Jewellery terms

If you are looking to start and sustain a jewellery collection, you must be aware of its frequently used terms to be able to make an informed choice. Here is a list of frequently used terminologies for every jewellery connoisseur out there. 

Art Deco jewellery

Emerald Earrings

A prominent style in the 1920s and 1930s, identified by geometric patterns and abstract designs using diamonds and gems in contrasting colors.

Baguette-cut

The word baguette originates from France and translates to a long thin, loaf of French bread. This cut is one of the most popular diamond cuts for engagement rings.

Basra Pearl

Basra Pearl is a high-quality precious variety of natural pearl gemstones, originating from the Basra region of the Persian Gulf. Basra is best known to the world as the city from which Sinbad set out in the fable, The Thousand and One Nights.

Bazuband (armlet/armband)

Vintage Gold Bazuband

A piece of jewellery worn around the upper arm also referred to as bhujband and joshan.

Burmese Ruby

The Burmese Ruby is a prized possession that scatters brilliant light into the darkest of places. It is hence no surprise that this alluring stone has been every poet's muse since time immemorial. Not just a stone hooked on your cultured pearl string, the Burmese Ruby demands higher prices per carat than any other gemstone, except for colored diamonds. Traced in Burma in the 13th century, today Burmese rubies are rare enough to create a rush in auction rooms. 

Burmese Sapphire

Burma Sapphire Ring

One of the finest quality sapphires known for their royal blue colour complemented by a satiny lustre and crystal clear clarity. 

Cabochon

A Cabochon (or cutting en cabochon – French: “in the manner of a cabochon”) is a kind of cut used on gemstones where the stone is molded and polished into a smooth, convex shape with a flat base. Cabochons or Cabs are usually circular or oval but may be cut into different shapes.

Circular - cut diamonds

Also known as a round-cut diamond, this is the most popular diamond shape. They are known for their brilliance, fire, and scintillation.

Cushion-cut diamond

The cushion-cut diamond also once referred to as the old mine cut boasts of a square cut with rounded corners, much like a pillow, and has been around for 200 years.

Enamel

Green Enamel Bangle

A glass-like paste in its raw state, enamel is made of fluorite and silicate. There are several types of enamel used in India - mulaim meena (soft enamel), sakht meena (hard enamel), and khula meena (transparent enamel). Today, raw enamel is manufactured in Jaipur and Kolkata. The quintessential motifs of the meenakar (enameller) were derived from the sun, the moon, animals, and flowers such as roses, poppies, chrysanthemums, and the lotus.

Jadau

Jadau derives its name from the colloquial term ‘jad’ (which means to embed) and is widely used in kundan, polki and meenakari jewellery. Introduced in India by the Mughals, it is a technique of jewellery-making where precious gemstones like uncut diamonds, pearls, emeralds, and rubies are embedded into gold.

Jade

A semi-precious gemstone famed for its green varieties that comes in two main types: nephrite and jadeite.

Jhumkas

Chandelier-shaped ear ornaments hanging off a small hook. Also known as jhumki, these bell-shaped jewels have adorned the ears of many since the royal emperor's era. 

Kada

Thick metal bracelet/ bangle donned as hand ornaments for men and women of the Indian sub-continent. 

Karan- Phool

Estate White Sapphire, Ruby, Pearl Karan-Phool Earrings

Karan-Phool earrings are long, hanging earrings with two parts. One part is an Almas earring confined within a gold frame, in a floral shape with pearl drops. The other is a suspending chain known as the Larzak made from pearls traveling all the way above your ear, eventually tucked into one's hair. Even though they are two parts, they are made as a single piece.

Marquise-cut

The marquise-cut originating from Paris is a modified brilliant diamond featuring an elongated elliptical shape with pointed ends. This chic diamond silhouette typically has 58 facets, making one's finger look long and slender. 

Meenakari

The art of enameling/engraving ornaments with vibrant colours with its roots in Jaipur. Meenakari stood out as an art form in the vast category of jewellery-making techniques, accentuating the characteristics of fine aesthetics and craftsmanship. Jewellery with enamel only on the reverse  (pichhari-ko-meena) was the style for necklaces, pendants, and ear pendants.

Nath

Nath is an elaborate nose ring, popular in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Gujarat since the late nineteenth century.

Nava Ratna

Navratna (Nine Gems)

A Sanskrit compound word meaning nine gemstones. The Nava Ratna arrangement is the gemstone concept of the nava ratna (nine stones) and their nava grahas (nine planets). The nine planets being the sun (ruby), Venus (diamond), Moon (pearl), Mars (coral), Ascending node (hessonite), Saturn (blue sapphire), Descending node (cat's eye), Jupiter (topaz), and Mercury (emerald). The traditional mystical arrangement of these nine gemstones is motivated by their mythological connection to the nava grahas, the nine celestial divinities, and their nine planets, working in unison with their specific planet to keep the universe in harmony.

Onyx

Onyx is a form of quartz in various colours. The pure black form is the most popular, especially for beads.

Pendant

A piece of jewellery attached to a necklace by a small loop. The name pendant originates from the Latin word pendere and Old French word pendr, meaning "to hang down."

Rose-cut diamond

A Rose-cut diamond resembles the shape of a rosebud with a flat base being one of its main features. 

South Sea Pearls

A string of silver-grey coloured pearls, usually larger than your average pearl. These come from the oysters living in the south sea areas such as Australia and China.  

Square - cut emerald

The square emerald cut is characterised by large step-cut facets, a high crown, and a small table.

Table-cut diamond

table-cut diamond has a top flat resembling an ordinary table. These diamonds date back to the 16th century but were most utilized from the 17th through the earlier 18th century.

Taveez

The Taveez is traditionally meant to protect individuals and ward off evil.

Tumbled beads

Small, circular, vibrant polished pieces of rocks and minerals.

Uncut diamond

Uncut diamonds are unpolished, unshaped, and also known as raw and rough diamonds. A diamond's value is based on the four C's; cut, carat, colour, and clarity.