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Jewellery & Watch Glossary

While we try to keep industry jargon to minimum, lots of unique jewellery and watch terms inevitably creep into our product descriptions and on other pages of the website. That's why we've produced this list - 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 email us at onlinesales@fhinds.co.uk.

Albert Chain
A chain usually with a T-bar fitting (see below for T-bar definition), usually attached to a pocket watch (or fob watch), and frequently with a decorative medallion or other ornament attached to one end. Both the ornament and the whole ensemble were also sometimes 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" fittings are now very popular. T-bars can also be bought separately to convert a standard chain into an Albert style necklet.

Alloy
A combination of two or more metals, usually to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion, or to produce a different colour. 9ct gold is 37.5% pure gold with varying amounts of other metals (the exact make-up will depend on colour and other characteristics wanted). 9ct white gold is 37.5% pure gold with the remainder made up of white alloys such as silver, platinum and palladium. Similarly 9ct rose gold will be 37.5% pure gold and usually at least 50% copper which is where it gets its blush tones from. 18ct is 75% pure gold, 22ct is 91.6% pure gold and very soft, Platinum is 95% pure platinum, sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and Pewter is 92% pure tin with lead, antimony and a bit of silver or copper. Click to read more about gold, platinum, silver and hallmarks.

Analogue Display (Watch)
The time on a watch or clock that's indicated by means of traditional numerals, dots, bars, Roman numerals etc. and hour, minute and second hands.

Andralok Fitting
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 behind the lobe holding the earring in place. Popular with those who find butterflies too fiddly or who are always misplacing them. Click to view F.Hinds' selection of andralok earrings.

Andraslide Fitting
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 clip ons as it does not grip so tightly, is lighter to wear 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, palladium or silver is determined. Once determined, the piece is stamped with a hallmark. Official Assay Offices in London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh determine whether a piece qualifies for an appropriate hallmark. Click to read more about hallmarks.

Automatic (Watch)
A type of mechanical watch movement that is wound by the movement of the wearer's wrist. As long as the watch is worn daily, there is no need to wind it up manually. The movement of the wrist is sufficient to move the oscillating weight inside the case, which keeps the mainspring wound up. Click to read more about automatic, mechanical and quartz watches.

Baguette Cut
A type of gemstone cut that's usually rectangular, but can also be tapered. Similar to emerald cut but with less facets.

Baroque
Refers to irregularly shaped stones or pearls.

Bezel (Watch)
Watches: Part of a watch that surrounds the glass face. Can be rotating, especially in divers watches and plain or decoratively etched.
Jewellery: The removable surround that holds a coin or medallion in a ring, pendant or other mount. Enables the coin to be held securely in place, but can easily be removed 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 Clasp
A basic type of fastening for a necklace, chain 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, titanium or ceramic), which holds the watch to the wrist. Made up of removable links allowing the watch to fit most wrist sizes.

Brooch
Also referred to as a pin, a brooch is an ornament that is pinned clothing.

Cabachon Cut
When a gemstone is cut to have a rounded, polished surface with no facets. Usually domed on one side and flat on the reverse, it is usually applied to more opaque gems such as amber and moonstone.

Carat (Metal Fineness)
Carat/karat (usually abbreviated ct or K) is a measure of the fineness (pureness) of gold, expressed in parts per thousand. 9ct gold (hallmark 375) is widely used across the UK with about 37.5% of pure gold, 14ct gold (hallmark 585) is 58.5% pure gold and 18ct gold (hallmark 750) is 75% pure gold. 22ct gold (hallmark 916) is 91.6% pure gold but is regarded as too soft to use widely in jewellery. Platinum (hallmark 950) is 95% pure and sterling silver (hallmark 925) is 92.5% pure. Click to read more about gold and hallmarks.

Carat (Stone Weight)
Confusingly, the word carat (ct) is also used as the scale to measure the weight/size of a gemstone. Diamonds are weighted in parts, with 1 carat being '1', so half a carat = 0.5ct or 1/2ct, quarter carat = 0.25ct or 1/4ct etc. Diamond weight can also be expressed in 'points' out of 100, so 1/2ct or 0.5ct = 50pts, 1/4ct or 0.25ct = 25pts. 'Points' is usually used instead of 'carat' when the stone is small or not a 'round' weight i.e. 10pts (0.10ct) or 61pts (0.61ct).

Case (Watch)
The main body of a watch which holds the movement and dial, to which a bracelet or strap is attached. Cases are available in a wide variety of shapes, sizes and metals.

Case Back (Watch)
The cover on the back of a watch which protects the movement. A case back usually snaps back into place once removed 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
Securely holds a gemstone in place and mimics the graceful arches of a cathedral building when viewed from the side. Usually accompanied with claws, a bezel setting or tension setting.

