Adularescence: is an optical phenomenon that is produced in gemstones like moonstone. It is commonly referred to as schiller or shiller and is best described as a milky, bluish lustre or glow that originates from below the surface of a gemstone. Its name is derived from “adularia”, a mineralogist term for Moonstone.
Amethyst: is a semi precious variety of quartz. It owes its violet hue to irradiation impurities of iron and other transition metals. Its name derives from the Greek word Amethystos - and was believed to keep intoxication at bay, nowadays it represents the preservation of peace and purity. Browse our selection of amethyst rings here.
Aquamarine: is a type of blue beryl. An Aquamarine hue varies in shades of blue green- as per its name. It has historically been used as a symbol of happiness and youth, as well as having strong connotations to the ocean and marine life. It can be sources in the veins of metamorphic rocks that have been mineralized by hydrothermal activity. Browse our selection of aquamarine rings here.
Art Deco: short for the French word “Arts Decoratifs,” Art Deco is a style of visual arts that influenced clothing, furniture and of course jewellery. It first appeared in France just before World War 1 and quickly spread to the USA and Europe during the 1920s and 30s. It very quickly gained traction and spread, and became typically associated with luxury, glamour and exuberance.
Asscher Cut: Known as the square emerald cut, Asscher cut diamonds or gemstones are roughly square in shape when viewed from above but have cut corners for more light to enter the diamond. Asscher cut jewels are designed to maximise the lustre and clarity of a stone, as opposed to flaunting the fire or brilliance found in many cuts. Find out more about different cuts here.
Belle Epoque: Belle Époque jewellery is characterised by garlands and bundles of foliate motifs, lace, and bows. Belle Epoque designs reflect the neoclassical and rococo motifs of 18th-century French courts. An apt summary of the notable Belle Epoque style could be referred to with the coined-term “French Edwardian”
Beryl: A beryl is a gemstone family, known and the most common varieties of beryl include emerald and aquamarine. Beryls come in a range of colours, including green, red, yellow, pink and can be both opaque or translucent. Beryl is symbolically attributed with the ability to cure a number of intestinal and stomach ailments- such as nausea, ulcers and seasickness. Browse our collection of beryl rings here.
Bezel Setting: A bezel setting is a style of setting where the diamond is surrounded by a metal rim, rather than clutched by the four or six prongs you're used to seeing in a solitaire setting. The bezel setting is a popular choice seeing as It is the most secure of all setting types. Because the bezel sits above the girdle of the diamond, the stone is held firmly in place.
Bombé: The term “bombé” derives from the French word that translates to “curved.” Bombé rings have a very appealing rotund shape. Featuring an unabashed dome shape, the outward curve would normally hold a large and impressive gemstone or, alternatively, an elaborate pave or cupola design. This particular aspect of 17th-century French design was popular throughout the Edwardian period; however, it was also all the rage throughout the 1950s, 60s and 70s and used by popular jewellery houses like Cartier and Bvlgari.
Brilliant Cut: A brilliant cut is cut with numerous facets in order to magnify the brilliance, or sparkle of a gemstone/diamond. It is a type of circular cut in the form of two many-faceted pyramids joined at their bases meeting at an apex. It is the traditional cut of an engagement stone and the enhanced brilliance is as a result of the light moving throughout the cone shape. Find out more about gemstone cuts here.
Burmese Sapphire: is precisely what it sounds like- a sapphire originating from Burma. Burmese sapphire is renowned for its exceptional and unbeatable royal blue colour, and because of this is highly sought after. They are one of the highest-quality gemstones valued for their exalting splendour. Have a look at our collection of Burmese sapphire rings here.
Cabochon Cut: is a gemstone cut and finish that produces smooth un-faceted jewels. Cabochon stones tend to have a convex obverse with a flat reverse- meaning a rounded dome like top and a flat base. Cabochon cut was the default method of preparing gemstones before the process of gemstone cutting developed. Find out more about gemstone cuts here.
Cameo: is a method of carving an engraved gem or item of jewellery. The engraving commonly depicts a positive scene or relief image. These carvings were done using contrasting colours or a stone with a flat plane where two contrasting colours meet, carvers usually used onyx or agate for this process. The term "Cameo" comes from “Kame'o” - a word used in Kabbalistic slang to signify a kind of talisman upon which magical spells were carved.
