Acetal is a light-weight plastic that is extremely hard-wearing. In Daehoon Kang’s work, it has been dyed by hand to achieve an array of beautiful bright colours. These colours will remain the same over time.
Agate is a variety of quartz. It is a translucent chalcedony that can be beige, brown or black in colour. The patterns formed by its beautiful inclusions have inspired its different names: moss agate, cloud agate, landscape agate, tree agate, and so on.
Aluminium is a silvery white metal, which is soft, durable, lightweight and malleable. The metal can also be anodised, which is a process that allows the metal to be dyed and coloured.
Amazonite is a stone that varies in colour from yellow-green to blue-green and it can also exhibit fine white streaks. Its blue-green shade is similar to that of turquoise or jade.
Amethyst is a variety of quartz that ranges from a light pink-violet through to a deep purple. The Greeks believed that amethyst gems could prevent drunkenness…but the jury is out on that one.
Anodising is a technique that is used mainly on aluminium and titanium to colour the metal. Titanium produces softer colours such as yellows, bronzes, pinks and purples, through to blues and greens. Aluminium produces much brighter colours such as reds and bright blues. Examples of anodised aluminium and titanium can be seen in Phoebe Porter’s range.
As the name suggests, Aquamarine is a stone that ranges in colour from blue-green to pale blue color. It is said to protect those at sea and it is the symbol of fidelity – two reasons every sailor should own some. Aquamarine is the modern birthstone for March.
Aventurine is a type of quartz. It’s known for its translucency and the presence of mineral inclusions that throw a shimmering or glistening effect. The most common colour of aventurine is green, but it is also found in orange, brown, yellow, blue or grey.
A gem cut into a narrow rectangle shape with a flat top.
A round cut diamond with 58 facets.
A drop-shaped stone, the entire surface of which is cut in triangular facets.
Carat is the unit of weight for precious stones, however gold is also measured in carats. In relation to gold, one carat equates to 1/24th part of pure gold in an alloy, which means that pure gold is actually 24ct. 24ct yellow gold is considered too soft to be worn as jewellery, so alloys (such as copper and palladium) are added to the gold to make it stronger and to change the colour. Gold comes in many different colours, such as white gold and rose gold.
Carnelian is a translucent red-orange chalcedony.
Lost-wax casting is an ancient technique in which a hollow wax figure of the object is modeled then encased in clay to make a mould, which is then baked to melt the wax. The molten metal is then poured in through a hole in the top of the mould. Once cold, the clay mold is broken, revealing the object in metal, which is then filed, cleaned and polished.
Chalcedony is the name given to an accumulation of microscopic quartz crystals. In its purest form it ranges in colour from grey to blue to pale yellow.
The presence of iron or nickel in chalcedony can alter its hue and its name: bright green chalcedony is called chrysoprase, red-orange chalcedony is known as cornelian, brown chalcedony is known as sard, agate is patterned chalcedony, onyx is black (or black and white) chalcedony and jasper is chalcedony whose impurities give mixed shades, rendering it opaque.
A chisel is a tool with a blade on its end used for carving or cutting metal. When chiseling, the tool is forced into the metal to cut it. Darren Harvey’s pieces have been chiseled by hand with tools that Darren has made specifically for his jewellery making.
Citrine is a variety of quartz. The colour of the stone can range from a pale yellow through to brown. Citrines are the birthstone for November.
Coral is an ornamental mineral and is classified as a gem. It can vary in intensity from blood red to pink, although a much-coveted white coral also exists, as does a keratinous black coral, now a protected species. It is usually sculpted and polished for use in jewellery.
Diamonds are prized for their rarity and beauty. They take millions of years to form underneath the earth’s surface and are the hardest material known to man. A diamond’s value is assessed by four factors, known as the four Cs: cut, colour, clarity and carat. Diamonds are the birthstone for April.
Of all of the diamond classifications, cut has the greatest effect on the beauty of a diamond. Two diamonds of the same size, colour and clarity will look very different to the eye if cut differently. An exceptionally cut diamond will always be more brilliant and beautiful.
