Glossary

Archaeological Jewellery: Particularly Etruscan Revival was jewellery made in the mid to late 1800s inspired by archaeological discoveries.

Art Deco: Art deco style originated in France in the 1920s and 1930s. The style emphasized geometric designs and became very popular in America.

Art Nouveau: Art Nouveau style featured free flowing lines with asymmetrical natural motifs. The pieces created at this time had a softness to them and were very beautiful. The style was greatly influenced by Japanese art. Unfortunately this era was very short (1890s to early 1900s) and ended with outbreak of World War 1.

Articulated: Having movable or flexible parts.

Baroque Pearl: A pearl of irregular shape either natural or cultured.

Belle Époque: Literally “The Beautiful Era”. This term was adopted to describe the lighter, more elegant and feminine designs of the Edwardian period which was made possible with the introduction of platinum. Superior quality diamonds and coloured stones were set in intricate naturalistic designs of flower heads, sprays of leaves and articulated tendrils to make the most beautifully delicate jewellery.

Bloomed Gold: A textured finish on the surface of gold which is matt in appearance. This finish was often achieved by immersing the item in acid to produce a lightly pitted effect.

Bog Oak: Wood from trees preserved in peat marshes of Ireland. It was often used in the lesser quality mourning jewellery as it could be easily carved and polished to a high shine and was black in colour.

Cabochon: A stone which has been cut with no facets but left as a dome, and is highly polished to achieve a smooth finish. This method of polishing stones has been used since antiquity.

Calibre’ cut: A method of cutting small stones in the shape of squares, rectangles or oblongs so that they fit snugly with each other in clusters.

Cameo: A carving which stands out in relief (raised) from its background. Many different substances have been used over the years to carve cameos: hardstones (including Sardonyx, Onyx, Agate, Malachite, Rock Crystal and Lapis Lazuli.), Shell, Lava, Coral, Ivory and Jet.

Cannetille: Elaborate gold filigree decoration. The patterns often took the form of scrolls and rosettes made of tightly coiled wire. Very popular in the early 19th century.

Carat: In gold, is the measure for the fineness of gold and gold alloy. 24 carat means pure gold. 18 carat means 18/24ths gold in the alloy.

Carat: In gemstones, refers to the unit of weight for a gemstone including diamonds. 100 points equals one carat.

Chasing: A method of decorating by hand the front surface of metal. This was done by pressing inwards to make indentations to raise a design, without cutting into surface. Used widely in the 18th century.

Circa: Within ten years of either before or after the given date.

Demi-parure: A matching set of jewellery consisting of two or three items. For example: a brooch, earrings and a bracelet.

Edwardian: Refers to the of reign of King Edward VII, 1901-1910 During the Edwardian era many beautiful pieces of jewellery were created. They were set with pretty coloured gemstones and diamonds in very dainty settings. Many diamonds were set in platinum.

Enamel: Cloisonné: Enamel is applied to a surface where the different colours are separated into partitions by wires. These partitions are called cloisons. The cloisons make up the design on the item which is then fired to fuse the enamel to the surface.

Enamel: Champlevé: Literally “raised field”. A pattern is cut into a metal base by either carving, engraving, etching or stamping then filled with different coloured enamels and fired to fuse the enamels.

Enamel: Basse-taille Literally shallow cut. Translucent or transparent enamel is applied to a metal surface, usually gold or silver where a design has been made with varying levels, by chasing, carving, engraving or stamping. No actual partitions separate the enamel. Single colours suited this method of enameling because the different levels in the design result in varying shades of the enamel thus enhancing the design.

Filigree: Decorative metal work formed of fine wires, which can be twisted, plain or plaited.

Fob: A small ornament attached to a watchchain.

Foil Backed: A very thin sheet of metal (gold, silver, copper or an alloy) is applied to the underside of a stone to enhance its colour, and /or brilliance. Foil has been used for hundreds of years.

French Jet: Black glass.

Georgian: Refers to the time between 1714 and 1830 in England and Europe during the reigns of the British Kings George 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th.

Gild: To cover with gold or gold alloy.

Hallmark: The markings used on gold and silver to designate the fineness of the metal, where the item was assayed, and the year the item was assayed. The makers mark may also be present.

Intaglio: Is the opposite of a cameo, the design has been carved into the stone.

Jet: Fossilized wood, widely used in mourning jewellery as it could be effectively carved and facetted. It has a black velvet appearance and can be highly polished.

Locket: A small case which is usually hinged on the side so that it opens to allow a memento to be put inside, usually worn around the neck.

Millegrain: A decorative form of setting used in Edwardian jewellery.

Monochrome: Decorated in only one colour.

Mourning Jewellery: Jewellery worn in memory of deceased loved ones.

Nacre: The surface layers of a pearl.

Parure: Complete matching set of jewellery consisting of 4 or more pieces.

Pietra dura: Flat slices of coloured hard stones are laid in a background, usually black, to make a mosaic. Also called Florentine Mosaic

Pique’: An inlay of gold and or silver and sometimes mother of pearl to create a design in tortoise shell.

Platinum: A valuable, rare, heavy white metal that is alloyed with other metals to make jewellery.

Polychrome: Decorated in more than one colour.

Repousse’: Metalwork which has been worked from the reverse to create a design. Pushed out.

Rolled Gold: A base metal that has been sandwiched between thin layers of gold. Also called Cased.

Roman Mosaic: Tiny pieces of coloured glass are used to make the mosaic pattern.

Sterling Silver: Silver with 92.5 percent purity.

Style: Items that look as if they were created in particular era but were not. Includes reproduction.

Suffragette: When used in relation to jewellery it refers to the colour scheme in pieces worn by people that supported the Suffragette Movement. The colours used were Green, White and Violet, which stood for Give Women the Vote.

Victorian: refers to the period of the reign of Queen Victoria (1838-1901)

Vintage: Less than 100 years old.