Carat: is a unit of weight for precious stones and pearls, equivalent to 200 milligrams. The interchangeable spellings: carat and karat are commonly seen in jewellery related texts. “Carat” as a spelling can refer to the unit of weight or gold purity weight, whereas “karat” can only refer to gold purity and is a measure of the purity of gold, pure gold being 24 carats.
Ceylon Sapphire: Sri Lanka was known as Ceylon until 1972- Ceylon sapphires are sapphires that originate from Ceylon or Sri Lanka. They are widely used in sapphire engagement rings and other fine jewellery because of their rich hue and robust durability.
Citrine: is a glassy yellow variety of the quartz gemstone. Citrine tends to have a hexagonal crystal system and is symbolic of joy, energy and financial prosperity. Browse our selection of citrine rings here.
Clarity: is the quality of transparency or purity. The more inclusions a diamond or gemstone has- the lower its clarity will be.
Claw Set: is a type of jewellery setting in which the diamond or gemstone is secured in place with prong like extensions that claw around the stone and set it to the base.
Cleavage: gemstone cleavage is the tendency of certain crystals to break along definite plane surfaces. Planes in a crystal structure with relatively weak atomic bonds result in the crystal being more likely to break along those planes.
Close-backed: A style of setting a stone where the pavilion of the gem is completely enclosed within the setting and cannot be seen.
Cluster Ring: is a ring that features a large centred gemstone or diamond surrounded- or clustered by many smaller diamonds. The cluster ring is an elegant symbol of lifelong commitment and so it is a popular style for engagement rings. With a rich history, this type of ring originates from the ages of Georgian fashion and is still a very common design circulated today. Browse our collection of cluster rings here.
Cocktail Ring: a cocktail ring is typically a large and exuberant ring that features an oversized gemstone, by itself- or accentuated with diamonds. They emerged in the jazz-age of the 1920s- when holding a fancy drink in your hands was a status symbol. Women wanted their cocktails to be noticed. And therefore, sported large extravagant rings to draw attention to their drinks and therefore their wealth. Browse our selection of cocktail rings here.
Collet Set: A Collet setting is designed as a rim of metal that rises to the surface of the gemstone or diamond and encircles its girdle. The upper edge of a collet is pressed onto the crown, therefore securing the gem in place. They can be both decorative or very plain and are also sometimes referred to as bezel settings.
Coral: a hard red, white, or pink substance formed from the bones of very small sea creatures. Similar to pearl, it is a naturally formed and organic material used to fashion jewellery elements. The distinguishing characteristic of precious corals is their durable and intensely colored red or pink-orange.
Cushion Cut: This cut combines a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow! It has been around for almost 200 years and is a very popular cut- however, are less brilliant than round cut diamonds. However, due to their larger facets, they do tend to have more fire than their round cut counterparts. Find out more about gemstone cuts here.
Emerald: Is a bright green precious variety of beryl. It is a stone that is representative of life itself, and symbolises inspiration, balance, wisdom, and patience. Browse our collection of emerald rings here.
Emerald Cut: emerald cut refers to a rectangular cut made to emphasise long parallel step cuts along with clipped corners to fashion a sort of octagon-like shape. This type of cut provides for deep clarity and a large surface- making it a great option for an engagement or statement ring. Through its long and stepped cuts, the gemstone will reflect an abundance of light. Find out more about gemstone cuts here.
Enamel: refers to a coating applied to the metal on a piece of jewellery in which the metal is fused with coloured powders, at a temperature of around 1500 degrees to create a colourful coating that would not be possible with the metals alone. This was a popular technique in the Byzantine Empire between the 6th and 12th-centuries and is also often seen in mughal jewellery.
Epoxy: is a crystal clear material made up of 2 liquid parts that transform into a glossy solid when they're mixed together. It is often used to fill the internal fractures of a gemstone or diamond in order to increase its clarity or brilliance. This type of enhancement will lower the price of a gemstone, and makes gemstones or diamonds without the need for treatments all the more sought after.