Diamonds form in a variety of colours. The highest grade for a diamond, with absolutely no colour, is D and this proceeds in scale through to Z. Most people are drawn to the icy white tones of a diamond, and these stones are normally classified as D, E or F. However, G, H and I grade diamonds throw beautiful shades of white and are typically known as very good colour.
Diamond clarity refers to how pure the stone is: the more flaws within the stone, the less valuable the diamond is. The definitions Flawless, VVS (very very slight), VS (very slight) and SI1 (slight inclusions 1) have the least inclusions or flaws. SI2 (slight inclusions 2) is the point at which inclusions become visible to the naked eye.
The carat is used to measure the weight of precious stones to two decimals. One carat equals 200 milligrams.
Certain diamonds are sold with a certificate that specifies name of the stone, the details of the colour, size dimensions, weight in carats and clarity of the stone. This certificate can only be delivered by a recognised gemological laboratory and, if applicable, will be provided by the artist who made your piece.
The Argyle diamond mind is located in north Western Australia. This mine is the only known significant source of pink diamonds, producing over 90% of the world’s supply. The mine also produces an additionally large proportion of other naturally coloured diamonds, including champagne, cognac and rare blue diamonds.
Beyond their black colour and the fact that they’re only found above ground, these diamonds are considered to have exactly the same properties as white or coloured diamonds however.
Diamond (Fancy Coloured)
Fancy coloured diamonds are characterised by the intensity of their colour and their main hue, both of which help determine their value. Each colour results from the stone’s specific chemical or structural properties and these include yellow-brown, blue, green and pink. Coloured diamonds have a different colour grading system to white diamonds.
Diamond (Old Cut)
Old cut diamonds have a soft romantic glow that many people find appealing. Diamonds were cut by hand until the 1900s and typically, these stones were cut to maximize carat weight rather than sparkle. This is why the proportions of an old cut stone are vastly different from their modern counterparts.
Diamond (Rose Cut)
The shape of a rose cut diamond resembles the petals of a rose bud. The bottom of the stone is flat, the crown (or top) of the stone is dome shaped and the facets meet in a point in the centre.
Diamond (Rough Cut)
A rough cut diamond is a diamond that has not yet been cut.
Embossing is the process that allows artists to produce raised or sunken designs in metal. Rebecca Pocock employs this process in some of her sterling silver floral designs.
Emeralds are a well-known bright green stone that belong to the beryl family. Emerald is the birthstone for May.
Jasmine Watson uses an enamel technique called Soldered Champleve. This involves two layers of metal being soldered together, after the top layer has been cut by hand. She then applies the enamel into the pattern and fires the entire piece in a kiln. Depending on the piece, she can use between 6 and 24 different colours and the piece is normally fired up to 7 times before the surface is polished by hand.
The word facet refers to the name given to one of the surfaces of a cut stone.
Fluorite is said to bring clarity on every spiritual level.
Contrary to popular belief, garnets exist in a variety of different colours, although the red, or rhodolite garnet is the most well known. A garnet can be any colour, except blue. Some other colours include the emerald-green demantoid, the bright yellow-orange spessatite garnet, and the strong green tsavorite. Garnet is the birthstone for January.
- Gold Leaf
Hallmarks are the marks that are stamped on a precious metal object. Their role is to identify the maker of the object and to identify which metals have been used in a piece.
Hardness refers to how hard a stone is and how resistant it is to knocks. The Mohs scale is based on and rates the relative hardness of minerals, which he measured in terms of their resistance to scratching with a pointed object.
The Mohs scale is divided into ten grades, with no specific ratio between each one, as follows:
Iolite is a blue-violet stone that is similar in colour to that of certain sapphires.
Jade is a stone that varies in colour from milky white to dark green.
Jasper is a stone that is commonly recognised as red, but occurs in many different shades and can also be multi-coloured or patterned.
Jet is a petrified wood and can range in colour from brown through to black.
The Kimberly Process exists to certify the origins of rough diamonds, ensuring they’re from countries and sources that are free of conflict directly related to diamond production. The certification process aims to prevent ‘blood diamonds’ from entering the mainstream diamond market. It was established to ensure that the purchase of a diamond does not finance war or perpetuate human rights abuses. We are confident that conflict stones have not and will not be used in any of the pieces at e.g.etal. Artists at e.g.etal use diamonds that have been sourced from reputable Australian diamond and gemstone suppliers.
