G – jewellery dictionary

G – jewellery dictionary


Garnets are most frequently reddish brown in colour. Garnets can be found in various colours including: blood red; orange; dark red; pinkish red; and green(but blue). Garnet is the birthstone for January.


A natural gemstone is a mineral or an organic object which can be cut, polished or otherwise treated for use in jewellery. A precious gemstone, such as diamond, ruby, sapphire and emerald, possess brilliance, beauty, durability and rarity. A semi-precious gemstone, such as quartz and turquoise, possess one or two of these qualities.

glass pearl

Glass pearls are not real pearls. They are made out of glass beads and have multiple paint coatings to imitate real pearls. The higher quality glass pearls look very much lick real pearls. The quality of glass pearls depend on the number of coatings applied to the glass bead. The cheaper ones have 3 to 4 coatings, while more expensive ones have 6 to 8 coatings.

This pearl imitations are heavier than the plastic ones and therefore have closer resemblance to the real pearls.


A precious metal, yellow in its natural state but its exact colour depends on the amount and type of impurities. Gold translates from the Latin ‘aurum’ meaning ‘shining dawn’. It is dense, soft, shiny and the most malleable and ductile of the known metals. Because of the softness of pure (24k) gold, it is usually alloyed with base metals for use in jewellery, altering its hardness and ductility, melting point, colour and other properties. The gold used in jewellery is defined by the proportion of pure gold to other metals and is expressed in terms of its karat.

Karat – Percent Gold:24 Kt. – 100% Gold18 Kt. – 75% Gold14 Kt. – 58.3% Gold10 Kt. – 41.7% Gold

Gold can be alloyed into different colours:

yellow gold – pure 24Kt goldwhite gold – alloyed with nickel or palladiumgreen gold – greenish-yellow in colour – alloyed with silver, comes as 18Kt or 14 Kt goldblue – alloyed with ironpurple – alloyed with aluminiumrose gold, pink gold and red gold – are all alloys with copper of varying percentage, more copper gives stronger red colouration. A common alloy for rose gold is three-quarters gold and one-quarter copper. (18 Kt) Because it was popular in Russia at the beginning of the nineteenth century it is also known as Russian gold.

White 18 Kt gold containing 17.3% nickel, 5.5% zinc and 2.2% copper is silver in appearance. High-carat white gold alloys are far more resistant to corrosion than are either pure silver or sterling silver. As an alternative to nickel, which is toxic, white gold could contain palladium, silver and other white metals.

gold plated

Gold plate is a very thin layer of gold applied by electrodeposition.


For jewellery, this refers to stones which get progressively larger and/or smaller as they continue along the length of the bracelet or necklace.


Gunmetal is a metal alloy that is composed of 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin.

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