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Glossary > G

Gablonz
Gablonz (Jablonec nad Nisou) is a city in the Czech Republic, in Bohemia, that is a center of jewelry making. Before World War 2, Gablonz was a center of high-quality glass-blowing, bead-making, and other costume-jewelry related products.

Gadroon
A series of small vertical, diagonal or twisted grooves applied as a border decoration on silverware.

Gagate
Gagate (popularly known as jet) is fossilized coal. It is a hard, lustrous black stone that was used in mourning jewelry during the Victorian era (especially after Queen Victoria's husband died and she went into a long-lasting mourning, affecting fashion). Jet is frequently cabochon cut. Gagate has been mined near Whitby (on the Yorkshire coast of England) since prehistoric times. It is also found in Spain. France, Germany, and Russia, but these other sources are said to be inferior to the harder, more elastic Whitby jet. Jet/gagate has a hardness of 2.5-4 (quite soft) and a specific gravity of 1.30-1.35 (it is relatively lightweight). Jet leaves a brown streak. When burnt with a red-hot needle, jet smells like coal Black glass and plastics are often used to imitate jet (glass is much heavier and harder than jet) - jet is warm to the touch.

Gahnospinel
Gahnospinel is a rare blue spinel stone that is high in zinc and magnesium. It can only be distinguished from most spinel by its high specific gravity and high refractive index. Gahnospinel has a hardness of 8, a specific gravity of 3.97. Its chemical formula is (Mg, Zn)Al2O4.

Gallery
A type of mounting with a pierced, openwork design resembling the gallery, (rear platform), of an early sailing ship.

Garland Style
A jewelry style popular in the early 20th century made possible by the introduction of the widespread use of platinum and characterized by lightness and delicacy that employed motifs such as garlands, ribbon bows, swags, and tassels.

Garne
Garné was a trademark of the Garne jewelry company, New York, New York, USA, which produced average-quality costume jewelry. The Garne mark was first used in June, 1945. The small Garne company made necklaces, pins, bracelets, earrings, watch fobs, and chatelaines

Garnet
A family of stones having many varieties differing in color and in their constituents, but all are silicates with the same isometric crystallization and conforming to the same general chemical formula. Garnet is a very commonly found in gneiss and mica slate. The name is derived from its resemblance in color and shape to the seeds of the pomegranate. The most common color of garnets range from light red to violet or plum-red, but can also be white, green, yellow, brown, and black varieties. It seems as though every shade and color of garnet is given its own name. Known varieties of garnet include Andradite, Tsavorite, Grossularite, Essonite, Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Melanite, Allochroite, Ouvarovite, Demantoid, and Rhodalite. (See individual listings). Garnets have a hardness that varies between 6-8 on the Mohs scale. It was believed that the wearer of garnets was kept in good health and protected while traveling. Garnets are worn to signify truth and faith. Red garnet is the birthstone for January.

Gaspeite
Gaspeite is a pale green to apple-green semi-precious gemstone that often has brown inclusions of its host rock. Gaspeite is translucent to opaque. This beautiful stone has only recently been used in jewelry, and is often set in silver. Gaspeite has a hardness of 4.5 - 5, and a specific gravity of 3.7. Gaspeite is Nickel Magnesium Iron Carbonate; its chemical formula is (Ni, Mg, Fe)CO3. This stone is found in Gaspe Peninsula, Quebec, Canada (where it was originally found and from which it derives its name) and Kambalda and Widgie Mooltha, Western Australia, Australia

Gem
A precious or semiprecious stone that may be used as a jewel when cut and polished. Include diamond, beryl, emerald, chalcedony, agate, onyx, tourmaline, chrysolite, sapphire, ruby, spinel, topaz, turquoise, zircon, cubic zirconia, jacinth, hyacinth, carbuncle, amethyst, alexandrite, cat's eye, bloodstone, hematite, jasper, moonstone, sunstone, and many others. Several organic materials like coral and pearls are also considered gemstones.

