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Home  /  Education  /  Jewelry Dictionary
Education
Jewelry Dictionary
A
abraded culetA chipped or scratched culet. Can be caused by contact with another diamond.
abrasionA bruise or scratch on the surface of a stone.
AGSAmerican Gem Society. Professional organization formed in 1934 by several independent jewelers and the founder of the Gemological Institute of America (GIA). The AGS is dedicated to setting and maintaining ethical standards and practices within the industry.
AntwerpPerhaps the most noteworthy and versatile diamond-cutting center in the world. All sizes and shapes of rough diamonds are cut in Antwerp.
appraisalA monetary evaluation, usually performed for insurance purposes by a gemologist. Appraisals should describe the piece in detail, including color, clarity, proportions, stone sizes, flaws and other distinguishing characteristics.
B
baguetteA rectangular cut stone with squared corners.
beardingSmall feather-like cracks along the girdle of a diamond.
bezelOuter ring of a watch case, usually designed to hold the crystal, that may also be used for advanced functions like diving timers.
bezel settingHolds a gemstone in place on all sides at the girdle, creating a smooth, metal halo flush with the stone's crown. Bezel settings often give the impression of a larger stone.
blemishA flaw, spot or scratch on the surface of a gemstone.
brillianceThe intensity and amount of light reflecting from inside a diamond or gemstone.
brilliant cutThe most common style of cutting for diamonds and colored stones. Brilliant cuts may be round or fancy and must have 57 or 58 facet cuts.
C
cabochonA gemstone cut that creates a dome shape with no facets.
caliperInstrument for determining the thickness or diameter of a gemstone.
caratOne of the "Four Cs". Metric unit of weight for diamonds and gemstones. One carat equals 200 milligrams or 0.2 grams.
clarityOne of the "Four Cs". Measures the degree to which a gemstone is free from flaws. A clarity scale is used to grade flaws in gemstones. The scale ranges from FL (Flawless) where there are no visible internal or external flaws to I3, where many imperfections are visible to the naked eye.
cleavageTendency of a crystalline material to break in certain directions, often along a grain or crystal face.
cloudGroup of tiny white inclusions in a diamond.
colorOne of the "Four Cs". In diamonds, the color scale ranges from D (colorless) to Z (yellow). In colored gemstones, the grading scale differs widely depending on the type of stone.
comfort fitRing design in which the edges of the shank are rounded for maximum comfort.
crownThe facets or portions of a gemstone located above the girdle.
culetA small polished facet located at the sharp point or base of a faceted diamond or gemstone.
cultured pearlPearls created by the artificial introduction of a mother-of-pearl irritant into an oyster or other mollusk. Cultured pearls generally have thinner nacre and lack the luster of a natural pearl.
cutOne of the "Four Cs". Perhaps the most important factor in determining the value of a diamond or gemstone. The cut refers to the geometric proportion that dictates the reflection and refraction of light within a stone.
D
depthThe distance from a gemstone's table to its culet (top to bottom).
depth percentageThe measurement of a gemstone's depth (top to bottom) in relation to its diameter. Depth percentage is primarily responsible for refraction, which produces the fire or sparkle in a gemstone.
Diamond GaugeA mechanical device used to determine the precise measurements of a gemstone.
DiamondLiteInstrument for color grading diamonds using visual comparisons to master diamonds. Trademark, Gemological Institute of America.
dispersionThe separation of white light into the full color spectrum. Often described as the "fire" or sparkle when discussing diamonds.
E
emerald cutStep cut gemstone (most often rectangular) whose corners have been cut off.
extinctionDark or black spots in colored stone.
eye-cleanGemstone in which the flaws cannot be seen without a 10x loupe.
F
facetFlat, polished surface or plane on a gemstone.
faceted girdleGirdle that has been cut with facets.
fancy shapesA gemstone shape other than round.
featherInternal flaw (inclusion) that has a feathery appearance.
findingsSmall, pre-fabricated parts of jewelry such as clasps, settings, etc.
fireThe sparkles of flashes of spectral colors emitted from diamonds and other gemstones.
flawGeneral term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e., inclusion, fracture, etc)
flawlessTerm used to describe a gemstone that lacks discernable internal or external blemishes when viewed by a gemologist using no less than 10x magnification.
fluorescenceLuminescence that appears when certain diamonds are exposed to ultraviolet light.
fractureCracks, feathers or chips in a gemstone.
full cutGemstone with 58 facets.
