Estate Jewelry: Jewelry is considered “Estate” if the piece of jewelry in question has a previous owner. However, contrary to common belief—the previous owner of a piece of estate jewelry may very well still be alive. While the previous owners of a considerable percentage of estate jewelry have indeed passed away, the vitality of the previous owner has nothing to do with a piece of jewelry’s status as estate jewelry. Another common misconception in the world of estate jewelry—age has nothing to do with whether or not a piece of jewelry is classified as “Estate”. Although many estate pieces on the market today may be 50, 100, even 150+ years old, age is not a determining factor when it comes to classifying estate jewelry.
Antique Jewelry: A piece of jewelry is considered “Antique” if it is over 100 years old. In general, antique jewelry is crafted with a superior level of craftsmanship from higher-quality materials, compared to modern pieces found on the market today. However, due to the relative scarcity and sheer age of jewelry by the time it can be classified as “antique”, the majority of antique jewelry is too valuable to be worn or at times even displayed.
Vintage Jewelry: On the other hand, a piece of jewelry is considered “vintage” if it is between 50 years old and 100 years old. Unlike antique jewelry, vintage pieces are often worn and displayed, as they are less likely to break. Vintage jewelry designs are also easier to incorporate into fashion-forward outfits to create unique statements—as vintage jewelry designs are relatively current, easily paring with today’s hottest trends while adding an extra flair to any outfit!
Bar Channel Setting: Individual metal bars are set perpendicular to the ring, separating the gemstones. The metal is molded around a gem to lock it in place.
Bezel Setting: A metal rim that surrounds the gemstone to secure it in place by the girdle. The bezel setting style is secure, but does not block light from entering the stone and creating brilliance.
Cathedral Setting: A cathedral setting engagement ring mimics the grace and elegance of cathedral architecture by introducing its own arches to frame the focal point of the ring – the central diamond or gemstone. The band of the ring splits, forming an upper and lower segment with the distinctive arch between them.
Center Stone: The central, dominant stone in a piece of jewelry set with multiple stones. In a ring set with one stone, the center stone is also called the solitaire.
Channel Setting: A setting style where ridges in the metal create a channel that holds gemstones securely in place.
Channel Bands: Channel settings are popular styles for wedding and anniversary bands without an elevated center gemstone. Eternity rings are channel-set bands where the stones completely encircle the ring, creating a never-ending loop of diamonds or other gems.
Charm: an individual ornament that may be suspended on a bracelet or necklace. Often, charms have special significance to the wearer symbolizing people, places, events, etc.
Clasp: The closing mechanism for a bracelet or necklace. There are a ton of clasp variations on the market for you to choose from. The more secure options include lobster clasps and anything which includes an additional safety catch.
Claw Setting: A setting in which metal prongs, or claws, hold the gemstone in a setting. Also called prong setting. Other setting styles include bezel, channel, bar channel, and more.
Cluster Setting: A cluster setting is designed to present multiple stones – often semi-precious gems rather than diamonds – in a figural design such as a flower or butterfly. Another cluster option is to use many small stones to create the illusion of a larger gem without the expense of a single stone of higher carat weight.
Comfort fit: A special metal band design that features a rounded inside edge for more comfortable constant wear.
Engrave: To decorate by carving a design with hand tools, a stamping press, or drill. Also refers to the practice of inscribing a dedication or monogram.
Filigree: A metalworking technique that creates intricate scroll and curlicue patterns. Filigree is often used to make decorative necklace and bracelet clasps.
Finish: Used to describe the texture of polish applied to a metal. Common finishes include high polish, brushed and matte.
Flush Setting: A flush setting is made by creating a tapered hole in which the diamond sits with the surrounding metal pressed around its rim, though unlike bezels, the metal does not fold over the top of the stone.
Head: The metal basket that hold the center stone or solitaire in place.Karat: The purity of gold is divided into twenty-four parts where 24K is pure. However, as 24K is so soft, it is unusual to see it in jewelry. If you do, most likely it will be in the form of earrings. Popular in descending order of purity are 22K, 18K, and 14K.
TCW: Total Carat Weight
Width: The width is the horizontal measurement of piece of jewelry. Any band or ring is measured across the widest area on the top. Settings are measured across the widest metal part, closest to where the center diamond is set. All measurements are approximate and refer to the widest part of the piece.
Medium: The type of technique used to create the work of art. I.e. Print, painting, drawing, sculpture, bronze, etc...