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Glossary

Interesting jargon explained!

While we try to keep jargon to minimum, lots of terms unique to jewellery and watches inevitably creep into our descriptions of items and on other pages of the site. That's why we've produced this section to explain any terms you might not understand. We're adding words all the time, but if there are any other terms or expressions that you don't recognise, please contact us at onlinesales@fhinds.co.uk.

Albert
A chain with a T-bar fitting. These were originally attached to a pocket watch (or fob watch), frequently with a decorative medallion or other ornament attached to one end. Both the ornament and the whole ensemble were also sometime called a fob. Due to the decrease in waistcoat wearing, ladies borrowed their husband's or father's chains and wore these as fashionable necklets. As a result, new Albert style chains fastened with bolt rings instead of the traditional but heavy "swivel" fitting are now very popular. T-bars can also be bought separately to convert a standard chain into an Albert style necklet.

Alloy
An alloy is a combination of two or more metals. Common alloys used in jewellery and giftware in the UK are:
Gold 9ct (37.5% gold with varying amounts of other metals such as silver depending on colour and other characteristics wanted), 18ct (75% gold), 22ct (91.6% and very soft); Platinum 950 (95% platinum); Silver Sterling (92.5% silver); and Pewter (92% tin with lead, antimony and a bit of silver or copper). Click to read more about gold, platinum, silver and hallmarks.

Analogue display
The time on a watch or clock is indicated by means of traditional hour, second and minute hands.

Andralok
A patented pierced earring fitting with a hinge half way along the earring stem. After inserting the stem through the piercing, the hinged section 'snaps' down around the lobe holding the earring in place. This fitting is popular with those who find butterflies too fiddly or who are always misplacing them. Click to view F.Hinds' selection of andralok earrings.

Andraslide
A patented earring fitting for non-pierced ears. A U-shaped spring fits under the ear lobe and round the back of the ear to hold the earring in place. Claimed to be more comfortable than traditional clips as it does not grip so tightly, is lighter and not so bulky on the ear.

Assay
An assay is a test of the purity of an alloy. A tiny piece of metal is scraped from the piece and the percentage of gold, platinum or silver is determined. Official assay offices in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh determine whether a piece qualifies for an appropriate hallmark. Want to read more about hallmarks?

Automatic
A type of mechanical watch movement that is wound merely by the movement of the wearer's wrist. So long as the watch is worn daily, there is no need to wind it up manually. Automatic watches are exactly the same as mechanical except they do not need winding as long as they are being worn on a wrist. The movement of the wrist is sufficient to move an oscillating weight, which keeps the mainspring wound up. Click to read more about automatic, mechanical and quartz watches.

Baguette cut
A diamond cut, usually rectangular, but can also be tapered. Similar to emerald cut but with less facets.

Baroque
Baroque is a term that refers to irregularly shaped stones or pearls.

Bezel
The metal part of a watch that surrounds the glass face. The bezel can be rotating, especially in divers watches. Also the word for the removable surround that holds a coin or medallion in a ring, pendant or other mount and which enables the coin to be held securely without being damaged but also taken out if required.

Body jewellery
Conventionally used to describe jewellery for pierced parts of the body other than the ears e.g. belly bars, as well as new fashionable items such as toe rings and nose studs.

Bolt ring
A basic type of fastening for a necklace or bracelet consisting of a hollow loop with an internal spring operated catch, which is retracted then released when attached to a link at the other end of the chain.

Bracelet (watch)
A metal bracelet (usually stainless steel or titanium), which holds the watch to the wrist. Made up of links allowing the bracelet to fit any wrist comfortably.

Bracelet sets
Bracelet sets are matching watch and bracelet, or watch and necklace gift sets.

Brilliant cut
A 58 facet cut diamond. One of the most popular cuts today.

Brooch
A brooch (also called a pin) is an ornament that can be pinned to a garment.

Cabachon cut
When a stone is cut to have a rounded, domed surface with no facets.

Carat (scale)
Carat/karat (usually abbreviated ct or K) is a measure of the fineness of gold, where 24ct gold is pure gold (although this is not a fineness that you can buy as it is too soft for jewellery). 9ct gold is 9/24 gold (about 37.5% or 3/8 gold) and 18ct gold is 18/24 gold (about 75% or ¾ gold). The other standards in the UK are 22ct gold, which is 22/24 gold (about 91% gold) and 14ct gold, which is 14/24 gold (about 58% gold), but these are much less commonly used. Click to read more about gold and hallmarks.

