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Pearl and Jewelry TermsPearl and Jewelry Terms

Necklaces

Choker
About 16". Worn for both formal and casual occasions.
Princess
About 18". The most popular length, it is a longer version of the choker.
Matinee
About 22". The usual length for daytime wear.
Opera
About 30-32". The preferred length for formal wear; often in two strands.
Rope
About 40" or longer. Configurations include two strands, three strands and knots.
Clasp
The metal piece that closes the necklace. Mikimoto clasps are engraved with the trademark outline of an Akoya oyster enclosing the letter M.
Knot
Knots tied between each pearl in a necklace prevent pearls from scattering if the string breaks.

Rings

Single Row
Several cut stones of the same size lined up next to each other without separation.
Eternity
Gems of the same cut and size wrapped around the entire circumference of the ring to symbolize eternal love. Rings with a half circle of stones are called 'half eternity' rings.
Solitaire
An elegant setting of one single gem.

Earrings

Drop
Designs that dangle below the earlobe.
Hoop Type
A circular design, going from front to back of the earlobe.
Earclip
A metal fitting holds the earring in place by gently pinching the earlobe.
Post
The part of a pierced earring that goes into the earlobe.
Earbacks
The metal fitting that secures the post of a pierced earring.
Screw
A screw-like fitting with a threaded post and an earback that turns onto the post to close.

Pendants

Spring ring
A round-shaped lock at one end of a chain. The chain is closed by inserting the tag inside the lock.
Chain Tag
Inserted into the spring ring lock to close the chain.
Lobster Claw
Similar to spring ring lock but with an elongated shape.

Brooches

Stickpin
A brooch with decorations on the face of a long pin, held with a fitting on the underside.
Pin Brooch
An ornamented brooch held in place by a pin, a catch and a joint hinge.

Bracelets

Bangle
A round or elliptical bracelet, rigid in structure, that slips onto the wrist without a clasp.

Techniques

Prong Setting
A technique for setting jewels; small wire prongs hold stones in place.
Bezel Setting
Setting jewels by surrounding them with a thin, flat piece of metal.
Channel
A technique that sets small cut stones between two strips of metal.

Setting

Pavé Setting
Involves placing stones known as melee up against one another like paving stones, held in place by "beads" of metal.
Mille Grain
Using a chisel to produce continuous fine granular relief patterns on the edge of the base metal.
Open work
Creating a pattern by inserting openings with a jeweler's saw.
Matte finish
Finishing the surface of a metal for a soft rather than bright luster.

How to Buy Pearls

How to Buy Pearls

Pearl Art & Science

Pearl Art & Science

The Romance of Pearls

The Romance of Pearls

Caring for Pearls

Caring for Pearls