Gemstone
Today, the common definition of a gemstone is any precious or semi-precious stone, rock or mineral.
The explicit definition of a gemstone is a precious stone: diamond, ruby, sapphire, emerald and precious opal.
Semiprecious stones are any other rocks, minerals, or petrified material that is not classified as precious and which is used in jewelry or collected. Some semi-precious stones include: agate, topaz, carnelian, and jasper, lapis lazuli, jade and turquoise.

Genuine
Unless the word "genuine" is included in the description of a piece of jewelry, it could simply be using the term to describe the color of the piece rather than its actual content. For example, "gold" meaning gold toned, rather than actual gold. (See below) Or "amethyst" meaning amethyst colored, rather than containing an actual amethyst stone.

Genuine Pearl
A smooth, round growth used as a gem, a "genuine" pearl is one that formed naturally within the shell of a mollusk due to an irritant rather than having the irritant placed into the mollusk by hand or being made out of plastic.

Geode
A geode is a rock whose crystal-filled interior can be hollow or filled. The crystals that form within the mineral crust of the geode is called druze. From the outside, geodes look like rounded, but otherwise ordinary rocks.

German Silver
German silver (also know as nickel silver) is an alloy consisting of mostly copper (roughly 60 percent), and approximately 20 percent nickel, about 20 percent zinc, and sometimes about 5 percent tin (then the alloy is called alpaca). There is no silver at all in German silver. This alloy was invented around 1860 in Germany as a silver substitute.

Gerry's
Gerry's is a mark of Gerry's Creations, Inc., a costume jewelry company. Gerry's produced medium-quality to inexpensive jewelry, including figural pins (often depicting cute animals).

GIA
GIA stands for the Gemological Institute of America.

Gilding
An object decorated with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf or gold foil.

Gilt
Gold plated.

Gimmel Ring
A gimmel ring is a double ring that was designed during the Renaissance. It consists of two or more interlocking rings. A gimmel ring symbolizes the union of two people.

Gipsy Setting
The gipsy setting is a recessed setting in which the stone is sunk into the metal. There are often engraved designs around the stone (especially star patterns). This type of setting was developed in the late 1800's and was often used for rings. The gipsy setting is also known as the "star setting."

Girandôle
A style of earring or brooch in which a large stone or decorative element suspends three smaller pear-shaped pendants of similar design.

Girasol
Girasol (which means sunflower in Spanish) is a yellow or orange type of precious opal. Girasol is also known as hyacinth opal. In girasol, the play of colors seems to come from within the stone, like a floating light, and seems to follow the light source.

Girdle
The outermost edge of a cut gem when viewed from the side and top. It is the edge formed by where the top section (crown) and the bottom section (pavilion) of the cut stone meet.

Givre Beads
Givré beads are beads made of transparent glass fused around a translucent core. Givré means frost in French.

Glass
Glass is often used in jewelry, as beads (faceted or spherical), rhinestones and as poured glass.

Glass Paste
Glass paste (also known as pate de verre) is glass that is ground into a paste, put into a mold, and then melted. The final piece is an opaque, dense glass with a frosted surface.

Glove Ring
A glove ring is a clip-like device that is used to attach one's gloves to a purse (or other object). The glove ring has a clip on one end (for the gloves) and a chain with a clasp on the other end (to attach the device to a purse handle).

Glucinum
(Also called "Beryllium") A rare silver-white metallic element resembling magnesium. It is only found in nature combined with other elements, usually silica or alumina, in the minerals phenacite, chrysoberyl, beryl, euclase, and danalite.

Glyptography
Glyptography is the art of engraving gemstones, making intaglio and cameos. Stones are engraved using grindstones with powdered emory or diamond as an abrasive

Gneiss
A form of granite, but having the component materials, especially the mica, arranged in planes so that it breaks rather easily into coarse slabs or flags.

Gold
A yellow precious metal which is valued for its beauty and purity since it does not oxidize or tarnish like most other metals. It has been used for coins and jewelry for over 6000 years and from this has become regarded as a symbol of wealth. Gold is very ductile and is the most malleable of all metals. It can be cast into huge statues or beaten into wafer thin sheets of gold leaf. This malleability makes it too soft to be used in jewelry without being alloyed with other metals. (See Karat).

