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Jewelry Glossary D-H


Dangle Earring:  An earring that extends below the earlobe and is designed to swing to and fro.

Danish Modern: A design style using elements from the period of the 1960s. The designs are of the “form follows function” genre and are minimalist in presentation.

See Minimalist.

Depth:  In reference to a gemstone, it is the length from table to culet. See Table/Culet.

Design Element:  An attribute type used to describe features of a jewelry item.

Diameter:  In reference to a gemstone, it is the overall width.

Diamond-Cut Chain:  Sharp edgescut onto the surface of a chain so that the links flash and catch the light.

Die Struck:  A process for manufacturing heads in which the item is stamped under extreme pressure, resulting in a work hardened rigid part. See Anneal.

Dispersion:  The power of a diamond when breaking up its light into its constituent colors. See Fire.

Drop Earring:  An earring that extends below the earlobe and is stationary.

DWT:  Abbreviation for pennyweight. There are 20 pennyweights in a ounce (troy). See Pennyweight.

Ear Trim: An earring designed to follow the contour of the ear.

Earring:  A piece of jewelry worn on the lobe or edge of the ear. Popular earring types are chandelier, cluster, dangle, drop, earring jacket, ear trim, huggie, hinged, hoop, lever back, and stud.

Earring Jacket:  An adornment for the ear that is an accessory to an earring, designed to be secured to the lobe with a stud. Earring Post   A pin-like or wire finding attached to the back of an earring that passes through a pierced earlobe. Examples included screw posts and friction posts.

Earring Back: A disc or bead witha hole, through which an earring post is threaded for the purpose of securing the earring to the earlobe. Examples include nut, screw, tension, omega, and clutch.

Earring Clutch: A type of earring back that attaches to an earring post after it passes through a hole in the earlobe. The earring clutch is used to secure an earring in place.

Earwire: A wire used for pierced earrings. Popular styles include French hooks, lever back, and kidney.

Edwardian: Characteristically containing lace-like, fine filigree work with milgrain settings. Popular from 1900-1914, it was usually produced in platinum for strength. Intricate, airy, and feminine. See Filigree and Milgrain.

Enamel: An opaque or semi-transparent glass or substance applied to a metal surface for protection or ornamental purposes.

Engagement Ring: Traditionally worn only by women (especially in Western cultures), an engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married.

Enhancer: An enhancer attaches to an existing jewelry item to create a new look. Some examples of enhancers include ring enhancers, pearl enhancers, and pendant enhancers. Engraving  The process or art of cutting or carving a design into a hard surface. Eternity Band  A band set with one or more continuous rows of gemstones that completely encircle the band. 

Facet: The flat, polished surface of a gemstone that affects a gemstone's brilliance and sparkle.

Fancy: Describes any jewelry that incorporates whimsy, fun, and innovation in its design. It is trendy and stylish and may not become a classic or be considered a basic item. It makes a great fashion statement or conversation starter.

Family Jewelry: A jewelry item created with personal significance to the family usually using birthstones to represent each member of the family.

Fancy Wedding Band:  A wedding band with more decorative styling than a simple, traditional band.

Fashion Ring:  A type of ring worn to express style or a current trend.

Filigree:  Lace-like ornamental work formed from thin wires of intricately-arranged intertwined precious metal. May be plain, twisted, or plaited.

Finding:  A component or part used in the making of a piece of jewelry. 

Finish: A decorative texture applied to the surface to enhance its appearance.

Fire: Dispersed light that appears as flashes of spectral colors (rainbow) on a diamond.  See Dispersion.

Fishtail Setting: A setting technique consisting of four prominent triangular corners cut from the existing shank that hold the gemstone in place. When viewed from the through finger view it looks like the tail of a fish. 

Fitted Band:  See Shadow Band. Flush-Set  A setting technique in which the gemstone is embedded within the band and the metal from the band is used to secure the gemstone, leaving only the top of the gem visible.

Fluted: An ornamental groove in a surface which creates visual interest.

Free form: An asymmetrical, flowing shape or design.

French Hook: An ear wire shaped like a hook used for pierced drop earrings.

Gallery: The negative space located on a head/setting.

Gemstone:  A mineral or organic material with sufficient beauty, rarity, and durability to be set into jewelry.

Gallery Rail/Bearing: The metal rim located on a head/setting, below the girdle  of a gemstone.

Gemstone Shape:  Referring to the potential options of shape and size that a gemstone can be cut. The outline form of a gemstone, not to be confused with the faceting pattern.

Genuine Stone:  A gemstone that is produced by nature without interference from man, other than cutting or fashioning. Do not confuse “natural” with untreated gemstones.

Girdle: The narrow band or edge separating the upper and lower faceted portions of a gem.

Gold: A precious, yellow, metallic element, highly malleable and ductile and not subject to oxidation or corrosion.

Gram: A gram is a metric system unit of mass/weight. One ounce (troy) is equivalent to 31.10 grams.

Graver: A tool used to cut designs into metal and for precision gemstone setting that is made of highly-polished steel.

Granulation:  A surface adornment technique in which minute grains or tiny balls of precious metal are applied to a surface in patterns to create visual interest.

Guilloché:  An enameling technique in which precise, intricate, symmetrical patterns are mechanically engraved into a metal base; sometimes referred to as “engine turning.” It was named after a French engineer who invented a machine to replicate these precise patterns that were previously done by hand Example: Faberge’ eggs).

Gypsy-Set: See Flush Set.

Half Bezel-Set:  A method for securing a gemstone in which a band of metal partially encircles the girdle of the gemstone and is folded over the gem to hold it in place.

Hallmark: A quality mark indicating precious metal content (10kt, 14kt, 18kt, platinum, etc). Typically stamped on a jewelry item in an inconspicuous location (back, inside ring shank, etc.). FTC requires the manufacturer or distributor of said product to disclose their identity by accompanying the quality mark with a trademark or company name

Hammer-Set: See Flush Set.

Halo: A jewelry style featuring a central gemstone surrounded by a border of smaller gemstones. 

Head: The part of a jewelry item that secures the gemstone. This is sometimes referred to as the setting.

Hidden Bail: A bail located inconspicuously on the reverse side of a pendant, so that the pendant appears to float on the chain or cord. See Bail.

Hinge: A pin that fits through pieces of metal tubing that allow an item to articulate. Hinges are commonly found on lockets and boxes.

Hoop Earring: A (usually) circular, ringlike earring that may be a complete circle or may only go part of the way around.

Huggie Earring:  A small hoop ear-ring that fits closely around the ear lobe. It is thicker than a standard hoop so that it appears to be “hugging” the ear lobe. It is designed with a hinge at the base of the hoop, facing the shoulder, and a groove in the post enables it to snap into place to close securely.

Hypo-Allergenic:  A term used to describe items (in this case jewelry) that cause or are claimed to cause fewer allergic reactions. Depending on the allergen of the subject, these may include metals such as stainless steel, titanium, gold, etc.


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  • Mike M. Ulu
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