Carat (weight)
Confusingly the word carat is also used as the scale to measure the weight of a diamond! 1 metric carat is equal to 0.2 grams. Diamonds are weighted in parts, with 1 carat being '1', so half a carat = 0.5ct, a quarter carat = 0.25ct etc.

Case
The body of the watch to which the bracelet or strap is attached. Cases are available in a wide variety of shapes and metals.

Case back
The cover on the back of a watch, which protects the movement. A case back normally snaps back into place or in the case of a water resistant model will be of the screw down variety to ensure water cannot permeate the seal.

Cathedral setting
A cathedral ring setting is a simple band with arcs like the arches of a cathedral nave when seen from the side.

Channel setting
A setting in which several stones are held in by two parallel gold or other precious metal borders and in which there is no metal between the individual stones, giving the appearance that they are floating within the setting. This is a popular modern style setting for eternity rings.

Chime
Clocks, especially long case clocks, can be set to play a tune, as well as, or instead of striking the hours. Common tunes are Westminster, Whittington or Winchester. You can listen to these chimes by visiting www.billib.co.uk.

Chronograph
A feature of many multi-function watches, sometimes with two or more dials, that can be used as a stopwatch, lap recorder, etc.

Claddagh
The "Claddagh" symbol (usually in the form of a ring) belongs to a group of finger rings called Fede or "Faith rings" which date from Roman times. Fede rings have the form of two clasped hands, symbolising faith, trust or "plighted troth". This general form of ring was popular in the Middle Ages throughout Europe, and there are examples in the National Museum of Ireland in Dublin. More specifically, about four hundred years ago in the fishing village of Claddagh, which is just outside the walls of Galway City in the west of Ireland, there was a goldsmith called Richard Joyce. Legend has it that he crafted the famous form of faith ring now known by the name of his home village and which today is one of the most familiar forms of Celtic jewellery. The Claddagh ring (or other piece of jewellery bearing the symbol) is particularly distinctive; two hands clasp a heart surmounted by a crown. The three elements symbolise: Heart - Love Faith in Friendship - the Hands Loyalty - the Crown.

The way in which a Claddagh ring is worn is important. Traditionally, when placed on the right hand with the heart facing out (i.e. with the crown facing in), the wearer's heart is still searching. When placed on the right hand with the heart facing in, there are possibilities. And when worn on the left hand with the heart facing in, your heart is truly spoken for.

Clasp
The fastening mechanism on a watch bracelet, or on a necklace or bracelet.

Claw setting
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 1800s.

Clip fastening
A traditional hinged earring fitting for non-pierced ears. Also refers to the typical fitting on bars for holding neckties in place.

Continental fitting
Usually used for drop earrings, this is a type of fastening for pierced earrings that utilises a hinged 'lever'; half of the hook wire slides through the piercing and the other half 'snaps' behind, closing the gap. This is popular for those who find butterflies too fiddly or are always loosing them.

Coronet setting
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.

Crosses
The cross is among the oldest and most universal symbols, and is particularly popular for jewellery. Fashion has favoured large crosses set with a variety of gemstones; a gold cross on a gold necklace is frequently given as a bridesmaid's present, and of course a cross is an ideal gift for confirmations or baptisms. Click to view our range of crosses.

Crown
Placed on the side of the watch case, used for setting the watch hands. Also known as a button.

Crystal glass
The cover of a watch dial made of glass, plastic, or synthetic sapphire, fitted with a bezel.

Cubic zirconia
Cubic zirconia (or CZ) is the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2). The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colourless, but may be made in a variety of different colours. It should not be confused with the natural gemstone zircon, which is a zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4). Because of its affordability, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic Cubic Zirconia has remained the most important diamond simulant.

Cufflinks
Cufflinks are pieces of jewellery (usually men's) that connect the buttonholes of the cuff of a shirt. Some cufflinks are two button-like objects connected by a chain; the buttons go through the cuff's buttonholes. Another type of cufflink has a decorative button attached to a bar whose end swivels out to form a T-shape that goes through the buttonhole. Cufflinks were first worn in the 1800s.

