Jewelry ~ Gemstone

Terms and Definitions

  Bernardine Designer Art Jewelry


Jewelry and Gemstone Glossary of Terms

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Index of Terms

- G -


garnetsGarnets 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 green varieties.

Named varieties 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 mineral.

The explicit definition of a gemstone is a precious stone: diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald and precious opal.

Semiprecious 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, topaz, carnelian, and jasper, lapis lazuli, jade and turquoise.

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 facts.



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 content.

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.


Green Amethyst

see under amethyst.


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