Jewellery is such a personal choice for so many of us. Unlike clothing, it can stay with us for years if not decades, making it important to choose pieces for your collection that truly speak to you, and that you can realistically see yourself wearing. 

With jewellery being such a highly technical, precision focused field and a creative outlet for designers, it stands to reason that a whole vocabulary has been developed around it.

Whether you’ve come across a perplexing word while perusing the Showcase Jewellers range online, or on a visit to one of our Australian stores, we’re here to help with our brief guide into some lesser known jewellery terminology – so you can sound like an expert.

Baguette

– What it isn’t: A long stick of bread native to France. 

– What it actually is: A gem cut into a rectangular shape, often seen on rings. 

Channel

– What is isn’t: A stretch of water separating England and France. 

– What it actually is: A stone setting technique, in which the gems are laid out between parallel borders. Similar to the bezel, a channel setting is a secure way to hold smaller stones in place, with no metal visible between them so as to give the appearance the gems are floating.

You can find a beautiful example of a channel setting with the W&D white gold diamond ring. 

Fineness

– What it isn’t: This term doesn’t have anything to do with appearance or how slender a piece is. 

– What it is: Fineness actually refers to the proportion of gold or silver in a metal alloy, or a blend of metals. As fineness is commonly expressed in “parts per thousand”, sterling silver jewellery has a fineness of 925, explains Encyclopaedia Britannica. 

Girdle

– What it sounds like: Yesterday’s shapewear. 

– What it really means: The widest perimeter, or the outer edge of a gem. 

Loupe

– How you say it: Just like the regular English word “loop”. 

– How it’s used: A loupe is a jeweller’s magnifying glass, designed to be held or to sit in the eye socket. It allows jewellers to inspect pieces for quality – often at up to x10 magnification. 

Pave

– How it’s pronounced: “Pah-vay”, meaning paved in French. 

– How it’s used: Like a paved road, in a pave setting the stones are fit together in a snug fashion so that no metal can be seen between them. A beautiful example of this type of setting is the Expressions cubic zirconia pave ring.