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Jeweler's Jargon
Jewelry Terms Explained

a gold pouch used for safekeepingBAIL:  device used to hang a piece of jewelry from a chain. Referred to as a rabbit ear bail or loops.  Always soldered when used in nugget jewelry.

CARAT:  unit of measure for gemstones and diamonds, abbreviated ct. or Ct.

CASTINGS:  items made from special molds, using 10,14 or 18 karat casting grain, it takes special casting for gold nugget jewelry.

CLASP:  device used to close & secure a piece of jewelry, such as a spring ring, lobster claw, pearl catch, safety, etc.

FINDINGS:  items used to make up jewelry, such as clasp, chains, settings, wire, castings, earring posts, bails, loops and so forth.

FINE GOLD:  pure, 24 karat gold metal or bullion, not  found in nature.

GOLD FILLED:  layer of gold mechanically applied and welded to both sides of a base metal, thicker than gold plating .

a gold sifterGOLDSMITH :  person that specializes in the manufacture of gold jewelry, and/or other articles made with gold and it’s alloys.  Most of work done by hand.

JUMP RING:  finding made from gold or silver metal that is used to connect one part of jewelry to another part, such as a jump ring would be put between the chain and the clasp.  Can be round or oval shaped, any size, and use any gauge wire.  Always soldered when used with nuggets.

KARAT GOLD:  measure of gold purity, expressing the proportion of gold in alloy.  One karat is 1/24 part of pure gold, which is too soft for everyday jewelry, and the alloy is silver with small traces of copper.  Hardens gold so it wears longer.  Designated as Kt. 14Kt. Is 41.6% gold, 18Kt. Is 75% gold, 22Kt. Is 91.6% gold.

MOUNTING OR SETTING: device used to hold gemstones in place, may be a 4 or 6 prong head mounting, or a bezel mounting that has metal all the way around the stone, and may be  in any shape the gemstone comes in.

NECKLACE:  multiple nuggets, gems, pearls or gold with pieces of chain, wire or bead stringing wire between each piece.  Can be a string of pearls or beads.

PENDENT:  single piece of gold, gemstone or nugget suspended from a chain or wire, that is worn around a persons neck.

an old scale SHANK :  casting for rings, watchband or other jewelry that gold nuggets are soldered to.

SOLDER:  that chip or paste of  10 or 14 karat gold that is placed between two pieces of gold and heat is applied to melt the solder, permanently joining the two pieces of metal. Same as welding, just much smaller.

TROY WEIGHT:  unit of used for precious metals such as silver and gold, broken into grains, pennyweights and/or grams as follows: 24 grains = 1 pennyweight (it takes 1.6 grams to equal one pennyweight) 20 pennyweights = 1  troy ounce (it takes 31.2 grams to equal one troy ounce. 12 ounces = 1 troy  pound.

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