Channel Setting
When several stones are held in place by two parallel gold or other precious metal borders. Usually set in a line like a channel, there is often no metal between the individual stones giving them the appearance they are floating within the setting. A popular, modern style setting used 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 (Watch)
A feature of many multi-function watches that is used as a stopwatch or lap recorder etc. Chronograph watches feature two or more mini dials on the main dial (not to be confused with simple aesthetic mini dials), plus extra buttons on the side to start and stop the stopwatch function.

Claddagh
The "Claddagh" symbol belongs to a group of 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 (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 Fede ring which is now 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 the qualities of love (the heart), friendship (the hands) and 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 towards the fingertips (i.e. with the crown facing towards the wrist), the wearer is single and searching for love. When placed on the right hand with the point of the heart towards the wrist, the wearer is not looking for a relationship. When worn on the left ring finger with the point of the heart towards the fingertips, the wearer is engaged and with the point of the heart facing towards the wrist, the wearer's heart is truly spoken for i.e. married.

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

Claw Setting
A series of metal prongs (claws) holds a gemstone securely in a setting. The claws tightly grip the stone around its girdle. As an open setting it lets light in under and through the sides of the stone, so 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 on drop earrings, this fitting utilises a hinged 'lever'; half of the hook wire slides through the piercing and the other half 'snaps' shut behind, closing the gap. Very safe and comfortable to wear, this fitting is popular for those who find butterflies too fiddly or are always loosing them.

Coronet Setting
Also called a châton or arcade setting, this circular setting holds a stone in place with many high claws/prongs. When viewed from the side it resembles a crown.

Cross
Among the oldest and most universal symbols, jewellery fashion has favoured large crosses set with a variety of gemstones plus smaller plain crosses perfect for everyday wear. A gold cross on a gold chain is frequently given at confirmations or baptisms. Click to view our range of crosses.

Crown (Watch)
Placed on the side of the watch case, is used for setting the watch hands. Also known as a button and stem.

Crystal Glass (Watch)
The cover of a watch dial made of glass, plastic or synthetic sapphire. You may see it written as 'sapphire crystal glass'. Can be domed or flat with some models able to be replaced if cracked - supplier parts permitting.

Cubic Zirconia
Also known as CZ, it 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 widely used diamond simulant.

Cufflink
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.

Culet
The tiny point at the base of a gemstone, where the facets of the pavilion meet. It is often classed as the 58th facet.

Dial (Watch)
Sits on top of the watch movement and displays the time.

Diamanté
Also known as rhinestones, these 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 (Watch)
Numerals are used to display the time on a watch or a clock rather than traditional hour and second hands.

Duo or Dual Display (Watch)
A watch dial with both analogue and digital displays. This means you can have a conventional dial with hands to show the time and also extra features such as an alarm or stopwatch within a digital LCD screen.

Eco-Drive (Watch)
A type of self-charging quartz movement made by Citizen. The solar panel dial charges the rechargable battery which means it never needs to be replaced. Powered by light, any light, the watch does not need to be worn to keep it's charge (unlike automatic/mechanical watches), as long as it is exposed to light. Click to view our range of Citizen watches.

Electroplating
The process of applying a decorative finish to a base matel. Used for gold plating, rhodium plating or palladium plating.

Electrosonic Cleaner/Sonic Cleaner
A type of cleaning machine that vibrates and uses sonic waves to shake off dirt and grease from jewellery and watch parts. Whilst not as powerful as professional ultrasonic cleaners used in workshops, it can be an effective way to clean your jewellery from the comfort of your home. Click to purchase the F.Hinds Sonic Cleaning Kit.

Embossing
A stamping technique in which a pattern is pressed into a metal which leaves it in relief. The opposite of engraving when cuts are made into the metal, the embossed pattern stands proud above the plain background.

Emerald Cut
A type of cut applied to gemstones that's usually rectangular in shape. Often used for emeralds (hence the name), but also for diamonds and other gemstones.

Enamel
A glassy substance made from powdered glass and 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, often customers like to engrave their wedding rings with their wedding date for example. 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. Frequently used on compact mirrors, cigarette lighters and larger pieces. Geometric, criss-cross designs are generally favoured.

Eternity Ring
A popular and romantic jewellery item, the eternity ring symbolises commitment and love for eternity. Often gifted after a number of years of marriage or the birth of the first child, it is said to show a lifelong commitment to the recipient. Often worn 'stacked' on the ring finger alongside the engagement and wedding rings.

Can be 'half' or 'full': a half eternity ring boasts gemstones running around half the ring only, with a plain shank at the back. This enables ring size alterations to be made easily over the years, whereas full eternity rings are filled with gemstones around the entire band making them impossible to adjust. Click to view our range of eternity rings.

