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Glossary C : 50 - 100

Claw

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A claw is a metal prong that holds a stone securely in a setting.

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Claw Setting

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A claw setting is one in which a series of metal prongs (called claws) holds a stone securely in a setting (the claws grips the stone just above the girdle of the stone), with no metal directly under the stone (it is an open setting).  This setting lets light in under the stone, so this type of setting is usually used for transparent, faceted stones.  The modern-day claw setting became popular in the 1800's.

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Cleavage

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Cleavage is the natural way in which way a mineral breaks, along certain planes based on its internal crystalline structure.

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Cloisonné

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Cloisonné is a method of applying enamel to metal in which the design is first outlined on the metal surface using a metal wire.  The space between the wires is filled with enamel and then fired to a glassy sheen.

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Closed Setting

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A closed setting is one in which the back of the stone is not exposed (the metal is not cut away behind the stone).

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Cloud

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A cloud is a type of inclusion in some gemstones that has a milky appearance (and greatly affects the value of the stone).  A cloud is usually composed of a cluster of tiny inclusions.

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Cluster Setting

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A cluster setting is one in which small stones or pearls are set around a larger stone.

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Cognac Diamond

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A cognac diamond is a cognac-brown diamond (having a color of C7).  Most cognac diamonds are mined in Western Australia (in the Argyle Mine).  The color is produced by a their low nitrogen content.

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Collarette

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A collarette (also known as a bib necklace) is a short necklace with flowing ornaments at the front.

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Collet Setting

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A collet setting is a very early method of setting gemstones.  A collet is a thin, round band of metal that goes all around the stone.  One edge of the metal is crimped over the edges of the stone and the other edge is soldered to the metal of the jewelry, holding the stone in place.  This closed setting sometimes also had metal claws along the outside to hold the stone even more securely (the claws were not used much after the 1200's and 1300's.

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Colorado Ruby

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

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Color-Change Garnet

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Transvaal "jade" . Bright green grossular garnet.

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Colored Gold

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Yellow Gold . 50% silver and 50% copper.

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Composite Suite

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A composite suite is a piece of jewelry that can be taken apart into two or more pieces which can also be worn.  For example, a necklace may be disassembled into two bracelets.

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Confetti Lucite

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Confetti lucite is transparent plastic with glitter or other small pieces of material within it.  Whimsical bangles, earrings, pins, necklaces and other jewelry have been made from confetti lucite.

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Contra Luz Opal

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Contra luz (also spelled contraluz) opals are transparent opals that show a brilliant play of iridescence only when light shines through the stone. When the light is on the same side as the viewer, the iridescence is not readily seen (this quality makes it difficult to design jewelry using these beautiful gemstones). Contra luz means "against the light. Unlike other opals, contra luz opals are usually faceted (rather than cabochoned).

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Copper

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Copper is a soft metal often used in jewelry. It is used in making bronze, brass, and gold alloys.

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Coral

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Coral is an animal that grows in colonies in the ocean.  Coral polyps secrete a strong calcium structure that is used in jewelry making.  Coral ranges in color from pale pink (called angelskin coral) to orange to red to white to black.  The most valued colors are deep red (called noble coral) and pink.  In jewelry making, coral is either carved into beads, cameos, or other forms, or is left in its natural branch-like form and just polished.  It used to be thought that coral protected the wearer, so it was a traditional gift to children.  Coral has a hardness...

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Cornelian

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Cornelian (also called carnelian 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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Coronet Setting

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A coronet setting (also called châton or arcade setting) is one in which the stone is held in by many metal claws around a metal ring.

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Corundum

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Corundum is a very hard mineral (hardness 9); only diamond is harder.  Corundum is called ruby or sapphire, depending on the color (which depends on which metallic oxides are present).  In its rare pure form, corundum is colorless and called white sapphire.  Rubies contain chromic oxide, blue sapphires contain titanium, yellow sapphires contain ferric oxide.  Other impure forms are opaque.  Corundum stones can produce beautiful asterisms.  The word corundum comes from the Tamil word for ruby.  Corundum has a specific gravity of 3.96-4.1.

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Cuff Bracelet

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A cuff bracelet derives its name - and often its appearance - from a shirt cuff. Cuff bracelets are among one of the most ancient styles of jewelry.

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Cushion Cut

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Cushion cut stones are shaped like a cushion - they have a squarish shape that is rounded on the edges.  These stones usually have facets similar to those of a brilliant cut stone.

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Cut Stones

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Common cuts include the brilliant cut, old European cut, emerald cut, radiant cut, rose cut, step cut, pendelique cut.  Mixed cuts in which the style of the facets above and below the girdle are different.  Other, more unusual cuts, are know as fantasy cuts (like the heart cut).

