Cable Chain: Chain with round interlocking loops.

Cabochon: A gemstone with a smoothly domed top.

Cairngorm: Type of citrine quartz from Cairngorm. (Yellow or smokey brown, used in ‘Scottish’ jewelry).

Calcareous Concretion: pearl like growths originated in mollusks that lack nacre.

Calcite: Type of gemstone, can be transparent or colored.

California Gold Rush Jewelry: The California Gold Rush is usually considered to be the years from 1848 to 1851, California Gold Rush jewelry is also a style in it’s own right.

Calibre cut: A style of gemstone cut, usually utilized for small sizes and standardized measurements. Developed during the Art Deco era.

Cameo: A gemstone carving technique, in which an image is created by cutting through various layers of a gem.

Cameo, Gonzaga: Famous cameo from Hellenistic Egypt owned by France.

Cameo, shell: Bulls Mouth, Horned Helmet and Black Helmet.

Camphor Glass: Clear, frosted glass often used to imitate rock crystal or cast with a star pattern to give it radiance.

Cannetille (French): A metal-working technique, utilizing thin wires to create three dimensional filigree.

Carat: A unit used to measure gemstone weight.

Carbuncle: A large almandine garnet cut en cabochon.

Carcanet: jeweled collar or necklace (Elizabethan era).

Carnelian: translucent red chalcedony.

Carrera y Carrera: Spanish (Madrigal) jewelry house, 1885 -present

Cartier: Paris jewelry house, 1847- Present

Cartouche: decorative frame around a central depiction.

Carvin French: New York jewelry manufacturers, 1954-Present.

Casco S.R.L: famous producer of cameo, founded in 1928.

Cast / Casting: process of pouring molten metal into mold and letting it harden.

Castellani, Fortunato Pio: A 19th-century Italian jeweler noted for his revival of Etruscan and Greek styles in jewelry. “Archaeological Revival”.

Catalina: A type of early plastic, used for jewellery from 1927 to approximately 1945. Most jewellery sold as ‘Bakelite’ is actually Catalin.

Cat’s-Eye: optical phenomenon in gemstones also known as chatoyancy or the cat’s eye variety of Chrysoberyl.

Cave Pearls: type of calcite resembling pearls found in limestone caves. Very fragile but sometimes found in jewelry.

C.D. Peacock: Chicago jeweler, 1837 – Present

Celluloid: type of early plastic used in costume jewelry. Patented in 1868.

Celtic Cross: A Latin cross with a circle around the outer edge.

Celtic Revival Jewelry: Jewelry manufactured in Ireland in the mid 1800s inspired by Celtic archeological discoveries.

Chain: interlocking metal links.

Chalcedony: type of quartz.

Champleve (French): Literally translates to mean a raised field. It is an enameling technique wherein the design is made by lines cut into the metal and then filled with the enamel.

Chandelier: also known as girandole, this is a style usually found in earrings or pendants where there is a bow or stone or decorative cluster at the top with three suspended gemstone drops.

Change of Color: A phenomenon of some colored gemstones in which it appears a different color in different light.

Channel Setting: A style of setting wherein gemstones are secured in place by rails or channels of metal.

Charlton & Co: New York Jewelry House, 1909-Present

Charm: A small decorative trinket generally worn suspended from a bracelet or necklace.

Charm Bracelet: A bracelet from which numerous charms hang.

Chaser: tool used for chasing.

Chasing: A technique involving hammering an indented design into the surface of a metal.

Chatelaine: A decorative belt with useful items usually worn attached to a belt or girdle.

Chatham: Manufacturing technique for synthetic gemstones.

Chatoyancy: The effect of an eye formed by a gemstone’s natural internal structure when combined with a cabochon cut. Examples include tiger’s-eye quartz and cat’s-eye chrysoberyl.

Chaton: Can refer to a bezel or the jewel itself on a ring, or both the jewel and the bezel which projects out on a ring.

Chaumet: French jewelry house, 1780-Present.

Chiaroscuro: the interplay and contrast of light and shadow.

Child & Child: English jewelry maker, known for Art Nouveau jewelry, 1880-1916

Chip: A small area of damage on a gemstone’s surface.

Chip Carving: Metalworking technique that creates relief design. Used to create cut steel jewelry.

Chi Rho: Two letters of Greek alphabet, can be found in Castellani’s jewelry (means ‘Christ’).

Chlorastrolite: type of green gemstone.

Crochet: technique that can be used for creating bead strands

Chrysoberyl: Type of gemstone, transparent to yellow to green.

Chrysocolla: Blue-green variety of chalcedony.

Chrysoprase: Bright green quartz.

Choker: A necklace worn close to the throat.

Chute: pearl necklace of equally sized pearls, with smaller pearls towards the clasp.

Cinnabar: mineral, red in color, ore of mercury. Can be toxic. Traditionally used in Chinese lacquer ware, can also be used in jewelry.

Circa (c. or ca.): Represents the approximate period of time in than an item was made.

Citrine: Yellow to golden variety of quartz.

Clarity Grading: The accepted system for determining a diamond’s purity. (The highest level is Flawless, the lowest Imperfect or Declasse.)

Clasp: A fastener utilized for closing bracelets, necklaces, etc.