G
gemologistGemstone specialist trained in gem identification, grading and appraising.
gemologyScience and study of gemstones.
GIAGemological Institute of America. Non-profit organization specializing in grading diamonds and gemstones. Widely held as the premier laboratory for gemological grading.
girdleThe narrow rim around a gemstone separating the crown from the pavilion.
gold filledMetal covered by a thin layer of gold that is at least 10k and 1/20th of the total weight of the piece
gold platedVirtually the same as gold filled, except gold plated items may have a layer of gold that is less than 1/20th of the total weight of the piece
gradingValuing a diamond using master stones.
H
headPortion of a jewelry item that holds the stone.
I
IJO

Starting in 1972, the Independent Jewelers Organization has become the largest buying group in the world. The Independent Jewelers Organization offers you the opportunity to buy with confidence from a local jeweler behind the dot.com who will design, create, manufacture and stand behind the jewelry of your dreams, as well as offer the very best prices.

imperfectionGeneral term used to refer to internal or external characteristics of a gemstone (i.e., inclusion, fracture, etc)
inclusionVisible internal flaws in a gemstone, including fractures, crystalling abnormalities, and foreign objects.
irradiationTreatment performed on gemstones and even pearls to enhance color.
K
karatStandard measure of gold purity. One karat is 1/24th pure.
L
laser drillingTechnique used to enhance a stone's clarity by allowing for the introduction of bleaching agents or other enhancing agents.
leakageLight leaving, or escaping,through the facets of fashioned gemstone.
Leveridge gaugeA millimeter gauge used to measure both mounted and unmounted stones.
loupeSmall magnifying glass, often held in the eye socket, used for analyzing gemstones.
lusterThe appearance of a material's surface, as determined by the quantity and quality of light reflected.
M
marquiseOval shaped gemstone with ends sharpened to points.
master stonesA set of diamonds used to grade the color of other diamonds.
milgrainTiny beads of metal used to decorate bands of metal
Moh's ScaleScale used to measure gemstone hardness. Scale ranges from 1 to 10.
mountingMethod of holding gemstones in place (i.e., prongs, bezels, etc)
N
nacreCrystalline substance that forms a pearl when secreted by a mollusk in response to an irritant.
O
off colorA stone presenting any semblance of undesirable color.
oilingTemporary treatment used to enhance the color of a gemstone.
operaA strand of pearls 32 inches in length.
P
pave (pah-vay') settingStyle of setting small stones as close together as possible. Stones are set into drilled holes and metal beads are pushed over to hold the stone.
pavilionThe portion of a gemstone located below the girdle.
percussion markIndentation or bruise on the surface of a gemstone caused by contact from a pointed object.
pitIndentation on the surface of a diamond or gemstone.
platinumPrecious metal that is far harder than gold. Platinum does not tarnish and is hypo-allergenic.
plotDiagram of a gemstone's clarity characteristics. Generally performed during an appraisal using magnification.
pointOne-one hundredth (0.01) of a carat.
princessA strand of pearls 18 inches in length.
princess cutSquare cut, brilliant gemstone.
prongMetal "finger" bent around the girdle of a gemstone to hold it securely in place.
proportionMathematical representation of a gemstone's overall symmetry.
R
recuttingRefinishing a polished stone in order to improve the stone's clarity, proportion or other imperfection.
reflectionLight rebounding off the polished surfaces of a gemstone.
refractionBending of light waves. When white light is refracted, a full spectrum of color appears, as in a prism.
ropeA strand of pearls 40 inches in length.
roughAn uncut or unpolished diamond or gemstone.
S
settingMethod of holding gemstones in place (i.e., prongs, bezels, etc)
shankPart of the ring that encircles the finger.
single cutA simple form of cutting that has a table, approximately 16 facets and rarely a culet.
solitaireRing containing a single diamond or gemstone.
symmetryUniformity of a gemstone's cut, including the shape and placement of facets.
synthetic stone"Man-made" gemstone grown in a lab.
T
tableLargest facet on a gemstone. The table sits atop the crown and allows light to enter and exit, creating the stone's brilliance.
table percentageDiameter of a gemstone divided by the size of the table.
Tolkowsky, MarcelMathematician that defined the proportions necessary for maximum brilliance from a round diamond brilliant cut
U
ultrasonicCleaning device for jewelry that removes dirt through the use of ultrasonic waves. Note: Certain gemstones may be damaged by an ultrasonic cleaner.
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