a jour: an open work setting that allows light to pass

alloy: mixture of two or more metals

assay: analytical test to determine metal content

attributed: not signed, but credited with a related organization

baguette: narrow rectangular cut stone

bail: loop which cord or chain passes to hold pendant

baroque: irregular shaped pearls

basse-taille: enameling technique that uses a clear application to an engraved metal surface

bezel: metal rim or band that holds a stone in place

box clasp: fastener for bracelets and necklaces, a slotted box which fits into a v-spring

brilliant cut: circular gemstone cut, especially for diamonds, with 57 to 58. This cut returns the greatest amount of white light to the eye.

briolettes cut: pear or teardrop shaped cut covered with triangular facets

cabochon: an unfaceted dome cut for gemstones, the stone is polished to a round surface

cameo: a layered stone with one or more colors, where the design is carved into the colored layers to show background and foreground

cameo habille: cameo with a head or bust of a person wearing jewelry set, usually set with diamonds

carat: gemstone measurement unit. One metric carat is one fifth of a gram

champleve: enamel technique where flap strips of metal are soldered, technique causes the colors to merge and blend

channel setting: row or rows of same size square or rectangular stones fitted together in a metal strip that hold the stones together in a "channel"

circa: within 10 years before or after a date

cultured pearl: pearl induced by man by placing matter into the mollusk

cushion cut: rounded corner square faceted stone, also called "antique cut"

damascene: technique of encrusting metals with other metal

demi parure: two or three matched pieces of jewelry, a matched set of only a couple of the pieces

doublet: an assembled stone consisting of two materials

electroplating: electronic process of depositing a layer of metal over another metal

embossing: technique for creating a raised decoration on metal using punches or hammers

enamel: glass-like material used in powder or flux form and fired on to metal.

engraving: design placed into metal by cutting away a surface

eternity ring: ring which stones are completely around the ring

estate jewelry: previously owned, not necessarily antique, period or vintage

Etruscan jewelry: ancient ornaments from central Italy, usually gold

etching: creating a design on jewelry or glass - acids are used

faux: fake or false

filigree: thin strands of gold or silver wire that have been twisted and soldered to create a decorative pattern

fine jewelry: made from precious metals and gemstones

french jet: black glass, not at all jet

gilding: base metal is plated or coated with a thin layer of gold

girdle: widest part of the stone, usually where the stone is held by the setting

gold filled: mechanical process using heat and pressure to join a layer of gold to the base metal

gold plated: layer of thin gold applied to metal

granulation: technique in which tiny balls are fused into a metal surface

gypsy setting: setting where stone is set recessed into the mounting

hallmark: mark to define fineness stamped on gold, silver or platinum

intaglio: an ingraving or incised design cut into stone, glass or metal using various tools such as drills, engraving tools, abrasives. A recessed design, unlike a cameo.

invisible setting: type of channel setting where well matched square or rectangular stones are set together into metal tracks very snuggly together. The metal setting is not visible from the front.

jet - a variety of the coal family that has been fossilized. Used frequently in the 19th century in mourning jewelry.

karat: measurement of fineness in gold. Pure gold is 24kts.

lavaliere: a light necklace usually has a pendant or pendants hanging from a chain. Often consisting of a gemstone or pearl. Very popular at the turn of the century.

loupe: magnifying glass used by jewelers

mabe pearl: pearl with a flat bottom and a rounded top

macle: flat-bottomed diamond crystal

marquise cut: gemstone cut in a boat-shaped or elliptical shape with pointed ends

mourning jewelry: jewelry worn in memory of the deceased by relatives and friends. Usually in black and sometimes having the hair of the deceased. At times money was left by the deceased for these items.

old mine cut: old style for cutting diamonds in which the girdle outline is squarish, the crown is high and the table is small. It has 32 crown facets

parure: complete set or suite of jewelry, has three matching pieces or more

patina: color change on the surface of metal resulting from age and exposure to the atmosphere

pave setting: method of setting many small stones very close together, presents a cobblestone look

pinchbeck: copper and zinc alloy, this looked like gold and was used to make jewelry around the 1700s

plique-a- jour: enamel technique where it is used over an openwork design, so that light strikes from the back

precious metal: platinum, gold or silver

prong set: stones held in place by metal grips

provenance: history of a piece

rock crystal: colorless quartz, naturally forms this way

rose cut: a gemstone cutting style where there are 24 triangular facets meeting at the top with a point. The base is flat

seed pearl: a small natural, cultured or artificial pearl weighing less than 1/4 of a grain

shank: part of the ring that goes around the finger

signed: marked with designers or makers mark or initials

signet ring: ring with initials, crest or seal engraved

slide: movable decorative element of longchain which adjusts at its opening

solitaire: a single stone mounting

sterling silver: alloy where 925 parts are pure silver and remainder is copper

suite: several pieces of matched jewelry

synthetic stone: man-made stone using the same elements of the natural stone

Tiffany setting: round four or six prong mounting for an elevated solitaire stone