Eternity Ring: An eternity ring, also known as an infinity ring, is a woman's ring comprising a band of precious metal set with a continuous line of identically cut gemstones to symbolise never-ending love. The concept was coined in the 1960s by diamond merchant De Beers, and they are commonly given during the milestones of a relationship.
Faceted: Faceting is a grinding and polishing process- also known as “cutting” that creates a beautifully finished gemstone suitable that is for jewellery. Facets of a gemstone or diamond are the cut sections referred to individually.
Foil-Backed: Foil backing is a surface enhancement technique where a sheet of metal or other material sometimes colored is placed behind the gemstone in order to reflect more light, or colour, back into the stone and then towards the viewer. It is susceptible to being tarnished or ruined when exposed to too much moisture and is also indicative of the gemstone lacking brilliance or luminosity.
Fracture: is most commonly used to refer to a break in the gem or diamond that is not parallel to the natural planes of the stone. A fracture commonly refers to the result of one attempting to treat an inclusion- which is a naturally occurring imperfection, however they can also occur naturally as weaker points in a stone. Fractures are often filled using epoxy or resin and lower the price point of a piece.
Garnet: is a precious stone that consists of a very deep red vitreous silicate mineral. The name is derived from the Latin word “granatum,” which translates to “seeds of pomegranate,”a wonderfully accurate reference to its natural hue. With the colour associations towards blood and the human heart, red or pink garnets have long been considered to be the great symbol of love or friendship whereas green garnets symbolise life force or vitality. Browse our collection of garnet rings here.
Georgian: The Georgian era- between the 1714 to 1830 was a period in British history during which Pearls, sapphires, rubies and garnets were widely used and often cut in the shape of a cabochon or teardrop. Other popular cuts for this time include rose cut and table cut.
Hallmark: A hallmark is a mark stamped on articles of gold, silver, or platinum by the British assay offices, certifying their standard of purity. You can find a hallmark on the inside of a band of a ring, it is usually not seen when the piece is being worn.
Heart Cut: Cut similarly to the pear shape, the heart features two rounded edges divided by one cleft, as opposed to a single rounded arc. The heart shaped cut is more exuberant than a typical cushion or emerald cut and for this reason is often featured in a simple ring setting to accentuate its unique qualities. Find out more about gemstone cuts here.
Hematite: this reddish-black mineral consisting of ferric oxide has the properties of grounding and protection. It has a metallic like lustre and occurs in colours that range from black, grey and silver, along with more reddish-brown varieties. Hematite isn't classified officially as a gemstone but an iron oxide mineral. With a Mohs hardness rating of just 5.5, it is easily scratched and also easily broken.
Inclusions: Internal defects within a gemstone or diamond are known as inclusions, while surface flaws are called blemishes. The more inclusions a piece has, the lower its clarity grading will be as these may affect its brilliance or refraction. They refer to the damage that comes about due to extreme pressure or heat as well as the foreign materials present in gemstones like guest crystals, fluids, and gases.
Jade: A commonly pale green gemstone consisting of the minerals jadeite or nephrite, although it can also be found in shades of muted yellow or white. Jade symbolism includes associations with nobility and wealth and is also known as “ the jewel of heaven.” As well as jewellery, jade has been used to make tools and sculptures for years because of its excellent durability and is well known for its ornamental use in Asia. Browse our collection of jade rings here.
Lustre: The quality and quantity of light reflected from the surface of a gemstone. Lustre depends on the refractive index and the polish or surface condition of the gemstone and is one of the defining qualities of a good gemstone.
Marquise Cut: Marquise cut gemstones are a variety of the round brilliant cut and have a total of 58 facets- each one wonderfully maximising the sparkle and brilliance. This particular cut possesses a stretched elliptical shape with pointed ends and this shape truly lends itself to elongating the finger it is placed on. The history of this cut dates back to the 18th Century where King Louis XV of France wanted a completely unique shaped diamond that was comparable to the lips of his mistress. The cut has since been modified, and has evolved into the shape we see today.
Mid-Century: Mid-century style is a design movement that was present in the circles of fashion, interiors, architecture, jewellery design (and many more) that was popular during the United States's post–World War II period, from roughly 1945 to 1969. Mid century jewellery was mainly made from silver. The design patterns were dominated by simplicity and clean lines, as well as a geometric look. The designs were bold and there was often more emphasis placed on the artist as opposed to the piece itself, or its value.
