Glossary of terms

Glossary Index

4 C's
Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat (weight) are the 4 C’s by which diamonds are categorised and graded.
Amber
A translucent stone created from the fossilised resin of trees, ranging in colour from yellow or orange and brown.
Amethyst
A form of quartz that is an elegant purple in colour but can also incorporate pale lavender and deep red flashes. Ancient Greeks believed an amethyst could protect its wearer from intoxication.
Anniversary
A date that commemorates and celebrates a special occasion, such as a wedding or birthday. Important gemstones for wedding anniversaries include diamonds (10 years), emeralds (20 years) and pearls (30 years).
Aquamarine
A transparent light blue or sea green coloured stone that is usually faceted when set in jewellery. Aqua belonds to the beryl family.
Automatic watches
A self-winding, mechanical watch with an oscillating weight, invented in the 18th century by Swiss horologist Abraham-Louis Perrelet.
Baguette
A precious gemstone - usually a diamond - cut into a long rectangular shape. Often set in vintage-style rings, brooches and pendants.
Baguette Diamond
A diamond cut into an elongated, rectangular shape, as opposed to the more iconic round, princess and cushion diamond shapes.
Bangle Watch
A chic wristwatch that emulates the style of a bangle, often featuring an inflexible strap made from precious metal or steel rather than fabric.
Bangle
An elegant bracelet-like item, usually made from stiff metal or wood, and can be simple or ornate. Bangles are designed to be worn around the wrist, and are usually devoid of a fastening.
Beads
Small smooth objects that are designed to be threaded together to create jewellery items, especially necklaces and bracelets. Beads may be made from a range of materials, including glass, ceramic and plastic.
Birthstone Jewellery
Jewellery that features a gemstone symbolising the month in which the wearer was born.
Belcher Chains
Typically, belcher chains have round links and are wider than they are thick. Their simple style makes them ideal for wearing with elaborate pendants.
Box Chains
Similar to a belcher chain but with tighter links that are square in shape, forming a box-like effect. Also known as briolette chains.
Bracelet Watch
A wristwatch with a decorative strap made to resemble a bracelet. Bracelet watches may be made from precious metal, and are composed of flexible links that may be adjusted to fit the wearer's wrist.
Bracelets
Like bangles, bracelets are worn around the wrist but may often be more flexible in shape and be fastened with a clasp or hook.
Bridal Sets
An engagement ring and a wedding band designed to match and sit seamlessly alongside one another. Some brides may choose to have their bridal set soldered together into one ring after their wedding.
Brilliant Diamond (Round)
The classic round faceted diamond cut. A brilliant diamond is one of the most popular choices for engagement rings.
Brooch
Usually a piece of flat material shaped into an attractive design. It may be painted or feature a precious gemstone and is pinned on the breast. A fashionable choice for vintage jewellery.
Buckle Watches
A wristwatch fastened with a traditional buckle. May be made from metal, textile or synthetics, and is an archetypal choice for men.
Buyer’s Guides
Guides that offer advice on which jewellery to purchase for what occasion. May include tips on how to buy a diamond engagement ring or jewellery to give your wife after the birth of a child.
Carat (Diamond)
The unit of weight by which a diamond is measured. The higher the carat weight, the more expensive a diamond is likely to be.
Carat (Gold)
Indicates the purity of gold. A piece of jewellery made of 24 carat gold is pure gold (100%), while an item made from 18 carat gold is 75% gold.
Ceramic
A non-metallic material used in the creation of jewellery. Ceramic jewellery may be painted or pressed into distinctive designs to create earrings, rings and pendants.
Ceramic Watches
A wristwatch in which the watch case or bracelet, is made from ceramic. Ceramic is highly prized in watchmaking due to its light weight, smooth and scratch resistant qualities.
Certificated
The term used to denote that a precious metal or gemstone has been verified by an expert as to its authenticity.
Chamilia
A luxury jewellery brand specialising in innovation takes on contemporary design. Chamilia jewellery uses high-end materials, including Italian Murano glass, 14K gold and sterling silver.
Charm Bracelets
A bracelet adorned with tiny ornaments or keepsakes in various shapes, which the wearer may be able to add or remove.
Charms
Very small accessories or ornaments that may be added to a bracelet or necklace. Charms may be purely decorative or of personal significance to the owner.
Christening
A religious ceremony, usually associated with baptism, in which people gather to celebrate the birth of a new baby.
Christening Gifts
Presents given to a newborn baby at his or her christening. Traditional gifts include charms, a christening cup and baby bracelets.
