Labarum: Monogram using first two letters of Greek alphabet, found in Castellani mosaic jewellery of the 1800’s.

Laboratory grown: Gemstones produced by man.

Labradorescence: Play of light that occurs in gem quality labradorite.

Labradorite: a mineral species / gemstone.

Lace Brooch: Small brooch generally set with diamonds, later 19th Century.

Lace Ring: ring with open worked motifs, resembling lace work.

Lacloche Frères: Spanish jewellery house known for its Art Deco jewellery and objects. Founded in 1875.

Lacquer: a spirit based varnish used to coat and protect finishes. Mixed with iron oxides or coloring agents to create different effects.

Lalaounis:  Athenian jewelry company.  Known for antiquity-inspired designs.

Lalique: 1881 – present. Jewellery company founded by René Lalique.

Lampl, Walter (1895 – 1945): American jeweller, known for use of jade.

Language of Birds  Birds in jewellery held a nuanced and precise meaning.

Language of Flowers (Floriography): Floral motifs used to convey secret, coded meaning. Popular in Victorian era.

Language of Stones  Acrostic jewelry was a beautifully subtle and poetic way of sending a sentimental message by way of the first letter of each stone.

Lapidary: The craft of who cutting gemstones.

Lapis lazuli: a rock aggregate predominantly composed of the minerals lazurite, sodalite, nosalite and hauyne. Cobalt blue color, often with patches of pyrite (golden) and/ or calcite (white).

Larimar:  (aka ‘Stefilia’s Stone). Gemstone found only in Dominican Republic, usually light or deep blue but can only be blue-green or white.

Laser: acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation. Lasers are often used in gemstone work.

Latten: a copper alloy used in the Middle ages until the end of the 18th century.

Lavaliere: A chain from which an ornament hangs in the center

Lava Jewelry: Jewellery made from volcanic lava. Emerged during the Grand Tour era.

Lazo: Spanish word for ‘bow’ which, when used in jewellery, refers to a type of earring with a bow motif or a long, ribbon shaped brooch or bodice ornament popular in Spain in the 16th and 17th centuries.

Le Note Blanche: Term for 1930s all white jewellery. (Or possibly 1940s)

Liberty & Co: 1876 – present. English jewellery company, famous for popularizing the Arts and Crafts style.

Limoges enamel: an enamelling technique developed in Limoges in the 15th century.  First dark enamel is painted on a metal surface and then translucent enamel is applied in parts.

Line bracelet: A bracelet of individual, flexible links set with gems. A tennis bracelet is a type of line bracelet.

Link: A ring which forms a chain when interlocked with other rings.

Liquid Silver: Term for polished, silver tubular beads that appear to flow like liquid silver.

Le Grand Condé: 9 carat, pink diamond owned by France.

Leontine: From the Spanish leontina. A chain used to suspend a watch, often with tassels and slides in colored gold.

Lobster Claw:  a catch used for bracelets and necklaces. Often oval or pear shaped (but can be any) it has a spring mechanism to close.

Locket: A hinged, opening piece of jewellery.

Longchain: a linked chain generally more than a meter long. Popular in the 18th century.

Lorgnette: Eyeglasses, often ornate, that are used by holding them to the eyes by a handle. used from the late eighteenth century through the Art Deco period.

Lost Wax Method: A method of casting metal using a rubber mold, filled with wax to form a pattern to create a plaster mold. The plaster is then heated and the wax melts away (is “lost”)

Louis Comfort Tiffany: jewellery designer and director at Tiffany and Company 1902 – 1918. He was the son of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder.

Lover’s Eye: A “lover’s eye” miniature is a painted miniature of the giver’s eye, presented to a loved one. Set in rings, brooches, pendants and lockets. A fashion during the years 1790 – 1820.

Lover’s Knot: A knot jewellery motif used since Roman times. Often given as an engagement, betrothal or friendship ring.

Lozenge: A lozenge shaped diamond is one that is rhomboid (or ‘diamond’ shaped) in outline.

Luckenbooth brooches: Scottish heart shaped – or double hearts – brooches. They  originate from late medieval times and were popular again during the 18th and 19th centuries.

Ludo: A 1930s honeycomb motif bracelet designed by Van Clef & Arpels.

Luigi Podio: mosaicist for Castellani, 1851-1888.

Luster: quality and quantity of light reflected from a gemstone.


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