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Asscher cut

Similar to an emerald cut stone with straight step cut facets the asscher cut has clipped corners, a smaller table and a higher crown than modern emerald cut. This cut was created by Joseph Asscher.


Ornament based on the leaves of the Mediterranean acanthus plant. Originally used to decorate the capital or Corinthian columns in ancient Greek and Roman architecture.

Acrostic Jewellry

Jewellery where the first letter of each gemstone in the piece is used to spell a word. Popular in the Georgian and Victorian periods. 


A plastic resin used by contemporary jewellers since the 1960’s that comes in a variety of colours and opacities.


A formation of chalcedony that results in coloured layers alternating with milky white layers. 


A hair ornament, usually jewelled, that would hold a plume of feathers or a splay of flowers. 


Open pattern formed from cutting out metal thus allowing light travel through a stone displaying its full colour. 

Albert chain

A double or single watch chain, in varying lengths and links featuring a T-bar which is used to attach to a buttonhole. This style of chain was popularised by Prince Albert, consort to Queen Victoria and was therefore named after him. These chains are now regularly worn as necklaces.


A variety of chrysoberyl named after Tsar Alexander II. The stone is extremely light sensitive appearing a blueish green in daylight and a purplish red in incandescent light.


A metal made by combining two or more metallic elements. 


Amazonite. A variety of green microcline. Colours range from a yellow green to a blue green and may have small white streaks. 


An extinct sea creature often found as fossils with flat spiral shells. 


Egyptian hieroglyphic for Life.


Removing brittleness by reheating metal. 


An item, article or object which was created over one hundred years ago.

Archaeological style

Jewelry in the 19th Century that took direct inspiration from archeological discoveries of the time. 

Art Deco

The name given to a artistic movement that was derived from the 1925 Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes which took place in Paris, France. This incredible exhibition showcased the new modern style that had already started to win favour in stylish European cities.

Coined the 'Art Deco' or 'Deco' period shortened from the French Arts Décoratifs, the era spanned the 1920s and 1930s. The style included geometric patterns, symmetrical motifs and parallel lines. These decorative symbols would go on to influence a wide variety of visual arts including architecture, paintings, sculpture, fashion and of course jewellery.

Jewellery items made during the Art Deco period stand out due to the quality of craftsmanship, the unique design, the pairing of unusal gemstones and the use of platinum. 

Art Nouveau

Inspired by free-floating forms in the natural world.


An optical phenomenon where light reflects from small parallel inclusions on a stone that cross paths and appear like a six pointed star. This can be seen in stones cut ‘en cabochon’.


A constitutional monarchy which was one of  central Europe's major powers between 1867 to 1918.


Gemstones cut in long narrow rectangle bordered by four step-cut facets.


The name of the first thermosetting resin patented in 1910 by Dr. Leo Baekeland.

Balas Ruby

Spinel ruby. Misnomer for spinel with a colour close to ruby. 


An ornament worn around the wrist, with little or no flexibility. Some are hinged to allow the wearer easy removal, others known as slave bangles are a continuous rigid band which must be forced on and off manually.

Baroque Pearl

Irregularly shaped pearl. 


Relief or projection from surface is low.

Base metal

Any non-precious metal that is used in jewellery is often referred to as base metal.


Visual effect that can be achieved by arranging solid gold grains to create a border.

Berlin Iron

During the Napoleonic War , gold jewellery donated to the war effort was exchanged for cast iron pieces from the Berlin Iron. Most was produced between 1812-1815.


A setting that encircles another material (i.e. gemstone) holding it in place.


Jewellery made of gold and enamels.


Article of woman’s attire in sixteenth century consisting of a row of stones or pearls which bordered a ‘gable’ hoods. 

Blister pearl

Uneven pearl with a raw underside which is usually hidden by the setting. 


An ornamental hairpin popular in the Renaissance. Usually made of gold or silver set with gems.

Bolt ring

A style of clasp often seen on necklaces and bracelets. 


A piece of jewellery that is suspended from another piece of jewellery.  


Thin sheet of metal applied to coins, medals, jewellery. 


A small charm. 

Brilliant cut

A method of gem cutting where the upper part of the stone is cut into as many as 33 facets and the lower part in 25.


 Elongated stone multi-faceted cuts on all sides.