Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Talkin' Shop Tuesday - A, My Name is...

I've decided to start putting together a glossary of terms that might help you understand what exactly some of the jewelry sites are offering you. I'll be creating a page with a full list of the terms in alphabetical order as I post them in my Talkin' Shop Tuesday posts. If you ever run across a term you're unfamiliar with that relates to jewelry or gemstones, drop me a note via the *contact me* option in the menu and let me know what it is and I'll be happy to add it to the list!

Now that I've explained what I'll be doing, I think it's time to start doing it! Here are today's entries into the " Mystic Wynd Glossary of Jewelry and Gemology"

Alloy - A mixture of two or more metals to create a substance that usually has better qualities than any of the single component metals. (Example: Copper is alloyed with zinc to produce brass, which has the color of gold, but is much harder and more durable than gold.)

Briolette - An elongated, pear-shaped stone covered with bands of triangular (sometimes rectangular) facets, usually having one pointed end. Briolettes do not have a girdle.

Carat - A unit of measure of the weight of diamonds and other gemstones. One carat is equivalent to 200 milligrams or 100 "points." There are some countries around the world which also use this term interchangeably with karat, which refers to the purity of gold.  Due to the difference in weight between stones, the actual visual size of the stone in two different families (eg, diamonds and emeralds) may differ significantly. A one carat brilliant sapphire, for example, will be smaller in size than a 1 carat brilliant cut diamond.

Crown - The section of a faceted gemstone between the girdle and the table, or flat top facet of the stone. (If the cut has a table)

Girdle - The outer edge of a faceted stone, serving as the dividing line between the crown and the pavilion.  In a well cut, highly graded stone, the width of the girdle will be even and proportional to the cut of the stone. The girdle may or may not be polished.

Karat - designation used to define the purity of a gold alloy. 24kt gold, at 99.9% gold is considered pure gold. In the US, a gold alloy must be at least 10kt to be labelled as gold. In the UK, 9kt is the minimum fineness. Other regions and countries have varying minimums.

Opera Length -  term describing a single strand necklace that is between 28" and 34" long. The longer versions can often be worn as a double strand by wrapping the strand around the neck twice.

Pendant - An ornament or adornment that hangs from a necklace or bracelet. Typically, the term pendant is used to refer to a larger focal piece or piece that mixes components. A small, single component pendant is typically called a charm.

Point - measurement term meaning one-hundredth of a carat. A single point is roughly one-half the size of a grain of sand.

Quartz - Second most abundant mineral/gemstone species on Earth. It has a crystalline structure and many varieties of gemstones belong to this species, including agate, chalcedony, amethyst, onyx, and citrine, to name just a few.

I'll be back with more next Tuesday, and you'll be able to find the entire list by clicking on "Glossary" in the navigation menu. Once again, if you'd like to know what a specific term means, just send it to me and I'll be happy to include it in a future list!


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