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Gemstones and Stone Setting Glossary

Gemstones Glossary


Fossilized tree resin, typically golden-brown in color, used for jewelry and carvings.

A purple variety of quartz, known for its vibrant color and often used as a gemstone in jewelry.


A blue to blue-green variety of the mineral beryl, valued for its serene color and clarity.


A group of phosphate minerals, occurring in a variety of colors including blue, green, and yellow.


A variety of quartz with shimmering inclusions, often green but can occur in other colors.


A green variety of chalcedony with red spots resembling drops of blood.


A red or reddish-brown variety of chalcedony, often used for engraved seals.


A transparent, yellow to brownish-orange variety of quartz, often used as a gemstone in jewelry.


A brilliant and highly valued gemstone composed of carbon atoms arranged in a crystal lattice structure.


A green variety of the mineral beryl, prized for its rich color and transparency.

Garnet (Varieties: Almandine, Pyrope, Rhodolite, Spessartine, Uvarovite, and Andradite):

A group of closely related minerals with various colors, including red, green, and orange, frequently used in jewelry.


An iron ore with a metallic luster, often used for beads and cabochons.


A tough, usually green gemstone often used in carvings and jewelry, composed of either jadeite or nephrite.


A blue silicate mineral used as a gemstone.


A feldspar mineral with a play of colors, often blue or green.

Lapis Lazuli:

A deep blue, metamorphic rock that has been prized for centuries as a gemstone and ornamental material.


A green copper carbonate mineral, often banded with lighter and darker greens.


A feldspar mineral that exhibits a unique play of colors, often resembling the glow of the moon.


A volcanic glass with a smooth, shiny appearance, used for cabochons and beads.


A gemstone known for its iridescence and play-of-color, composed of silica spheres.


An organic gemstone produced within the soft tissue of a living shelled mollusk, valued for its luster.


A green gemstone variety of the mineral olivine, known for its vibrant color.


A red variety of the mineral corundum, highly valued for its color and hardness.


A gemstone variety of corundum, occurring in various colors, with blue being the most prized.


A blue-violet variety of the mineral zoisite, discovered in Tanzania and often used in jewelry.

Topaz (Varieties: Blue Topaz, Imperial Topaz:

A gemstone available in a variety of colors, including blue, yellow, and pink.

Tourmaline Varieties: Watermelon Tourmaline, Paraiba Tourmaline:

A group of minerals with various colors, including pink, green, and watermelon, commonly used in jewelry.


A blue to green mineral often used as a gemstone in jewelry, prized for its unique color.


An organic gemstone formed by the skeletal remains of marine polyps, often used in jewelry.


A gemstone available in various colors, often used as a diamond substitute in jewelry.

Gemstones Terms

Faceted Gemstone:

A gemstone that has been cut and polished with multiple flat surfaces, known as facets, to enhance its brilliance and sparkle.


A gemstone that has been shaped and polished into a smooth, rounded, and domed form without facets.


The ability of a gemstone to reflect light and create sparkle, often associated with faceted gemstones.

Mohs Scale of Hardness:

A scale that measures the relative hardness of minerals, determining their resistance to scratching. Commonly used for gemstones.


Any internal flaw, imperfection, or foreign material within a gemstone, visible under magnification.


The degree to which light can pass through a gemstone, affecting its overall appearance. Transparent, translucent, and opaque are common transparency levels.

Color Saturation:

The intensity or vividness of a gemstone's color, ranging from pale to highly saturated.


The dispersion of light into spectral colors as it passes through a gemstone, creating flashes of color.


A phenomenon where a gemstone exhibits a band of light that moves across its surface as it is viewed from different angles. Also known as the cat's eye effect.


A phenomenon where a gemstone exhibits a star-like pattern of rays when viewed under direct light. Common in star sapphires and star rubies.

Carat Weight:

A unit of measurement for gemstones, with one carat equivalent to 200 milligrams.


The optical property of a gemstone that causes double refraction of light, resulting in a perceived doubling of images.


The ability of a gemstone to display different colors when viewed from different angles.


The emission of visible light by a gemstone when exposed to ultraviolet light.


A measure of a gemstone's resistance to scratching and abrasion, often measured on the Mohs scale.

Specific Gravity:

The ratio of a gemstone's weight compared to the weight of an equal volume of water. It helps identify the type of gemstone.


The quality and intensity of light reflection from a gemstone's surface.


The tendency of a gemstone to break along planes of weakness, resulting in smooth surfaces.


The separation of white light into its spectral colors as it passes through a gemstone, contributing to the gem's fire.


A gemstone's resistance to scratches, measured on the Mohs scale.

Optical Effects:

Visual phenomena observed in gemstones, including asterism, chatoyancy, and color change.


A carved relief image, often depicting gothic or Victorian-inspired scenes, set in jewelry as a pendant or brooch.

Stone Setting Glossary

Bezel Setting:

A technique where a metal collar is wrapped around a gemstone to secure it in place, leaving the top of the gem visible.

Prong Setting:

A setting that uses metal prongs to secure a gemstone, allowing more light to reach the stone and enhance its brilliance.

Channel Setting:

A setting where gemstones are secured between two parallel metal walls, creating a continuous row of stones.

Pave Setting:

A setting technique that involves closely setting small gemstones, usually diamonds, side by side to create a surface that appears paved with stones.

Flush Setting:

A setting in which the gemstone is set into the metal, with its table flush or level with the surface of the jewelry.

Tension Setting:

A modern setting where the gemstone is held in place by the pressure of the metal band, creating the illusion that the stone is floating.

Bead Setting:

A setting technique where small metal beads are pushed down to secure a gemstone in place.

Cluster Setting:

A setting style where multiple small gemstones are grouped closely together to create the appearance of a larger stone.

Cabochon Setting:

A setting designed specifically for cabochon-cut gemstones, securing them without the need for facets.

Invisible Setting:

A setting method where gemstones are placed side by side without any visible metal, creating a seamless and continuous appearance.

Gypsy Setting:

A setting where a gemstone is flush-set into a concave surface, with the metal surrounding the stone.

Halo Setting:

A setting where a central gemstone is surrounded by a circle or halo of smaller stones, often enhancing the overall brilliance.

Split Prong Setting:

A variation of the prong setting where each prong is split into two, creating a more delicate and intricate appearance.

Beading Setting:

A setting style where metal beads or granules are arranged around the gemstone for decorative purposes.

Cathedral Setting:

A setting where arches of metal rise up on either side of the gemstone, resembling the architecture of a cathedral.

Basket Setting:

A setting that resembles a basket, with metal wires or prongs supporting the gemstone from beneath.

Illusion Setting:

A setting technique that uses metal plates or mirrors to create the illusion of a larger or differently shaped gemstone.

Suspended Setting:

A setting where the gemstone appears to be suspended between two points, often with an open design.

Rail Setting:

A setting where gemstones are secured between two parallel metal rails, allowing light to enter from the sides.

Tube Setting:

Setting small gemstones into cylindrical metal tubes to create a sleek and modern look.