top of page


The most common means of securing a brooch before safety catches were invented. While brooches have been worn for millennia, they could easily be lost if they fell off the wearer. Due to this, the c catch stopped being fashioned around 1900 as early safety catches gained popularity for being more reliable and secure. The C Catch is an easy way to date brooches as being antique.



Dome-shaped stone, without facets



Small stones that are faceted and cut into squares, rectangles, or oblongs, and set close together



Cameos, which today are typically necklaces or brooches, are layered stones of banded agate or seashell and even sometimes coral, jet, and bog oak.  These stones are carved with a raised image or scene. Themes may include a woman’s profile, a man’s profile, a natural scene, or themes of classical gods. Cameos have contrasting colors of the raised image and the stone’s background, further adding to their visual appeal and drawing all eyes on the raised image. This jewelry type, which is still worn today, got its beginning in 300 BC in Greece. During these times, cameos were carved with images of Roman gods and goddesses, as well as Roman Emperors and Empresses. Today, many people recognize cameos as a popular type of jewelry worn during the Victorian era. Once worn only by royal families, cameos began being produced in greater quantities in the 2nd half of the 19th century.



Cameo habilles are a special type of cameo jewelry, typically necklaces or broaches. With these raised image jewelry pieces, the profile of the woman or man featured in the cameo is typically adorned with a detachable diamond pendant, earrings, crown, or tiara. Sometimes the women featured in cameo habilles are wearing detachable pearls. In the term, “cameo habille,” the French word “habille” means dressed. This means that cameo habille literally means “dressed cameo,” which is a reference to the detachable diamond or pearl element. Cameo habilles have a rich history. They can be founded dating back to the Renaissance time period. Some famous cameo habilles depict profiles of royal and military elite of the times they were created, such as profiles of Napoleon. An upscale cameo, many cameo habilles are encircled with diamonds and gemstones, making them even more desirable pieces of jewelry and increasing their value in today’s market.



A vibrant yellow variation of Diamond



Cannetilles are a type of jewelry that look like a firework design. These jewelry pieces, which became popular in Europe around 1820, are distinguished by their intricate, delicate filigree metal work, which resembles a bursting firework. Made of twisted gold or silver thread, cannetilles are often decorated with gemstones, adding to the firework-like look. The reason that cannetilles became popular in Europe in the 1820s and 1830s is because after Napoleon's fall, precious metals became scarce. Since cannetilles use thin, twisted metal to create a decorative look, they required very little gold or silver to create. This allowed jewelers to still make gold and silver jewelry at an attainable price during a time of precious metal scarcity. As precious metals became more abundant, cannetilles ceased to be created in favor of more metal-heavy pieces of jewelry. Therefore, cannetilles, while beautiful, were only briefly popular during Europe during the early 19th century.



A unit of weight for diamonds and other gemstones



This jewelry term refers to a garnet that is cut en cabochon. The garnet, which is a deep red gemstone and the birthstone of January, is a silicate mineral that has been used in jewelry for millennia - as early as the Bronze Age. A garnet is considered a carbuncle when it is cut into a smooth, rounded shape and is polished but not faceted, and has a rounded top and flat bottom. Carbuncles are typically found cut to be circular or oval in shape. They first became popular during the 15th century in Europe. During these Medieval times, people believed that carbuncles contained magical and mystical properties that were highly desirable. It was also believed that carbuncles contained healing capabilities and that they helped resolve emotional issues between people, in particular between romantic partners. During the Victorian Era, carbuncles rose in popularity and were a common stone found on pendants and brooches.



This glassy and translucent stone is a variety of Chalcedony, which is a mineral found in the Quartz family. It is a beautiful shade of orangish-red. Jewelers have classified carnelian as a semi-precious gemstone, and it has a very rich and old history. It is most commonly found in Indonesia, Brazil, the Siberian region of Russia, and Germany. Carnelian has been used in jewelry for millennia, with early carnelian jewelry pieces dating back to Early Neolithic Bulgaria. It is also a semi-precious gemstone that is theorized by some jewelers and Biblical scholars to be the red stone that John the Apostle saw in his vision of the heavenly city, which is found in the Book of Revelations in the Christian Bible. Today in modern times, carnelian jewelry is often worn as pendants, fashion rings, or as part of beaded bracelets. It looks great with both gold and silver metal necklaces and ring settings.


A swirling or scroll-like decoration that is most often a symmetrical design and is usually engraved as an embellishment



An elegant setting whose intention is to display the center stone as a focal point



Celluloid is a very thin and highly flammable plastic, which was used to make a variety of pieces of affordable, vegan jewelry mimicking the look of more expensive, animal product jewelry materials such as ivory or horn. Celluloid is such a great alternative to these animal products, it has been nicknamed “Ivorine” and “French Ivory.” This plastic is created by mixing nitrocellulose and camphor. Oftentimes, jewelers add other dyes or agents to create their desired look of celluloid. This vintage plastic, which is also used for a variety of household purposes, began being used in jewelry around the early 1900s. It was one of the first plastics to be widely adopted and used by jewelers of the time. This jewelry medium was very popular during the Art Deco time period, which ranges from 1920 to 1935. It was often adorned with

gemstones or rhinestones, and used for accessories including jewelry and hair pieces.



While most people associate the term “Celtic jewelry” with Ireland, this descriptor actually refers to any jewelry with ancient Irish, Gaelic, British, Scottish, and Welsh symbols. Celtic jewelry is most commonly distinguished by its use of Celtic symbols, such as Celtic knots. These circles and loops are interwoven together, have no beginning or end, and represent eternity and the circle of life. Celtic knot jewelry dates back to around 500 BC, and is still popular today. Another desired piece of Celtic jewelry is the Claddagh ring. This gold or silver ring features two hands - which represent friendship - holding a heart that is wearing a crown - which represents love. The crown represents loyalty. In Irish tradition, wearing a Claddagh ring on the right hand with the crown facing out means you are considering love. Alternatively, wearing it on your left hand with the crown facing outwards means your love is taken forever, just as an engagement and wedding band are worn in the Western world.



