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Facets, fineness and fastenings; let us explain all of the technical terms you might come across.
Adamantine minerals possess a superlative lustre, which is most notably seen in diamond. Such minerals are transparent or translucent, and have a high refractive index.
The effect of adularescence, is best described as a milky, blue coloured or glow originating from below the surface of the gemstone. Moonstone is a good example of an adularescent stone.
Allochromatic gemstones bare no colour themselves but contain multiple visible coloured impurities.
Allotropes are different structural modifications of an element, the atoms of the element are bonded together in a different way.
Baguette cut is a type of cut which can be applied to gemstones to give them a rectangular, geometric style of cut.
A bangle is an item of jewellery which circles the wrist to create the appearance of a continuous piece of metal.
Bar setting is a way in which gemstone can be set within a piece of jewellery to give a particular style or appearance.
The Barion cut was one of the first mixed cuts, introduced in 1971. It is an octagonal square or rectangle, with a polished and faceted girdle.
A cabochon cut gemstone has been shaped and polished, rather than cut and facetted so that it appears smooth and rounded.
A cameo is a carving on a gemstone which is raised against a background of contrasting colour. They commonly depict people or historical scenes.
A consultant with Tiffany and Co. and rare gemstone expert heavily involved with the introduction of tsavorite garnet and tanzanite to the wider commercial market.
A unit of measurement used to assess the weight of gemstones. One carat is the equivalent to one fifth of a gram.
Density is a measurement of mass per unit volume of a substance. The density of a material varies depending on temperature and pressure.
The word diaphaneity refers to the transparency or translucency of a gemstone and references the amount of light that passes through a gemstone.
When you can see two colours emitted from different angles of a gemstone the effect is caused by dichroism.
Diffusion is a method commonly used in the production of gemstone jewellery, used to apply or enhance the colour.
A popular item of jewellery used to adorn the ears and available in a variety of designs, including studs, hoops and drop styles.
A definitive style in terms of jewellery design, between 1901%201901, jewellery styles became more delicate and began to feature dainty diamond designs.
Also known as the “Single Cut”, an eight cut is a variation of the brilliant cut and is often used on diamonds under .05ct.
As the name suggests, this shape and cut was first used on Emeralds but is now widely used on a number of different gemstones.
One of the world’s most renowned jewellery brands, The House of Faberge was founded in Russia in 1842.
The tiny cuts on the surface of a gemstone which are positioned to allow maximum light reflection and refraction within the gemstone.
One of the most skillful art forms on the planet is the creation of a fancy cut gem.
Fibrous gemstones are those which are said to have a cloth like appearance- Kyanite is a good example of this.
This word is used in jewellery to describe the portion of a ring where a single gemstone or collection of gemstones sit.
The gamut point is a term used within the jewellery industry to describe the part within a gemstone where optimum colour occurs.
The different types of gemstone groups to which a gemstone belongs. For example morganite belongs to the beryl family.
The process of examining rough, loose stones to determine which are semi-precious or precious stones.
A hallmark symbol is given to an item of jewellery when it is made using precious metal and will differ depending on the type of metal and the location it was hallmarked.
Measured using the Mohs scale, the closer to ten the gemstone is on the scale, the harder and therefore more durable it will be.
Idiochromatic is a term applied to minerals that are self coloured, meaning the element causing its colour is an essential part in its composition.
From the Latin word for fire “ignis”, igneous rocks are formed by the solidification of cooled magma (molten rock), with or without crystallisation.
A very clever setting, particularly popular with pieces of diamond jewellery, the stone is set in to make it appear larger than it really is.
Most often pieces of coloured glass or crystal, imitation gemstones never hold the fire, brilliance or refraction qualities of a true gemstone.
The overarching term for rings, necklaces, pendants, earrings, bracelets and many other beautiful items of adornment made with precious metals and genuine gemstones.
The famous Koh-i-Nur Diamond was supposedly cut from 739 carats to 105 carats in its present state.
Labradorescence is a side-effect of the molecular change which occurs in large crystal masses of anorthosite, producing an iridescent play of colours.