Chronograph
A stopwatch function built into an analogue timepiece with neither operation affecting the other.
Chronograph Watches
A watch that acts as a stopwatch and a time keeping device at the same time. Chronograph watches may have traditional hands, subsidiary dials or a digital display.
Clarity (Diamond)
Denotes the visibility, size and frequency of a diamond’s inner flaws. The clearer the diamond, the higher its value.
Cluster
A traditional jewellery setting in which one large diamond is surrounded by several smaller stones - usually diamonds or pearls - along its circumference.
Cobalt
A metal known for its hardness and durability, often alloyed with platinum to create jewellery. A popular alternative to gold for men's wedding bands.
Colour (Diamond)
Diamonds can range in colour from light yellow to colourless. Colourless diamonds are the most highly prized since they refract more light and have greater sparkle.
Couples Jewellery
Personalised jewellery - usually rings or pendants - worn by couples to reflect their love for one another. These items may be engraved with names or significant dates.
Court Shape Wedding Rings
Wedding bands that have been rounded on the inside and outside. A stylish ring that has a reputation for being comfortable.
Creole Earrings
Hooped earrings made from precious metal, which are usually round or oval-shaped and may have a slightly twisted appearance.
Crucifix
A pendant shaped like a cross, sometimes signifying religious affiliation. Crucifixes are usually worn on chains around the neck and may be jewelled.
Crystal
Transparent glass material that may be used as beads or in a setting. Crystal jewellery may be colourless or coloured.
Crystal Watch
Crystal is a term given to the glass that covers a watch face. It is designed to protect a watch and may be scratch-resistant.
Cubic Zirconia
A man-made gemstone developed in 1977 and designed to resemble a diamond. Also known as cubic zirconium and may be created to include different colours.
Cuff Watch
A watch with a stiff, wide strap like a shirt cuff. Cuff watches may be fastened or slipped over the wrist, and are usually made from leather or precious metal.
Cufflinks
A popular men's jewellery item with the purpose of fastening the cuffs on a long-sleeved shirt. Cufflinks come in pairs and may be classic or novelty shaped.
Cultured Pearls
Pearls are produced by oysters. Cultured pearls are still authentic pearls, however humans assist in the process by implanting the 'irritant' (a 'Mother-of-Pearl') into the oyster causing the pearl sac to form and eventually a pearl is created.
Curb Chains
A versatile chain style in which the links interlock when laid flat. Usually available in a variety of widths, and suitable for use with a range of pendant shapes.
Cut (Diamond)
A term that denotes the reflective quality of a diamond. An ideal cut diamond has more brilliance (sparkle) and is more highly valued.
Diamond
Fine crystallised carbon, which is a highly prized gemstone thanks to its ability to refract light and its hardness. The quality of a diamond is defined by the 4C's: Cut, Clarity, Colour and Carat (weight).
Diamond Bangles
A stiff, circular metallic ornament designed to be slipped over the hand and worn around the wrist, which features a diamond setting.
Diamond Bracelets
An item of jewellery worn around the wrist that features a diamond or diamond setting. Bracelets are distinguished from bangles by the flexibility of their straps.
Diamond Bridal Sets
An engagement ring and wedding band, each featuring a diamond or a setting of several small diamonds. Both rings are designed to complement one another and be worn together.
Diamond Buyers Guide
Advice and information about how to distinguish a good quality diamond, or how to purchase diamond jewellery for a special occasion.
Diamond Carat
Indicates the weight of a diamond, rather than its purity. One of the 4 Cs that govern a diamond's quality, the others being Cut, Clarity and Colour.
Diamond Cleaning
The process by which a diamond's brilliance may be restored, usually by soap and water or with professional solutions by a jewellery expert.
Diamond Earrings
An item of jewellery adorned with a diamond or diamond setting that is worn in the ear and fastened through a piercing.
Diamond Jewellery Sets
A set of jewellery that heavily features a diamond or diamond setting in each piece. A diamond jewellery set will usually contain a necklace and earrings or a bracelet.
Diamond Necklace
A chain worn around the neck that features diamonds prominently either on a pendant or set in regular intervals along the chain.
Diamond Rings
A circular item of jewellery worn around the finger that may feature one large diamond or several small ones. Diamond rings are commonly given to mark an engagement.
Dog Tag Necklaces
A chain with a flat, rectangular sheet pendant, modelled after military identification tags. Usually worn by men but may be unisex.
Drop Earrings
Jewellery fastened through the ears which dangle down from the earlobe. They are distinguishable from stud earrings, which sit directly on the earlobe.