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Concha

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A concha is a hammered silver disk or oval that often resembles a shell, flower, or sunburst.  Conchas often have raised designs (repoussage).  Conchas are traditionally used to decorate belts (a series of conchas are attached to a leather belt), bridles, and other items.  Concha is the Spanish word for conch shell.

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Conch

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Conch is a marine animal (a mollusk) with a large, beautiful pearly shell that varies in color, but if often white or pink (pink is the most valued color).  Queen conch has a large, pink shell.  Conch shell is often used to make jewelry.  Conch is made into beads and cameos.  Conch has a hardness of 2. 85 (it is relatively soft).

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Chrysolite

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Chrysolite is a name used for many stones.  During Victorian and Edwardian time, it referred to green-yellow chrysoberyl.  It can also refer to peridot.  Long ago, the name was used to refer to almost any yellowish gem.

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Chrysoprase

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Chrysoprase is the most valued variety of the mineral chalcedony (microcrystalline quartz) that contains nickel, giving it an apple-green color.  Chrysoprase is porous and translucent.  It is usually cut as a cabichon, and has been used since ancient times.  Chrysoprase has a hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 2.6.  Chrysoprase is mined in Australia, Russia (the Ural Mtns), Brazil, and the western USA.  Chrysoprase is sometimes called "Australian jade," but it is not related to jade.  Hard-to-detect imitation chrysoprase is made by staining agate with chromium salts.

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Cini

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Cini produces jewelry made of silver and gold-plated silver (vermeil), some with colored rhinestones (in later pieces).  Cini pieces are known for their beautiful workmanship, artistic designs, and intricate detail.  The company was formed by Guglielmo Cini, who was trained as a jeweler in Florence, Italy, and emigrated to the USA in 1922.  He made jewelry in Boston, Massachusetts but moved to Laguna Beach, California, in 1957.  The company went out of business in 1970, but has been reopened by the Cini grandaughters, Amy and Molly.

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Cire Perdu

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Cire perdu (French for "lost wax") is a process of casting metal in which the original model is sculpted in wax.  The wax is entombed in clay, and the wax is then melted out, producing a hollow mold.  The mold is then filled with molten metal.  The clay is broken off and the cast metal remains.

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Citrine

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Citrine (from the French for "lemon") is a rare, yellow type of quartz, a semi-precious stone that ranges in color from pale yellow to orange to golden brown.  The best quality citrine is found in Brazil.  Many of the stones sold as citrine are actually heat-treated amethysts.  Citrine has a hardness of 7 and a specific gravity of 2.65.

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Claddagh Ring

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A claddagh ring is an Irish ring that depicts two hands clasped together.

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Clarity

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Clarity is the clearness of a gemstone, or the lack of internal flaws.  The clarity scale for diamonds runs from FL (flawless, with neither internal nor external flaws), to I3 (having many clearly visible imperfections using only the naked eye).  A ten-power loupe is used to examine a diamond for clarity.

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Chrome Diopside

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Chrome diopside is an emerald-green colored gemstone.  It is a chromium-rich variety of the common mineral diopside (Calcium magnesium silicate).  Chrome diopside has a hardness of 5 to 6 and a specific gravity of 3.3-3.6.

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Châton Setting

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A châton setting (also called coronet or arcade setting) is one in which the stone is held in by many metal claws around a metal ring.

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Chromium

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Chromium is a hard, shiny, gray-white metal.  This metal resists corrosion very well and is used in costume jewelry as a coating over other metals.

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Chronograph

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A chronograph is a stopwatch mechanism on a watch; it can be started, stopped and reset independently from the watch.

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Chrysoberyl

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Chrysoberyl is a hard stone that ranges in color from yellow, to brown, to green.  Some chrysoberyls include alexandrite and cat's eye.

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Cubic Zirconium

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Cubic Zirconium are manmade replicas of gemstones. They are meant to look like precious gems but possess none of the hardness or durability of the real thing. They wear quickly and become dull and are not suitable for rings worn on a daily basis. CZ’s are fine for earrings, pendants or rings worn occasionally. They are very inexpensive.

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Crown

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The Crown on a ring is the top portion displaying most of the design elements. A crown is also the upper part of a gemstone.

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Costume Jewelry

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Costume Jewelry is low-cost jewelry made with inexpensive materials. These materials can consist of almost anything: plastic, wood, tin, copper, enamel, glass, crystals, cloth, etc. Gold, silver, platinum and real gemstones are, for the most part, not used in costume jewelry. Costume jewelry is often expensive to repair, if at all possible. Frequently, it costs more to repair costume jewelry than the original cost of the item.

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Cocktail Ring

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A Cocktail Ring is typically large and three dimensional and rises significantly off the finger. It is usually set with many colored gems and smaller diamonds. Cocktail rings are typically worn when dressed up and out to parties. They are not practical for everyday wear.

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Clasp

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A Clasp is a device used to join together the two ends of chains, bracelets, and necklaces. Clasps come in many different shapes and sizes.

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