Art Deco Ruby and Diamond Three Stone Ring, c.1920s
A term used to describe a gemstone that has been enhanced by treatment under high temperatures which can alter colours or inclusions.
A rectangular cut with rectangular facets arranged parallel to the girdle and usually with 45 degree corner angles. This type of cut is more transparent than other shapes, often requiring higher standards of clarity.
A method of setting whereby stones are set and secured between a number of ‘claws’, usually four, six or eight. The method of setting was popularised by Tiffany & Co. in the late 1880s, and allows more light to pass through a gemstone than other settings. Sometimes referred to as prong set.
A metal prized for its rarity, whiteness, high tensile strength and insusceptibility to corrosion. It first became widely used in jewellery in the late nineteenth century, when methods were found to make it more easily workable. It features heavily in the delicate Edwardian jewellery of the first decades of the twentieth century.
A term used to describe a gemstone that has not been subject to any treatment, such as heat treatment.
A term used to describe the cut of a stone, usually cut prior to 1910. They are characterized by having small tables, large culets and rounded outline with a high crown. They were cut so to produce optimal levels of fire, seen best in candlelight.
A term used to describe the severity of the internal and external inclusions in a gemstone. See The Four C’s for further information.
Derived from the Greek meaning ‘unbreakable’, diamond is a mineral, considered to be the most beautiful and rare of all gemstones. Diamond has been associated with love for centuries.
Named so from the Greek ‘green stone’, emerald is coloured by the trace elements chromium or, less often, vanadium. Emeralds have been mined in Egypt since the 4th century BC. Emerald is a stone that is said to open the heart chakra and symbolize ‘successful love’. It is green variety of the Beryl family, a species that also includes aquamarine, morganite and red beryl. The most desirable emeralds are mined in Muzo, Colombia, though emeralds are also being mined in other areas of South America, Central and Eastern Africa, Madagascar, Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia. Read more
The diamond colour grading scale ranges from D to Z. See The Four C’s for more information.
A weight measurement of a gemstone or gold. The term is derived from the ancient used of carob seeds to balance scales when selling amounts of gold or gemstones. The term is often shortened to ‘ct’.
A red gemstone and variety of the mineral corundum. In ancient Sanskrit ruby is known as ‘ratnaraj’ meaning ‘the king of precious stones’. Throughout the ages ruby has been regarded as the stone of royalty and the upper classes. Its red colour makes it also the stone of love and passion. The famous Black Prince Ruby was discovered to be a Red Spinel by scientists in the 19th century. Today it sits in the British Imperial Crown, next to the Cullinan II diamond. Ruby is 9 on the Mohs scale. Read more
One of the most defining characteristics of a diamond is its cut. While high grades of color, clarity, and carat weight affect a diamond, it's the cut that determines the symmetry of the stone's facets, its overall proportions, and its ability to reflect light. An expertly cut diamond will achieve high levels of brilliance, sparkle, and durability. For more information and cut types, see The Four C's.
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