Claddagh Ring: Type of Irish fede ring with a heart and coronet.

Claflin: Jewelry designer for Tiffany (1935-1979).

Clawed Collet: A bezel or collet with prongs on the side for securing a gemstone.

Claw Setting: Gemstone setting created with prongs on the edge of the bezel or collet.

Cleavage: The ability for a material to split along a certain plane.

Clip: A brooch-like item featuring a hinged two-prong pin that pierces the fabric.

Cloisonne (French): An enameling technique utilizing wires which create compartments (‘cloisons’) that are then filled with enamel.

Closed Back Setting: When there is metal behind the stone so that no part of the girdle or empty space shows through.

Cluster Ring: A style of ring in which numerous gemstones are set in close proximity.

Clutch: The small finding of a earring which slides onto the post in order to secure the earring to the ear (also called ‘earring back’)

Cocktail Ring: A ringin which a grouping of gemstones often form a dome-like pattern. Popularized in the early 20th century, usually thought of as an evening ring.

Coin gold: Alloy, 9 parts gold, 1 part copper

Coin silver: 90 percent fine silver, used in USA Silver coins until 1966.

Collar: A broad neck plate style necklace or a necklace with a length slightly longer than choker.

Collet Setting: Also known as ‘bezel setting’. This is when there is a rim of metal surrounding the girdle of the stone to hold it in place.

Collière d’ esclavage: Translates as ‘slave necklace’. This is a type of necklace with rows of plaques or cameos secured by chains.

Colored Diamonds: Diamonds are found in a variety of colors, including brown, green, pink, blue, red, and yellow. The more intense the color the more valuable they usually are.

Color grade: The color quality of a diamond, expressed according to a scale of letters representing different grades of color.

Colorless: A diamond in which no trace of color can be detected. Truly colorless diamonds are usually the most valuable.

Comb: Ornamental item worn in the hair.

Commesso: Commesso is a bas-relief composition of precisely cut gem materials (pietra dura) combined with enameled gold elements to form an assembled cameo.

Compact: an accessory for carrying face powder and a mirror.

Composite Stone: Gem simulants composed of several materials (eg. doublets and triplets).

Conceit: curiously contrived and fanciful jewellery.

Conch Pearl: A type of salt water pearl grown in a conch rather than an oyster.

Concha Belt: Style of belt is attributed to Native American Indians of the South Western United States. It is a leather belt that has added silver ornaments and possibly gemstones.

Copal: fossilized resin (similar to amber but not as old or desirable).

Copper: Metallic element.

Coque de Perle: faux pearl carved from nautilus shell, particularly found in Georgian era jewelry.

Coral: Organic gemstone, made from secretions of polyps.

Cord: Rope made from twisting thinner threads.

Coronet: Crown without convex arches.

Coronet Setting: Gemstone setting with high prongs that resemble crowns (also known as ‘crown setting’)

Corsage: Brooch designed as a flower or spray of flowers.

Corundum: Gem family that includes sapphire and ruby.

Costume Jewelry: A broad term forjewelry of low value, usually (but not always) silver jewelry, jewelry made from base metals, imitation stones, plastic and glass. Some jewelry made from these materials can still be valuable however.

C Pin Catch: Type of catch, usually on a brooch, shaped like a ‘C’

Cushion Cut: Type of diamond cut.

Croix a la Jeanette: pendant with a heart and a Latin cross (fashion began circa 1840).

Cross-over: Jewellery with different components which combine to create a single design.

Crown: Type of head wear, normally worn by royalty.

Crown of a gemstone: Upper part of stone above the girdle.

Crown gold: English term for 18 karat gold alloy.

Crown setting: Gemstone setting with high prongs that resemble crowns (also known as ‘coronet setting).

Crescent Brooch: A moon-shaped brooch, popularized in the Victorian era, usually set with diamonds.

Cross: A cross ornament generally worn as a pendant or necklace.

Crucifix Pendant: A pendant depicting the crucifixion of Christ.

Cruciform Pendant: A pendant shaped like a cross.

Cryptocrystalline: Having crystals so small that individual crystals cannot be seen under an ordinary microscope.

Crystalline: a substance with a repeating 3 dimensional atomic structure.

Cubic Zirconia: Manmade materials that imitates diamond and other gemstones.

Cuff Bracelet: A type of wide band bracelet without a closure.

Cufflink: A form of fastener used to close shirt sleeves or cuffs.

Cuir roulé: (Literally: ‘rolled leather’). This is a term used to describe the volute (scroll) shapes used in jewelry from 1835 onwards.

Culet: The smallest facet located at a gemstone’s base.

Circled pearl: Pearl with one or more grooved rings.

Cupellation: A precise way of testing precious metals or of refining them.

Curb Chain: Type of chain with interlocking links that are twisted until they flatten out. (Also known as Gourmette Chain).

Curb Link Bracelet: Bracelet made with curb chain.

Cut-Steel Jewelry: Jewelry set with tiny polished and faceted steel studs. (Resembles marcasite jewelery).

Cymric: trade name used by Liberty & Co for jewelry made by British designers (1899).

Czochralski: Process for growing crystals, used for creating many synthetic gemstones.


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