Jewelry Terminology - Rebekah Brooks Jewelry

Jewelry Terminology

Gold Filled vs. Gold Plated: Gold plated jewelry is lower quality than gold filled jewelry. Gold plated is simply one layer of gold over base metals, whereas gold filled is usually done with 14 karat and the gold is bonded and mixed throughout the base metal. It does not wear off or change color over time.

Vermeil: 100 layers of 14k gold permanently bonded to sterling silver.

Rhodium Plating: A technique where white gold is coated with rhodium in an effort to make it appear brighter and more light platinum. White gold is naturally warm in tone because it is mostly gold. Rhodium plating is a cheaper way for big box jewelers to obtain the trendy brightness of platinum. It wears off after five years or so, and more often than not jewelers do not tell their clients the ring has this treatment. We use all raw white gold, but are able to rhodium plate upon request.

Shank: This has two meanings: The part of the finger that the ring sits on, and also what the band itself is called.

Casting: Castings are molds made from an original piece, in our case a piece engraved and created by Rebekah. Once the mold is made we can pour metal and recreate the piece again and again.

Karat: The measure of gold content in an alloy with 24 karat being 100% gold.

The 4 C’s:

1. Carat: Unit of measurement for the weight of a gemstone or pearl. 1 carat = 200 milligrams.
2. Cut: Not to be confused with shape, this is the style in which a gemstone is faceted. A round stone, for example, can be any one of many types of cut.
3. Color: The amount of yellow apparent in a diamond, or the saturation/hue in a colored stone.
4. Clarity: The amount of quality characteristics (imperfections, or inclusions) apparent in a gemstone.

Illusion Setting: A style of setting popular in the Art Deco era. The metal is shaped around the stone in a way that makes the stone appear bigger and often times square when the diamond is round.

Channel Setting: Gemstones held in place by metal walls. The stones are held by their girdle and often appear as if they are floating.

Bezel Setting: A metal border around a stone, ideal for softer stones because it protects from chipping and scratching. We use open back bezels whenever possible to maximize brightness & light passing through the stone.

Marcasite: While marcasite is a separate mineral from pyrite, in jewelry terms marcasite almost always refers to gem-cut pyrite. This popular antique diamond substitute is almost always set in sterling silver.

Paste: Invented in 1624 by George Frederic Strass and popularized by Daniel Swarovski, “paste” stones refer to a glass compound used to simulate precious gems. While glass is not a rare material, the level of artistry and craftsmanship that went into making these crystals made then appropriate for fine-jewelry settings of gold and sterling silver.