incredible gold objects, such as Jason’s golden fleece. The quest for gold was one of the most important incentives for Europeans to explore the New World. During America’s Gilded Age, gold was the ultimate symbol of wealth and success. The physical properties of gold make it a particularly unique metal. As one of the few metals found in nature in its pure or native state, it resists corrosion and is the only naturally yellow metal. It is highly reflective, an excellent conductor, and incredibly dense. Both ductile and malleable, a single ounce of gold can be drawn into a wire 50 miles long, or beaten into a sheet 96.9 square feet. About 78% of gold yearly is used in jewelry and is categorized based on its purity or karat. A karat is 1/24 part by weight; 24 karat gold is completely pure. As gold is a very soft metal, most gold used in jewelry is less than 24 karats. The color of gold can be changed based on the metals with which it is alloyed. The addition of copper creates rose gold, while white gold contains nickel or palladium, purple gold includes aluminum, and blue gold includes indium.

Gold Filled
Abbreviated g.f. = lower in gold content than 10 KT, usually 1/20 or 1/12 KT.In this technique a sheet of gold is mechanically applied to the surface. Victorian pieces are likely to be unmarked, but later pieces are marked with the fineness of the gold layer, and the part by weight of the gold. An older unmarked gold piece may often be identified by wear through to base metal. Watch for a darker, brassy colored material on the wear spots.


Goldplate
A layer of gold applied to base metal, usually by electroplating. This is usually a very thin layer, only a few microns, which is likely to wear much more quickly than gold - filled.


Gold Tone
Gold colored or electro - plated, not gold as in measurable in karats.


Gold Washed
Gold washed" describes products that have an extremely thin electroplating of gold [less than .175 microns thick]. This will wear away more quickly than gold plate, gold - filled, or gold electroplate


Gunmetal
A metal alloy that is composed of 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin

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H

Hallmark
An official mark made in metal that indicates the fineness of the metal and the manufacturer's mark. For example, a hallmark of 925 indicates 925 parts of gold per 1000 weight. Other hallmarks indicate the maker of the piece and sometimes the year of manufacture.


Herkimer
Herkimer diamonds are clear, lustrous, doubly terminated crystals of quartz they are not true diamonds. These brilliant stones have a hardness of 7.

Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut
The Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut is a special round cut that enhances the natural brilliance of diamonds. When observed through the top, or crown, of the diamond, the viewer can see eight arrow-shaped cuts. Through the bottom, or pavilion, one can see eight heart-shaped cuts. Very few diamond cutters are willing to take the time or possess the necessary skill to cut an H&A diamond. Only one in every million diamond can be called a true Hearts and Arrows. The only standard stricter than H&A is H&A Ideal Cut. This cut captures the brilliance and fire of each of the diamond’s 58 facets, making it sparkle in virtually every lighting condition. One must use a special viewer to see the H&A pattern, but the superior brilliance is visible to the naked eye. A Hearts and Arrows Ideal Cut diamond is certainly the crown jewel of any gem collection.


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I

Inlay
Piece of material often stone or glass that is partially embedded in another A material usually metal such that the two materials make a level surface.


Intaglio
A design carved down into a gemstone. Some of the most commonly found Victorian intaglios are carved in Carnelian, an orange - brown variety of quartz. Intaglio is a method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface. Signet rings are frequently decorated with intaglio, as are seals.


Iridescent
An iridescent object displays many lustrous, changing colors. Iridescence is caused by the reflection of light from the jewel.


Iridium
A metal and member of the platinum family, it is often alloyed with platinum to improve workability, thus you will find pieces marked something like "90% Plat. 10% Irrid" to indicate that the alloy is 90 % platinum and 10% iridium.


Irradiated Diamonds
Irradiated diamonds are diamonds that have been exposed to radiation. This permanently changes the diamond's color. The irradiated stones take on a greenish or an aquamarine hue. Irradiations of diamonds was first done in 1904 by Sir William Crookes.


Irradiation
The act of being exposed to radiation. Many stones are irradiated in order to enhance their color. Being irradiated changes the crystal structure of the mineral by moving electrons. Irradiation techniques bombard the crystal with high - energy radiation producing a stone with very little radioactivity and a change of color.

