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Jewelry Definitions

For Love of a Dog Jewelry Definitions

Aurora Borealis
Named for the Northern Lights. In costume jewelry, a term for crystal stones that have a highly iridescent surface. The effect is achieved by vapor blasting the facets of the lower part of the crystals with an invisible, micro thin metal sheet. This stone was created by Swarovski® in 1955 in collaboration with Christian Dior. Also known as AB, the term now refers to any iridescent finish.
 
Bakelite
The trademarked name for synthetic resins and plastics developed by a US chemist. Jewelry pieces made of Bakelite, especially with animal and fruit motifs, were extremely popular in the US in the 1930s and are now considered collectors items. Though still a highly specialized category. Bakelite has had something of a renaissance in this country in recent years
 
Baroque Pearl
An irregularly-shaped pearl
 
Bezel
The metal groove or flange holding a gemstone in its setting, or the slanting face of a cut gem.
 
Cloisonne
Enamel with surface decorations set in hollows formed by strips of wire welded to a metal plate
 
Enamel
Colored, opaque glassy material fused onto metal, pottery or glass.
 
Filigree
Lace-like ornamental work

Gold Electroplate
An electrolytic coating with gold, or with an alloy of not less than 10% fineness to a minimum thickness throughout that is equivalent to seven millionths of an inch. This means that where the fineness is less than 24Kt, the thickness must be proportionately greater, so that the same amount of fine gold is seven millionths of an inch, it may be marked  heavy gold electroplate
 
Gold filled
A gold alloy plate made by soldering, brazing, welding or other means that is not less than 10Kt fineness, where the plating constitutes at lest 1/20th of the weight of the metal in the entire article. The term must be preceded by the karat fineness of the plating, such as 14Kt Gold-Filled. When using the term gold overlay, manufacturers are permitted to use a layer of gold that is less than 1/20th the weight of the entire piece, but they must stamp the proportion of the gold layer on the jewelry.
 
Inlays
To set pieces of wood or ivory, for example, into a surface, usually at the same level, to form a design.
 
Nickel
A silver white metal popular for plating because it is malleable and resists oxidation. The most common of metal allergies
 
Patina
The coloration that occurs in certain metals when they are exposed at length to the atmosphere. A thin, greenish layer appears on the surface of copper and bronze; a reddish effect on gold. An artificial patina can be created with acids or electrolyte.
 
Precious Stones
Rare and costly gems: diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires
 
Repousse
Patterns or decorations achieved with punches or chasing hammers.
 
Resin
A solid or semi-solid organic (carbon based) material, either natural or synthetic. In general, non-soluble in water.
 
Semiprecious Stones
Natural stones that generally have a lower value than precious stones, including amethyst, aventurine, carnelian, garnet, opal, rose quartz, and others. Primarily used in fashion jewelry.
 
Silver Plate
A fine silver film deposited on a base metal by electrolysis, in the same kind of electrically-charged bath used to make gold electroplate. The film can be as thin as seven millionths of an inch. A silver plate item cannot be called sterling or bear a marking of ?silver?
 
Sterling Silver
Silver that is at least 92.5 percent pure with 7.5 parts of another metal, usually copper, to make the piece harder
 
Vermeil
Gilded or gold-colored sterling silver, copper or bronze.