Lapidarists are the skilled artisans who cut, facet and polish each gemstone used in each beautiful piece of gemstone jewellery.
A lap is a horizontal rotating disc that lapidarists use to facet and polish gemstones. In most cutting houses across Asia, lapidarists choose to sit on the floor and the “lap” is literally spinning in their lap.
An item of jewellery, normally a hinged pendant in silver or gold, used for stowing keepsakes and photographs.
Mabe Pearls are quite different from what you might consider normal pearls because of the way that they are made.
Certain precious metals are more malleable than others, meaning they are more likely to bend and get mis-shapen. Silver is a particularly malleable metal.
Marquise cut stones are those which are shaped like an elongated eye. It is a more unusual cut of gemstone which is traditionally used in solitaire rings.
When more than one piece of identical jewellery needs to be made, the first step is to produce a master model.
When a mollusc or an oyster experiences an intrusion from a foreign body such as a piece of shell or a grain of sand, it covers itself in a layer of nacre.
An octagon cut and an emerald cut can sometimes be very difficult to tell apart owing to the geometric style of their cuts.
Similar to iridescence, opalescence is an effect seen in some gemstones, primarily Opals (hence its name) which causes the gem to exhibit a shimmer of different colours.
A term used to describe items which are solid in colour and have no see through parts or translucency to them.
Organic gemstones are those which are formed from plant or animal life, rather than the mineral composition that forms other gemstones.
A precious metal with similar properties to platinum, often used in men’s jewellery for its silver colouring and hard wearing nature.
A type of setting, particularly popular with diamond set pieces, including engagement rings where small stones are set next to each other to create a glittering appearance.
An important part within the gemstone’s cut, the pavilion refers to the angles of facets and determines the way light travels through the stone.
A popular shape amongst larger gemstone pieces, as the name suggests, the jewellery is cut so that it is shaped like a pear.
A radiant cut stone has 70 facets and is quite similar to the princess cut in terms of its shape. Diamonds are popular stones to apply the radiant cut to.
The overall term used to describe how rare a gemstone might be.
A term used to describe the way in which light travels through a particular substance, in our case- gemstones.
A white metal used as an alloy to gold to whiten the metal. Rhodium is also used to plate white gold jewellery and give it an extra white appearance.
Colours are comprised of three things: Hue, tone and saturation. Saturation, also referred to as colour purity, describes the pureness of the hue: its vividness and intensity.
Derived from the French word to chain, sautoir is the name given to a long necklace.
A term used to describe the iridescent-type lustre in gems such as labradorite, where layers of inclusions provide a bronze-like lustre.
Very similar to lustre and brilliance, scintillation is used to describe the optical effect seen in gems such as Diamonds.
The table is the single top facet of a gem (when viewed from the side) and is sometimes referred to as the window of the gem.
A lucky charm carried by some to protect them and bring all manner of good things. More often than not, talismans tend to be an item of jewellery.
Also known as tapered baguettes, these cuts work extremely well on the shoulders of rings, where their shape naturally draws the eye towards the centre of the gemstone.
The process of discolouration which can occur when an item of jewellery has been exposed to water, oils or perfume in particular.
Slightly rounder than a traditional heart cut, with a height that is approximately 20% more than its width, the Valentine Cut is a very romantic cut.
The process of assessing an item of jewellery to give it a formal valuation, particular useful for heirloom pieces or for insurance purposes.
A term applied to a particular hard wearing type of gold plating- sterling silver is given a 2 micron thickness coating of gold making it particularly durable.
This term is used to describe a gem that has a lustre similar to that of glass.
Timepieces worn on the wrist in many cultures for many years, they keep everything running smoothly and punctually.
A simple band worn on the fourth finger of either the left or right hand, depending on country and culture, to symbolise that a person is married.
The yield is a term used to refer to the amount of cut gemstones that can be found within a rough stone.
A specialist cut created by Gabi Tolkowsky with 25 facets on the crown and 48 facets on the pavilion.
Also known as Astral Stones, each sign of the zodiac is associated with different gemstones.
The term zoning refers to gemstones with uneven colour saturation within them. A heavily zoned gemstone may be very light or dark in parts.
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