Dial
The dial sits on top of the movement and displays the time.

Diamanté
Diamanté stones (or Rhinestones) are highly reflective pieces of glass made to imitate gemstones. The originals were colourless quartz obtained from the River Rhine, which were cut in an attempt to resemble diamonds. The finest diamanté today is made of highly reflective lead glass, which is faceted and polished. Click to see our range of diamanté jewellery.

Diamond cutting
Has two meanings! Either:
a) Embellishing a plain piece of metal, commonly gold or silver, with a brightly cut, engraved pattern using a diamond tipped tool, or
b) Cutting a larger diamond into smaller ones suitable for setting in jewellery.

Digital display
Numerals are used to display the time on a watch or a clock rather than traditional hour and second hands.

Duo (or dual) display
A watch dial with both analogue and digital displays. This means that you can have a conventional dial with hands to show the time and also extra features such as an alarm or stopwatch.

Electro luminescence
A type of self-charging quartz movement made by Citizen watches. The dial acts like a solar panel in that light falling on it charges the battery which gives the benefit of quartz precision timing and you don't even need to wear the watch to keep it charged so long as you leave it in a light place.

Electroplating
The process of applying a decorative finish to base material. Electroplating can be used for gold plating, rhodium plating or palladium plating.

Electrosonic cleaner
A type of jewellery cleaning machine that cleans using sonic waves. While not as powerful as professional ultrasonic cleaners, it is a very effective way to share some of the same benefits in the home.

Embossing
A stamping technique in which a pattern (for example a scroll pattern similar to an engraved effect) is pressed onto a plain area of metal to leave the pattern in relief, i.e. standing proud above the plain background rather than cut in as in the case of engraving.

Emerald cut
A rectangular cut often used for emeralds (hence the name) but also for diamonds and other stones.

Enamel
Enamel is a glassy substance made from powdered glass with colourants, which is heated until molten, and then fused onto metal to form a decorative finish. This might be a simple lined border or could consist of a complicated multicolour pattern resembling a stained glass window. Varieties include cloisonné and champlevé.

Engraving
Commonly used for decoration and inscriptions on trophies or presentation plaques. The recipient's name, date and further details are engraved onto the surface. The technique can be used to create intricate design motifs as well as inscriptions.

Engine turning
Another engraving technique that can be applied to plain metal, and is frequently used on powder compacts, cigarette lighters and larger pieces. Geometric, criss-cross designs are generally favoured.

Eternity ring
An eternity ring is a narrow ring with a line of diamonds or other gemstones running all the way round. It is very symbolic romantically as the gift of an eternity ring symbolises a commitment for the rest of one's life (and beyond!) A husband often gives it to his wife after a number of years of marriage or the birth of a child to show that the commitment made at their wedding is as strong as ever. The most popular form of eternity ring today is called a half eternity ring - this has gemstones running around half the ring and a plain shank at the back, which enables alterations to be made easily over the following years. Click to view our range of eternity rings.

Facet
A facet is one of the flat surfaces of a cut stone or glass. Faceting is the cutting and polishing of the surface of a stone.

Fastenings - bracelets, necklaces and earrings
There are a wide variety of necklace and bracelet fastenings all with their own special names, selected for quality of appearance, weight and balance of the jewellery. Bracelet and necklace examples include bolt ring, jump ring, padlock, pearl fastener (barrel) and trigger. Fastenings for earrings include andralok, andraslide, clip, continental, hook wire, lever back and butterfly.

Faux
A term meaning imitation. For example, "faux pearls" is often used to describe simulated pearls.

Feng Shui
Not a jewellery term as such, but an increasingly popular inspiration for designers. Feng Shui literally means "wind and water". The ancient Chinese believed that, by balancing these two forces of nature, they could create harmony in their environment. From this would flow good luck, happiness, peace, wealth and wisdom. In recent years, such ancient, mystic beliefs have come to the fore again as people have searched for a meaning beyond their day-to-day lives and traditional religions.

Filigree
Filigree is gold or silver wire that have been twisted into patterns and soldered into place. Openwork filigree is not soldered onto a sheet of metal and is difficult to make. Imitation filigree is made of stamped metal.

