Thursday, 20 May 2010

Jewellery Glossary Part A

The past couple of days since my last blog has flown by. Not only getting our other website ready with adding the vintage beads, buttons and other craft material. But the garden has commanded attention. Every thing is growing so quickly at this time of year.

So surrounded by boxes of antique and vintage jewellery, larger boxes of vintage bead and envelopes stuffed full of vintage buttons. (really do need to get some more boxes) I thought just a quick blog today!!

Glossary of antique jewellery and vintage jewellery starting at the A's

AGATE - Quartz with strata of different colours or inclusions which resembles moss or plain coloured. Named for the river Achates

AIGUILLETTE A shoulder knot usually jewelled worn by the Victorians and before on low cut dresses, one on each shoulder matching or just one shoulder similar to a larger brooch

ALBERT A fine gold chain with a bar at one end and a fitting to hold a watch at the other.

ALEXANDRITE A variety of chrysoberyl (gemstone - this name is no longer used as caused confusion, but used extensively in the Victorian period) which is green by natural and red by artificial light. Named after Alexander 11 of Russia because it first came to light on his birthday.

AMAZONITE Opaque green fieldspar (a rock forming important mineral used extensively in industry)

AMETHYST A violet quartz (thought in ancient times to protect its owner from drunkenness)

ANNEALING Softening metal by heating to remove brittleness

ARTIFICIAL QUARTZ Every natural crystal virtually has an artificial counterpart. It can be very difficult to distinguish one from the other. First manufactured in 1845 but until the 1970s was not used extensively in the jewellery industry. Includes Austrian Crystal     

 Miracle are renowned for producing jewellery using artificial quartz or agate stones
But be warned they also use real pieces mostly in their silver jewellery but some is unmarked
Roman shield brooch by Miracle

AVENTURINE QUARTZ Quartz with glittering flakes of mica (a mineral that has the properties that seem to glitter) inside them.

Quartz or semi precious gemstones are used in costume jewellery. It can be very hard to distinguish between glass and mock stones. Jewels and Finery invested in a gem tester to help identify the components in many pieces of antique and vintage jewellery.


Swarovski crystal is the brand name of cut lead glass. The name crystal derives from the Italian Venetians using the word cristallo to describe rock crystal that the famous Murano glass manufacturers imitated in their glass ware. 

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Part owner of Jewels and Finery UK website. We sell vintage jewellery right up to new designer jewellery and accessories. Love being different and unique as well as unusual. Learn about the history of jewellery as well as looking at beautiful jewels