Agate comes from the mineral quartz in a wide variety of colour most commonly characterised by its bands of different colours. Agates have been used for decoration and jewellery since Ancient Greece.
Alexandrite comes from the mineral Chrysoberyl in purple, green, blue, grey, yellow, red and pink. The rarest variety is natural colour change Alexandrite which looks green or red depending on which type of light it is being viewed through. It is also well known for displaying Chatoyancy or cats eye effect when cut as a cabochon. The birth stone for June fine examples of Alexandrite can command the highest price per carat in the world.
Alloy is the term that refers to a combination of metals. Gold is mixed with other metals to make it harder as pure gold is far too soft to make jewellery.
Amethyst is a beautiful variety of the mineral quartz and is characterised by its deep purple colour. The birth stone for February is often seen cut as faceted gems, cabochons and beads.
Anniversary is the mark of a significant event most commonly associated with a wedding however it can also represent the date when someone first met, got engaged or any other exciting event.
Aquamarine named after the colour of sea water, it comes from the mineral beryl and is a lovely blue or green in colour. It is the birthstone for March and is also relatively hard being 7-8 on the Mohs scale.
Baguette-Cut is a style of cut which is long and rectangular in shape and usually has fourteen facets. Typically, the cut is used to surround another more central gemstones. It also comes as what’s referred tapered banquette where it is wider at one end than the other.
Bangle is a rigid bracelet that is worn around the arm or the wrist, can sometimes be a full-hoop or half-hoop depending on the design.
Bracelet is an ornamental hoop, band, or chain sometimes decorated with gemstones which is worn around the arm or wrist.
Bead is a polished round stone often with a hole through so that you can thread it onto thread or a chain.
Beryl Is the mineral which depending on the colour gives aquamarine (blue) and emerald (green).
Birthstone is the stone that represents a person’s birth month. Look at BV World to find your birthstone.
Brightness in gemstones is measured in a certain way and the following things effect brightness. The flatter the facets the sharper the polish the more reflective the surface and thus more light is reflected back to the viewer. The refractive index which is how the light entering a stone reacts inside the stone also contributes to brightness. Inclusions and transparency as well as the chemical composition of a stone also impact brightness. In spite of all the factors which contribute to brightness the most important is the way the viewer sees the gemstone just like viewing a clean car versus a muddy dusty car your eyes will determine, without training which is brighter.
Briolette-cut is a pear-drop shaped gemstone with triangular or diamond shaped facets all the way around. There is no table, crown on pavilions and the more facets the more brilliant the stone appears.
Brushed finish is a style of polish which leaves a matte finish.
Cabochon is a popular style of cut where the gemstone is polished without any facets. It has a convex observe with a flat reserve. Some gems are more likely to be cut as a cabochon than others often to display their best optical properties. Cabochon cut stones are normally softer gemstones with a hardness of less than 7 on the Moh’s scale.
Cameos are often made from shell, coral, stone, lava or glass and carved with a raised relief that often depicts a profile, face or mythical scene. Highly sort after cameos are cut with intricate detail and skill.
Carat is a unit of weight for gemstones.
Cats Eye is a phenomenon seen in some gemstones which is caused by specific orientations of inclusions which result in a cat’s eye effect when light is shone on to the stone.
Channel Setting is a type of setting in which gemstones are set into a channel which is held by two pieces of metal.
Citrine is a transparent, yellow variety of Quartz, ranging in colour from pale to golden yellow, honey or almost brown, and may contain rainbow or sparkle inclusions. The name comes from the French word citron, meaning lemon.
Clarity is the term to describe the presence of or lack of inclusions that effect the gemstones and overall durability. Inclusions are very common in all gemstones and help identify many stones. Diamonds have their own scale to measure clarity from IF (internally flawless) to I3 (Inclusions which can be seen with the naked eye).
Colourless refer to white diamonds, the very best colourless diamonds are graded D, E, F and G. It refers to the lack of colour seen in white diamonds.
Cubic Zirconia is a gemstone that comes in many different colours it is most commonly used to simulate diamond as it can look similar however is not as hard and is cheaper.
Culet is the tiny point in a faceted gemstone which is located at the base of the pavilion. In the majority of diamonds, the pavilion facets are uniformly cut and meet at a perfect point. If this point is cut flat is called a culet. it is often seen in older antique gemstones such as cushion-cuts and not commonly seen in modern cut stones.
Cultured Pearl A cultured pearl is a pearl created by a mussel farmer or oyster farmer under controlled conditions. The vast majority of pearls are cultured.
Cushion-cut stones have more of a square shape with rounded corners, just like a cushion. Standard cushion cuts have the classic fiery look. Modified cushion cuts have extra rows of facets that give them what's known as the “crushed ice” look. Often seen in antique jewellery they are very desirable and a personal favourite of mine. The Hope Diamond is Cushion-cut and is one of the world’s most famous diamond measuring 45.54cts.