Gold Dore
Gold doré (pronounced gold doh-ray) is a bar of semi-purified gold (e.g. bullion). After being mined, the first stage in the purification process of the gold ore produces a cast bar (gold dore) that is approximately 90% gold. The other 10% is mostly metals like silver and copper.

Gold electroplating
Process by which sheets of gold of at least 10 karats and no less than seven-millionths of an inch thick are electro-chemically bonded to another metal.

Goldette
Goldette is the mark of the Circle Jewelry Products Company, New York, New York, USA (owned by David Gartner). The Goldette mark has been used since October, 1958. Goldette made good quality jewelry often based on Victorian styles, featuring gold-tone metalwork, intaglio, and/or enamelwork.

Gold Filled
(Also "Goldfilled", or "gold-filled", abbreviated g.f.) A piece of jewelry with a layer of gold mechanically applied to the surface of a base metal, (like brass or copper), can be called Gold Filled if the amount of gold equals one-twentieth of the total weight of the piece. Victorian pieces are likely to be unmarked, but later pieces are marked with the fineness of the gold layer, and the part by weight of the gold. For example a piece marked "1/10 12K G.F." is composed of at least 1/10 12K gold based on the weight of the finished piece. An older unmarked gold piece may often be identified by wear through to base metal, especially when viewing corners or edges under magnification. Look for a change to a darker, brassy colored material at these spots.

Gold Plated
Gold-plated metal has a very thin layer of gold on the surface, usually applied by the process of electroplating. Pieces that are gold plated are often marked G.E.P., gold electroplate, gold plated, or electro-plaqué d'or.

Gold Stone
Goldstone (also known as aventurine) is a shimmering quartz stone that ranges in color from yellow to red to light green to light brown. The shimmer is caused by tiny metallic particles (mica) within the stone (not gold).

Gold Tone
Jewelry finished with a gold color with almost no appreciable measurement of weight in actual gold.

Gold Washed
Products that have an extremely thin layer of gold, (less than .175 microns thick), applied by either dipping or burnishing the metal, but not plated.. This will wear away more quickly than pieces that are gold plated, gold-filled, or gold electroplated.

Golden finish
Jewelry finished so that it has the look of gold, but no actual gold content.

Golden Valadium
Stainless steel that has been electro-charged to resemble real yellow gold.

Goldstone
See Aventurine.

Good Condition
A piece of jewelry in Good Condition will show substantial evidence of wear. It will have a noticeable patina which may include numerous very fine pits or lines. It will not have cracks, chips, obviously discolored or poorly replaced stones, evidence of glue or other repairs, or other evidence of hard wear considered to be damage. Damage of any kind is separately detailed in the item description, and generally items with damage appear at very reduced prices in the Bargain section.

Goshenite
Goshenite is the pure, colorless form of beryl (Be3AlSiO6, related to emerald and aquamarine). This hard, transparent gemstone is named for the town of Goshen, Massachusetts, where it was first found. Goshenite has been found in North and South America (especially Colombia), Northern Europe, East Africa, South Africa, and the Himalayan mountains in Asia. Goshenite has a hardness of 7.5 - 8.0 and a specific gravity of 2.6 - 2.8. It is not enhanced. Goshenite is sometimes coated with a green foil to resemble an emerald.

Gothic revival
Jewelry that evokes the feeling of medieval Europe in its use of styles, symbols, and motifs. It began in the 18th century as part of the romantic movement.

Gram Weight
The weight, in grams, of a specific metal used in a piece of jewelry.

Graduated
A graduated necklace of beads or pearls has beads that go from a small size in the back of the neck and gradually increase in size to a maximum in the front of the necklace.

Grain
A grain is a unit of weight used for diamonds and natural pearls. Four grains are equal to one carat

Granite
A common igneous rock composed of quartz, orthoclase, and hornblende, often accompanied by pyroxene or mica. It is called granite because of the granular surface. Granite is frequently used for buildings and monuments.

Granulation
A technique often used in Etruscan Revival jewelry, granulation is the application of minute granules or grains of metal to the surface of a piece of jewelry to form a decorative pattern.