Fineness
Fineness is the proportion of silver or gold in a metal alloy. Fineness is usually expressed in parts per thousand. For example, the fineness of sterling silver is 925. Click to read more about hallmarks.

Fluorescence
An attribute of many diamonds. Click here for a fuller explanation in our Diamond section.

Fob watch
A watch that is made to be attached to a lapel rather than strapped to a wrist. This type of watch is very popular with healthcare professionals - taking heart rate readings for example.

Gipsy style/setting
A gipsy (or gypsy) style ring is one with a recessed stone(s). Also known as a 'star setting'.

Girdle
The girdle is the widest perimeter of a gemstone.

Grandfather & Grandmother clocks
See longcase clocks.

Hallmark
A mark, or series of marks, on a piece of gold, silver or platinum jewellery to guarantee the purity of the metal. In the UK this is applied by an Assay office and is a legally required mark for precious metal items over a specific weight. As the oldest form of quality marking in the world dating back to the 13th century, the hallmark can be considered as the very first example of consumer protection. It also provides information such as the year of manufacture and the maker. Click for more detailed information on hallmarks.

Head
The top part of a ring visible on top of the finger. This might be the gemstones and their setting in a lady's ring or the flat gold area of a man's signet ring.

Hook wire fitting
Usually for drop earrings and also called a hook wire or safety wire fitting, these earring fittings hook through the ear and hang down behind the lobe. They have the advantage of not requiring butterflies, which can be fiddly or easy to lose, but are usually larger and more expensive. Safety wire fittings or 'continental fittings' also have a snap shut closure for extra security.

Intaglio
Intaglio is a method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface. Signet rings are frequently decorated with intaglio, as are seals.

Iridescent
The description is given to a gem that displays a spectrum of colours that shimmers and changes as it moves. These changes in colour occur due to optical properties of the gemstone that reflect and scatter the light. Opal is the most famous example of an iridescent gemstone (its milky white iridescence is called opalescence).

Jump ring
This is a fixed ring used to connect components in a finished article, or at the end of items such as necklets and to which bolt rings may be attached.

Karab clasp
A type of fastening that is held closed by a spring. It is opened and closed by holding a small lever, long enough to attach or remove from a link in a chain. Commonly used for fastening bracelet and necklaces. Also known as a 'lobster clasp' due to the lobster claw shape.

Keeper ring
A keeper ring is a ring that is used alongside another, more valuable ring to keep it securely on the finger. One classic design for a keeper ring is a shot ring.

Kinetic
Seiko's latest and most technically advanced watches are called Seiko Kinetics. They contain their own internal electrical generators - operated by natural wrist movements - making them independent of conventional storage batteries. A type of self-charging quartz movement available from Seiko & Pulsar. This acts in an equivalent way to an automatic movement in that the movement of the wearer's wrist charges the battery but has the added benefit of quartz precision timing.

LCD
Stands for liquid crystal display which is the way numerals are displayed in a digital watch or clock.

LED
Stands for light emitting diode which is the display of numerals in early digital watches.

Lever back fitting
Usually found on drop earrings, this is a type of fitting for pierced earrings that utilises a hinged 'lever' on the main part of the earring to close the gap to the end of the hook. Also called a "continental fitting" due to its popularity in Europe.

Locket
A locket is a pendant that can open up. Lockets have been used to hold pictures or locks of hair for centuries, and can also be used to keep a charm or other small, precious object. Oval, heart and book shapes have always been popular. Click to view our range of lockets.

Longcase clocks
Free standing clocks, more popularly known as grandfather clocks. Traditionally a Grandfather clock stands at 6 feet or more; a Grandmother is between 5 - 6 feet tall and a Granddaughter is a longcase clock standing at no more than 4½ feet. Click to learn about our range of longcase clocks from Bilib.

Loupe
A magnifying lens used by jewellers to closely study a gemstone or a hallmark. Gemmologists generally use a 10x hand held loupe while jewellers working at the bench often use a 5x eyepiece.

Lug
Metal projections at either side of the case, which hold the spring bar onto which the bracelet or strap is attached.

Marquise cut
A fancy 'boat shaped' cut used for stones.