Kumboo (or keum-boo) translates to attached gold. It is an ancient Korean gilding technique, which is used to apply thin sheets of gold to silver. 24ct gold foil is applied to the silver using heat and pressure to produce a permanent bond. Daehoon Kang uses this technique on the inside of some of his rings or vessels, to highlight areas of a piece which may have gone unnoticed before.
Labradorite is a stone known for the iridescent play of blues and greens within it.
Lapis Lazuli is known for its azure-blue shade, which varies in intensity depending on how much of its principal mineral, lazurite, it contains. It is often spangled with tiny dots of pyrite.
Marcasite is a stone that appears dark and metallic.
A marquis is an oval cut stone that is tapered to a point at each end, usually used for diamonds. When this cut it is applied to coloured stones it is also known as a navette cut.
A matte finish, or a brushed finish, is a surface treatment that is applied to metal to remove the high-shine of a polished finish. The result dulls the surface of the ring slightly. Over time, this surface finish will polish back slightly and may become shiny. A matte finish is very easy to maintain and can be reapplied to the surface of the metal every now and then.
Mokume-gane is a mixed metal laminate with very distinctive layered patterns. This Japanese technique involves layers of alternating colours of precious metals being forged, formed and patterned to create swirling images of colour in a sheet of metal.
Moonstone is a member of the feldspar family and is a translucent milky-white stone. Moonstone, along with pearls, is the birthstone for June.
Onyx generally refers to the black variety of chalcedony, however onyx also comes in a variety of colours: white, red-brown, brown and banded.
Opals are characterised by their magnificent shimmering highlights. Harlequin opals are a milky white colour and reflect bright flashes of light in every myriad colours. Fire opals, as their name suggests, are red with red-orange highlights. The rarest variety, the black opal, is very dark with multi-coloured highlights. Opal, along with Tourmaline, is the birthstone for October.
Palladium is a precious metal of the platinum group found naturally within gold or platinum. It is too malleable to be used in its pure form and is therefore usually combined in an alloy to produce white gold.
Akoya pearls are known for their lustre and roundness in shape. These pearls tend to be small, ranging in size from about 2mm to 11mm.
Freshwater pearls are cultivated from lakes and rivers in Asia and are available in a huge range of colours including white, pink, purple, grey, green and gold.
South Sea pearls are also known for their wide range of colours with white, cream, grey and gold being the most popular. The average size of a South Sea pearl is 13mm.
Tahitian pearls are also called “black pearls”, however they are very rarely black in colour: they usually throw various other tones like green, pink, blue, purple, silver, yellow or peacock (a mix of several shades, similar to a peacock feather).
Pearls, along with moonstone, are the birthstones for June.
Peridot is a yellow-green stone, which is also called olivine when it is an olive-green shade. Peridot is the modern birthstone for August.
Platinum is a rare, unalterable, and malleable metal.
Polishing is used to create a high-shine surface on metal. The piece of jewellery is polished using a series of increasingly gentle abrasives, which results in a smooth, shiny and even finish.
David Elliot’s beads are made entirely from porcelain. Each bead is fired to a high temperature at which they vitrify, or become glass like, which ensures strength. They are then polished to impart a silky and sensuous texture. David uses mineral oxides to pigment the porcelain, which will not fade with wear.
Powder-coating is an industrial paint application process, which is used on metals to create an opaque and smooth finish. It is commonly known in commercial industries. Vicki Mason employs powder-coating on some of her brooches, pendants and earrings to compliment the coloured PVC in her pieces.
PVC is the acronym for Polyvinyl Chloride, otherwise known as plastic. Vicki Mason uses PVC as the focal point in her work; she cuts, dyes and sews each piece of PVC by hand, creating an amazing array of colours and textures.
Quartz is the second most abundant material in the earth’s crust. There are many different varieties of quartz, several of which are semi-precious gemstones.
