Jewelry and Gemstone Glossary of Terms
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occur in every color except blue and most varieties are named for
their color. Rhodolite is a purplish red, hessonite is the name
for an orange, cinnamon, or pinkish variety. Tsavorite is the name
given to dark green grossularite. Uvarovite and demantoid are also
of garnet include Andradite, Tsavorite, Grossularite, Essonite,
Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Melanite, Allochroite, Ouvarovite,
Demantoid, and Rhodolite.
Today, the common definition of a gemstone is any stone, rock or
The explicit definition of a gemstone is a precious
stone: diamond, ruby, sapphire,
and precious opal.
stones are any other rocks, minerals, or petrified material that
is not classified as precious and which is used in jewelry or collected.
Some semiprecious stones include: agate,
carnelian, and jasper,
However, there has been a great debate among jewelers and gemologists
for many years. This debate revolves around the term "semi-precious"
and "precious" and whether an ugly, flawed emerald or
sapphire is actually more precious than a beautiful tourmaline,
amber or lapis lazuli.
The reasoning behind this debate is that the individual stone itself
is the designator and calling a stone "semi" precious
is a misnomer. Therefore, in recent years gemologists and jewelers
have applied the term "gem" or "gemstone" to
stones used in jewelry and only those who haven't yet been educated
about the difference in terms still use semi precious or precious
to refer to a stone..
For information about a variety of different gemstones, see gemstone
descriptions or birthstone
The period of British history from 1714 to 1830 produced a style
of jewelry known as Georgian. This period covered the reigns of
George I, George II, George III, and George IV.
A precious metal that does not oxidize or tarnish as most other
metals do. It has been used for over 6000 years in coins, jewelry
and ornamental objects. Gold is very malleable and can be melted
and cast into both small and large objects. It is also forged into
very thin sheets called gold leaf and used to cover the surface
of less valuable ornaments.
Gold is alloyed
with other metals like silver, copper or nickel to make it harder.
The ratio of gold to other metals is what denotes the karat
Common gold alloys are made by mixing gold, silver, copper, and/or
other metals to produce 14K, 18K and 22K gold, white gold (gold
and nickel or palladium), rose gold (gold and copper), green gold
(gold with silver or silver and cadmium) , and blue gold (a recent
gold color perfected by only a few jewelers).
Used to describe a gemstone's luster.
Some gems which exhibit a greasy luster are: nephrite jade, jadeite,
soapstone, and talc.