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Glossary of Terms

A buyer's guide to information, trade terms and things you can actually use to combat sales-prattle and clerks!
"Knowledge is Power"

AGA: Accredited Gemological Appraisers

Alloy: The mixing of metals in set proportions. I.E. 14kt gold is 58% gold and the rest is copper, silver, and nickel.

Appraisals: Assumed to be unbiased and objective, best done by an independasnt local gemologist who does't have his check signed by a store dude, ya know? This is generally done to insure your item, and will reflect fair market value. Remembering the markups in this industry you should expect items from us to appraise fairly at vastly more than your purchase price.

Bail: The peice attached to a finding to make it a pendant. Rabbit ears is a popular style.. Hit this link to see various styles of crowns and shanks, and indepth explainations of their use.

Basket Crown A super crown for setting a stone in, for it has cross supports and allows the stone to set inside the setting, for a safe and very trouble free ride. I like the basket crowns very much for most manufacturing, and while not every application is for this style head when I have a choice I go this direction. Strong and smart, and trouble free.

Bezel The thin strip of metal which holds a stone in place. In this case it's the bezel that we installed in this celtic treasure, in which the diamond is set. Safe and trouble freeis the best description of this way cool setting, no prongs to snag and the stone is as safe as can be.

Diamond Certificate Terms:
    AGS: American Gemological Society Laboratory (This lab grades cut) I think that for the mose complete dataset that the AGS lab offers both the seller and the buyer a great service, in that the data can complete assure the most actively beautiful diamond possible, and the cut grade and grading of the catagories makes it a snap to assure that the diamond you purchase is the finest possible in the world!

    AGS-0: Diamond has AGS-0 Ideal Cut proportions for that catagory

    AGS-000: Diamond rated by AGS, ideal polish, symmetry, and proportions. Commonly called "Triple Zero" I love this grade, for crown angles and pavilion angles are perfect for the brightest and most lively diamond possible... When you purchase a triple AGS (000) diamond the later upgrade is very easy too, for unlike GIA the angles are listed on the certificate, and all the data is there that you would need to assure perfection.

    Carat Weight, unit of measure for gems, equals 200 milligrams.

    Clarity: The clarity grade of the diamond listed.

    Color: The color grade of the diamond, "D" is perfection, no real color impact down to "G-H" When you are considering what color is best for your world consider this... In platinum the colors that jump out are the "D-E'F" colors with "G" in a push, for gold trimmed or totally gold items you can very safely move color to "G-H-I" for a bright and white look.

    Crown A flared cylinder with one end notched to form prongs

    Culet: Culet size (bottom point of diamond). described as, None for perfect, Very Small and Small in most cases

    Cut: Proportions rating as determined by Sarin Analysis.

    Comments: The gemoligist's additional comments regarding identifiable trates of the diamond, grain lines, or inscription notation

    Diamond Dossier/ Laser Inscribed
    This is a new program offered by the GIA in grading standards, with a laser incribed girdle and we recommend it highly. This gets the diamond inscribed and entered into the registery, for an added level of security and protection. This program is for diamonds of less than a carat size. The Full Certificates for larger diamonds, which we also offer...

    Ideal Cut: This term describes a diamond conforming to the AGS ideal cut standards.

    Depth: Total Depth measurement in percent from the table to the culet.

    EGL-LA: European Gemological Laboratory - Los Angeles.

    Finish: This on the GIA cert contains polish and symmetry descriptions.
      Excellent: As cert description indicates exceptional attention to detail (Gia's higherst rating, AGS's second highest

      Very Good: This term is going to basically describe the catagory as very fine attention to detail, and frankly at this point I find personally sheer perfection...

      Good: Good on a GIA or AGS certificate is the benchmark of appearant perfection and no denegrating features in that catagory what so ever, in the "Good" range is where your dream diamond lives for most, past that is sort of a lab rat's premium... {Grin}...


      Faint,

      Medium,

      Strong

      Very strongl

      In the "real world" up to medium is no problemo...
    GIA: Gemological Institute of America - Gem Trade Laboratory

    Girdle: Largest facet on the widest edge, sub-letters (p) Polished, (f) Faceted

    Girdle edge can be laser inscribed with GIA Diamond Grading Report number.

      XT: Extremely Thin Girdle
      VT: Very Thin
      T: Thin
      Med: Medium
      SLK: Slightly Thick Girdle.
      TK: Thick Girdle.
      VTK: Very Thick Girdle.
      XTK: Extremely Thick Girdle.
      *Most Desirable is Medium, or not more than two steps

    Pavilion: Lower half of the diamond, Pavilion depth measurement in percent.

    Plot: The map of the activity in the diamond, or slight imperfections, but done more as an exaggerated roadmap for the next grader or gemologist.

    Premium: This term can also be associated with the AGS grade (1) in any given catagory, and this is also a great place to get all the dramatic beawuty of the finer cuts, even if outside the range for ideal by just a whisker... No denegration in this description, guaranteed!

