Jewellery terminology Part 2 - Friar House

Jewellery terminology Part 2

Fold over clasp – A clasp used on a bracelet or necklace with a box on one end and a V shaped tongue on the other. The lid of the box opens to reveal a small hook. The tongue moves over the hook and then the lid of the box is snapped shut to secure the tongue in place.

Hallmark – Hallmarks are used as a form of consumer protection against fraud. They are stamped onto precious metal by a legally appointed official after assaying, to denote the amount of precious metal contained in the piece. European hallmarks are a legal requirement. Compulsory hallmarking was not introduced until 1950 in the UK. The Hallmarking Act created The British Hallmarking Council in 1973 and they reinforce compulsory hallmarking for gold, silver and for the first time platinum.

Heart cut – A diamond or stone cut in the shape of a heart – a ‘Fancy - cut’.

Hidden box clasp – a box clasp hidden under the last link of a chain so that when the chain is closed it looks uniform except for the release lever.

Lever Back – a means of attaching an earring to a pierced ear with a hook that goes through the ear and is then secured by a hinged lever that is attached to the back of the earring.

Marquise  - also known as a navette. An oval shaped gemstone which tapers to a point at both ends. This cut was named for the Marchioness Madame de Pompadour

Millegrain – a raised beaded edge on a ring created with a special engraver’s tool. Millegrain resembles the edge of a coin.

Art Deco Millegrain Set Diamond Panel Ring

Millegrain setting – a millegrain design engraved into the edge of the metal securing a stone in place.

Pavé – This setting comprises of small gemstones set very closely together resembling paving done with bricks.

Pear cut – A fancy gem cut that resembles the shape of a tear drop, rounded on one end and pointed at the other.

Rhodium – a metal that is part of the platinum family, liquid in its natural state. Rhodium can be applied to base metals such as gold, silver and other alloys to produce a shiny surface like platinum. The process is very durable.

Safety catch – One of many ways of securing a brooch to a piece of clothing without the catch coming undone. A step forward from the simple ‘C’ catch that was used.

Semi-precious – Any gemstone that is valued for its beauty but not considered one of the four ‘precious stones’ emerald, diamond, sapphire and ruby. Examples of semi-precious stones include amethyst, garnet, opal, peridot etc.

Setting – the part of jewellery that the stone is set into. The term also refers to the mechanism used to hold the stones in place such as bezel, pave, channel and prong settings.

Shank – The lower part of the ring that encircles the finger excluding the setting.

Solitaire – A single gemstone that is mounted in a simple setting.

Diamond solitaire engagement ring

Square set – A style of stone cutting that resembles an emerald cut.

Trillion cut – A brilliant-cut gemstone triangular in shape with 44 facets.


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