The vocabulary of jewellery is a vast and beguiling place, whether you’re a first-time buyer or you haven’t bought any jewellery in a long time.
Here’s a quick useful list of key terms to help you discover and further appreciate your unique jewellery item:
Alloy: a mixture of different metals.
Base Metal: non-precious metal, such as copper.
Bezel: a groove holding a stone secure in its setting.
Burnish: the shine on a highly polished surface.
Cabochon: the style of an oval or round, highly polished gemstone, where colours are enhanced over a domed surface.
Chasing: the punching of a design into the front of a piece of metal, also known as embossing.
Etching: the removal of a surface using acid, to create a patterned relief, in a controlled environment.
Facet: a flat surface ground onto a stone by a trained lapidary or diamond cutter.
Findings: a range of clasps, fastenings and earring wires, enabling jewellery to be worn on the body.
Forging: hammering to alter the shape and profile of metal.
Gallery: a wire used in jewellery to raise the level of a piece to allow suitable clearance for stones.
Lobster Claw Clasp: A jewellery fastener that imitates the claws of a lobster.
Milk and Honey Effect: the apparent coloring of a stone changes, from milky to the color of honey; when a light is shined on the stone, one side of the stone is the color of milk and the other is the color of honey.
Patina: a gloss or sheen which develops naturally over time due to polishing or aging.
Planishing: repeatedly hammering metal using a polished hammer to remove surface marks, creating an even finish.
Repousse: patterned relief punched or hammered into metal from the reverse side.
Rouge: polish used for the final stage of precious metal polishing.
Shank: the part of a ring which goes around the finger.
Tempering: heating metal to reduce brittleness.
Zircon: a lustrous gemstone that comes in colors ranging from golden brown to red to violet to blue.