Iolite
The Vikings were master mariners. Marauding throughout Europe, they were the scourge of the Dark Ages. Yet without any modern technology like GPS, how did they find their way far out at sea? They brought sunglasses; well sort of. Using thin lenses of the gem iolite, they were able to locate the sun and determine their direction. The Vikings were able to use iolite due to its pleochrosim. This property causes the gem to be different colors depending on the direction from which it is viewed, from rich violet, colorless, and honey yellow. Iolite gets its name from the Greek word ios, meaning violet. While a nice pair of iolite shades might break the bank, iolite jewelry is both affordable and beautiful.

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J

Japanned
A Japanned finish in jewelry is when metal is finished with a lustrous, black lacquer.


Jet
Jet is also known as agate. It is a form of fossilized coal that became popular for mourning jewelry after Queen Victoria’s husband, Albert died in 1861. Produced mainly in Whitby England. It is hard, lightweight lustrous black and it is frequently cabochon cut.


Jump Ring
A small wire ring, not soldered shut, used to link elements of jewelry.

Jewel Bearing
Watchmakers are constantly refining their craft in order to create the most accurate and efficient movements. One technique that they employ involves the use of jewel bearings. This mechanism involves the rotation of a metal spindle in a jewel-lined pivot hole. As the spindle turns, it precesses in the hole cut through the gem. These bearings, which were patented in 1704 in England by Nicolas Fatio de Duillier and Peter and Jacob Debaufre, have many advantages. They are light and highly accurate due to the temperature stability, high hardness, and low friction of the jewel. Initially, sapphire, ruby, and garnet were used in these bearings, but with the invention of synthetic stones, most jewel bearings today use synthetic sapphire. Many Stauer watches employ jewel bearings.

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K


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L

Lapidary
Cutting, shaping, polishing and creating jewelry from precious and semi - precious stones.


Lavalier
A pendant with a dangling stone that hangs from a necklace. Lavaliers were named for the infamous Duchess Louise de La Valliere a French woman who was a mistress of the French King Louis, dating 1644 – 1710


Living Jewelry
Jewelry materials derived from living organisms: pearl, cultured pearl, fresh - water pearl; mother of pearl; coral.


Lucite
Lucite is a clear b plastic that can be molded or carved. It became popular in the 1940s.


Luster
Stones sparkle or sheen. The way it reflects light. The luster depends on the nature of the stone's surface reflectivity

Lab Created Gemstones
The lab created rubies, sapphires, and emeralds you will find at Stauer have the same chemical and physical properties as their natural counterparts. In the lab, scientists subject corundum, which makes up natural rubies and sapphires, and beryl, which makes up natural emerald, to the intense pressure and heat which creates gemstones in nature. The chief difference between natural stones and these lab created gems is that those made in the lab have far fewer inclusions or imperfections than natural jewels. As a result, they have superior color and beauty than the flawed stones made by nature. And of course, they can be yours for a far less daunting price.

Lapis lazuli
In the inhospitable regions of northern Afghanistan, buried in the limestone of the Kokcha River Valley is the “stone of Lāzhvard.” Ancient Sumerians used this stone to create statuettes for their tombs. According to the Egyptian Book of the Dead, an amulet of this stone carved in the shape of an eye would give its owner untold power. Lapis lazuli is a deep blue stone, not a mineral, that is composed of primarily lazurite, or (Na,Ca)8(AlSiO4)6(S,SO4,Cl)1-2. The most prized stones also include golden flecks of pyrite that enhance the sparkle of the gem. Apart from being used in jewelry, Renaissance painters ground the stone into a powder to create a valuable pigment known as ultramarine. Today, lapis lazuli is a popular gem among all jewelry collectors.

Larimar
Walking along a beach in 1974, two men came across a beautiful light blue stone. Thinking that it had come from the ocean, the called it a sea stone. One of the men, Miguel Méndez, named the stone larimar, after his daughter Larissa and mar, the Spanish word for sea. News of this stone quickly spread. Some believed that it was evidence of the lost civilization that sank below the ocean and called it the Atlantis Stone. In fact, larimar, which is a form of pectolite containing cobalt, was originally discovered by Father Miguel Fuertes Loren in the early 1900’s. His find went unnoted, and sixty years passed before the world knew of its existence. Larimar, which is one of the rarest stones on earth, is only mined in the Barahina province of the Dominican Republic. It is prized for its rich sea blue color and is often paired with silver to make necklaces, earrings, and bracelets.

