Mabe: A pearl like gem created using a nacre dome, filler, and a mother-of-pearl backing.

Mabe Pearl: Cultured blister pearl

Macaroni: a longer version of a chatelaine.

Macle: triangular shaped twinned crystals of diamond rough.

Malachite: green stone with irregular bands of lighter and darker green.

Malleability: Ease with which metal can be shaped.

Majorica or Mallorca Pearls: brand name of pearl simulants based on glass produced on the Spanish island of Majorica at the Majorica S.A. company. Other faux-pearls are sometimes incorrectly referred to as ‘Mallorca Pearls’ or ‘Majorica’.

Machettes: Originally designed in Pairs, machettes are a style of bangle designed to look like feminine shirt cuffs.

Marcasite:  Iron ore or pyrite,  facetted into rose cuts and usually set into silver or pewter jewelry.

Marchak, Joseph: Important jeweler of the Russian Empire who later founded the Marchak jewellery company in Paris in 1920. Marchak closed its doors in 1988 but in 2005 was reopened by Marchak’s grandson.

Marcus & Co: American jewelry firm best known for their Art Nouveau jewelry and silver. 1892 – present.

Married jewel or Marriage: jewel of a specific period which was later altered with an add-on from the same or different period.

Marsh ( G.T. Marsh & Co.): San Francisco jewellery firm founded in 1876 by Gorge Turner Marsh. Known for Asian inspired Art Deco pieces.

Marquise Cut: A  boat-shaped stone

Matinee necklace: Necklace with a length of 60 cm (22-24 inches).

Matte finish:  an even texture on metal resulting in a non-reflective surface.

Mauboussin: a French jewellery firm known for Art Deco and Retro jewellery and objects. Though it began in 1827, the firm became internationally successful in the 1920’s.

Mazarins: a group of 18 diamonds owned by France.

Meershaum: a smooth porous clay-like material used to create faux-ivory.

Medallion: a type of pendant, usually tablet-like.

Mélange: Mixed diamond sizes weighing more than carat.

Mellerio:  Parisian family, jewelers and goldsmiths since 1613.

Mélée: diamonds weighing less than a carat (often used in pavé).

Mellon Bead: Hollow, ribbed bead. Popular in Etruscan era and during the 1930’s.

Memento Mori: Remember I will die. A reminder of death, used as a motif in jewellery particularly in the 1700’s.

Memorial jewel: Jewellery in memory of a loved one, frequently containing hair from that person.

Menuki: small decorative elements composed of mixed metals used to decorate traditional Samurai sword handles, often adapted to create jewelry.

Mexican Fire Opal: a variety of transparent red, orange or orangy-red opal. Usually lacks play-of-color.

Mexican Silver Standard: Higher silver alloy than sterling. (95% silver / 5% copper).

Micro Mosaic: Very small colored glass pieces (tessarae) inlaid into a design in glass or hardstone

Mikimoto: Inventor of Japanese Cultured Akoya pearls

Milanese Chain: Chain of interwoven rows of links which form a mesh

Milk and Honey Effect: When a honey-colored cats-eye is held toward a light with the chatoyant band at right angles to the light, the half of the stone close to the light will be a honey color and the other half will be milky.

Millefiori Glass: canes of colored glass that sliced to form patterns or mosaic effects

Millegrain: fine bead like embellishment around the edge of a metal collet

Mills, Ernestine: English Art Nouveau jewellery designer (female).

Minaudière: A woman’s small hard vanity case or decorative bag, usually metal but sometimes wood

Mirror of Portugal: Celebrated diamond, stolen during the French Revolution and not seen since.

Mississippi River Pearls: Irregularly shaped pearls, usually elongated.

Mizpah: During the Victorian era, jewellery was often engraved with the word MIZPAH, meaning, “I will watch over thee”.

Moh’s Scale: relative hardness rating for minerals from 1 to 10.

Moire Ribbon: The type of ribbon (nearly always black) that was fashionable to wear around the neck, either alone or with a pendant, during the years 1910-1920.

Mokume Gane: lamination of metal resulting in a woodgrain effect on the surface. Originally a Japanese technique for sword making.

Mollusk: invertebrate animal that is the source of all pearls.

Monel metal: alloy of nickel and copper with a very high melting point. Grey in colour.

Monogram: interweaving of two or more letters or other symbols into a decorative design.

Moonstone: a gemstone with a  blue-white sheen, reminiscent of the moon. A variety of Orthoclase Feldspar.

Mordant: a metal piece, sometimes jeweled, attached to a belt or on buckle motif jewellery on the opposite end from the buckle.

Moresque (or “moreske”): Moorish scroll work motif. Popular during Renaissance.

Moretto: (from Italian: moors head pl. = moretti) blackamoor jewelry motif.

Moss agate: translucent chalcedony stone with green moss-like inclusions (usually hornblende).

Mother of Pearl: Smooth iridescent interior lining of the shells of certain mollusks, used in jewellery and other object.

Mounting on moor: tinting of diamonds on the pavilion.

Mourning jewellery: traditionally worn for mourning, especially during Victorian era.

Muff chain: long chain worn around the neck with fasteners at the ends attached to ladies muffs.

Mughal Cut: Type of diamond cut.

Murano Glass: Type of Venetian glass.


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