D-shape Wedding Rings
A traditional style wedding band which is shaped flat on the inside, but rounded on the outside. D-shaped wedding rings are common for both men and women.
Dual Time
A wristwatch that displays the time in two or more time zones. The wearer's local time zone is usually chosen for the primary watch face.
Earrings
Jewellery items worn in the ears and fastened through piercings in the earlobe or upper ear. Several types of earrings exist, including studs, drop earrings and hooped earrings.
Emerald
A precious stone characterised by a deep green colour. Popularly featured on rings and pendants, and said to have been collected by Cleopatra.
Engagement
A promise to marry between two people, traditionally marked by the wearing of a diamond engagement ring.
Engagement Rings
A ring, often featuring diamonds, worn around the left-hand ring finger for the period between a couple's engagement and wedding, signifying love and lasting commitment.
Engraving
A name, number or design etched into the surface of metal jewellery to represent a person or event of significance.
Eternity Rings
A narrow ring with a thin setting of gemstones along its exterior, which is usually given or exchanged as a token of love between two people.
Expander Watch
A watch whose panels have been bound together with elasticated thread. This allows the wearer to stretch the watch over his or her hand and eliminates the need for a fastening.
Freshwater Pearls
A pearl that has been harvested from a mollusc that inhabits freshwater, such as a freshwater mussel. These pearls are less valuable than those harvested from oysters.
Garnet
A semi-precious gemstone characterised by its deep red colour, but which also encompasses a range of other gemstones including almandine, andradite and Transvaal jade.
Gemstones
A precious or semi-precious stone that can be cut, polished and shaped to be set into jewellery. Highly prized gemstones include diamonds, emeralds and rubies.
Gift Cards
A card with a designated monetary value, usually given as a present to a loved one. It must be exchanged for goods within the shop in which it was bought or other specified stores.
Glass Jewellery
Jewellery created from glass beads or figurines, usually made into pendants, bracelets and earrings or shaped into glass bangles.
Gold
A precious metal which is highly prized for jewellery making. Its purity is measured in carats, with 24 carats indicated a pure gold item.
Gold Earrings
Jewellery made from gold and worn through a piercing in the ear lobe or upper ear. Gold earrings may take the form of elegant studs, drop earrings or hoops.
Gold Plated
Jewellery that has a thin layer of gold applied to the surface of a base metal, so it has a gold exterior but is not made purely from gold.
Gold Watch
A wristwatch with a distinct gold feature. This may include a gold strap, a gold frame or gold watch hands.
Herringbone Chains
An attractive style of chain with a liquid effect. It is formed by v-shaped links that lie flat on a surface, which means it may also be engraved.
Hoop Earrings
An item of jewellery usually made from metal or plastic, which is moulded into a hoop shape and fastened through an ear piercing. Like drop earrings, hoop earrings dangle below the earlobe.
Initial Jewellery
Jewellery that has been engraved or shaped to form the wearer's initials. Initial jewellery is usually worn as a pendant on a necklace but may also take the form of rings and bracelets.
Jewellery Box
A decorative box or container designed for the storage of jewellery items. Some jewellery boxes may also play music when opened.
Jewellery Sets
Items of jewellery designed to match one another and which are sold together. Jewellery sets usually include a necklace and earrings, but may also include a bracelet.
Keyrings
An attractive accessory attached to a key for ornamentation or easy identification. Keyrings are often made from metal but may also be made from plastic or wood.
Kimberley Process
Officially known as the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, this is the method by which the origin of rough diamonds is certified. It was introduced in 2003 as a way of identifying stones from regions of diamond-related conflict.
Kinetic
A brand of watch designed by watch manufacturer Seiko. Kinetic watches were established in 1991 and are automatic quartz watches.
Leather Watch
A traditional wristwatch adorned with a leather strap. Leather watches are usually black or brown, and may be worn by men or women.
Lemon Diamonds
A light yellow coloured diamond, often set into a ring or pendant. An elegant alternative to the traditional diamond engagement ring.
Link Chains
An item of jewellery in which small strands or pieces of metal are linked together to form a chain, which is usually worn as a necklace or bracelet.
Lockets
A pendant that opens up, often holding tiny photographs or other sentimental keepsakes of personal significance to the wearer.
Marquise
An oval-shaped stone with two pointed ends. It is also known as a navette, and may be described by some jewellers as "boat-shaped".
Mechanical Movement
A traditional watch movement, through which power is slowly released by a mainspring via a set of small cogs. Mechanical watches must be manually wound.
Medical Jewellery
A necklace or bracelet engraved with details of the wearer's medical condition to alert strangers or hospital staff. Often worn by children or the elderly.