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M

Mabe or Mobe
A half sphere or domed stone, usually a fake pearl.


Marquise
An oval stone which is pointed at both ends, a stone cut in a boat shape, pointed at both ends, with rounded sides


Matinee Length
A single strand that is from 22 to 23 inches (56 to 58 cm) long.


Melee
A melee is a small diamond, under .20 carat.


Memory Wire
A tough, stiff wire that retains its


Mexican Diamond
A misleading term for rock crystal, and not a diamond at all.


Micromosai
Micromosaics are pictures or decorations that are made out of extremely small pieces of stone, glass or other materials


Millefiori
Means "thousand flowers" in Italian. A method of creating glass or clay beads, with intricate patterns using canes.


Mine Cut
A style of diamond cutting popular before 1890 or so, it features a cushion shaped outline, rather than the round outline of the modern cut.


MM
Millimeters. A Metric measurement used for Pearls and; Gemstones


Molded Cameo
Cameos that are made by the molding process and not by carving the material, usually made from plastic, glass, or porcelain that is formed in a mold. Often, two colors of material are used, one for the relief pattern and another for the background.


Montana Ruby
Is actually a pyrope garnet and not a ruby at all.


MOP
Mother of Pearl


Mourning Jewelry
A type of jewelry worn when one is mourning the loss of a loved one. It is often black, subdued jewelry often made of jet or black glass and metal with a Japanned finish or jewelry that commemorates the dead like hair jewelry or .


Mystic Fire
Also called mystic topaz or rainbow topaz which is topaz that has been color enhanced by coating it with a fine layer of metal atoms. This stone has red, green, violet, and blue streaks

Murano Glass
Ask anyone where the finest glass in the world is made, and they will tell you Venice. Ask any Venetian where the finest glass in the world is made, and they will tell you Murano. Fearing that the fires from the glassmaking workshops would sweep through the wooden city and reduce it to rubble, the leaders of Venice required that all of the glass studios move to the nearby island of Murano. Not only was the city now more safe from fire, but Venetian officials could better control the valuable industry with all the artisans on a single island. In such close quarters, the glassmakers became increasingly competitive, honing their skills and perfecting their art. As the years went by, new techniques emerged for better capturing the beauty of the glass. Using styles such as avventuria, where metallic flecks are added to the glass, millefiori which gives the effect of a “thousand flowers” housed in the glass, and sommerso, a technique where many layers are dipped in molten glass, the Murano glassmakers became the most famous in the world. The industry began to suffer as artisans, who were forbidden to leave the city, left Venice to found studios throughout Europe. However, glassmaking in Murano made a come back as prominent Italians went to great lengths to preserve the valuable tradition. Used in jewelry, sculpture, and even chandeliers and found in ever color, shape, and style imaginable, Murano glass rivals the finest gemstones in beauty.

Mechanical or Manual Movement
In 1524, Peter Henlein created the first spring-powered pocket watch. For the next 400 years, almost all watches operated on the same principal. Mechanical watches store energy in a wound mainspring. A gear train transfers this energy to a balance wheel that oscillates at a constant rate, creating a ticking sound. The gear train also adds up the swings of the wheel to determine the units of time. An escapement keeps the balance wheel vibrating and allows the gears to move a set amount each swing of the wheel. The face or dial of the watch allows the time to be read by the wearer. With a single winding, a mechanical watch can run anywhere from 40 hours to 10 days, depending on the age and complexity of the movement.

Moon Phase Dial
A watch that contains a rotating dial that displays the phase of the moon


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N

Navette
An oval stone which is pointed at both ends.


Nickel silver
A white metal mixture of copper, zinc, and nickel which contains no silver. Also known as German Silver. Consists of approx 60% copper, 20% nickel, 20% zinc, and 5%

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O

Oiling
A process of applying mineral oil to a stone in order to enhance it and mask inclusions, make them more transparent, and darken their color. Emeralds are frequently oiled to mask their many inclusions.


