Jewelry Vocabulary: What To Know Before You Get To The Store

red jewel image

Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and brining with it expectations of a memorable night with your partner. If you are preparing to present your loved one a piece of jewelry this year, be sure you are familiarized with basic jewelry terminology so you can clearly communicate what your love is looking for.


10 Common Jewelry Terms


A small, rectangular gem shape usually used as accents to larger stones. Baguette-shaped stones are normally step cut.

Baguette stone


A rigid bracelet that slips over the wrist. Bangles may or may not open with clasps. Bangles that open to be put on or removed and close with or without clasps are known as hinged bangles.



A design in relief, typically against a contracting background. Cameos have been carved for centuries, but they were popular during the Victoria period through the 1930s. They are often made of shell and coral but can be seen in hearder stones such as agate, onyx and sardonyx.

Cameo necklack pendant


A hammered finish on jewelry includes crater-like depressions on a metal surface decorated by a metalworker’s hammer.

hammered medal rings


A cord necklace with two open ends that hang down in the front and can be looped into a knot or secured by a slide.



A metal setting for stones decorated with tiny, raised beads.


Refractive Index

The amount a beam of light bends as it enters a gemstone and then strikes a subsequent surface(s) is known as the gem’s refractive index. A gem’s RI is one of the most important characteristics that can be used to identify it.

Refractive diamond

Toggle Clasp

The toggle clasp is a simple closure consisting of a ring on one end of a chain and a small bar on the other. The bar slides through the ring and then sits across it, holding the two ends of the chain together. The weight of the bracelet or necklace, combined with gravity, keeps the clasp from opening unexpectedly.


A twisted necklace usually consisting of strands of beads that can be worn draped or twisted often with a large ornamental catch that is meant to be worn in the front or at the side.


Gilded Silver. Sterling silver covered with a layer of gold by plating of some type or by other processes.


If your understanding of jewelry isn’t as clear as crystal, no need to fret. Stop by Gold Unlimited today and let one of our knowledgeable staff assist you step by step in the process of picking out your next piece.

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