Mechanical
A mainspring in a housing called a barrel powers a mechanical watch. The mainspring when wound by hand, unwinds very slowly, transmitting power to a system of interconnected gearwheels called the gear train. This in turn is connected to the escapement mechanism consisting of a wheel and a pallet fork, which transmits impulses to the balance wheel, making it oscillate. This is the element, which makes the characteristic ticking noise. There is a further train, which moves the hands of the watch. Click to read more about mechanical watches.

Millegrain setting ("thousand grains")
A setting in which the stone is secured by many tiny beads (hence "mille grains") of metal. It also refers to a band of metal that is decorated with tiny beads of metal.

Mineral glass
A hardened watch glass (or crystal) that is scratch resistant.

Minimum weight
When used for diamonds - all total weights of diamonds that we quote are guaranteed minimum weights. This ensures that you know what you are getting from us. Due to the importance of matching stone sizes, weights under 10 points are approximate, but even then, we ensure that the average weight of the items we sell is at least as much as we quote and frequently it will weigh a little more than this.

When used for gold jewellery - because of manufacturing processes, gold chains of similar length may vary slightly in weight. This is particularly true of chains with fancy links, which are often hand finished. We therefore quote approximate weights (10% tolerance), but even then, we ensure that the average weight of the items we sell is at least as much as we quote and frequently it will weigh a little more than this.

Moon Phase
The phases of the moon are displayed in a window on the watch dial.

Mourning jewellery
Mourning jewellery is a type of jewellery worn when one is mourning the loss of a loved one. It is often black, subdued jewellery (often made of jet or black glass and metal with a japanned finish) that commemorates the dead (sometimes cameos). After Queen Victoria's beloved husband Albert died in 1861, she went into an extended period of mourning. During these years, she wore black clothing and mourning jewellery. English fashion was greatly influenced by this, and mourning jewellery, especially jet, became quite fashionable for a considerable period.

Movement
The complete unit inside the watch that makes it work.

Nickel
A metal that was frequently used in fashion jewellery and occasionally as an alloy in gold jewellery. However, some people have an allergy or skin reaction to nickel which results in a rash, particularly if worn as pierced jewellery such as earrings. Recent European legislation - the "Nickel Directive" - strictly defines the amount of nickel that jewellery can contain, to ensure that it remains far below the level at which such skin reactions could become likely.

All the precious and fashion jewellery sold by F.Hinds naturally complies with this legislation, and nickel content is usually far lower than the legal requirement. It can therefore all be described as "nickel safe". In fact, much is completely nickel free.

Oval cut
An oval shaped diamond cut.

Padlock
Looking just like a traditional padlock (but without a key), this fastening clicks into place and is commonly used on gate bracelets.

Pavé set
When stones are set close together, showing no metal between them.

Pavilion
The pavilion is the top section of a gemstone above its widest point (the girdle).

Pearlescent
A word that describes the appearance of a gemstone or a finish e.g. a knife handle that reflects light in a pearl-like way, but which is not necessarily a pearl. A pearlescent look generally has an illusory depth to it, seemingly of different layers of semi-transparent white and off-white coatings. The appearance of mother of pearl is also described as pearlescent. Click to view our range of pearl jewellery.

Pearl fastener (barrel)
Pearls are traditionally fastened by means of a clasp, one side of which screws into the barrel of the other.

Perpetual calendar (in a watch)
A calendar mechanism within a watch that adjusts itself to the different months and leap years. Will continue until February 28, 2100.

Plating
If an item is described as being plated, in general this will be on top of a base metal unless otherwise stated.

Post and butterfly
For stud or drop earrings and occasionally also called a "French Fitting", this is the commonest form of earring fastening for pierced ears using a 'post' attached to the earring, which connects with a separate scroll shaped device (butterfly) to hold the earring in place. Replacement gold and silver butterflies are readily available from all F.Hinds stores. We also offer safety plastic earring backs with all earrings purchased for children - please ask for a free pair when you purchase. Butterflies that ‘screw' onto the ear for extra security are sometimes found on diamond earrings.

Power cell
Another name for a battery used in watches and clocks.

Princess cut
A square-cut diamond equivalent to a brilliant cut. Also called a Quadrillion or Squarillion cut.