Opal Triplet
An opal triplet is a manufactured stone that is composed of three thin layers that are glued together. A thin layer of opal is sandwiched between a layer of clear quartz and a layer of either obsidian or ironstone.


Opaque
Blocking the passage of light.

Opal
Louis Leakey, the famed anthropologist who discovered the Australopithecus, Lucy, came across an interesting find in a cave in Kenya in 1939. Among the remains of a prehistoric dwelling, he found opal ornaments that dated to 4000 B.C. This gem has fascinated people for over 6000 years. Its name comes from the Greek opallios, or “color change,” and the Sanskrit upala, or precious stone. The Romans considered it a queen of gems. Pliny the Elder praised it as possessing the best attributes of all the world’s gems, and Mark Antony once banished a senator for not selling him one of the beautiful stones. In the Middle Ages, opals were believed to promote good eyesight and help prevent blonde hair from losing its color. Opals have been given as royal gifts throughout the ages. Napoleon gave his Empress Josephine an opal which he called the “Burning of Troy.” Queen Victoria loved to give opals as gifts to new brides, despite the superstition of the age that opals were bad luck. This belief came from the novel Anne of Geuerstein by Sir Walter Scott. In the book, Lady Hermoine is killed when a drop of holy water lands on her opal. Scott’s novel hurt the opal industry for some time. In 1877, a major find in Australia popularized opal once again and introduced new shades of the lovely gem. The opal’s ability to reflect every color of the rainbow comes from its structure, which is composed of many small spheres of silica gel. Opals range in shades from dark black to brilliant white.

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P

Parure
A jewelry set consisting of three or more matching pieces. Three of either earrings, bracelet, and necklace, or pin/brooch. In Victorian times, a complete parure consisted of two matching bracelets, necklace, earrings and a brooch.


Paste
A term for imitation gemstones. Fine jewelry was often imitated in finely made copies to protect the wearer from theft, and these were referred to as paste. Paste is glass that is cut and faceted to imitate gemstones.


Patina
Patina is the change to the jewelry surface resulting from natural aging.


Pave
Very tightly set stones, as in a pavement; a gem setting technique in which the stones are set low and very closely spaced, so that the surface appears to be paved with gemstones. In better pieces, claw settings are used; in less expensive pieces, the stones are simple glued in.

Pearl
Glow from within light reflected off surface and interior
There is nothing more unique than a pearl. Known as the Queen of Gems, pearls were probably first discovered in the Persian Gulf and came to be some of the most valuable objects in history. Ranging in color from white to black, lavender to gold, they have been prized for centuries by men and women alike, from Elizabeth I to Elizabeth Taylor. Many cultures considered pearls to be pieces of the divine. Both the Hindu and Muslim religions value pearls as sacred object which symbolize purity natural perfection. According to Chinese legend, pearls were created and protected by dragons, and the Taoist lead Lao Tzu kept an enormous pearl in his home to give his family luck and good fortune. Peoples of the Mediterranean believed that pearls were created when rainbows met the earth. The Romans were perhaps the most pearl crazed, using the gems for anything from jewelry to upholstery. The crazed Emperor Caligula was rumored to have given his horse a necklace of pearls after he mad the animal Consul of Rome. In the story of Antony and Cleopatra, the Egyptian queen believed that if she threw the most sumptuous party in history, she could convince the Roman that her country was far too wealthy to invade. As the Romans sat down to eat, Cleopatra promptly crushed a pearl on her empty plate and ate the gem. Antony was satisfied and did not attack Egypt. As some of the world’s rarest objects, pearls form in only one of every ten thousand to several million mollusks capable of forming the gem. Various shapes also occur in nature and are identified by their structure. Names include button, seed, round, rice, and drop pearls. Any mollusk can form a pearl, but most prized pearls come from certain species of saltwater oysters and freshwater clams. Once a particle enters an oyster, the animal begins to create the pearl. The oyster coats the irritant with aragonite and conchiolin, which are collectively called nacre. This nacre creates the lustrous sheen and ethereal glow that is the trademark of the lovely gem.