Millegrained: Millegrain is a term used to describe a tiny dotting procedure where metal beads are used to imprint the metals on jewellery and create a pattern, it is often used on the borders of a gemstone setting and is very intricately composed. It requires very precise craftsmanship and a steady hand. This ornate detailing technique is very commonly used when making engagement rings and is sure to increase the value of a ring because of the fine attention to detail.
Mohs Scale of Hardness: The Mohs Hardness Scale is used as a convenient way to help identify the hardness of minerals. A mineral's hardness is a measure of its relative resistance to scratching or wear. It is measured by scratching the mineral against another substance of known hardness on the Mohs Hardness Scale to identify, then place it using relativism.
Moonstone: Moonstone is a sodium potassium aluminium silicate that is known for its opalescent hue. Moonstone represents inner clarity, cyclical change, and a connection to the feminine. This translucent kaleidoscope-like stone has long held observers in awe and holds a similar appeal to that of the opal.
Morganite: the orangey pink varieties of beryl derives from countries such as Brazil, Afghanistan, Mozambique. It is often associated with innocence, sweetness, romance and love and has general connotations to the heart.
Mughal: The Mughal Empire was an Islamic early-modern empire that controlled much of South Asia between the 16th and 19th centuries . Mughal jewellery usually featured gold or gold plated silver and was adorned with enamel or stone work. It was common to use an array of precious gemstones, including diamonds, rubies, emeralds and pearls.
Navette: A navette cut ring is a ring that is shaped similarly to a large marquise, but that has been set with numerous smaller stones as opposed to a single large stone. The word navette comes from the French meaning “little ship.” The boat-shaped style is thought to be extremely elegant and chic, lending itself to elongating the wearer’s hand. Read more about gemstone cuts here.
Onyx: This semi-precious variety of agate is a gemstone that is especially known for its opaque, night-time black hue. There are varieties of onyx that feature different coloured layers, but the name “Onyx” typically refers to the parallel banded variety of chalcedony, a silicate mineral. It is a stone that is thought to offer protection, focus and immense will-power. Many believe that the onyx is a driver of motivation. Browse our collection of onyx rings here.
Opal: An opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica. It is because of its amorphous nature that it is usually classified as a mineraloid. It has long been a symbol of hope, purity, and truth and its characteristic prismatic appearance grants it a reputation of nothing less than enchanting. There are three notable types of opal, each with different optical effects and each one varying in rarity. Browse our collection of opal rings here.
Patina: Patina refers to the process of oxidation or corrosion that results in a natural sort of tarnish that occurs on different metals. It is looked upon favourably and is thought to add charm or character to antique jewellery.
Pavé-set: Similar to the English word “pave,” "pavé" comes from the French word for paved or cobbled, in this context it refers to a surface that has been set with gemstones or diamonds placed closely together that come together in a patterned arrangement and give the effect of a continuous covering of jewels. It gives off a subtly luxurious feel and adds brilliance to a wedding band or engagement ring.
Pavilion: The pavilion refers to the lower part or bottom half of a faceted gemstone or diamond. This particular part of a stone is below the girdle and tucked into the setting, not easily visible.
Pear Cut: The pear shaped cut, also commonly known as the tear drop cut is a very distinctive diamond cut with one rounded and one pointed end. Widely used as both pendants and earrings for their fluid and flattering shape, this cut was first designed in the mid-1400s, and even centuries later remains a very popular option for engagement rings.
Pearl: A pearl is a lustrous and spherical mass that is formed within the shell of an oyster or other bivalve mollusc. They are highly sought after in the world of gemstones, and their organic nature makes them all the more rare. They are typically creamy white, chocolate brown or bluish-grey and have an opalescent quality- they lend meaning to the term “pearlescent” for that exact reason! Pearls have a lot of attached symbolism and are valued for their calming effects. They represent both serenity and strength, as well as purity, integrity and loyalty. With such beautiful connotations, they make a wonderful gift for women of all ages.
