C- Fashion jewellery dictionary

C- Fashion jewellery dictionary


A smooth and dome shaped stone.


A cameo is a relief carving on a shell or stone. In multi-coloured cameos, a layered substrate is used (with two different colours), and when part of the upper layer is carved away, the second colour emerges as the background. Cameos are frequently portraits of women. Many imitation cameos are made from pressed glass or plastic; some of these use two different colours.


A carat (ct.) is a standard measure of weight used for gemstones. One carat weighs 0.2 gram (1/5 of a gram or 0.0007 ounce). A hundredth of a carat is called a point. The carat unit was introduced in 1907.


A length of connected loops, links, rings or beads used to create a necklece or bracelet. There are various types of chain, with the most popular being: the curb link, flat round or oval links; the belcher link, round or oval links that don’t lie flat; the figaro link, a series of alternating short and long links in different combinations; the box link, solid square links; the snake chain; and the rope chain.

chandelier earrings

Grandiose dangle earrings that feature tiers of gemstones and/or detailing, for a glamorous evening look.

channel set

Channel set jewels are arranged in a metal channel, secured by a rim running along the edges of the channel. Jewels used in this setting are usually round or baguette shaped.


Charms are tiny, representational ornaments that are worn on bracelets and necklaces.

Jewellry featuring small dangling charms, which sometimes have symbolic or personal meaning. The charms can be mixed and matched to create a variety of looks.


A choker is a type of necklace that fits tightly around the neck. Chokers are 25cm to 35cm (10 to 14 inches) in length.


Any type of attachment that is used to join one end of a piece of jewellery to the other, usually bracelet and necklace. The most commonly used clasps in jewellery are: the bolt ring; the lobster claw; the box clasp; the bar and ring clasp; and the fold-over clasp.


A claw Is a metal prong that holds a stone securely in a setting.

claw setting

A claw setting is one in which a series of metal prongs (called claws) holds a stone securely in a setting (the claws grips the stone just above the girdle of the stone), with no metal directly under the stone (it is an open setting). This setting lets light in under the stone, so this type of setting is usually used for transparent, faceted stones.

clip-on earrings

Earrings that are designed for people who do not have their ears pierced. The earring is held in-place on the lobe by a clip.

cluster ring

A ring which has a collection, or ‘cluster’ of gemstones arranged in a decorative design. The cluster setting usually consists of one large stone (usually round or oval) in the center surrounded with several smaller stones. Common cluster patterns are the ‘daisy cluster’, which resembles the flower of a daisy, and the ‘boat cluster’, which resembles the shape of a boat as viewed from above.


cluster ring

Cluster rings are rings with a group of stones in a cluster setting, forming the focal point of the ring. The cluster setting usually consists of one large stone (usually round or oval) in the center surrounded with several smaller stones.

cluster setting

A cluster setting is one in which small stones or pearls are set around a larger stone.

cocktail ring

A large ring that often features high karat stones and/or elaborate detailing. Applies to any ring that is elegant and dramatic enough to be worn to a cocktail party.


Copper is a soft metal often used in jewellry. It is used in making bronze, brass, and gold alloys.


Coral is an animal that grows in colonies in the ocean. Coral polyps secrete a strong calcium structure that is used in jewellery making. Coral ranges in colour from pale pink to orange to red to white to black. The most valued colours are deep red and pink. In jewellery making, coral is either carved into beads, cameos, or other forms, or is left in its natural branch-like form and just polished. Imitation coral is made from glass, porcelain, or plastic.

costume jewellery

Any jewellery made from faux gemstones instead of precious or semi-precious stones, and/or from materials other than gold, silver, or platinum.

Originally, costume or fashion jewellery was made of inexpensive simulated gemstones, such as rhinestones set in pewter, silver or brass. Modern costume jewelry incorporates a wide range of materials. Austrian (Swarowski) crystals, cubic zirconia (CZ), simulated and semi-precious stones are used in place of precious stones. Metals include gold- , silver- or rhodium-plated brass, copper, steel or sterling silver. Some pieces incorporate plastic, acrylic, leather, wood, mother of pearl, feathers and other cheap or relatively cheap materials.


A pendant in the shape of a cross. It can be plain or patterned metal, or set with gemstones.


Crystal is high quality glass containing at least 10% lead oxide giving the stone a very clear appearance resembling rock crystal.

cubic zirconia

Cubic zirconia or CZ for short is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide. The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. Under shortwave UV cubic zirconia typically luminesces a yellow, greenish yellow or “beige”.

As an inexpensive stone with high durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia remains it’s most important competitor since 1976.

CZ can be coloured to resemble other precious and semi-precious stones, and are a staple of high quality costume jewellery.

Cubic zirconia has an 8.5 to <9.0 on the Mohs hardness scale. Cubic zirconia has a refractive index of 2.176, compared to a diamond’s 2.417.

cuff bracelet

A cuff bracelet is a stiff, relatively wide bracelet.


Cufflinks are men’s jewellery that close the buttonholes of the cuff of a long-sleeved shirt. Some cufflinks are basically two button-like objects connected by a chain; the buttons go through the cuff’s buttonholes. Another type of cufflink has a decorative button attached to a stick whose end swivels out to form a T-shape that goes through the buttonhole. Cufflinks were first worn in the 1800’s.

cultured pearl

Cultured pearls are pearls produced by oysters that have been surgically injected (nucleated) with bits of mussel shell. After 5-7 years, the oysters are retrieved and the pearls are harvested. This method of “manufacturing” pearls was invented in 1893 by Kokichi Mikimoto.

cushion cut

Cushion cut stones are cut in the shape of a square cushion and rounded at the edges.

cut beads

Cut beads are glass beads that have been faceted. This process makes the bead reflect and refract more light.

cut stones

Common cuts include the round cut, oval cut, emerald cut, pear cut, princess cut, marquise cut, baguette cut . Mixed cuts in which the style of the facets above and below the girdle are different. Other, more unusual cuts, are know as fantasy cuts (like the heart cut).

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