Money Clips
An item used to store cash or cards. Often made from metal or leather, and worn by men as a lighter alternative to a wallet.
Moonphase
A watch whose face indicates the phases of the moon across one month (29.5 days). May be included on a traditional analogue watch face.
Mother of Pearl
The smooth and shiny coating found on the interior of an oyster shell. It is traditionally used to plate ornaments, jewellery and buttons.
Multi Stone Diamond Ring
A ring within which a diamond or several diamonds are set in a cluster with other precious and semi-precious stones.
Necklaces
A chain worn around the neck, usually adorned with beads or a pendant. Necklaces may be short in length (a choker) or several inches long.
Onyx
A semi-precious material with a banded, layered structure. It varies in colour but onyx stones used in jewellery are often black and white.
Opal
An iridescent, semi-precious stone that can express a range of colours in the spectrum but is usually a silver-grey.
Palladium
A durable, light-grey metal which is related to platinum but is less shiny in appearance and often less expensive.
Pearl
Organic gemstones grown naturally in oysters and some other molluscs (like mussels). Cultured pearls, freshwater pearls and natural pearls are all used in jewellery. Amongst the oldest of gems, the pearl is unique as the only gem created by a living creature; it also requires no polishing to reveal its beauty.
Pearl Necklace
A chain adorned purely with beads made from pearls. A classic jewellery item for women that may be worn at a variety of different lengths.
Pendants
A gemstone or other ornament that hangs from a chain and is worn as a necklace or earrings. Some pendants may be removed from a chain and replaced.
Peridot
A semi-precious stone with a characteristic yellow-green colour. It is also known as "evening emerald" and has a lustrous finish.
Perpetual Calendar
A watch with a calendar that has an automatic adjustment mechanism at the end of every month, and takes into account alterations for leap years.
Personalised Jewellery
Tailor-made jewellery which reflects the wearer's unique style and can be personalised to include anything from gemstones to custom engraving.
Pewter
A metal alloy composed of 90% tin. Pewter has a greyish colour but takes on a silvery appearance when polished.
Photo Frames
An ornament in which memorable photographs are stored and displayed behind glass. Photo frames are made from a range of materials, including metal, glass, wood, leather and fabric.
Platinum
A strong precious metal that is white in colour and is often used in ring-making. Platinum does not oxidise or tarnish.
Platinum Plated
Items made from a base metal with a thin layer of platinum applied to the surface.
Pocket Watches
A vintage watch-style that preceded the wristwatch. Pocket watches have a traditional analogue watch face, may be attached to a chain and are carried in the pocket.
Precious Metals
Rare metals that occur naturally in the environment and have a high monetary value. They are often used in jewellery making and include gold, silver and platinum.
Princess Diamond
A diamond with a square-shaped cut, which may also be referred to as quadrillion cut. A popular alternative to round diamonds in engagement ring settings.
PVD
PVD stands for Physical Vapour Deposition, and is often applied to watches. PVD coatings make a watch more scratch-resistant and smooth, giving it great longevity and non-polluting properties.
Quartz
A crystalline mineral that comes in many forms, including amethyst, citrine, opal and tiger's eye, and is often set into jewellery.
Quartz Watches
A quartz watch is a watch that contains quartz crystals. An electric current is passed through the quartz, causing it to oscillate and therefore regulate the time.
Religious Jewellery
Jewellery adorned with or shaped like a religious symbol, such as a crucifix, an angel or a Saint Christopher medal.
Resin
Fossilised tree sap used in making jewellery. Amber is one of the most common types of resin used in jewellery.
Rhodium Plated
Jewellery made from a base metal with a thin layer of rhodium applied to the surface. Rhodium is a very expensive precious metal that is white in colour.
Ring Sizing
The process by which a finger is measured to determine what circumference or diameter of ring will fit it. Ring sizes are measured alphabetically in the UK, while in the US and Europe sizes are numerical.
Rings
A circular piece of jewellery worn on the finger by both men and women. Rings may be worn on any finger, but are commonly used to mark an engagement or marriage.
Rolled Gold
Created when a thin sheet of gold is laminated to brass, or another lesser metal, and is then heated to fuse the two layers together. Typically, rolled gold creates strong, well-wearing jewellery.
Rose Gold
May also be referred to as pink gold. The colour is produced by alloying gold with a mix of 90% copper and 10% silver.
Rose Quartz
A strand of the mineral quartz that ranges in colour from pink to dark red, which may be set as a gemstone or created into beads.
