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Jewelry Advice & How To's - Jewelry Tips
Jewelry Tips & How To’s
Jewelry Glossary – Definitions of Jewelry Terms
A jewelry glossary with definitions of terms you’ll hear when you shop for jewelry. Browse our jewelry glossary to find definitions about gemstones, art periods, jewelry components and other terms related to jewelry.
Filed under A you’ll find terms like African Emerald, alloy, amber, amulet and more.
Look at the Blinks for bangle, baguette and other B terms.
C definitions include culet, cuff, crown and other important C words.
You’ll find doublet and others listed under D.
Jewelry Glossary: Definition of AB, Short for Aurora Borealis
Definition of the term AB, from the Jewelry Glossary at Blufashion.com.
Jewelry Glossary “A”
African Emerald: Definition of the term African emerald.
What Is an African Emerald? A term commonly used to describe green fluorite that is mined in South Africa. A gemstone referred to as an African emerald is usually not a true emerald.
Agate: Definition of the term agate.
Agate is a stripped version of chalcedony quartz. Agate forms by filling-in an indentation or cavity in another rock and exists in many colors and textures.
When agate is sliced, its concentric layers become obvious, sometimes appearing as bands that resemble the growth rings of a tree trunk. The bands can be different colors, widths, and textures. Some even look like a bed of moss or a forest scene.
Some types of agate have splotchy areas of color instead of round rings.
Alexandrite: Definition of the term alexandrite, from the Blufashion.com Jewelry Glossary.
Alexandrite is a transparent gemstone that was discovered in Russia in 1831. Its name honors Czar Alexander II of Russia.
Alexandrite shifts color, appearing green or bluish-green in sunlight and red or reddish-brown in incandescent lighting.
Alexandrite is a member of the chrysoberyl family of minerals. Alexandrite is somewhat rare, especially as a large stone. It is rated at a hardness of 8.5 on the Mohs scale of mineral hardness.
Not all gemstones marketed as alexandrite are true alexandrite. Some are other members of the chrysoberyl family that change colorless dramatically.
Alloy: Definition of the term alloy, from the Jewelry Glossary at Blufashion.com.
An alloy is a metal mixture that’s formulated by combining two or more different metals. Alloys are used to change the color of the metal. For instance, gold is yellow in its pure state but can be changed to white or rose by adding additional metals.
Alloys can also strengthen a metal. Gold can be used as an example of that process, too. Pure gold is very soft, and not durable enough for most uses. Mixing other metals with the gold makes it more durable.
An alloy can also help reduce a precious metal’s price since less expensive metals are typically part of the mix.
Amber: Definition of the term amber, from the Jewelry Glossary at Blufashion.com.
Amber is tree sap, or resin, that seeped out of trees millions of years ago and has become rigid over time, making it hard enough to be polished for use in jewelry.
Read more about amber.
February Birthstone – Amethyst, Birthstone Jewelry
Amethyst is actually a form of quartz. Amethyst’s color varies from pale lilac to dark purple.
Amethyst was considered to help protect the wearer from becoming intoxicated. This gemstone is also widely known as a symbol of peace and tranquility.
The “cursed amethyst” in the photo was donated to the Natural History Museum in London. Former owners reported that every individual who has owned the stone since the mid-1850s suffered from some type of disaster or misfortune.
Jewelry Glossary: What is an Amulet?
Amulet: Definition of the term amulet, from the Blufashion Jewelry Glossary.
Definition: An amulet is a charm, pendant or any other item that is worn for good luck or protection against evil. Amulets can be made from any material and are often inscribed with text or images.
Also Known As: Talisman
Angelite: Definition of the term Angelite from the Jewelry Glossary.
Definition: Angelite is the name often used to describe the mineral anhydrite, especially the bluish versions of that mineral. Some believe that Angelite improves psychic awareness and brings a person closer to angels. Healers who focus on gemstones sometimes use Angelite to soothe inflammation.
Aquamarine: Definition of the term aquamarine.
Definition: An aquamarine is a form of beryl, a mineral family that also includes emerald. Aquamarine exists in many shades of blue and some stones are tinged with green. The highest quality of aquamarine is deeply colored, transparent, and has few inclusions.
Learn About Aquamarine
Asscher-cut Diamond: An explanation of the term Asscher cut diamond.
Definition: Asscher is a diamond cut named for its inventor, Joseph Asscher, who in 1902 developed this square-cut diamond with 72 facets. The cut’s wide step facets and deep clipped corners make the gemstone resemble an octagon.
An illustration of an Asscher cut
Explore the jewelry glossary for the remainder of the alphabet:
- Fine Jewelry Gift Guide Under $250: This Holiday Gift Guide covers fine jewelry trends that are available for less than $250.
How to Care for Your Precious Vintage Jewelry
If you love vintage jewelry, whether it be Bakelite, cameos, celluloid, or mourning jewelry, you probably have a wonderful collection that has cost you a pretty penny. After spending so many of your hard-earned dollars for those little jewels, you should definitely know how to clean and care for it.