Totally colourless quartz is known as rock crystal, although most quartz occurs in different shades to which it owes its different names: citrine is yellow, amethyst is purple, and prasiolite is green and so on. Sometimes inclusions can be present in such quantities as to render the quartz almost opaque.
A purchase valuation is included with every stone-set piece sold as part of the Precious Collection at e.g.etal. This document includes information you will need to provide to your insurance company should you choose to insure your ring (details of the metal carat and the stone, as well as the price that you paid for the piece).
Rhodolite garnets are a variety of garnet known for their pink shades. The colour of a rhodolite garnet can be dark to the point of being purple, depending on the proportions of iron and magnesium it contains.
Ring Profiles (half round, concave, flat, round)
The ruby is a precious stone that is a variety of corundum, known for its red colour. Its hardness and rarity is just behind that of the diamond. Rubies are the birthstone for July.
Sapphires are a variety of corundum known for their blue colour. Although blue is the most well known colour, sapphires are made up of any colour of corundum except red (as red sapphires are classified as rubies). They can also be colourless or black. The most popular colours of sapphires are pink, yellow, Ceylon, Parti and Australian. Parti and Australian sapphires refer to the stones, which have been mined in Australia. Australian sapphires are more commonly known and tend to be dark blue in colour. Sapphires are the birthstone for September.
Setting is the process in which a gemstone is secured into the metal. Types of setting include:
The bezel setting is a type of “closed setting”; a thin strip of metal is folded around the stone’s girdle or edge. The stone is therefore completely enclosed in metal, like Katherine Bowman’s Pledge rings.
Claw, pavé and bead settings are more modern styles in which more of the stone is exposed, allowing a maximum amount of light to enter the stone. Tiny metal claws attached to the piece of jewellery are bent over the table of the stone, like in Julia deVille’s Alex Louise Royal ring.
Another popular choice is the tension setting, in which the setting disappears from view to reveal the full brilliance of the stone. David Parker is fond of this method.
Shibuichi is a Japanese alloy that consists of one part silver to three parts copper. This combination of alloys assumes a coloured patina once it has been treated, as evident in Jill Herman’s vivid and bright collection of pieces.
Bleached silver refers to the white surface treatment given to some pieces of sterling silver. Annealing the metal involves heating the surface of the silver so that all of the fine silver rises to the surface of the metal to create a flat white surface. Yuko Fujita and Katrina Weber bleach many pieces of jewellery within their range.
Oxidising is the process whereby certain metals are oxidised on contact with oxygen, for example, with the surrounding air. Oxidisation causes sterling silver to naturally darken over time, although some contemporary jewellers prefer to treat the surface of the metal so that it is completely black, or oxidised.
Spinels are a group of stones, similar to a sapphire. The most sought-after shade is cherry-red, which resembles the colour of a ruby. Spinel also comes in many other shades of blue, green, yellow, brown or black.
Steel (Stainless Steel)
Stainless steel does not corrode, stain or rust as easily as ordinary steel. Generally, stainless steel is used for jewellery or watches and the metal can be refinished. This material will not oxidise or turn black.
- Steel (Mild Steel)
Topaz comes in a range of colours, the most precious of which is pink. Blue topaz and turquoise are the birthstones for December.
Tourmaline is a gem that comes in a vast array of colors. The most common colour for a tourmaline is green. Tourmalines and opals are the birthstone for October.
Turquoise is known for its intense color, which varies from sky blue to green-blue depending on the amount of iron and copper it contains. Turquoise and blue topaz are the birthstones for December.
Tantalum is a dark, dense, ductile, very hard and easily fabricated metal. It is very similar to titanium, only much darker in colour and much heavier. The largest Tantalum mine is in Western Australia. Sean O’Connell uses tantalum as a medium for jewellery; the metal is more commonly used in electrical products, planes, weaponry, camera lenses and surgical instruments.
Titanium is gunmetal grey in colour and is known for its light, strong, lustrous, durable and corrosion-resistant qualities. Titanium has the highest strength-to-weight ratio of all metals (it is as strong as steel, but 45% lighter). The metal won’t discolour over time and is more resistant to scratches and dents than silver.