Freshwater Pearl
Explorers first came to the New World searching for a route to the riches of India, and troves of gold to supplement the treasures of Europe. Although the English and French never discovered the El Dorado of their dreams, they soon found that America had riches that were completely unexpected. The rivers of Ohio, Mississippi, and Tennessee were full of pearls, earning America the title of Land of the Pearls. The explorers began shipping the gems back to Europe in mass quantities satisfying the cravings of their monarchs. American freshwater pearls could be found in royal jewels across the continent. Today, China is the current leader in freshwater pearl production, although many pearls still come from the US. Freshwater pearls are just as valued as their saltwater cousins, consisting of the same organic material often possessing interesting shapes and varied colors.


South Sea Pearls
Among some of the world’s largest pearls, the South Sea Pearl can be found in the waters between northern Australia and southern China. In the clean, clear waters of this area lives the large Pinctada maxima, one of the largest oysters on earth. The size of the animal and the purity of its natural environment allow it to create some of the most beautiful and largest pearls known to man. Usually found in white, silver, and golden tones, this satiny gem is very rare and extremely valuable.


Cultured Pearl vs. Natural Pearls
Culture pearls are identical to natural pearls in physical composition and appearance. The only difference between the two types is that a natural pearl forms when a particle enters the mollusk by chance, and a cultured pearl forms when the particle is placed in the shell by man. Cultured pearls are not imitation pearls because they are made of nacre. One can distinguish a true pearl from an imitation by rubbing the object against one’s teeth. Pearls feel gritty, whereas imitations will be smooth. Due to the rarity and price of natural pearls, the majority of pearls on the market these days are cultured. The modern process of culturing was created by three Japanese men in the early 1900’s. Tokichi Nishikawa and Tatsuhei Mise simultaneously discovered the method of inserting a particle into the shell, but it was Kokichi Mikimoto who truly founded the industry by focusing on creating truly round pearls. The industry has spread to many nations, including China and Australia and now includes freshwater as well as saltwater pearls.

Mother-of-pearl and Abalone
The silky iridescence of pearls is attributed to the layers of nacre on the surface of the gem. This nacre comes from the interior of the mollusk shell. This material, also known as mother-of-pearl, is often used in jewelry. In fact, Japanese divers would often discard pearls in favor of the beautiful interior coating of the shells they collected. Polynesian children would use pearls as marbles while their parents adorned themselves with the shells. Today, mother-of-pearl has a wide variety of uses as it can be found in all sorts of shapes, designs, and coatings. Abalone, which is composed of the same material as mother-of-pearl, comes from a particular sea snail known as an abalone.


Pewter
Pewter items are described and marked as such if they contain at least 90% tin. Also, a somewhat dull silver - colored alloy of tin, antimony, and copper.


Plating
See Electroplating


Plique - a - jour
A form of cloisonné in which the enamel in the cells has no backing, producing a translucent effect.


Pot metal
Pot metal is a term used to cover many, many different mixtures which do contain precious metals


Princess Length
A princess length necklace is 18" long.


Pronged
Stones set with individual prongs holding them in place.


PT or Plat
Platinum is usually marked one of these ways in the United States

Peridot
Robert Frost once wrote, “Nature’s first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold.” Frost believed “nothing gold can stay,” but the wonderful shade of peridot is everlasting. Although the stone’s name comes from the word peritot, meaning gold, the gem is a beautiful, sparkling green. Peridot has been valued for centuries. From Cleopatra, who adorned her exquisite jewelry with the stone, to adventurous pirates, who believed the gem could protect their golden hordes. The stone was originally mined on the island of Topazo in the Red Sea and transported to Egypt, were it was considered the “gem of the sun.” The soothing color arises from the metal within the magnesium iron silicate which makes up the gem. It is often found in volcanic areas, having exploded out of the earth with magma and lava. Peridot can also be found in large quantities in meteorites which hit the earth, making them the little green jewels from outer space.

 

Power Reserve
A power reserve indicator is a feature of certain mechanical or automatic watches that displays the amount of tension, and therefore energy, remaining in the mainspring.

