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Jewelry Glossary I-P


Illusion-Set:  Invisible-Set  A setting technique with no visible prongs or supports. The gemstones are grooved so that a thin wire framework holds the gemstones in place.  A setting technique patented by Van Cleef & Arpels in 1933 (Mystery Setting) in which a diamond is placed in a colletion of reflective, highly-polished metal so that it appears to be part of the gemstone in order to enhance the perceived size of the diamond. 

Inlay: The insertion of pieces of gemstones, wood, ivory, etc. into slots created on a surface for embellishment.

Invisible-Set:  A setting technique with no visible prongs or supports. The gemstones are grooved so that a thin wire framework holds the gemstones in place.

Jump Ring: A wire ring of any size, usually round or oval in shape, used for attaching jewelry parts. 

Karat: A unit of measure of the purity of gold. Pure gold equals 24 karats.

Key Ring: A device for holding keys together usually consisting of a metal ring.  Kinetic  Jewelry designed to move, rotate, or revolve. Moving parts are trapped and cannot usually be removed from the main jewelry object.

Kit: An assortment of products, often components, sold together, usually for back of store use, often at a lower price than if the items were purchased individually. 

Lapel Pin: A small piece of jewelry with a post-type pin affixed to it with a clutch mechanism to secure it. May also be assembled with a small brooch-type, hinged pin assembly. A lapel pin is usually smaller than an inch in length.

Lariat Necklace:  A long cord-like necklace without a clasp, usually looped into a knot, thus allowing the ends to hang down in the front.

Lever Back:  A spring-loaded closure on the back of some earrings. When in the closed position, it secures the earring to the earlobe.  

Line Bracelet: A flexible bracelet that can be unclasped and laid out to form a “line.” The links are usually joined by hinge pins. A tennis bracelet is a type of line bracelet.

Link Bracelet: A bracelet made from connecting or linking various, sometimes similar, components together. The links are usually interlocking, eliminating the need for hinge pins. 

Locket: A small, decorative case with one or more spaces to hold a picture or memento, designed to be suspended from a chain. May also be incorporated into the design of a ring or bracelet.

Looking Down/Top View:  A way to describe looking at a ring from the top down or bird’s eye view.

Medical ID: Jewelry  Designed with a medically identifiable emblem and engraved to inform others of medical issues such as drug and food allergies and other medical conditions.

Melee: Classification used in the sorting of diamonds weighing less than .17 carats or 17 points each.

Micro Pavé: A highly precise setting technique similar to pavé but using extremely small gemstones.

Milgrain: Having the edge shaped into fine beading.

Minimalist: A term used to describe a movement in design and architecture around the 1960s and 1970s, where the subject is reduced as much as possible to only its necessary elements.

Moissanite:  A rare mineral discovered by Henri Moissan, later synthesized in the laboratory and used as a high-quality diamond substitute.

Money Clip: A folded clip used to keep folded cash and/or credit cards in lieu of a wallet.

Mounting: A jewelry item that has stone settings, but in which no stones have been set. It requires no further assembly work; the exception being an unset semi-mount mounting which requires a head to be attached. 

Neckwear: A piece of jewelry that may be a string of gemstones, beads, jewels, etc., or a metal chain worn around the neck. 

Niobium: A silver-gray contemporary metal. 

Notched Band: See Shadow Band.

Nugget Ring/Jewelry: Jewelry designed to mimic and exaggerate the look of a native lump of precious metal, usually yellow gold. 

Omega Clip: A wire attached and hinged on the back of an earring and used as a mechanism to hold the earring in place.

Openwork: See Pierced.

Organic: A design style using freeflowing curves and surfaces similar to those from nature such as in leaves, vines, etc.

Packages/Kits: See Selling Systems.

Patina: Discoloration that forms naturally over time on metals such as silver and bronze. Patinas may also be introduced artificially through certain chemicals for aesthetic value.

Pavé: A field of bead-set gemstones closely set, usually in rows, whereby the entire surface of the jewelry is covered or pavéd. 

Pavilion: The lower part of a cut gemstone below the girdle.

Pearl Enhancer: A pendant with a hinged, clasp-type bail that allows it to be attached to a pearl or bead necklace, or any necklace that doesn’t allow a pendant to be slid onto it.

Peg Head: A setting with a peg attached to it that can be easily attached to a jewelry item by inserting the peg into a drilled hole. Peg heads are commonly used in semi-mount engagement rings.

Pendant: An adornment designed to be suspended from a necklace.

Pendant Enhancer: A pendant designed so that another pendant, usually a solitaire, can be suspended inside of it.

Pennyweight: Pennyweight is a common weight unit of measure used in the valuation and measurement of precious metals. One pennyweight equals 1⁄20 of a ounce (troy). See DWT.

Pierced: In jewelry it refers to perforated or openwork designs with regular patterns of openings and holes.

Pin: Any type of jewelry that is fastened to clothing using a sharp, pointed post and a catch or clasp. May be a brooch, lapel pin, or tie tack.

Pin Assembly: Jewelry findings used to secure a pin to the wearer. This assembly is comprised of a pin-stem and pin-catch. 

Pin-Catch: The securing mechanism for a pin-stem.

Pin Stem:  A sharply-pointed pin on a hinge that is suitable for piercing fabric or clothing. It is secured with a pin-catch.

Platinum:  A heavy, non-corrosive white metal with high tensile strength which dulls as it is worn but holds its detail for many years, giving it heirloom characteristics.

Plique-à-Jour: An enameling technique by which the design is outlined with metal and filled in with colored enamels, but with no backing so that the effect is similar to a stained glass window.

Precious Metals: Metals that are rare and have high economic value. Gold, silver, platinum, and palladium. 

Precious Gemstone: The group of gemstones consisting of diamonds, rubies, sapphires and emeralds.

Primary Metal: The metal alloy that, when describing a two-tone item, makes up the majority of the weight of the jewelry item. See Secondary Metal.

Profile:  A profile is a cross sectional view. Flat inside round, comfort-fit, inside round, flat, knife-edge, etc., are examples of band profiles.

Promise Ring: A ring worn to show commitment to a monogamous relationship, usually set with one or more diamond melee. 

Prong-Set: A setting technique in which a gemstone is held in place by metal projections or tines, called prongs. 

Prototype: An example of a piece of jewelry created from inexpensive, non-precious materials.

Puzzle Ring: Several rings that fit together to create a single ring.

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  • Mike M. Ulu
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