    Sarin: Computerized Proportions Analysis to determine the proportions of the diamonds that they grade.

    Shape and Cutting Style: The shape of the diamond, These would included in the most general cut shape types.

    Measurements: The millimeter measurement across the diamond, the widest and narrowest are listed in the round, then depth.

    Table: The large factet on the top of the diamond, refered to as a percentage of the diameter of the measurements.

    Weight: The carat weight of the diamond graded in the lab report.( 1 Carat = 200 milligrams. )

Casting: This would be considered pouring or injecting the molten precious metal into the form where the wax once was. We have many examples of casting projects, tracked from the wax to the finished item, on the Current Work Page for your consideration, these are "live" projects being created at this time, from the top to the bottom examples of fine custom.

Celtic Art: Generally associated with the art of the ancient celts, featuring most profoundly interesting woven knotts, and intertwined patterns that symbolize the intertwined lives and paths of the bearers. Animal motifs stressing fidelity, the herons and the hounds, are a charming breawk from the mundane...

Channel Set: The mounting of stones in a deep groove of metal. The ring shown has the diamonds channelset into the clots, each set by hand by Ray, and designed to be trouble free. Very good way to set diamonds in rows here!...

Common Sense Diamond Criteria:
We begin to see diamond sellers advocate the silliest narrow ranges for what is really a very common sense exercise in diamond quality. The many fine diamonds out there that are in the range will yield you the most magnificient look possible, but don't pay a premium for a fancy smancy name. You probably want a diamond that she will be thrilled with for a lifetime, and not a lab rat's premium who's difference can only be enjoyed in a gem lab, so unless you plan on taking your saron report with you, like your wife's photograph or something, just enjoy that there is a broad range for maximum beauty, and let the boneheads prattle away as they do in the malls.

Crown or setting: A standardized head or setting, to set the diamond, generally designed to be installed and set.

Die forming: The act of forcing metal into a die or mold.

Engraving: The incising or cutting of a linear design into the surface of a gem or metal.

Etching: The chemical removal of metal, usually by an acid or chloride

FlatSetting: My specialty, taking diamonds and setting them by hand in the metal, engraving and sculpturing the metal as I go. I set this initial wide ring, about 15mm atr the top, with rows of graduated diamonds, picked as I went along for the best result. Not the stripmall approach here, just one at a time.

Filigree: Delicate thread like decoration in soldered, flattened gold or platinum wire generally pierced as shown.

Grading Diamonds: This is best done at a internationally recognized gem lab, rather than the backroom of yer local strip mall jeweler, for the very subjective nature of appraisals and grading done by the seller should instantly involke images of Jim Baker and Tammy Fae... A slipped grade in clarity or color and cost you thousands, and when it comes time to tradeup you have to stand or fall on the merits of the trade-in, and having an acceptable gem lab certificate can make life much easier, guaranteed...

Graver: The tool used by an engraver to incise a design into the metal,m shown in the larger picture.

Gypsy Setting: A setting in which stone is set into the metal. the crown and table is the only exposed part of the stone(Flush set)

Hand Engraving: The fine european traditional style of decoration, using gravers and imparting a design to the metal's surface.

"Ho Ho Wholesale:
A denegrating term used to describe the builders and the makers of this industry, individuals founded in wholesale and building fine jewelry, the people who make this industry work by keeping the horrible jewelry that the retail trade buys for reselling. I have all the respect for those guys and gals in the trade who "keep the promises"... Vast difference between retail and wholesale, and not just the markups either, but in the basic way of doing volume business, with a great repeat clientel. Perhaps it's just the nervious reaction to a new way of doing busines, but regardless of the intent, it's a lovely way to point out the vast differences between Retail and Wholesale Direct. In summary, wholesale is the condition before the 300% markups, radio ad jingles and stupid ads in the paper. Retail is quite something else again... {Grin}

Hearts & Arrows: Ideal Cut Diamond, another fancy smancy trade term for exceptionally idea cut diamond... The fact is that these exist within the standard diamond offerings, and are fairly and readily available in today's market without the outrageous premiums that others are charging... When you hit the certificate math and start to understand the range for ideal these fancy smansy sweetheart trade terms do not yield more brilliance, just a selling point to use as a tool. Ideal is also not payingt too much for a name, be it a store name or trade term. We understand this is an emotional time, and you want the very best, but we won't use that to up-sell you into a set of specs you'd need an electron microscope to appreciate {Grin}... retailers will, I will not. ...background music fade and shadow people vanish in the light... {Grin}

Illusion Setting: A setting in which the surrounding metal surface is cut or shaped to appear to be part of the stone, often used to enhance the size.

Inlay: The placing of any material into the surface of another material.

