Terms to Know

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Bar Setting - Similar to the channel setting, it is a circular band of diamonds or gemstones that holds each stone in by a long thin bar, shared between two stones.

Bezel Set - The bezel is simply a band of metal which is shaped into the size and shape of the gem and then soldered into place on the metal of the jewelry. This setting can be ideal for those with an active lifestyle or those who do not like prong settings.

Brilliant Cut - Brilliant cuts are scientifically found to reflect the most light from within the stone, and often are considered to have the most brilliance of all cuts. A round brilliant-cut diamond has 58 facets. Other brilliant cuts include the heart, oval, marquise and pear shaped.

Cabochon- is a gemstone which has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted. The resulting form is usually a convex top with a flat bottom.

Carat - A unit of mass for gemstones, equal to 0.2 gram.

Certification/Cert (or Diamond Grading Reports) - A report done by independent, laboratories that includes grading information on a diamond.

Channel Set - A setting method that fits gemstones of uniform size tightly into a channel with no metal separating them to form a continuous strip thereby eliminating the need for prongs.

Chronograph - A chronograph is a watch with both timekeeping and stopwatch functions.

Cushion Cut - A mixed-cut gemstone shaped like a square pillow.

Cultured Pearl
Natural pearls are those pearls which are formed in nature, more or less by chance. Cultured pearls, by contrast, are those in which humans take a helping hand by actually inserting a foreign object into the tissue of an oyster or mollusk, pearl farmers can induce the creation of a pearl. The same natural process of pearl creation takes place.Cultured pearls (nucleated and non-nucleated or tissue nucleated cultured pearls) and imitation pearls can be distinguished from natural pearls by X-ray examination.  Once the pre-formed beads are inserted into the oyster, it secretes a few layers of nacre around the outside surface of the implant before it is removed after six months or more. When a nucleated cultured pearl is X-rayed, it reveals a different structure to that of a natural pearl. A cultured pearl shows a solid center with no concentric growth rings, whereas a natural pearl shows a series of concentric growth ring

When exposed to ultraviolet light, a diamond (and some gemstones) may exhibit a more whitish, yellowish or bluish tint, which may imply that the diamond has a property called fluorescence. The untrained eye can rarely see the effects of fluorescence. Diamond grading reports often state whether a diamond has fluorescent properties. Fluorescence is not considered a grading factor or an influence on a diamonds price, only a characteristic of that particular diamond.

German Silver - A misleading name as it has no silver at all.  It is the same a nickel silver which contains nickel, copper and zinc.

Gold Electroplate - Gold electroplate is usually made by depositing a fine gold on a base metal, like brass.

Gold Filled
Gold filled jewelry is made from joining or bonding a top layer of gold alloy to a base metal and then rolling it to the thickness required.  It resembles an “oreo” cookie, a thin layer of  gold (usually 12K or 14K) with the base metal in the center.

Gypsy Set - The band is one continuous piece that gets thicker at the top. The top is dome shaped and the stone is inserted in the middle.

Hardness - Resistance a material offers to scratching or abrasion. Generally measured using the MOHS scale.

Illusion Set - This setting is more intricate than others in that it surrounds the stone to make it appear larger.

Karat - is a measure of the purity of gold.

Nacre - also known as mother of pearl, is an organic-inorganic composite material produced by some mollusks as an inner shell layer. It is made of platelets of calcium carbonate crystals that are secreted in response to an irritation in the mollusk.

Pavé - A type of setting where a number of small stones are set together. It literally means paved with diamonds.

Prong Set
The metal tip or bead that actually touches the stone and holds it into place. This setting usually consists of four or six claws that cradle the stone. Because this setting allows the maximum amount of light to enter a stone from all angles, it sometimes can make a diamond appear larger and more brilliant than its actual weight. This setting can also hold larger diamonds more securely.

Semi-mount - a piece of jewelry in which the center gem is absent. This type of jewelry is perfect if you have a gemstone and are looking for a unique setting.

Solitaire - A single diamond or stone set by itself in mounting.

Tension Set - A diamond is held in place by the pressure of the band’s metal, which is designed to “squeeze” the stone.

Vermeil - Sterling silver which has a layer of gold over the surface. The gold can be electroplated or mechanically bonded, as long as the gold is 150 micro inches thick.