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Jewelry Terms

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Gadroon: A series of small vertical, diagonal or twisted grooves applied as a border decoration on silverware.

Gallery: A type of mounting with a pierced, openwork design resembling the gallery, (rear platform), of an early sailing ship.

Garland Style: A jewelry style popular in the early 20th century made possible by the introduction of the widespread use of platinum and characterized by lightness and delicacy that employed motifs such as garlands, ribbon bows, swags, and tassels.

Garnet: A family of stones having many varieties differing in color and in their constituents, but all are silicates with the same isometric crystallization and conforming to the same general chemical formula. Garnet is a very commonly found in gneiss and mica slate. The name is derived from its resemblance in color and shape to the seeds of the pomegranate. The most common color of garnets range from light red to violet or plum-red, but can also be white, green, yellow, brown, and black varieties. It seems as though every shade and color of garnet is given its own name. Known varieties of garnet include Andradite, Tsavorite, Grossularite, Essonite, Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Melanite, Allochroite, Ouvarovite, Demantoid, and Rhodalite. (See individual listings). Garnets have a hardness that varies between 6-8 on the Mohs scale. It was believed that the wearer of garnet jewelry was kept in good health and protected while traveling. Garnets are worn to signify truth and faith. Red garnet is the birthstone for January.

Gem: (Gemstone). A precious or semiprecious stone that may be used as a jewel when cut and polished. Include diamond, beryl, emerald, chalcedony, agate, onyx, tourmaline, chrysolite, sapphire, ruby, spinel, topaz, turquoise, zircon, cubic zirconia, jacinth, hyacinth, carbuncle, amethyst, alexandrite, cat's eye, bloodstone, hematite, jasper, moonstone, sunstone, and many others. Several organic materials like coral and pearls are also considered gemstones.

Genuine: Unless the word "genuine" is included in the description of a piece of jewelry, it could simply be using the term to describe the color of the piece rather than its actual content. For example, "gold" meaning gold toned, rather than actual gold. (See below) Or "amethyst" meaning amethyst colored, rather than containing an actual amethyst stone.

Genuine Pearl: A smooth, round growth used as a gem, a "genuine" pearl is one that formed naturally within the shell of a mollusk due to an irritant rather than having the irritant placed into the mollusk by hand or being made out of plastic.

Gilding: An object decorated with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf or gold foil.

Gilt: Gold plated.

Girandôle: A style of earring or brooch in which a large stone or decorative element suspends three smaller pear-shaped pendants of similar design.

Girdle: The outermost edge of a cut gem when viewed from the side and top. It is the edge formed by where the top section (crown) and the bottom section (pavilion) of the cut stone meet.

Glucinum: (Also called "Beryllium") A rare silver-white metallic element resembling magnesium. It is only found in nature combined with other elements, usually silica or alumina, in the minerals phenacite, chrysoberyl, beryl, euclase, and danalite.

Gneiss: A form of granite, but having the component materials, especially the mica, arranged in planes so that it breaks rather easily into coarse slabs or flags.

Gold: A yellow precious metal which is valued for its beauty and purity since it does not oxidize or tarnish like most other metals. It has been used for coins and jewelry for over 6000 years and from this has become regarded as a symbol of wealth. Gold is very ductile and is the most malleable of all metals. It can be cast into huge statues or beaten into wafer thin sheets of gold leaf. This malleability makes it too soft to be used in jewelry without being alloyed with other metals. (See Karat).

Gold electroplating: Process by which sheets of gold of at least 10 karats and no less than seven-millionths of an inch thick are electro-chemically bonded to another metal.

Gold Filled: (Also "Goldfilled", or "gold-filled", abbreviated g.f.) A piece of jewelry with a layer of gold mechanically applied to the surface of a base metal, (like brass or copper), can be called Gold Filled if the amount of gold equals one-twentieth of the total weight of the piece. Victorian pieces are likely to be unmarked, but later pieces are marked with the fineness of the gold layer, and the part by weight of the gold. For example a piece marked "1/10 12K G.F." is composed of at least 1/10 12K gold based on the weight of the finished piece. An older unmarked gold piece may often be identified by wear through to base metal, especially when viewing corners or edges under magnification. Look for a change to a darker, brassy colored material at these spots.

Gold plated: A piece of jewelry with a wafer thin coating of gold electroplated or mechanically plated onto a base metal.

 

Gold Tone: jewelry finished with a gold color with almost no appreciable measurement of weight in actual gold.

Gold Washed: Products that have an extremely thin layer of gold, (less than .175 microns thick), applied by either dipping or burnishing the metal, but not plated.. This will wear away more quickly than pieces that are gold plated, gold-filled, or gold electroplated.

Golden finish: jewelry finished so that it has the look of gold, but no actual gold content.

Golden Valadium: Stainless steel that has been electro-charged to resemble real yellow gold.

Goldstone: See Aventurine.

Good Condition: A piece of jewelry in Good Condition will show substantial evidence of wear. It will have a noticeable patina which may include numerous very fine pits or lines. It will not have cracks, chips, obviously discolored or poorly replaced stones, evidence of glue or other repairs, or other evidence of hard wear considered to be damage. Damage of any kind is separately detailed in the item description, and generally items with damage appear at very reduced prices in the Bargain section.

Gothic revival: jewelry that evokes the feeling of medieval Europe in its use of styles, symbols, and motifs. It began in the 18th century as part of the romantic movement.

Gram Weight: The weight, in grams, of a specific metal used in a piece of jewelry.

Granite: A common igneous rock composed of quartz, orthoclase, and hornblende, often accompanied by pyroxene or mica. It is called granite because of the granular surface. Granite is frequently used for buildings and monuments.

Granulation: A technique often used in Etruscan Revival jewelry, granulation is the application of minute granules or grains of metal to the surface of a piece of jewelry to form a decorative pattern.

Greek key: A design motif attributed to the ancient Greeks symbolizing the bonds of love, friendship and devotion. Greek key designs are repeating patterns of interlocking geometric shapes.

Green gold: An alloy made of gold mixed with copper, silver, zinc and often cadmium. The copper is what gives it the greenish tinge. It is commonly used with enameling to strengthen the color of the gold when set beside the bright enamels.

Greenstone: See Nephrite.

Grooved: The channel routed in a line.

Grossular: Resembling a gooseberry, as with a grossular garnet, also called Grossularite.

Grossularite: A translucent garnet of a pale green color like that of the gooseberry, occurring alone or as a constituent of the common garnet. It may also be pink, brown, or black.

Guilloché: A style of enameling in which a continuous decoration is engraved by an engine-turned lathe and then covered with translucent enamel so that the engraving can be seen through the enamel.

Gypsum: A soft, white mineral composed of hydrous sulfate of lime. It is used as plaster of Paris.

Gypsy setting: A setting in which the surface of the mount is virtually flush with the top of the gemstone.

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