A greyish-blue quartz



An enameling technique in which areas of metal are cut, etched, or routed, before being filled with enamel or molten glass



A stone setting method that fits stones of uniform size into a channel to form a continuous strip



A jewelry pendant or trinket, often worn on a necklace or bracelet to ward off evil or ensure good fortune



A method of decorating the front or outside of metal objects by making indentations using shaped punches and a chasing hammer



A chatelaine is a decorative belt hook that is worn around a woman’s waist. From the chatelaine you can find several different items attached and dangling, such as items like perfume flasks, notepads, keys, scissors, thimbles, watches, and decorative household seals. These useful decorative items have been dated back to women from 7th and 8th century United Kingdom. They continued to be worn for several centuries. In the 16th century, wealthy women often wore chatelaines to carry watches. Around the 1860s, chatelaines often had bags for women to keep personal items dangling from their waists. A woman wearing a chatelaine was often viewed as a lady of great importance.



A round crystal jewelry stone shape with 12 facets on the pointed back



A short necklace, generally less than 14



A hard, brittle, grayish-white metal that is difficult to fuse and resistant to corrosion



A semi-precious stone of a transparent golden-yellow, green-yellow or brown hue




A variation of quartz, citrine can take on many colors, ranging from: light yellow to a brilliant orange, which may sometimes be confused with fine imperial topaz



A term used to measure the degree to which a gemstone is free from flaws



A jewelry piece that remains popular beyond the era of its creation



Cloisonne is ornamental work in which glass, enamel, and/or gemstones, are split into strips of compressed wire which then become placed edgeways on a metal backings, typically found in gold pieces. Cloisonne is a French term also known as partition, originated in the Turkish culture. Cloisonne is a technique used in ancient history for creating small metal filaments and eye-catching glass enamels. Furthermore, the metal wires are used by bending them into shapes to create small designs.



A wide necklace, which encircles the neck from throat to chin



A jewelry design or piece that has been created within the current or last generation.



A jewelry finish in which different parts of the piece have different finishes



A reddish-brown, metallic element



In essence, coral, the form of calcium carbonate, is located in oceans and seas worldwide. However, the majority used in jewelry making, which calls for the best of the best available, derives from Sardinia and the coast of Sicily, located in the Mediterranean Sea. Coral is diverse in many ways, one of which is its colors, which are readily available in red, orange, salmon, white, and a pale pink (often referred to “angel skin coral”). In jewelry making terms, coral may be transformed into cameos, beads, and various other forms; sometimes, it’s even left in its organic form and then polished off for a luminous touch. In the mid-Victorian era, large brooches of coral were commonly found in precise carved high-relief floral sprays or faces. An old adage you may hear coral protects the wearer, making it a perfect gift for a person of any age or gender.


A very hard mineral that consists of Aluminum Oxide occurring in massive and crystalline forms and often containing trace amounts of Iron, Titanium, Vanadium and Chromium



An identifying emblem, often worn during the Medieval and Renaissance eras



A structure consisting of an upright beam attached to a shorter, perpendicular beam. Although initially used as a tool in Roman executions, the cross has evolved into a religious image. It is symbolic to people of the Christian faith. In jewelry, the cross is seen in all forms - necklaces, earrings, bracelets, rings, etc.



Small triangular facets, above and below the girdle of a brilliant cut stone



The facets or portions of a gemstone, located above the girdle



A body that is formed by the solidification of a chemical element, a compound, or a mixture, and has a regularly repeating internal arrangement of its atoms and often external plane faces. Rock crystal and man-made crystal are considered two of the most sought-after designs of crystal. Rock crystal is also referred to as quartz, a silicate mineral. Quartz is organically found in nature and is deemed a semi-precious stone. On the other hand, man-made crystals are produced from a mixture of quartz, lead oxide, and soda potash. What may come as a surprise, rock crystal does not even compete with the color or brilliance with that of manufactured crystal. Into the bargain, rock crystal comes in many shapes; for instance, they may be short or lengthy, or it may be a member of an extended cluster formation, or alternatively, it may be terminated on one side or both. Crystals may have different inclusions throughout their thick structure, such as wedges, bubbles, phantoms, eyes, keys, bridges, and more. Crystals are considered ancient forms of medicine in philosophies derived from Buddhism and Hinduism.


A man made gemstone that appears very much like diamond, yet does not have the same intrinsic properties, such as hardness



Ornamental jewelry pieces which contain two, often decorated, pieces of precious or semi-precious metal connected by a bar which passes through a buttonhole



A pearl created by a mussel farmer or oyster farmer, under controlled conditions. In the world of pearls, there are two key types: the natural pearl and the cultured pearl. Both the natural and the cultured are deemed real gemstones; however, the way in which each is formed truly differentiates them. The cultured pearl is produced by an oyster or mollusk, but with the support of a human being. Therefore, cultured pearls are real pearls, however, they were not formed organically. Furthermore, it is important to know there are 2 premier types of cultured pearls, one is named freshwater and the other saltwater. The term “culture pearl” is an oyster or mollusk that is contrived with a small grain of sand. From there, the mollusk expels a unique coating, protecting itself from the source of irritation. Proceeding, various layers are conglomerated, forming a real pearl. Today, a large majority of those that are sold are cultured.



A term which refers to the geometric proportions that dictate the reflection and refraction of light within a stone

bottom of page