Faberge: Legendary Russian goldsmith and jeweler to the Czars of Russia who created ornate gifts, notably a series of jeweled and enameled Easter eggs for European royalty.
Faith Ring: See Fede Ring.
False Topaz: A name for yellow quartz.
Fancy Cut: A term used for gems that are cut in a shape other than the standard round-cut, such as single cut, marquise, emerald, pear, heart, oval, square, baguette, triangle, etc. Also called fancy shape.
Fancy Diamond: A diamond found in a color other than white, including yellow, blue, green, red, and purple.
Faux: (Pronounced like "foe") French word meaning false, fake, imitation or artificial. In a manufacturing context, faux is used to indicate something made to resemble something else. Faux marble looks like marble. Faux bois looks like wood. Faux porphyry looks like stone.
Feather: A kind of inclusion in a diamond, usually only a tiny crack. Although they may have no affect on the strength or beauty of the diamond whatsoever, these feathers, or “fissures” as they are sometimes called, can make a stone more fragile and susceptible to cracking depending on the depth or location.
Fede rings: (or "Faith rings") Are distinguished by having the bezel cut or cast in the form of two clasped hands, symbolizing faith, trust or "plighted troth". Fede rings date from Roman times and were popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe.
Feitsui: The Chinese name for a highly prized variety of pale green jade; the royal stone of China.
Feldspar: A family of minerals which are all silicates of alumina with either potash, soda, or lime. They're usually white or nearly white, flesh-red, bluish, or greenish, and occur in crystals and crystalline masses, vitreous in luster, and breaking rather easily in two directions at right angles to each other. The feldspars are essential constituents of nearly all crystalline rocks, such as Granite, gneiss, mica, slate, most kinds of basalt and trachyte, etc.
Fibula: An ancient and often ornamented clasp or brooch used in ancient Greece and Rome to fasten clothing. It usually consists of piece of bowed metal with a pin connected to one end with a hinge. The pin is pushed through the clothing to hold it together and is secured into the other end of the bow behind a catch plate. A fibula is sometimes referred to as a ‘safety-pin brooch’.
Filigree: A design made with thin wire intricately interlaced or bent into rosettes, spirals, or vines. The wire is typically gold or silver and may be plain, twisted, or plaited. There are two major styles of filigree. The first is to solder the wire to a metal base. This style was used in Byzantine, Carolingian, Ottonian, Roman, Anglo-Saxon, and 13th century German and Italian jewelry. The second style is to leave the wire as an openwork design without a metal backing, which is characteristic of European jewelry until the 15th century. Filigree was used on Jewish marriage rings as well as Spanish and Portuguese peasant jewelry. In England it is found on some mourning rings.
Filigree Enamel: A type of decoration similar to cloisonné enameling but having the cloisons made of twisted wire, (rather than flat strips of metal), soldered to the base and filled in with opaque enamel. After the powdered enamel in the spaces is fused and, upon cooling, has contracted, the wire shows above the surface.
Figure 8 safety catch: A type of safety catch in which a hinged wire in the shape of a figure eight snaps over a pin. The wide end of the eight connects at the bottom to the hinge, and the smaller end of the eight slips over the pin to hold the clasp closed.
Fimo: A German-made polymer clay that comes in over 30 colors and can be hardened by baking in a standard oven. Beads made from fimo have become popular in modern jewelry.
Finial: A sculptured ornamental knob, often in the shape of a leaf, flower, or fleur-de-leis, at the terminal end of an object.
Finish: The way the surface of a piece is polished or textured. The finish of a diamond refers to the polish on the external surface of a diamond. When a diamond or stone is well cut and polished, it is said to have a beautiful finish. Finish is also used to describe the polish or texture applied to a metal. Common finishes include high polish, matte or brushed.
Finish, Florentine: A surface in which parallel lines are engraved in one direction, then crossed with lighter perpendicular lines resembling brush marks. Also called brushed finish
Finish Jewelry, High Polished: Jewelry which is shiny, smooth and reflective.
Finish Jewelry, Matte: With jewelry which has a matte finish the designer uses either a chemical process or an abrasive material to scratch the top layers of the piece creating a dull and non-reflective surface.
Fire: See Dispersion.
Fleur-de-leis: From Old French "flor de lis": flor (flower) + de (of) + lis (lily). A stylized three-petaled iris flower, used as the armorial emblem of the kings of France. It is commonly found in jewelry items.
Florentine Finish: A surface in which parallel lines are engraved in one direction, then crossed with lighter perpendicular lines resembling brush marks. Also called brushed finish
Fluorescence: A property possessed by diamonds, fluorspar, uranium glass, sulphide of calcium, and many other substances, of glowing without appreciable rise of temperature when exposed to ultra-violet rays, cathode rays, X rays, etc. This fluorescent glow is not always considered when grading a diamond for quality (using the standard Four C’s); it is an inherent characteristic of a diamond.
Fluorine: An element of the halogen class of elements which is only found in nature combined with other substances. It is found combined as calcium fluoride in fluorite, and as a double fluoride of aluminum and sodium in cryolite. Fluorine is very active chemically, (the most electronegative and most reactive of all the elements), and possesses such an avidity for most elements, especially silicon, that it can neither be prepared nor kept in glass vessels. This is why even though it was first identified by Scheele in 1771, it was not isolated until 1886 by Moissan. When isolated, fluorine is a pale-yellow, highly corrosive, flammable, poisonous, gas.
Fluorite: A mineral composed of calcium fluoride which is found in many different colors such as white, yellow, purple, green, red, etc. Often very beautiful, crystallizing commonly in cubes with perfect octahedral cleavage. See African Emerald.
Fob: A short chain or ribbon attached to a pocket watch, often with an ornament or decorative seal attached to the end.
Foilback: A method of coating the back of a stone with silver, gold, or colored foil. This enhances the brilliance of the stone, by reflecting back as much light as possible. It is commonly seen in costume jewelry. A foilbacked rhinestone whose foil has been damaged, (often from water creeping in), does not sparkle anymore and is said to be a "dead" stone, lowering the value of the piece. Before, modern, highly reflective cuts were developed, even diamonds were foilbacked.
Foldover Clasp: A clasp used on a necklace or bracelet with a box on one end and a V-shaped tongue on the other. The lid of the box opens to reveal a small hook. The tongue slips over the hook and then the lid of the box is snapped closed to secure the tongue in place.
Fool's Gold: See pyrite.
Foxtail Chain: An intricately woven chain made up of three rows of links. The top and bottom row are oval-shaped links lying on each other at a 45 degree angle, but not linked together. The center row is a set of flat connecting rings set at an opposing angle and flush with each other which bind the top and bottom row together.
Fracture filling: A type of enhancement where tiny fractures in a gemstone are filled.
French Back: See Screw back.
French wire: A curved wire resembling a fish hook which passes through the pierced earlobe and has a catch closure. It is mostly used with dangling earrings due to their extra weight.
Freshwater Pearl: A pearl produced by a mollusk that inhabits fresh water, such as a lake or river, as opposed to sea water. These pearls are usually shaped like an uneven grain of rice and unlike the saltwater oyster, which normally produces only one or two pearls, each mussel can simultaneously produce many. Freshwater pearls are grown in many countries such as the United States, Japan, China and Ireland. Natural freshwater pearls are found in a variety of colors including blue, lavender, violet, rose and gray. They can also be dyed to enhance or change their color. Freshwater pearls are much cheaper than their seawater cousins since they produce several pearls at once and do not require an irritant to be inserted to produce a pearl.
Full Cut: see Brilliant cut.