Proper Storage of Vintage Jewelry
The first step toward taking good care of your jewelry collection is proper storage. If you store your antique and vintage jewelry the right way, it will need minimal cleaning. Always store your pieces separately in zipped or closed bags. Velvet works great for this, as well as small zip-type baggies. Pieces with sterling silver elements will benefit greatly from airtight storage because when exposed to air for long periods of time, sterling will tarnish due to a chemical reaction between sulfur compounds in the air and the silver. Do not stuff the bags together tightly, as many vintage pieces have delicate parts that may be bent easily. Storing your vintage pieces this way will also prevent scratches, which can de-value vintage jewelry.
Wear Vintage Jewelry With Care
If you buy vintage jewelry to wear, you should be very careful not to expose your jewelry to things like hairspray, perfume, and deodorants. Always put your jewelry on last, after spraying these types of products. Don’t use perfume on areas where your jewelry will come in contact with your skin. Also, if you plan to use any household cleaners, or do any exercising, remove your vintage jewelry first, so it won’t get exposed to those chemicals or the excess salt from perspiration on your skin.
Gently Clean Vintage Jewelry
The last thing you want to do is damage your treasures while trying to clean them, so follow these simple steps:
- Use a polishing cloth (like a Sunshine Cloth) to gently wipe off smudges and skin oils.
- Use an ammonia-free glass cleaner to remove any other dirt or grime. Q-tips are good for this, as they can get into nooks and crannies without scratching anything. Be careful of using too much cleaning solution, and NEVER submerge vintage jewelry in any liquid! There may be glue or coatings on stones that will not survive getting wet. As always, don’t use cleaning solutions on pearls, emeralds, or coated stones, like vintage rhinestone jewelry with an aurora borealis (AB) finish on them. That said, you can safely clean cameos in a solution of mild soap and water, using a soft brush. They should not be soaked in the water for more than 30 seconds.
- After letting your newly cleaned jewelry dry completely from any cleaning solutions used, follow the storage recommendations above.
When in doubt about cleaning any piece of jewelry, take it to a dealer who is experienced in handling antique and vintage jewelry. Dealing with vintage pieces is quite different than dealing with diamond stud earrings or even cubic zirconia rings. Better safe than sorry, I always say.
That’s all it takes. There’s not much to it. If you will follow these easy steps, you will be assured of having a beautiful collection of wonderful vintage jewelry to show off or to wear. Now maybe it’s time to start thinking about a collection of vintage jewelry boxes since you have your jewelry collection under control!
How to Travel with Jewelry
Jewelry Advice and Tips On Traveling With Jewelry To Keep It Safe And Sound
Traveling with jewelry might seem like a matter of common sense, but nothing could be further from the truth. Many types of jewelry are easily cracked, broken or tarnished if stored incorrectly—especially if they’re simply tossed inside of a plastic bag for storage in a suitcase. Your jewelry deserves at least as much care on the road as it gets at home, so use the following guidelines to protect your investments.
General Tips for Traveling with Jewelry
While different types of jewelry require different methods of storage, a few tips apply to all pieces:
- On planes and trains, always keep your jewelry with you in a carry-on bag. Not only is the risk of loss or theft inherently higher with checked luggage, but the risk of damage from the weight and pressure of piled-on suitcases is even higher.
- Place a silica gel pack or similar desiccant packet inside your jewelry case to absorb moisture, and thus prevent tarnishing or corrosion.
- In your hotel, keep your jewelry near the air conditioner if possible, or the area in the room with the least humidity. Do not store jewelry in the bathroom or in your suitcase.
- Use jewelry rolls for storing sturdier pieces in purses or in more rigid containers. Never store a jewelry roll anywhere where the weight will bear down on it.
Storing jewelry in dry places and using desiccants is good advice that applies at home as much as it does in transit.
Storing Metal Jewelry
When storing metal jewelry, use anti-tarnish bags. These bags look like ordinary Ziplock bags but are coated on the inside with a film that neutralizes certain gases in the atmosphere responsible for tarnishing. If you would rather cushion certain pieces in a wrapping, use an anti-tarnish cloth or anti-tarnish tissue paper. All of these products are cheap and easily found online.
To prevent galvanic corrosion, avoid placing pieces made of different metals in the same container. If you must keep them in the same case, make sure there’s absolutely no humidity since the moisture becomes an electrolyte that promotes galvanic corrosion between dissimilar metals.
Women’s watches are often small and light enough for a generous wrapping of tissue paper inside a standard jewelry box compartment to suffice. Men’s watches, especially the self-winding watches that characterize premium brands like Rolex or Omega, definitely need a more robust storage solution: watch boxes. These boxes have spacious compartments to keep them from knocking against the dividers or the lid; they’re also braced securely by cushions that keep them upright. Since these watches frequently cost thousands of dollars, the need to keep them scratch-free is absolute.
Storing Pearls and Stone-Beaded Jewelry
Jewelry items with pearls are exceptionally delicate. They should be stored in their own container, which should be fabric-lined. They should not be placed in a jewelry roll if the roll is going inside of a suitcase. Stone-beaded jewelry should be individually wrapped to prevent cracking—or to prevent discoloration in the case of hand-painted stones.
A Few Ounces of Preparation
As you can see, making jewelry on the road does require a bit an advance preparation, but the accessories you need to prevent damage, corrosion and tarnishing are all cheap and usually come in large enough quantities to last for at least several trips. Compared to the money you would lose in the event of loss or damage, the cost of these protections is negligible.
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