Jewelry Glossary

February 24, 2022

Handmade rings stacked in front of a book on making jewelry.

Industry specific terms can make buying jewelry intimidating, but EC Design Jewelry will help you navigate the world of brilliant cuts, bezel sets, Moissanites, and more. Don't be intimidated, be empowered! 

We love to educate our clients so we (figuratively) put pen to paper and created a Jewelry Glossary with common terms to help you get to know the lingo. 

  • Bezel set - Gemstones are securely set in a ring of metal that slightly overlaps the edges of the stone. This modern setting is secure and durable, so it's an ideal setting for everyday jewelry.
  • Brilliant cut - Cut with numerous triangular or kite shaped facets for optimal light reflection, resulting in a cone shaped stone. Brilliant cut stones are cut for maximum sparkle and sit taller than other cuts of similar carat weight.
  • Carat- Unit of measure for the weight of gemstones, abbreviated 'ct'. One carat is equal to 200 mg.
  • Checkerboard cut - Cut with square facets, resulting in a checkered pattern.
  • Color enhanced - Treated with irradiation, pressure, heat, or heating/cooling to enhance the natural color of a stone.
  • Conflict-free stones - Gemstones that have not been mined in an area of armed conflict and/or traded/sold to finance civil wars. Stones are purchased from legitimate sources and diamonds follow the Kimberley Process.
  • Flush set - Stones are set into the band and are flush with the surface of the ring.
  • Handmade - This one may seem simple, but not all jewelry is created equal. Some jewelers use CAD/CAM (computer-aided design/manufacturing) to create their jewelry. Others, like EC Design Jewelry, hand make all of their jewelry. We create jewelry from raw materials using handheld tools. Each piece is unique and passed directly from our hands to yours.
  • Karat- Unit of measure for fineness of gold, abbreviated 'k'. One karat is equal to 1/24th pure gold in an alloy. E.g. 24k is pure gold, 14k is 14 parts gold and 10 parts alloy.
  • Moissanite- A popular diamond alternative composed of silicon carbide that is grown in a lab.
  • Natural diamond - Minimally treated/untreated diamond.
  • Open back bezel - A bezel without a back or base. This setting allows the light to shine through the stone.
  • Prong set - Gemstones are secured with prongs, or tines, so light can pass through to the stone from several angles.
  • Raw cut - Uncut stone set in its natural form. Raw stones are not shaped or polished and have an organic feel.
  • Recycled metal - Metal sourced from certified refineries, vs being mined.
  • Rose cut - Cut to have a faceted domed profile and a flat base. Rose cut stones sit lower in settings as compared to brilliant cut stones.
  • Slice - A gemstone cut into a thin, low profile segment.
  • Split-shank - The band has a visible gap, rather than being a complete circle. Most often paired with an open back bezel.
  • Stacking ring - Bands that fit flush next to others. Stones or embellishments are on top of the band, vs sitting flush against the finger.
  • V bezel - Bezel with open sides where the stone partially is visible.

Knowledge is power! Shopping is so much easier when you know the basics of what you are looking for and jewelry is no exception. Now go forth with new jewelry know-how and shop with confidence!

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