Quartz
Rock crystal made to oscillate by electronic current. Maintains constant frequency according to its weight and mass. In modern quartz watches a synthetic material is used.

Quartz movement
The controlling mechanism used in most modern watches to govern the movement that enables the watch to keep time. This movement keeps extremely accurate time and helps to extend the life of the battery.

Rhodium plated
Rhodium is a transition element, belonging to the platinum group of metals. Rhodium plating is silvery-white in colour and used to both harden the surface it covers, and to create a brighter, more polished look to gold, especially white gold. Gemstones then show to their best effect and the claws holding the gems are firmer and less likely to damage. Rhodium plated jewellery is extremely hard wearing, tarnish resistant and will not be affected by body enzymes, perfumes and hair sprays, helping it to look good for years to come.

Rolled gold
This is a traditional process invented in the 19th century in which a sheet of gold is laminated to a base metal (usually brass). The two layers of metal are heated under pressure to fuse them together. This is then rolled to make a thinner sheet, which can be used to make jewellery or other objects. Although not solid gold, this method produces items that wear well over time. Rolled gold pieces are often marked rolled gold plate, "RG" or "RGP". The proportion of gold is identified by weight in terms of total metal content (e.g. 1/20).

Rolled gold is most often used today to manufacture heavy items that will receive a lot of wear, such as bangles, and which would be very expensive if made from solid gold.

RoyalCrest
Available from F.Hinds since 1995, the RoyalCrest is an attractive square to rectangular diamond cut. It is unusual in that it has a series of parallel facets across the crown of the stone forming an arch. This produces a balanced and attractive level of brilliance somewhere between the elegant emerald cut and the fiery princess. It is also extremely rare as it is the only cut of this type in the world. RoyalCrest. A triangular version of a brilliant cut with truncated corners.

Rubover setting
A stylish setting for gemstones in which the gold or other precious metal is formed into a rim that surrounds the stone and holds it in.

Sapphire glass
Glass covering a watch dial consisting of sapphire crystals made from synthetic sapphire. This glass is practically unscratchable.

Screw down crown
Used for watches; this type of crown is threaded and winds down to secure enhancing dust and water resistance.

Self winding
An automatic watch movement.

Settings
A setting is a method of securing a stone in a piece of jewellery. There are many different types of setting, some of the most popular being cathedral, channel, claw, coronet, gipsy, millegrain, pave, rubover and tiffany.

Shank
The shank is the part of a ring that encircles the finger, usually a plain band. The shank attached to the shoulders and head of the ring.

Shock resistant
If a watch is dropped onto a hard surface from a height of 3ft and it does not stop, it is judged to be shock resistant. Or if its daily rate is not affected by more than 60 seconds per day.

Shot ring
A traditional style of metal ring (i.e. not set with stones) with one or more parallel rows of ‘blobs' resembling shotgun "shot". These are worn by both sexes, although men's shot rings are often very heavy.

Shoulders
The part of a ring encircling the finger which connects the band to the setting/head at the top. Often decorated or stone set to complement the main part of the ring.

Signet ring
A ring that was used as a means of identification, usually for rich or important people. The plain gold head or flat gemstone (such as onyx, cornelian or bloodstone) was engraved with a symbol identifying the individual. This would usually be a coat of arms or initials. Some signet rings also had intaglio-carved seals, so that a relief impression could be made in hot sealing wax, for example to seal an envelope. The earliest known signet rings date from ancient Egypt. Today signet rings are often decorated with engraving and maybe the wearer's initials. Click to view our range of signet rings.

Simulant
A simulant is a material which simulates, i.e. resembles, another more valuable substance. It does not mean synthetic or treated versions of real stones. The most popular simulants found in jewellery are pearl simulants and diamond simulants. The most common diamond simulants are high-lead glass (e.g. Swarovski crystal) and Cubic Zirconia (CZ), both artificial materials.

While their properties differ markedly from those of diamond, simulants have certain desirable characteristics - such as dispersion and hardness - which mean they are effective imitations. Trained gemmologists with appropriate equipment are able to distinguish natural and synthetic diamonds from all diamond simulants, primarily by visual inspection.

Solar powered
For watches; panels capture the light converting it into electricity, which powers the quartz movement.

Spring bar
A metal pin used on most straps to fasten them to the watch case.

