Glossary of Jewelry Terms

Glossary of Jewelry Terms

Alloy Metal

An alloy is a material made by mixing two or more metals, or a metal with a non-metal, to create a new material with specific properties. All gold less than 999.9 or 24K is an alloy of pure gold with one or more other metals. Sterling silver is an alloy of pure silver (92.5%) and copper (7.5%). The use of alloys allows for a wide range of properties and appearances in jewelry, making it possible to create pieces with specific colors, textures, and levels of durability.


An amulet is a type of object, often worn as jewelry, that is believed to have protective or magical powers. Amulets have been used for thousands of years across many cultures and can take many different forms.
In jewelry, an amulet might be a pendant, charm, or other decorative item that is believed to have specific powers or properties. Overall, the use of amulets in jewelry is a way for people to express their beliefs, protect themselves, or enhance their luck and well-being. An amulet or good luck charm is any object which is said to protect its holder from danger or to bring good luck.

Anchor Chain

An anchor chain, also known as an anchor link chain or mariner chain, is a type of chain necklace that features interlocking oval links giving it the appearance of a ship's anchor chain. The links are often wider and thicker than those found in other types of chains, giving it a strong and sturdy appearance.

baguette-cut stone

A type of faceted cut gemstone in which the facets are arranged in a series of rectangular or trapezoidal shapes. The baguette cut is characterized by its elongated rectangular shape with parallel sides and pointed corners.


Is a small metal loop or finding that is attached to a pendant or charm, allowing it to be hung from a necklace or chain.

Base Metal

Base metal refers to any metal that is not considered a precious metal, such as copper, brass, nickel, or zinc. These metals are typically less expensive and less rare than precious metals like gold, silver, and platinum. They may cause skin irritation or green or black skin discolouration and may also wear badly over time. We don't recommend wearing base metals against your skin.

Bezel Setting

Bezel setting is a jewelry setting in which a gemstone or other object is surrounded by a metal rim that holds it in place. The rim can fully or partially encircle the object, and it can be made from a variety of metals, including gold, silver, and platinum.


Birthstones are gemstones that are associated with a specific month and are often used in jewelry. The concept of birthstones dates back thousands of years, and different cultures have different lists of birthstones. The modern list of birthstones, as recognized by the American Gem Society, includes the following gemstones:
January: Garnet
February: Amethyst
March: Aquamarine
April: Diamond
May: Emerald
June: Pearl, Alexandrite, or Moonstone
July: Ruby
August: Peridot
September: Sapphire
October: Opal or Tourmaline
November: Citrine or Topaz
December: Tanzanite, Zircon, or Turquoise

Bolt Clasp Or Bolt Ring

A bolt clasp or bolt ring is a type of jewelry clasp that is commonly used on bracelets, necklaces, and anklets. It consists of a small, spring-loaded metal ring that is pushed open to allow the end of the chain or cord to be inserted, and then released to secure it in place.

Brilliant Cut

A type of cut used for diamonds. Brilliant cut stones are usually round in shape and have 58 facets.

Butterfly Back

A butterfly back is a type of earring back that is designed to secure stud earrings in place. It is characterized by its butterfly-shaped plate and spring-loaded mechanism that can be squeezed together to hold the earring in place.

Cable Chain

It is made up of round or oval links that are interconnected in a symmetrical pattern to form a flexible and durable chain.

Cabochon Gemstone

Is a polished gemstone that has a smooth, rounded top and a flat or slightly curved bottom. Unlike faceted gemstones, which are cut with many small, flat surfaces, cabochons are cut with a single, curved surface, which can highlight the unique patterns and colors of the gemstone.

Carat In Gemstones

Carat (ct) is a unit of weight used to measure gemstones, including diamonds. One carat is equivalent to 0.2 grams. The higher the number, the greater the weight.

Chain Necklace

A chain necklace is a type of necklace made up of interlocking metal links that form a chain. Some common types of chain necklaces include cable chains, curb chains, rope chains, and snake chains, each with a distinct style and texture.
There are several types of chain necklaces, including:
1. Cable chain: A simple chain with round or oval links that are all the same size.
2. Curb chain: A chain with interlocking links that are flat and twisted to lie flat.
3. Rolo chain: A chain made of thick, round links that are all the same size.
4. Snake chain: A chain made of tightly connected rings that form a flexible, tubular shape with a smooth surface.
5. Box chain: A chain made of square links that fit together to form a smooth, uniform chain.


A type of necklace which sits close against the base of the neck. It is usually 40cm (16.5”) long. Take a look at our necklace length guide for a handy size chart.


Clarity is a term used to refer to the degree to which a gemstone has flaws in it. The greater the clarity, generally the higher the value of the stone. However, lab grown gemstones usually have perfect clarity, but are still relatively inexpensive (see below).

Claw Or Prong Setting

A gemstone setting which is used to set faceted stones. These settings have notched claws or prongs that are pushed over slightly to hold the edges of the gemstone in place.

Cluster setting

A type of design where smaller gemstones are set around a larger stone as a focal point. Most often seen on rings.


A base metal which is vibrant orange in colour and is very soft. It tarnishes very easily and can stain the skin green or black in its pure form, so is not often used in jewellery on its own. However, it is often alloyed with pure silver or gold: for instance, sterling silver is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper, which forms a much stronger metal than either pure copper or silver (the copper content in sterling silver is not high enough to stain skin).

Curb Chain

A curb chain is a type of chain that has links which are twisted and flattened, so they lie flat against the skin. The links in a curb chain are typically symmetrical, and have a pattern of alternating twisted and untwisted links. This type of chain is durable and flexible, making it a popular choice for bracelets and necklaces.

Dangle earrings

Dangle earrings are similar to drop earrings, but hang below the earlobe and swing back and forth and/or side to side. They may be quite short or hang all the way down to graze your shoulders. Sometimes the terms 'dangle earrings' and 'drop earrings' are used interchangeably.


Drop earrings are similar to dangle earrings, but have the main feature dropping slightly below the earlobe. They may or may not swing depending on the design, unlike dangle earrings which always swing. Sometimes the terms 'drop earrings' and 'dangle earrings' are used interchangeably.


An earring back is a small piece that is used to secure an earring to the earlobe. Earring backs can come in different shapes and sizes, but the most common type is a small metal disc with a hole in the center. This type of back is threaded onto the post of the earring and held in place by friction.


An earwire, also known as an ear hook, is a type of earring finding used to attach dangling earrings to the ear. It is a thin wire with a hook at one end that passes through the ear piercing and dangles from the earlobe. The other end is either bent or flattened to prevent the earring from slipping off the wire.


This relatively minimalist gemstone cut is square or rectangular and is generally used for large and transparent gemstones.



Gold is a chemical element with symbol Au and atomic number 79. A relatively rare element, gold is a precious metal that has been used for jewelry throughout recorded history. For jewelry, pure gold is too soft and can easily be damaged. Gold which is blended with more alloys is stronger. This is preferable for jewelry, as the lower karats make a piece of jewelry more durable. Commonly used karats are 9k, 14k, 18k and 24k being pure gold.













Silver is a chemical element with the symbol Ag and atomic number 47. It has long been valued as a precious metal and is used in many bullion coins, sometimes alongside gold. As one of the seven metals of antiquity, silver has an enduring role in most human cultures, and is a very popular metal for jewelry making.

Sterling Silver