Cut is the finish obtained when the rough gemstone is polished and shaped into a gemstone. The cut can be dependent on inclusions, hardness and size.
Diamond is the hardest material known to man and come in a huge variety of colours, most commonly white. They are highly desirable for their optical display of brilliance and fire when cut which is present due to their chemical and physical nature. This makes them very expensive and popular. For hundreds and hundreds of years diamonds have been adored in jewellery by mankind.
Diamond-Cut is very important in a diamond as the better the cut the better the optical display of fire and brilliance which is what gives it sparkle, the very thing that makes diamond a diamond. It’s this optical effect which you see in any other stone. To achieve this the stone has to reflect all light going in, off the back facets and back towards the viewer. This is achieved when the diamond is cut to all the correct angles. If the bottom of the stone is cut too deep or too shallow, then some of this fire and brilliance will be compromised. So, the basic cut is very important in displaying the optical effect that can be achieved with a perfectly cut stone and let’s face it everyone likes a bit of sparkle in a diamond.
Diamond Colour White diamonds are graded on their colour starting with the pure unquestionable white (D) through to having a yellow tint (M). To help you understand image a big bowl of white icing 😋 the kind you get on top of a wedding cake. Now imagine adding tiny drops of yellow food colouring, just a little at a time, to the bowl, each time the icing would look ever so slightly more yellow and this is the subtle difference between each of the grades of colour. In fact, the first five colour grades you will see no yellow at all when viewing the diamond from above (D-H). To the untrained eye you may not even notice the difference between one colour to the other. Diamond also come in fancy colours such as yellow, pink, blue, red, brown and pretty much everything in between. Natural fancy coloured diamond are rare.
Diamond Clarity is measured under magnification and is simply based on the number of inclusions seen inside of the stone. The more inclusions the lower the clarity grade. Inclusions are just tiny imperfections in the stone often no larger than the head of a pin. The below scale is how they are graded. Let’s not get to het up on these little imperfections, after all, we all have them. It’s only when you get to the I2/3 grading that these inclusions are visible with the naked eye and even at that you would need to know where they are to spot them. Try to not worry too much about getting the very best clarity grade stones, there is a premium paid for diamonds that are very clean and really undetectable to the untrained eye.
Diamond weight A diamonds size is determined by how much it weighs and is recorded as carat weight often abbreviated to ct. A 1.00ct diamond weighs the equivalent of 0.20g. Each carat is subdivided into 100 points. This allows a very precise measurement to the hundredth decimal place. A diamond that weighs under 1.00ct can also be referred to as points, for example a diamond weighing 0.90ct can be called a 90 pointer. People often consider that that the bigger the diamond the higher the value or price however this is determined by a combination of all the 4 c’s and not just size alone. For example, a diamond weighing 1.00ct which is of poor colour and clarity would be cheaper than a diamond weighing 0.60ct of better quality.
Diamond Table is the flat top section on a cut stone.
Diamond tester is a machine that can identify a diamond from many of its simulants using heat and electricity conductivity.
Durability in gemmology is a combination of hardness (resistance of scratching) toughness (resistance of breaking) and stability (resistance to unwanted change).
Emerald is a green gemstone which comes from the beryl family. Beautiful green in colour this is a very popular gemstones used in jewellery. Often it is cut as an emerald cut.
Emerald-Cut has been popular for over 700 years. It is an elegant cut of stone traditionally the cut used for emeralds however it is also now used for other gemstones as well. Its long facets and large table are a window into its mesmerising beauty.
Enamel is a decorate coating applied to metal. It begins as a powder with a texture similar to that of baby powder. It's fused to metals using high temperatures (1,380-1,560°F). The result is a luxurious like paint over the metal.
Engagement ring is a ring indicating that the person wearing it is engaged to be married. A ring is presented as an engagement gift by a partner to their prospective spouse when they propose marriage or directly after a marriage proposal is accepted. The Beautiful Symbolism of the Engagement Ring. symbol of their dedication, love, and commitment to each other. It is a symbol of the beautiful journey that two people embark upon when they decide to spend their lives together.
Engraving is the practice of incising a design on to a hard, usually flat surface by cutting grooves into it. The result may be a decorated object in itself, as well as silver and gold.
Eternity ring can also be known as an infinity ring, is a woman's ring comprising a band of precious metal set with a continuous line of cut gemstones to symbolise never-ending love. usually given on an occasion of a significant anniversary.
Face-up refers to when you assess an item by looking from above.
Facet is the flat polished surfaces of a cut gemstone.
Fineness is a way of measuring the ratio of gold as the principal metal against alloys or impurities. Fineness is worked out to the thousandth part of the pure metal mass to alloy. For example, 9ct gold is 375 parts per thousand.