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Q

Quartz Movement
As a piezoelectric material, quartz, or silicon dioxide, conducts a constant voltage or pulse when compressed. Quartz movement watches use this property to accurately keep time. A battery transmits energy to the quartz, which then creates a highly accurate, steady pulse. The pulse passes through a stepping motor that converts the electrical energy of the battery to mechanical energy that drives the watch mechanism. The first quartz clock was invented in 1927 at Bell Telephone Laboratories, and quartz watches gained popularity in the 1970’s. Quartz movements are generally more accurate and less expensive than mechanical movements.

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R

Reconstructed Stone
A stone that is made from pieces of smaller stones or crystals. Reconstructed stones often have telltale air bubbles.


Regard
The Victorians loved romantic symbols, and rings or brooches set with a Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, and a Diamond so that the first letter of each gemstone spelled out
A glass stone, facetted to imitate a diamond. In German, it is called Strass, after the man who popularized it.


Rhodium
A metal that is part of the platinum family.


Rhodium Plating
A thin plating of rhodium applied over either sterling or other alloy to give a bright, shiny, long lasting silver - colored


Retro
A recent designation for the period in the forties when large scale, stylized geometric forms were the rage. Pink gold, set with colored stones, sometimes in floral forms was common.


Rocaille
Jewelry whose design is based on sea life, sea shells, or rocks.


Rolled Gold
A very thin sheet of gold that is laminated to a lesser metal usually brass. The two layers of metal are heated under pressure to fuse them together. The sheet is them rolled into a very thin sheet and then used to make jewelry.


Rope
A rope is a string of pearls that is over 40 inches long.


Russian Gold Finish
A Russian gold finish is a matte, antique - look finish. Miriam Haskell jewelry often has a Russian gold plated finish

 

Ruby
In the country of Burma stretches the Mogok Stone Tract in the legendary Valley of Rubies. According to legend, the first ruby, the center of earth’s fire and blood, was discovered here by an enormous eagle, long before men came to the valley. The ruby, known by the Hindus as rajnapura, or “King of Gems,” was treasured as the most valuable object by ancient monarchs. When a stone was found, the king would send out a delegation to welcome the gem to the kingdom. Rubies spread through the halls of royals from India to England, where a ruby adorns the king’s coronation ring. Today, rubies are symbols of passion and power. The stone’s color is its most important attribute. Rubies are always red, as a result of traces of chrome in aluminum oxide. If the gem is not absolutely red, it is considered a sapphire. Like sapphires, rubies are composed of the mineral corundum, which is extremely hard, second only to diamonds. The most prized rubies let off an almost fluorescent glow and can appear silky or velvety in hue. This king of gems is the best gift for the ruler of your heart.

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S

Safety Catch
Prior to 1900 or so, brooches had a simple "C" catch with no locking mechanism, and the pin often extended out beyond the "C" far enough to weave back into clothing for security. At the turn of the century several "safety catches" were invented and came into common used for better jewelry, so a piece that exhibits a safety catch was made in the twentieth century

 

Sapphire
In ancient times, certain cultures believed that the Earth was an enormous blue gemstone in which the continents were imbedded. Although this notion was eventually discarded, people still valued the radiant mineral which the Hebrews called Sapir. However, the ancients were not mistaken in their description of the beautiful sapphire. Some of the most valued stones are indeed as blue as the deepest oceans. The stone, which is in fact aluminum oxide or corundum, can be found in every color of the spectrum. Certain trace elements within the pure compound produce various hues. The vivid blue colors are usually products of titanium oxide or iron. It is one of the hardest stones, scoring a 9 on the Mohs Scale, second only to diamond. Throughout history, sapphires have been prized by all who have looked upon them. The empires of Southeast Asia have stocked their treasure troves for centuries with the stones from Sri Lanka, the “Jewel Box of the Indian Ocean.” It is said that King Solomon once wooed the Queen of Sheba with these Ceylon Sapphires. More recently, sapphires have graced royal collections, including the 18 carat engagement ring of Princess Diana. Though the world may not be a sapphire imbedded with earth, perhaps you can find a piece of jewelry imbedded with sapphires that will mean the world to you.

 


Satin Finish
A finish between a matte finish and a brilliant one.