Ruby
A precious stone identified by its iconic deep red colour, though some rubies may range in hue from pink to brown.
Sapphire
A precious gemstone commonly known for its distinctive shades of blue colour but can be seen in shades of yellows, oranges and green. Belongs to the corundum family of gems and is popular in both everyday jewellery and engagement rings.
Semi Bracelet Watch
A watch whose strap is made from flexible, metallic links, similar to a bracelet. Semi bracelet watches may be set with precious stones.
Silver
A shiny, grey-white metal commonly used in making jewellery and other precious keepsakes.
Silver Bracelet
A flexible item of jewellery made from silver links and designed to be worn around the wrist. Silver bracelets may be adorned with pendants or beads.
Silver Plated
Jewellery items made from a base metal, with a thin layer of silver applied to the surface through the process of electro-plating.
Solitaire
A ring that is set with one single eye-catching stone. A particularly popular gemstone for solitaire rings is a diamond.
Solitaire Engagement Rings
A ring given to mark a period of engagement with a setting of a single gemstone. Solitaire engagement rings are often set with a lone diamond.
Stainless Steel
A durable steel alloy often used to create durable watch casings or bracelets.
Sterling Silver
Silver that has been alloyed with 7.5% copper to make it harder and less susceptible to tarnishing. Sterling silver is a popular material used to make bracelets, bangles, pendants and earrings.
Swarovski Crystal
Fine-cut crystal from luxury brand Swarovski. Swarovski crystals, rhinestones and other glass items are highly valued and used in both jewellery and figurines.
Tachymeter
Markings that run along the outside of a watch face, which are capable of measuring the wearer's speed over a particular distance. The speed travelled is calculated together with the second hand.
Three Stone Diamonds
A setting that contains three diamonds, which may be all of the same size or of varying sizes. It is also known as a trilogy setting.
Three-Colour Gold
Jewellery - usually rings, bracelets or earrings - made from three types of gold: yellow, white and rose gold.
Titanium
A dark grey metal used to make watch cases and rings. Titanium is known for its durable but lightweight qualities and is a favourite with men.
Topaz
A hard gemstone that may be yellow, brown, blue or pink in colour. Golden-yellow topaz (known as imperial topaz) is the most valuable.
Treated Diamonds
Rough diamonds that have been treated to improve their clarity, mitigate the effects of obvious flaws and enhance their beauty.
Trilogy
A setting of three-stones, which may be all of the same type or size, or may vary. A trilogy setting is particularly popular on diamond rings and symbolizes the past, present and future.
Tungsten
A hard metal often used to make men's wedding rings. Jewellery is usually made from tungsten carbide rather than metallic tungsten.
Turquoise
A blue-green, semi-precious stone which is usually cabochon cut rather than faceted. Turquoises are historically associated with Turkey and Persia.
Two-Colour
Jewellery that incorporates two different coloured metals - for example, bracelets and watches made from silver and gold plated links.
Two-Colour Gold
Jewellery items - particularly earrings and rings - made from two different types of gold, especially white and yellow gold or white and rose gold.
Unisex
Jewellery or watches that can be worn by both men and women.
Wallets
A flat case that is usually foldable and made from leather, in which cash, credit cards, ID documents and bills may be stored. Wallets are usually carried by men and stored in a pocket.
Wedding Bands
Plain wedding rings that are usually rounded on the outside. Wedding bands may be unadorned, carry an inscription or have a small gemstone setting.
Wedding Gifts
Presents given to a bride and groom in honour of their wedding day. Some couples may have a registry or gift list from which guests can choose their presents.
Wedding Jewellery
Jewellery worn to mark a marriage or engagement (especially rings). Wedding jewellery may also refer to co-ordinating pieces that are worn by a bride on her wedding day.
Wedding Rings
Rings exchanged by a couple on their wedding day. Brides may have a bridal set, in which the engagement ring and wedding ring are designed to complement one another.
Weddings
An occasion that marks the marriage of two people. Weddings may be civil or religious and include the exchange of wedding rings to signify the union.
White Gold
Gold that appears white or silvery in colour. It is created by alloying gold with tin, nickel, zinc, copper, manganese and palladium, and may be plated with rhodium.
Wishbone
A Y-shape that resembles a heart and is a popular style for wedding rings. Wishbone rings are often set with a line of small diamonds.
Yellow Gold
Gold mixed with an alloy of half silver and half copper. Yellow gold is one of the most recognisable forms of gold.
Zirconium
A strong material with a silvery-white appearance, which resembles titanium. Zirconium dioxide in its cubic form is known as cubic zirconia and is a popular diamond substitute.