Four C’s stands for colour, clarity, cut and carat and is how diamonds are graded.
Garnet is mostly known for its dark red gemstone however it does come in other colours. Garnets can be cut as faceted gemstones as well as cabochons and beads. They are particularly present in antique jewellery. Tsavorite and demantoid garnets are a rarer green variety. Also have orange, yellow and black versions. It is the birthstone of January.
Gemstone is a piece of mineral crystal, in cut and polished form to be used to make jewellery or other adornments. To qualify as a gem, the specimen should be hard and tough to resist scratching and have beautiful clarity, colour or 'fire'. Value is based on rarity and rare quality. The most relevant attributes to a gemstone is beauty, durability, rarity and acceptability.
Girdle is the widest point of the circumference of a gemstone. It is the perimeter of the stone that separates the gem's pavilion from its crown.
Gold is a metal frequently used to produce jewellery as it is a bright, slightly reddish yellow, dense, soft, malleable, and ductile metal.
Gold plated is the process of when a layer of gold placed over another metal to make an item look solid gold. As solid gold is expensive it is a way of making something appear gold at a lower cost than solid gold.
Hardness is the ability of a material to resist abrasion when a pointed fragment of another substance is drawn across it without sufficient pressure to develop a scratch. The hardness of gemstones is measured by Moh’s scale of hardness and different gemstones have different levels the scale starts at talc 1(soft) to Diamond 10 (hard) anything higher on the scale can scratch something lower on the scale.
Heart-cut is one of the most popular fancy cuts and that tradition hasn’t changed in over 600 years. In the 15th century, heart cut diamonds were gifted by royalty as a sign of friendship. Even Mary Queen of Scots once sent a heart-shaped diamond ring to Queen Elizabeth.
Head is the part of an item of jewellery, mainly rings, where the stones sits and is often referred to as the setting too. The part of the ring that will face up when worn so you can admire the head.
Hallmarks on jewellery show the purity of gold, the date the item was hallmarked, the makers mark and the assay office the item was hallmarked. The English term 'hallmark' originates with this hall and its official marks.
Imitation-Gem is a gemstone which is trying to impersonate soothing else, normally of higher value.
Inclusions are the internal features which occur when a gemstone is formed in the tremendous conditions in the earth. They can be seen under magnification. Examples of inclusions can be feathers, bruises, crystals and clouds. Since researchers constantly discover new inclusions and varieties, a listing of inclusions can never be complete. Diamonds have a grading system to illustrate how many inclusions seen inside of a stone.
Illusion setting is a prong setting designed to make a diamond look bigger than it actually is. This is accomplished by a ring of metal surrounding the girdle of the diamond that is often bright cut. This ring diffuses the outline of the stone causing it to look larger.
Iolite is a blue/violet variety of the mineral cordierite. This mineral was named after French geologist Cordier. The name iolite comes from ios, the Greek word for violet. Iolite is commonly known as "water sapphire" in its deep blue sapphire colour.
Iridescence is the phenomenon of certain surfaces that appear to gradually change colour as the angle of view or the angle of illumination changes. Similar to the rainbow effect you see in soap.
Jade is mostly known for its green varieties. It can refer to either of two different minerals nephrite or jadeite. Although diamond is the hardest Jade is the strongest because of its atomic structure. It usually comes as carved scenes.
Locket is a pendant that opens to reveal a space used for storing a photograph or other small item such as a lock of hair. Lockets are usually given to loved ones on special occasions most noticeably during the Victorian era.
Loose referrers to a gemstone that is not set in a mount.
Loupe is small magnification device used to see small details more closely. Unlike a magnifying glass, a loupe does not have an attached handle, and it’s focusing lens are contained in an opaque cylinder or cone or fold into an enclosing housing that protects the lenses when not in use.
Lustre is a word to describe the way light interacts with the surface of a gemstone. Diamond has a very high lustre as it can be polished to have very sharp flat surfaces which makes the surface highly reflective when light is shone on it. Turquoise is softer and therefore has a lower lustre.
Malachite is a green stone that displays lighter banding and is usually cut into beads and cabochons. Marquise cut can be known as the football-shaped cut, the boat-shaped cut, the eye-shaped cut, or the navette. A marquise cut gemstone features 58 facets and an elliptical shape with pointed ends.
Marks or Stamps
Marks or Stamps refers to a mark on metal given to indicate the gold purity such as 18ct or 750.
Natural Gemstones is a mineral, stone, or organic matter that can be cut and polished or otherwise treated for use as jewellery or other ornament that has occurred naturally as opposed to a gemstone grown in the laboratory which has the same chemical and physical properties, this is referred to as synthetic. At BV we will always say if a gemstone is natural or synthetic.