Sautoir
A long rope style necklace, often with a tassel or pendant at the end, these were popularized in the Edwardian era. It is also known as a rope, being much longer r than opera - length, often with a pendant at the end.


Scatter Pins
Small pins that are worn together in small groups.


Seed Pearl
Refers to a very small round pearl or a very small imitation pearl.


Shank
The part of a ring that encircles the finger.


Signed
When a Manufacturers or Designers name or identifying mark is etched, carved, or stamped into the Jewelry it is called signed


Signet Ring
Used as a means of identification for relatively important people as it was engraved with a symbol identifying a particular person.


Silver Tone
Silver plated or coated, not sterling silver.


Slide Bracelet
A type of modern - day charm bracelet made from stringing Victorian era watch fob charms together on a double chain where the charms can slide along the chains.


Snake Chain
Also called a Brazilian chain is a metal chain made up of a series of small, linked cups


Souvenir Jewelry
Made for tourists as a remembrance of their trip.


Split Ring
Small base metal finding resembling a key - ring.


Star Setting
A setting in which a gem is set within an engraved star; the gem is secured by a small grain of metal soldered to the base of each ray of the star. Popular in the 1890s.


The Stauer Collection
Stauer's unique line of watches, jewelry, men's jewelry, eyewear, home accessories, coins & collectibles, patriotic gifts, fine art paintings, and handbags & leather goods.


Striations
Grooves, lines and scratches found naturally in some minerals.

Made in laboratories; these stones generally lack imperfections. It is very difficult to distinguish a synthetic stone


Sterling Silver
925 parts silver, legal standard.


South Sea Pearls
Among some of the world’s largest pearls, the South Sea Pearl can be found in the waters between northern Australia and southern China. In the clean, clear waters of this area lives the large Pinctada maxima, one of the largest oysters on earth. The size of the animal and the purity of its natural environment allow it to create some of the most beautiful and largest pearls known to man. Usually found in white, silver, and golden tones, this satiny gem is very rare and extremely valuable.

 

Spinel
Among the English Crown Jewels are two enormous rubies that have been passed down for generations. The Timur Ruby hangs from a chain of gold and is inscribed with the names of sultans. The Black Prince’s Ruby, which was carried into battle by Henry VIII, now sits as the centerpiece for the royal crown. However, it appears that Mother Nature duped the kings and queens of old. Both of these so-called rubies are in fact spinels. Spinels are stones found in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Tanzania and Tajikistan, and are also known as Balas rubies for their tendency to resemble the red stone. In fact, fine spinels are rarer than rubies, and come in many beautiful colors, including red, orange-pink, and cobalt blue. The gem, which follows the general formula A2+B3+2O2-4, has a hardness of 8 on the Moh’s scale and is ideal for all sorts of jewelry. Just ask Queen Elizabeth.

Silver
As one of the most desirable metals, silver has been prized since ancient times. We have used silver for decoration, currency, and even medicine. Silver compounds have a toxic effect on some bacteria. Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, noted these healing effects and encouraged his patients to use silver. Wealthy Romans often fed their babies with silver utensils, hence the expression, “born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth.” As an incredibly shiny and reflective metal, silver is ideal for jewelry. The Romans called it argentum, or white shining, for it is the whitest of natural metals. It is both highly ductile and malleable, and harder than gold, although much more prevalent. Sterling silver, which is often used in jewelry, is composed of 7.5% copper and 92.5 % silver.

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T

Taxco
Taxco is a town in the State of Guerrero in Mexico, that is famous for its silver jewelry production. Early Taxco jewelry is highly collectable. Pieces dating 1979 or later are distinguished by a registration mark of two letters followed by a series of numbers


Tiffany Setting
The high pronged setting most common today for large stones such as a diamond solitaire; this setting was introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886.


Torsade
A necklace made of many strands that are twisted together


Tortoise Shell
A popular material for 19th century jewelry. Tortoise shell is banned and no longer used, however there are very close plastic imitations of tortoiseshell.