Pearlescence: Is the quality of having the iridescent lustre that resembles that of the mother of pearl. Pearl produces a light-refracting effect, similar to iridescent or opalescence.
Peridot: The gemstone peridot is a member of the olivine family, which consists of a magnesium iron silicate composition. Peridot is named after the French word peritot, translating to gold- this alludes to the golden tones that compliment the vibrant green hue of a peridot and give it its warm olive tone. Peridots are often associated with prosperity and good fortune, and make wonderful cocktail or cluster rings. Browse our collection of peridot rings here.
Princess Cut: A princess cut gemstone features a square crown and four bevelled sides that come to a point and form an apex. They have up to 76 facets, each one significantly adding to the sheen and glassy quality of a gemstone. This kind of cut is considered a timeless and unique shape. It is the second most popular non-round gemstone cut in the market and offers splendid brilliance, reflecting more light than other gemstone cuts.
Quartz: Quartz is a hard, crystalline mineral composed of silica. It is often coloured by impurities which results in the popular gemstones we know as amethyst, citrine or cairngorm quartz. Quartz gemstones have been used in the production of jewellery for centuries. They sit at a 7 on Mohs hardness scale, making them relatively durable and a good choice for a long lasting piece of jewellery.
Radiant Cut: A radiant cut gemstone is a rectangular or square-shaped gemstone with a complete brilliant-cut facet pattern on both the crown and pavilion. It is often compared to an emerald cut- however, emerald cuts feature a larger top surface, despite the smaller top surface- the radiant cut will still appear to be larger because of its many facets. This is a good choice of cut for someone who is looking for maximum brilliance. The reflection is less subtle than that of other cuts because of its high amount of facets.
Re-Oiled: Getting a gemstone re-oiled is the process of oiling that adds to a stone's vibrancy. It will enhance its colour, giving it a higher and more impressive saturation. Applying a mineral oil will mask inclusions also giving the gemstone a better clarity. This is a controversial process as a gemstone that requires treatments is thought to have faults. Despite the fact that oiling makes gemstones more visually appealing, their value suffers. Gemstones that have not required treatments or enhancement are of considerably more value.
Ruby: Rubies belong to the corundum gemstone family- alongside sapphires. Corundum gemstones are compact and dense, they are the second hardest mineral after diamonds making them highly desired in the jewellery market. The rich scarlet colour of a ruby resembling blood is thought to represent the power of life itself. They are also known to be symbolic of good health, wealth, wisdom, and success in love. They were very popular during the 15th and 16th centuries and are particularly prized in Asian countries, seeing as they were commonly traded along China's North Silk Road. Rubies are exclusively red. However, they do range in saturation, tone, and undertone- meaning some rubies may display brown, pink, purple or orange colouration. Browse our collection of ruby rings here.
Saddle Shaped: Saddle shaped, refers to a ring that’s form is curved convexly in two opposite directions, resembling a horse's saddle. A synonym for this term is anticlastic.
Sapphire: Sapphires belong to the corundum family- alongside rubies. Corundum gemstones are compact and dense, they are the second hardest mineral after diamonds making them highly desired in the jewellery market. The bold azure blue of a sapphire is thought to represent the study of the stars- this is obvious when we notice the resemblance between a sapphire's deep hue and the colour of the night sky. The name sapphire is derived from the Latin "saphirus," which directly translates to “blue.” Sapphires are symbolic of luck, loyalty, happiness and love. Their symbolism and durability make them ideal for engagement rings. Browse our collection of sapphire rings here.
Signet Ring: A signet ring is a type of ring design that houses a flat face or table, on an unassuming band. They vary in shape and can be ovular, circular, or even square. Signet rings are typically engraved with an image or icon that signifies something memorable such as an initial, a family crest or even a coat of arms. They were commonly worn on the pinky finger, for functional reasons. It was our current equivalent to a signature, and therefore having it on one's pinky, made it easier to show the ring to others for authentication. The engravings on a signet ring were also commonly used to emboss into wax, and create a seal for announcements or documents. Typically a gentleman's ring, they were not often seen on the hand of a woman, however that has changed now and it is very common for women to feature signet rings alongside their wedding band.