Stainless steel
Used more and more for watch casings and bracelets. Due to the latest developments in casting methods, stainless steel watches have a finer finish, are more durable, stronger, less likely to tarnish or dent. A dense, extremely durable, and rust-resistant metal, which does not require electroplating.

St. Christopher
A medallion, usually gold or silver, representing St. Christopher, the patron saint of travellers carrying a weary traveller across a river. It is supposed to give the wearer protection against the risks encountered when travelling and is sometimes decorated on the reverse with images of popular forms of land, sea and air transport. Usually worn as a pendant, but increasingly popular as a small charm on a bracelet. Click to view our range of St. Christopher's.

Sterling silver
Contains at least 92.5% pure silver.

Strap
Can be leather, simulated leather, plastic, resin, fabric or nylon. It is the band that holds the watch to the wrist.

Tachymetre (tachometer)
A measuring system located on the bezel or outer ring of the dial that can be used to calculate speed in mph or kph.

Tennis bracelet
A tennis bracelet is a simple, flexible, in-line diamond or other stone set (e.g. cubic zirconia) bracelet. The name was coined in the 1980s when the tennis player Chris Evert-Lloyd dropped her diamond bracelet at the US Open Tournament. She had to stop the match until she found it. Tennis bracelets have also been described as looking like a row of tennis balls! Click to view our range of tennis bracelets.

Tiffany setting
The Tiffany setting is a claw set ring with a high, six-pronged solitaire diamond on a simple circular band. Tiffany & Co. introduced this design in the 19th century. Some settings are closed (there is metal behind the stone), while others are open (there is no metal behind the stone), letting light shine through the stone.

Titanium
A dark grey metal best known for its use in the aerospace industry but which is also used in the manufacture of watch cases and bracelets. It is both functional (being light and strong), and fashionable. Titanium in its natural form is also used in jewellery as a metal for ear piercing studs for those who prefer a silver look or who may be sensitive to nickel, and when anodised (producing colourful surface swirl patterns) in fashion jewellery.

Torc (or Torque)
This style of bangle or necklace has a history that can be traced all the way back to Roman times; currently the bangles are very fashionable. Unlike bangles with hinges and fastenings, these bracelets are sufficiently pliable to be wound round your wrist, with a small gap between one end and the other. The bracelet ends are finished with a ball, which can be plain or embellished with gemstones, whist boxing gloves or hands, similar in design to Celtic Claddagh rings, are also available.

Translucent
Partially transparent - translucent materials allow light to pass through them, but the light is diffused (scattered). Translucent gemstones include opal, amber and moonstone.

Trigger
Also known as a karab or lobster claw clasp (one look at it shows why!), this is related to a bolt ring as it has a trigger which lifts a bar, allowing a jump ring or other loop to be inserted. It operates like a mountaineer's karabiner. This is a popular fastening for heavier chains. A squared lobster claw clasp is similar but with parallel side edges. Other, more obscure, fastenings include the box and the ladder.

Trillion cut
A triangular shaped cut.

Trilogy
Trilogy rings are set with three diamonds to symbolise the three stages of a relationship, your past, your present and your future. As a result, they are very popular as anniversary rings. Click to view our range of trilogy rings.

Waterproof
No longer used as a term as nothing can guarantee to be completely waterproof in all situations. See Water Resistance, above, for an explanation of more accurate terms.

Water resistance
Atmospheres (ATM) are the standard that water-resistant watches are measured against. One atmosphere is the air pressure at sea level and is equivalent to 10m of water.
3ATM (30 metres water resistant) - suitable for everyday use when in contact with water
5ATM (50 metres water resistant) - a watch that would come to no harm if worn in the shower or for recreational swimming
10ATM (100 metres water resistant) - a watch that could be worn for rigorous swimming, in the sea, diving and snorkelling
20ATM (200 metres water-resistant) - a watch that could be worn for scuba diving.

Please note that a depth such as "30M" is NOT the depth to which a watch may be taken - click here to learn why and for a fuller explanation of Water Resistance.

Wearable length
For neck-chains or bangles, the wearable length is the length of that part of the item actually around the neck or wrist and so excludes, for example, the "Y" part of a "Y" necklet.

World time
A watch that displays the current time in any time zone.