Translucent
Translucent materials allow light to pass through them, but the light is diffused (scattered). Some translucent stones include moonstones, opals, and carnelian. Lucite and other plastics can also be translucent


Transparent
Transparent materials allow light to pass through them without scattering the light. Some translucent stones include diamond, zircon, emerald, rock crystal, and ruby. Plastics like Lucite can also be transparent. In the confetti Lucite bangle above, the glitter within the Lucite is visible


Trembler
A piece of jewelry that has a part or parts set on a spring. The spring set parts move as the wearer of the jewelry moves.


Triplet
A manufactured stone that is made by sandwiching three thin layers of stones together. For example, an opal triplet had a top, protective layer of clear quartz, a thin middle layer of opal, and a base layer of dark, color - enhancing stone

Tanzanite
In 1967, Massai tribesmen discovered a beautiful gem on the slopes of Mount Kilimanjaro. Little did they know, they had stumbled upon tanzanite, a stone which is a thousand times rarer than diamond. According to African legend, in a violent storm in the foothills around Kilimanjaro, a bolt of lightning struck the earth, setting the ground ablaze, and forming this breathtaking stone which resembles lightning in both its blue-violet color and incredible intensity. The truth behind tanzanite’s formation is equally amazing. According to geologists, the combination of zoisite and vanadium in the earth almost 600 million years ago led to the creation of this “geological phenomenon.” It is only found in this secluded region of Africa and deposits are depleting. Within the next few years, the stone will be gone. Like a bolt of lightning, tanzanite hit the market but soon will vanish.

Turquoise- December
Nearly every culture that has encountered turquoise has considered it lucky. It was first used around 5500 BCE in Egypt, adorning the palaces of kings and the tombs of pharaohs. Tibetans once carried the stones with them everywhere to protect them and give them good fortune. The Aztecs and American Indians associated the stones with their gods and used them for jewelry and artwork. Turquoise did not become popular in Europe until the Renaissance, but mentions of the stone have been found in the works of influential Europeans, from Aristotle and Pliny to Marco Polo. The stone did not gain its modern name until it reached Europe, where it was bestowed with the French word for Turkish due to its eastern origins. These stones most likely originated in Persia, whose mines are famous for some of the world’s most beautiful turquoise. Stones vary in color from sky blue to yellowish, with the bold blue green hues being the most valued and recognizable. Chemically, turquoise is composed of hydrated copper and aluminum phosphate. Many stones also contain a “spider web” effect of black which is typical of American stones. But no matter where the stone comes from, this lucky gem is the perfect gift for a lucky lady.

Tourbillon
In the 18th century, gentlemen carried pocket watches with them in order to tell time. However, it was generally accepted that these watches were less accurate than their stationary counterparts. Many believed that gravity was the culprit. As the theory went, pocket watches were designed with their movements placed perpendicular to the face. When placed in one’s pocket, the movement was oriented parallel to the ground, and gravity forced the parts downward, causing inaccuracy. In 1795, a French watchmaker named Abraham-Louis Breguet came up with a solution to counteract this problem. His new tourbillon, or “whirlwind,” movement rotated the entire escapement so as to average out the effect of gravity on all parts of the movement. Different tourbillon movements turned at different rate, but they were eventually standardized at one rotation per minute. It is unclear whether the 18th century theory was correct, but tourbillons have persisted and become an integral part of any watch aficionado’s collection.

Tourmaline
The tourmaline is a stone of many colors. In fact, its name comes from the Sinhalese word turamali meaning multicolored stone. A legend says that, as the stone ascended to earth, it passed through a rainbow that formed its vibrant hues. It is rare to find a crystal of single color. Tourmaline, which is composed of aluminum boron silicate, is found in colors ranging from deep red to shining yellow. Perhaps its most whimsical shade is the watermelon tourmaline, which is colored light green and pink. Apart from being beautiful, tourmaline has a unique scientific property. When heated and cooled, the gem becomes electrified. The Dutch, who first brought this gem to Europe from Sri Lanka, used this property to electrically draw ash out of their household pipes. Hence tourmaline’s Dutch nickname, aschentrekker.


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V

Vermeil
Silver with gold plating.


Victorian
The designation given to the period from approximately 1837 when Victoria became Queen of England until 1901 when she died. This long period is divided into early (approx. 1840 - 1860), mid [approx. 1860 -1880] and late [approx. 1880 – 1900] since it covers a number of distinctive design trends

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