Spinel: Spinel is a semi-precious gemstone that varies from colourless to ruby red or even black. It is a hard and glassy mineral that occurs as an octahedral crystal and consists mainly of magnesium and aluminium oxides. It is representative of revitalization and is thought to encourage devotion and commitment. It is a durable gemstone with a hardness of 8.0 on the Mohs Hardness Scale.
Toi et Moi Style: The toi et moi ring meaning “you and me” is one of the most historic ring setting styles that symbolises love and partnerships. Drawing from its name, this style of ring will feature two gemstones or diamonds, that are nestled side by side, where they meet delicately on a band that is often twisted or coiled. This style first gained attention with a diamond and sapphire toi et moi ring that Napoleon Bonaparte gifted his wife Josephine de Beauharnais in 1796 and has since retained it popularity being a favourable choice for both an engagement or anniversary ring. Browse our collection of toi et moi rings here.
Topaz: Topaz belongs to the silicate mineral family. Topaz is typically colourless however trace element impurities result in topaz that varies in hues of blue, green, yellow, pink or red. The rich amber variation of topaz is most commonly used in jewellery and is the most sought after of all the colour variations. The ancient Greeks believed that topaz could make a wearer invisible. This gem was also thought to balance strong emotions and was a symbol of honour and strength, believed to encourage longevity and wisdom. Browse our collection of topaz rings here.
Trinity Ring: A trinity ring is a style of ring that features three distinctive bands that interlink to form one delectable piece. The trinity ring was invented by Cartier in 1924, this iconic style is also commonly referred to as a rolling ring. The 3 bands are representative of eternity, love, and fidelity. For this reason they are often gifted in relationships or marriages and make a great compliment to an engagement ring. It is common to use a mix of metals, and nowadays it is not uncommon for trinity rings to be adorned with pavé diamonds or coloured stones.
Ultrasonic Cleaner: An ultrasonic cleaner is what is typically used by professional jewellers to clean jewellery. It utilises ultrasonic waves and chemicals to thoroughly clean jewellery- however should be used very carefully as the high temperatures and microscopic vibrations can cause damage. Over time or with improper use, it is known that ultrasonic or steam cleaners can disintegrate resin that is filling gemstone fractures or loosen the stones in your jewellery, Especially if they have a lower rating on Mohs hardness scale.
Unheated Gemstone: An unheated gemstone refers to a gemstone that has not undergone any heat treatments. Unheated gemstones have more visible inclusions and it is for this reason that many jewellers opt for heat treatment. Any indications of heat treatment tend to lower the natural value of a gemstone as heating is thought to be a form of enhancing. If you are looking for a pristine looking gemstone and are not as concerned with its true organic quality, then heat treated stones are a viable option- however, if you are looking for a gemstone of the utmost natural and untreated quality, it is best to opt for a gemstone that has had no enhancements and comes with a report authenticating this.
Untreated Gemstone: Untreated gemstones are those that are not enhanced in any way. They retain the same form as when they were extracted from the earth and are exclusively polished and cut, nothing more. Unheated gemstones and untreated gemstones are one and the same as no treatment can be applied to a stone without the help of heat treatment. Treated gemstones are not strictly of less value, but unheated gemstones do carry a premium, especially if good quality.
Victorian: Victorian jewellery originated in England and was produced during the reign of Queen Victoria, between 1837 to 1901. Queen Victoria was an influential figure who established the different trends in Victorian jewellery that utilised many different gemstones, enamels and even natural materials like hair. The production of jewellery throughout the Victorian era was distinct, and was a mark of the new and innovative use of machinery. It was a very influential time for jewellery and was the beginning of trends such as mourning jewellery. This period also saw the change in jewellery design from delicate to bold, which emulated the changing social roles and representation of women at the time.
Zircon: is a semi-precious gemstone that belongs to the stone group of nesosilicates. It is available in a wide spectrum of colours, including blue, red, green, yellow, orange, brown, pink and purple. The faceted colourless zircons are often used as a substitute for diamonds. Zircons are not to be confused with Cubic zirconias, both stones have a high index of refraction, so they sparkle as cut gems. But, zircon's sparkle is white (similar to diamond), whereas a cubic zirconia emits a rainbow sparkle.