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Glossary C : 1 - 50

Choker

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A choker is a type of necklace that fits tightly around the neck.  Chokers are from 14" to 16" in length.

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Chinese Opal

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Chinese opal is a misnomer for pearl opal (a type of organic opal), moonstone, or white chalcedony.

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Chenier

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Chenier is fine, hollow tubing that is used in the production of some jewelry findings (like clasps and joints), and lately, in the actual production of jewelry.  The hollow tubes are lightweight and save in the use of gold.  The tubes are hard to bend when they are empty, so a metal rod is inserted before bending, facilitating the bending.

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Chatoyancy

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Chatoyancy is the lustrous, cat's eye effect seen in some cabochon stones, like cat's eye, tiger's eye, and sometimes in other stones, like aquamarine.  In chatoyancy, light is reflected in thin bands within the stone.  Chatoyant stones are cut in cabochon to maximize the lustrous effect.

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Chaton

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A chaton is a stone with a reflective metal foil backing.

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Chatham Synthetic Ruby

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Chatham synthetic rubies (laboratory-created rubies) were introduced by Carroll Chatham in 1959.

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Chatelaine

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A Chatelaine is a set of household tools each attached to a chain and usually worn at the waist.  Chatelaine tools frequently included scissors, a needle holder, thimble, vinaigrette, pin cushion, etui/necessaire, writing tablet, pencil, perfume bottle, seal, boot hook, etc.

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Chasing

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Chasing is a type of metal decoration in which the metal is manipulated using a hammer and a punch, resulting in an effect similar to engraving or embossing.

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Charoite

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Charoite is a very rare, bright purple mineral used as a gemstone.  This silicate is only found in Russia (at the Chary River at Aldan).  Charoite is transparent to translucent and has a hardness of 5.

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Charm

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Charms are tiny, representational ornaments that are worn on bracelets and necklaces.

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Champlevé

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(meaning sunken enamel) Champlevé (also called email champlevé) is a method of applying enamel to metal in which the design is first outlined on the metal surface by cutting lines into the surface.  The engraved grooves are then filled with enamel, then fired to a glassy sheen, and polished.  Champlevé is similar to cloisonné, but not as delicate.

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Champagne Diamond

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A champagne diamond is a pinkish brown diamond (having a color of C2-C3).  Most champagne diamonds are mined in Western Australia (in the Argyle Mine).  The color is produced by a their low nitrogen content.

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Chalcedony

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Chalcedony is a family of minerals (microcrystalline quartz) that are often milky to gray to bluish in color.  Chalcedony includes agate, carnelian (waxy red), chalcedony (blue), chrysoprase (green), onyx (black and white), bloodstone, sard (brownish-red), jasper (hornstone), seftonite, and others.  Chalcedony is porous and translucent.  Chalcedony has a hardness of 6. 5-7 and a specific gravity of 2.6.

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Cfw

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CFW is an abbreviation for cultured freshwater pearls.

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Celtic Jewelry

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Celtic jewelry was made by the Celts in Ireland, Wales, Scotland, and Brittany.  The Celts used bronze, silver and gold in their jewelry and stones like cairngorm and amethyst.  Circular brooches with a long, hinged pin, called penannular brooches, date from ancient times.  The earliest-known piece of Celtic jewelry is the Hunterston brooch from AD 700.

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Cellini, Benvenuto

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Benvenuto Cellini (1500-1571) was the pre-eminent Italian jeweler during the renaissance. Cellini's intricate works utilized beautifully-cast metals, enamel, table-cut gems, and pearls.

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Cat's Eye Chrysoberyl

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Cat's eye (chatoyant chrysoberyl) is a yellow to green-yellow to gray-green stone with a bright, pupil-like slit that seems to move slightly as the stone is moved.  Most Cat's eye is cut as cabochons to maximize the distinctive pupil-like effect.  Most cat's eye chrysoberyl is found in Brazil.  Cat's eye chrysoberyl has a hardness of 8.5.  This stone is sometimes enhanced by irradiation (this process improves the color and accentuates the stone's asterism).