Karat: The fineness of gold, equal to one part of 24 in gold alloys. 14Kt gold is actually just 58.5% fine gold, and the rest various alloys and combinations of metals. 18Kt is 3/4 fine gold or 75%, and the richer color is from this increase in fine gold. White gold is a trick, the alloys fool your eye into seeing white, along with the fact that most manufacturers will also rhodium plate the white areas to enhance their white and brightness

Lost Wax Casting: The process of carving a custom wax, and pouring precious metal to occupy that space, creating that Family Heirloom

Mall Stores, Overhead and markups: Sort of all intertwined they are, the average store in the mall pays about 10% to the mall for advertising and rent, plus a percentage of the gross sales, so when you see those half price ads just chuckle, and wrap a fish or something, but there are not bargins in retail. Average is 300% markup to on items, manufacturing and service, so just know that the world she is a changing, and always compare prices before buying.

Melee: Gemstones of approx. 0.18 ct. or less, usually round, faceted, diamonds (accent stones generally)

Millegrain: A process to give the appearance of a tiny row of beads, usually on the edge of a setting.

Mokume': Laminated layers of different metals to give a wood grain type appearance.

Mounting: The portion of a peice of jewelry which holds or may hold a stone.

Patina: A surface coloring on metals which occurs as a result of a chemical reaction or time.

Pave': This is a specialty of Ray, in setting the smaller diamonds edge to edge, and blending pront and diamond together into a rich and elegant paved with diamond field.

Photoetching: An etching process in which the resist is applied to the metals surface by photographic means.

Piercing: The intricate cutting of openings into the metal. This style was very popular at the turn of the century, with the fine detail and the dramatic piercing treasures were created by benchmen and women of amazing quality. These days there is also fine filligree available, and not all is expensive either!

Plating: To apply a coating of metal to an object by electrical depositation. Many fine manufacturers use a rhodium platinum to whiten white gold, since rhodium is a metal more like platinum and is dead white. White gold is formed by the alloys tricking the eye into seeing white, but there is no white gold of course...

Professional Service: In the mid 80's I re-wrote the standards for the Oregon State Bureau of Labor's Apprentiship Training Division, and sat on the board for supervision, so you might say I have a Phd in this field, short of spelling and counter-speak I grant, but in building, designing or servicing fine jewelry we set the standard for complete service and professionalizm on internet. Prong: A narrow tab of metal, folded over the girdle of a stone to secure it in a setting.

Retail: Retailing is all about marketing and location, both of which command huge dollars. Markups of items under say 10K is generally 300%, or something that was manufactured for $333 would be resold for $1000... Traditionally tiered markups do prevail, but also many merchandizing organizations seek to bolster profits with less than quality goods, which is a trend that will cost the retail industry dearly in time.

Retipping: This is something that I want to advise can be OK, but do not ever let a boneheaded sale-clerk talk you into retipping a very worn out crown. A new crown is cost effective and so much safer, solder is not a substitute for new metal, so always go new crown when you can.

Setting: A mounting or the portion of a mounting which actually holds the stone. A great example of a ring that is assembled of settings and a fine shank in platinum is the Andrew Art ring in platinum.

Shank: The portion of a ring that actually encircles the finger, excluding the decorative top or setting. Many so called "Custom Jobs" are built from quality components like these shown

Special Order, Custom Made: Quality work is no accident! For thirty years I have offered my customers the services of experienced and professional jewelry workers and sound ethical business practices. We like to think it's important! We don't count on luck or magic. How often can poor workers pull a rabbit out of the hat until one comes out stone dead? Experienced skilled workers don't take stupid chances. That's a chance my customers will never have to take, no blue smoke and mirrors at Tradeshop, ever!

Tension Setting:
I think this term was first coined by the customer than finally realized that their $25,000 two carat diamond was pinched into a non-closed circle, held by a couple thousand pounds of pressure exerted by a heat treating technique that stiffens and treats the metal... If you really like this option and look have a ring made with an underbezel that keeps the ring safe and strong... ...and notice I haven't even talked about what happens if that diamond is caught and pulled from the open sides, and the sheer forces that can shatter the girdle on a diamond... Not a great idea here folks, purdy, but not very smart in my humble opinion.

  • Tradeshop Generally this would refer to a collection of tradesmen and women, who offer their services as independant contractors to the trade. Stores like Zales, Ben Bridge and just about all stores and retailers use the services of these shops via couriers. I ran Oregon's largest union profesisonal tradeshop for 23 years. I have always personally made a practice of hiring top flight union journeyman calibre help, and am myself a master diamond setter and jeweler for over twenty years. I printed 2.5 markup price lists for my clients for their sale-clerks, and 300% three times cost for many others. My average markup was 28% above cost in my wholesale world, about a tenth of what my reseller clients charged... "Now we'll try something new..."

  • Wholesale: Wholesale is all about volume, and is generally associated with servicing the retail trade, resellers. As a past manufacturer and service provider markups we're approximately 1.28%... Retail markups over my charge we're routinely 250%-300% of my invoiced charge. Most in this business come to it from sales, but my staff is of the shop, and of the bench, and experienced in "making and doing" not selling and promoting. Enjoy the chaos... {Grin}...

    *Contact raylc@tradeshop.com * FAX (503) 256-3794 * Toll Free 800 224-8086 for orders