Onyx is the birthstone for Leo’s and the anniversary gemstone for the 7th year of marriage. Black Onyx is the anniversary gemstone for the 10th year of marriage. Black in colour it is normally cut as beads, cabochons or plaques.
Opal are distinctively individual as no two display the same iridescent play of colour. As we as coming in White and black fire opals are orange in colour.
Platinum is a silver-white metal that is extremely resistant to tarnishing and corrosion and is very soft and malleable, making it easy to shape. It is heavier than gold.
Pave-setting pronounced “pa-vay,” pavé originates from the French word “to pave” in this case, as in paved with gemstones. The metal prongs or beads that hold the diamonds in place are barely visible.
Pear-Cut is like a tear drop. It's one of the least common engagement ring cuts. “Women who move to the beat of their own drum and don't want a ring like everyone else gravitate toward a pear".
Pendant is a piece of jewellery that hangs from a chain and worn around the neck.
Peridot is a yellow, to yellow-green, olive-green, to brownish, sometimes a lime-green hue gemstone that is usually faceted cut. The birthstone of August.
Polished in gemstones is created by a lapidary; an artist or artisan who forms stone, minerals, or gemstones into decorative items such as cabochons, engraved gems (including cameos), and faceted designs. A lapidary uses the lapidary techniques of cutting, grinding, and polishing.
Princess-cut is a square shaped cut that features four bevelled sides and comes in at a point (like an upside-down pyramid) beneath.
Radiant-Cut is a beautifully symmetrical, non-traditional cut, the radiant cut combines the brilliance of a round and the purity of an emerald cut. Trimmed corners give the shape versatility to shine in all kinds of jewellery, especially engagement rings.
Rhodium is a precious metal that is in the family of platinum. In jewellery it is used to plate white gold to make it look brilliant white.
Rose gold soft warm hue can appear romantic, refined and composed. While it is a shade of pink, a colour typically considered feminine, rose gold has often been described as a “gender neutral” hue.
Round-brilliant is the most popular and expensive cut of diamond which gives the very best display of fire and brilliance in a stone. The perfect round brilliant diamond shape has 57 facets comprising 33 facets on the crown and 25 on the pavilion. It took many hundreds of years to perfect the round brilliant cut diamond to perfection.
Ruby is a precious stone from the corundum family and comes in varieties of colour from deep crimson or purple to pale rose.
The shank or band
The shank or band of a ring is the term used to describe the part that goes around the underside of your finger. This is the part of the ring that you will usually find the hallmarks and stamps referring to the gold content. In the UK these are typically on the inside of the shank and the outside for Europe.
The shoulders of the ring support the head of the ring and refer to the section of the shank that connects to the head, can sometimes be decorated or tapered in design.
The setting refers to the metal which holds a gemstone or diamonds in place. There are many different types of settings often depending on the stone or the design. Some settings are chosen to support softer more vulnerable stones.
Silver is a precious metal commonly used in jewellery.
Simulant is a gemstone put in place to impersonate another gemstone of differing chemical or physical composition.
Size normally refers to the finger size of a ring. Indicated in the UK as a letter, you can also have half sizes which are the in-between sizes to each letter.
Solitaire refers to a piece of jewellery set with a single gemstone. Solitaires can be ring’s, necklace’s or earrings. Traditionally given as engagement rings.
Synthetic is a gem grown in a lab that has the same chemical and physical property’s are the gem it is synthesising.
Sapphire is a variety of the mineral corundum and comes in an array of different colours, most commonly Blue.
Topaz is typically colourless, yellow, or more commonly pale blue.
Tanzanite is a rare blue gem and a popular alternative to blue sapphire. It is mined commercially in Tanzania the only place available in the world.
Total weight is the collective total weight of one particular gemstone.
Tourmaline is the birthstone for October and come in a wide variety of exciting colours. In fact, tourmaline has one of the widest colour ranges of any gem species, occurring in various shades of virtually every hue. Watermelon tourmaline is pink in the centre and green around the outside.
Turquoise is the birthstone for December its colour can range from greens sky blue. People value turquoise highly for its combination of ancient heritage and unforgettable colour. Turquoise is one of the world’s most ancient gems.
White gold a silver-coloured alloy of gold with nickel, platinum, or other metals which began its life in jewellery in the 1920’s.
Yellow Gold is a metal that has been used in jewellery for thousands of years. Pure gold is very soft and so other alloys are added to make gold harder and therefore useable in jewellery. It’s a wonderful colour and comes in different fineness.
Zircon is known for its brilliance and flashes of multicoloured light, called fire. These zircon properties are close enough to the properties of diamond to account for centuries of confusion between the two gems. Zircon is a birthstone for the month of December along with turquoise and tanzanite. Zircon occurs in an array of colours. Its varied palette of yellow, green, red, reddish brown and blue hues makes it a favourite among collectors.