Grape Garnet
Grape garnets are a rare, intense violet to purple-red garnet. Grape garnets are made up of almandite and spessartite. They have a hardness of 7-7.5 and a specific gravity of 3.8 - 3.9. Grape garnets are found in the Orissa district of northwestern India.

Greasy
Used to describe a gemstone's luster. Some gems which exhibit a greasy luster are: nephrite jade, jadeite, soapstone, and talc.

Greek key
A design motif attributed to the ancient Greeks symbolizing the bonds of love, friendship and devotion. Greek key designs are repeating patterns of interlocking geometric shapes.

Green Diamond
Green diamonds are rare, fancy diamonds and are quite valuable. 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.

Green Garnet
Green garnets are Demantoid garnets, a valuable green, and very lustrous type of garnet. They are a rare variety of andradite. Demantoid garnets have characteristic inclusions that look like horsetails. Demantoid garnets has a hardness of 6-7 and a specific gravity of 3.8 - 3.9. Demantoids were very popular in the 1800's, but are rarely used today.

Green gold
An alloy made of gold mixed with copper, silver, zinc and often cadmium. The copper is what gives it the greenish tinge. It is commonly used with enameling to strengthen the color of the gold when set beside the bright enamels.

Green Rouge
Green rouge is chromium dioxide, which is used to polish precious metals, giving them a luster.

Greenstone
Greenstone is another name for nephrite, a semi-precious stone and a variety of jade. Nephrite is slightly softer that jadeite and is often veined; it is used in carvings, for making beautiful bowls and vases.

Grelot
Grelots are small beads that have an elongated, pendant shape.

Grey Gold
Grey gold is gold that has been alloyed with 15-20% iron.

Griqualandite
Griqualandite is tiger's eye from Griqualand, South Africa. It is a yellowish-brown to reddish-brown gemstone that has a silky luster. This gemstone has bands of yellow and brown; when viewed from the opposite direction, the colors are reversed. Tiger's eye is usually highly polished and set as a cabochon (or cut as a bead) to display the stone's chatoyancy (light reflected in thin bands within the stone). Tiger's eye is a type of chatoyant quartz with fibrous inclusions (especially crocidolite). This stone is sometimes heat-treated. Tiger's eye has a hardness of 7.0.

Grooved
The channel routed in a line.

Grosse
Grosse is a mark of the German jewelry company Henkel and Grosse. Located in Pforzheim, Germany, this company has been in business since 1938. Grosse has produced jewelry for Christian Dior since 1955. Grosse also produces jewelry for Burberry's. Later marks of Grosse have an acute accent on the final e, Grossé.

Grossular
Resembling a gooseberry, as with a grossular garnet, also called Grossularite.

Grossular Garnet
Grossular garnet is a type of garnet, calcium-aluminum silicate. Hessionite is a transparent brown, yellow, orange, or honey-colored variety of grossular garnet often used in jewelry. The yellow variety is called cinnamon stone, hyacinth or jacinth. Transvaal "jade" is a type of green to gray grossular garnet from South Africa. Pink grossular garnets varieties include landerite, rosolite, andXalostocite. Tsavorite is an emerald-green grossular garnet. Grossular garnet has a hardness of 6-7.5 and a specific gravity of 3.6.

Grossularite
A translucent garnet of a pale green color like that of the gooseberry, occurring alone or as a constituent of the common garnet. It may also be pink, brown, or black.

Guilloché
A style of enameling in which a continuous decoration is engraved by an engine-turned lathe and then covered with translucent enamel so that the engraving can be seen through the enamel.

Gunmetal
Gunmetal is a metal alloy that is composed of 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin.

Gutta Percha
Gutta percha is a resin from the Isonandra Gutta tree. Jewelry was made from gutta percha in the mid-1800's. Gutta percha was also used to insulate electrical cables. The Gutta percha company was founded by Dr. Montgomerie in 1845 and was in business until 1930.

Gypsum
A soft, white mineral composed of hydrous sulfate of lime. It is used as plaster of Paris.

Gypsy Ring
A gypsy ring (also spelled gipsy) is a ring with a recessed stone or stones. Also known as "star setting."

Gypsy setting
A setting in which the surface of the mount is virtually flush with the top of the gemstone.


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