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Cathedral Setting

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A cathedral ring setting is a simple band that arches when seen from the side (like the arches of a cathedral).

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Carnelian

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Carnelian (also called cornelian and carneole) is a reddish form of chalcedony (a type of quartz). This translucent stone has a waxy luster. The best carnelian is from India. Most commercial carnelian is really stained chalcedony. Carnelian has a hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 2.61.

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Carbuncle

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A carbuncle is a cabochon-cut garnet.

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Carbonado

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A carbonado is a rare type of opaque black diamond; they are not used for jewels, but for items like drilling bits and abrasive wheels.  They were once thought to have been formed as a result of a comet impact 2 billion years ago, but this is no longer thought to be true.  The largest diamond ever found was a carbonardo that weighed over half a kilogram.  Carbonadoes are found in Bahia, Brazil, South America.  Unlike other diamonds, carbonadoes are not found in a crystallized form - they are found in irregular or rounded fragments.  Carbonadoes have a hardness of...

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Cape Ruby

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A Cape ruby is actually a pyrope garnet (and not a ruby at all).

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Cape Amethyst

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Cape amethyst is a form of amethyst that is layered or striped with milky quartz.  Cape amethyst is a translucent gemstone that ranges from light- to medium-purple and has white bands.

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Canary Diamond

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Canary diamonds are diamonds that have a deep yellow color.  Diamonds are precious, lustrous gemstones made of highly-compressed carbon; they are one of the hardest materials known.  Diamonds have a hardness of 10, a specific gravity of 3.5, and a refractive index of 2.417-2.419.

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Cameo Habille

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A cameo habille (meaning "dressed cameo" in French) is a "jewel within a jewel," a cameo in which the subject carved in the cameo (usually a woman) is wearing a miniature piece of jewelry (like a tiny diamond necklace with a stone embedded in the cameo).

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Cameo

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A cameo is a relief carving (a carving that comes up above the surface) on a shell or stone.  In multi-colored cameos, a layered substrate is used (with two different colors), and when part of the upper layer is carved away, the second color emerges as the background.  Cameos are frequently portraits of women.  Many imitation cameos are made from pressed glass or plastic; some of these use two different colors.

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Calsilica

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Rainbow calsilica is a newly-found, multi-colored, layered stone composed of calcium and silica.  This stone has been recently used for Zuni fetish carvings and in some jewelry (beads and cabochon cut stones).  Rainbow calsilica was only recently found in Mexico or Northern South America (it's origin remains mysterious).  Some people theorize that this stone formed as a result of the runoff of mining or oil-drilling chemicals, and has only formed in the last 30 to 50 years (but this is uncertain).

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California Ruby

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A California ruby is actually a pyrope garnet (and not a ruby at all). Rainbow calsilica.

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Calibre-Cut

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Calibre-cut stones are small stones that are cut into special shapes that are meant for use in commonly-used designs.  These stones usually have step-cut facets and are generally rectangular shaped.

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Cairngorm

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Cairngorm is a yellow-brown type of smoky quartz that is often used in traditional Celtic jewelry.  Cairngorm is not Scottish topaz.  The supply of cairngorm is virtually exhausted, so heat-treated Brazilian amethyst is used as a substitute in Scottish jewelry.

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Cabochon

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A cabochon is a stone that has a rounded, domed surface with no facets.  A cabochon garnet is also called a carbuncle.

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Channel Setting

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In a Channel Setting, multiple gemstones are set in a row between two walls of metal, in other words, “the channel.” The gemstones are held in place by their edges tucked inside a groove in the inside wall. Channel-set gemstones are smooth to the touch and resist catching on clothing.

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Casting

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Casting is a process in which melted metal is poured into a mold and allowed to harden. After a piece of jewelry is removed from the mold, it is filed, polished and if need be, set with gemstones.

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Carat

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Carat (with a C) refers to the weight of a gemstone. Abbreviation: ct. Example: 2.3ct carat diamond ring. Note: Karat (with a K) refers to the percentage of gold in fine jewelry. See “Karat.”

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