Appraisal: A document that includes the most important aspects of the stones and metal of a piece of jewelry and usually includes a retail replacement value. The cost to replace the item should it be lost or stolen. Appraisals are usually required by insurance companies in order to insure a piece of jewelry. Sentimental value is not factored into an appraisal.

Black Gold: Yellow gold + treatment to the surface of the metal to darken (blacken) the gold.

Blue Gold: Yellow gold + iron.

Brilliance: The white light return from a diamond, sometimes referred to as “sparkle.”

Carat: The weight of a diamond or colored stone; one carat = 200 milligrams.

Clarity: References the inclusions in the stone and the overall effect those inclusions have on the appearance of the stone.

Color: References the visible appearance of color in a stone and in the case of a diamond may also reference the absence of color as in the color grade 窶廛 窶 colorless.窶

Crown: The upper part or “top half” of a faceted gemstone.

Cut: Refers to the proportions and finish of a polished diamond.

Diamond: A naturally occurring mineral composed of 99.95% carbon. The 0.05% of trace mineral elements can alter the diamond color from colorless to a fancy color.
The most common diamond color is yellow, followed by brown. Red is the most rare of the fancy colored diamonds. Diamonds can be found in as many colors as in a rainbow, with varying degrees of intensity. Diamond is the hardest substance on the Mohs hardness scale. It is only one of a few gemstones in the world to exhibit dispersion.

Dispersion: Colored light that reflects from within the diamond 窶 rainbow colors often referred to as 窶彷ire.窶

Engagement Ring: A ring given as a symbol of love and commitment preceding nuptials.

Facet: A small polished surface of a diamond or stone.

Fluorescence: The visible light emitted from a diamond when exposed to long wave or short wave ultraviolet light.ツ Only 30% of diamonds exhibit Fluorescence.

Lab reports will note the intensity/strength of the light emitted.

Depending on what you have heard or read, you may be under the misconception that fluorescence in a diamond is a bad thing and impairs the beauty of a stone.

The truth is, that of the world窶冱 diamonds that exhibit fluorescence, less than 3% negatively impact the appearance of the diamond in natural lighting conditions.* In fact, in certain color ranges fluorescence will actually help the diamond appear whiter face up. A bit of information that can help stretch your budget without sacrificing quality. *this number is based on current available data.

Gemstone: Any mineral composed of crystallized matter, in which the atoms are regularly arranged throughout the structure.

Girdle: The area of a gemstone that helps to define its shape or outline, as well as separates the crown from the pavilion.

Gold: A naturally occurring, soft, yellow metal. It is the most malleable of all precious metals used in jewelry. Commonly alloyed with other metals to increase the durability and in some cases, alter the color. Most commonly alloyed with nickel, silver, copper and palladium.

Green Gold: Yellow gold + silver.

窶廨reen窶 (Eco-friendly) Gold: A new trend in the jewelry industry. The gold is reclaimed/recycled from post consumer sources like old or damaged jewelry, electronic components, or industrial products.

Hardness: The ability of a material to resist scratching.

Inclusions: The naturally occurring, unique, identifying characteristics that can be found inside a diamond, like a human birthmark. Taken as a whole, inclusions are used in combination with other factors to determine a diamonds clarity grade.

Jeweler: An individual who has a greater understanding and knowledge of jewelry. Typically sells jewelry as well.

Jewelry: An object of adornment, typically made from metal such as silver, gold, or platinum.

Karat: The measurement of the purity of a precious metal (gold, platinum, etc.).

18Kt gold: 75% gold and a combination of alloys that equal 25% – the alloys are added to increase durability and/or alter its color.

14Kt gold: 58.5% gold and a combination of alloys that equals 41.5% – the alloys are added to increase durability and/or alter its color.

Light Performance: A generic term used in the jewelry industry in an attempt to measure and quantify the type and amount of light return.

Light Return: The amount of light that once reflected and refracted through a diamond that returns to the eye of the viewer.

Mineral: A naturally occurring, inorganic substance, with a chemical composition and usually an orderly arrangement of atoms.

Mohs Hardness Scale: Created in 1812 by Friedrich Mohs (Mineralogist). The scale characterizes minerals by their scratch resistance to other minerals. The scale is a number system 1-10, ten being the most resistant and hardest mineral.

  1. Talc
  2. Gypsum
  3. Calcite
  4. Fluorite
  5. Apatite
  6. Feldspar
  7. Quartz (Amethyst)
  8. Topaz
  9. Corundum (Sapphire and Ruby)
  10. Diamond

Palladium: A relative newcomer to the jewelry industry, it is a naturally occurring grey/ white metal. It is hypoallergenic and less expensive that Platinum but more expensive than white gold. It never changes color.

Pavilion: The lower part of a faceted gemstone found below the girdle. Sometimes referred to as the “base.”

Platinum: A naturally occurring grey/white metal that is usually 95% pure and hypoallergenic. It is 30 more times rare than gold and never changes color.ツ Normally in jewelry a piece needs to be composed of greater than 90% platinum in ordered to be considered a “platinum piece of jewelry.”ツ Some jewelry manufacturers will use up to 99% platinum in creating a piece.

Process: A permanent alteration of the crystal lattice structure of a natural diamond to restore the diamond窶冱 original color. The term applies to diamonds that undergo the HPHT process.

Purple Gold: Yellow gold + Aluminum.

Rose (Red) Gold: Yellow gold + copper.

Shape: The outline or silhouette of a stone.

Simulant (imitation): A gemstone look-a-like. A lab created or natural stone that mimics the appearance of a precious stone. It may have similar optical and physical characteristics of the gemstone it is trying to simulate. The most common diamond simulants are CZ (cubic zirconia) and Moissanite.

Sintillation: A momentary flash of light as either the diamond, eye or the light source moves. Sometimes referred to as 窶徭parkle.窶

Surface Blemishes: Naturally occurring, unique, identifying characteristics that can be found on the surface of a diamond. Considered as a factor in the clarity grade in a diamond.

Synthetic: A stone that has the same chemical composition, physical properties, optical properties and crystal structure as its natural counterpart. A synthetic stone is created in a controlled laboratory environment. Synthetic diamonds have been on the market since the mid 1980窶冱 and are difficult to detect. Synthetic diamonds are made by a High Pressure, High Temperature (HPHT) process or by Chemical Vapor Deposition (CVD) process

Table Facet: The largest facet on a gemstone. Located on the crown.

Toughness: The ability of a material to resist breaking.

Treated: An action preformed on a gemstone to improve/enhance its color, clarity or both. Most treatments are not permanent. The most common treatment for a diamond are irradiation (to change color), fracture filling (to improve clarity) and laser drill holes (to improve clarity).

Unaided Eye: Industry term used to describe viewing or looking at a stone without the use of magnification.

White Gold: Yellow gold mixed with a whitening alloy to appear white. Can be mixed with nickel, which may cause an allergic reaction most commonly presenting itself as a rash. Since it is not a naturally occurring white metal, over time it will appear to 窶徼arnish窶 yellow as its natural color comes through. A jeweler can fix this by rhodium plating the piece of jewelry to restore its uniform white color.