Facet
One of the cuts made to a gemstone. A classic round brilliant cut stone is made up of 58 facets or cuts. 'Faceting' is the cutting and polishing of the surface of a stone.

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

Filigree
Filigree is ornate gold or silver wire that has 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
The proportion of pure metal in a metal alloy. Fineness is usually expressed in parts per thousand, for example the fineness of sterling silver is 925 (92.5% pure). Click to read more about hallmarks.

Fluorescence
An attribute of many diamonds, it refers to its tendancy to emit a soft coloured glow when subjected to ultraviolet light. Roughly 25-35% of diamonds exhibit some degree of fluorescence which could affect its characteristics, but it's all down to personal taste; some shoppers may like it, some may not. Fluorescence is not part of the 4 C's and is graded by its intensity i.e. None, Faint, Medium, Strong and Very Strong. Diamonds with Medium-Very Strong fluorescence gradings will show a faint colour to the naked eye.

Fob Watch
A watch that is attached to a lapel rather than strapped to a wrist. Popular with healthcare professionals - taking heart rate readings for example.

Gipsy (Gypsy) Setting
Also known as star setting, this is a style of ring with recessed stone(s). Often used in men's jewellery where the stones sit flush in the metal so as not to catch on clothes.

Girdle
This is the widest perimeter of a gemstone, usually around the top when the point of the diamond faces down. Claws and other settings grip the girdle and hold the stone in place. Thin-Medium girdles, or at least consistent girdles are prefered as they are the most visually appealing whilst remaining suitable for setting.

Hallmark
A stamp, or series of marks on a piece of gold, silver or platinum that guarantees the purity of the metal. In the UK this is applied by one of four Assay Offices (London, Birmingham, Sheffield and Edinburgh) and is a legally required mark for precious metal items over a specific weight. Any piece of silver weighing over 7.78 grams must be legally hallmarked, any piece of gold or palladium weighing over 1 gram must be legally hallmarked and any piece of platinum weighing over 0.5 grams must be legally hallmarked.

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 when looking 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
A fastening used in drop earrings, thin hook shaped wires are threaded through the piercing and hang down behind the lobe. They have the advantage of not requiring butterflies, which can be fiddly or easy to lose. Safety wire fittings or continental fittings also have a snap shut closure at the back for extra security.

Intaglio
A method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface (similar to engraving). Signet rings are frequently decorated with intaglio, as are seal rings.

Iridescent
When a gemstone displays a spectrum of colours that shimmers and changes characteristics 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
A fixed ring used to connect components in a finished article, or at the end of items such as chains and bracelets to which bolt ring clasps can ay 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 bracelets and necklaces, also known as a 'lobster clasp' due to the lobster claw shape or carabiner clasp.

Keeper Ring
Traditionaly, this was a ring worn alongside others to keep them securely on the finger. More commonly, keeper rings refer to chunky, studded shot rings worn by men.

Kinetic (Watch)
A type of self-charging quartz movement available from Seiko & Pulsar. Kinetic movements act in an equivalent way to an automatic movement in that the movement of the wearer's wrist charges the battery, but it has the added benefit of quartz precision timing. 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.

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.

Locket
A pendant that can open up, often used to hold pictures or locks of hair, charms or other small, precious objects. Lockets have been worn for centuries and can be any shape; oval, heart and round being the most popular. Memorial lockets are becoming popular which can safely hold the ashes of a loved one. Click to view our range of lockets.

Longcase/Grandfather/Grandmother 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 hallmark. Gemmologists generally use a 10x hand held loupe while jewellers working at the bench often use a 5x eyepiece.

Lug (Watch)
Metal projections across the top and bottom sides of a watch case, which hold spring bars onto which a bracelet or strap is attached.

Marquise Cut
A fancy diamond shaped cut applied to stones, also refered to as a navette shape meaning 'little boat'. Consists of 58 facets and is clever in that it maximises carat weight; it can make a stone appear larger than other stones of the same size.

Mechanical (Watch)
A type of watch movement. When wound by hand, the mainspring unwinds very slowly and transmitts 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
Getting its name from a "thousand grains" this is a setting in which a 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 (Watch)
A hardened watch glass (or crystal) that is scratch resistant.

Minimum Diamond Weight
All weights (carats) of diamonds that we quote are guaranteed minimum weights. Due to the importance of matching stone sizes, diamond weights under 10 points (10pts/0.10ct) are approximate, but even then, we ensure that the average weight is at least as much as we quote and frequently it may weigh more than this.

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

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

Oval Cut
An oval shaped diamond cut that looks somewhere in between the popular round brilliant cut and pear cut. This shape optimises carat weight i.e. the stone can appear larger than it really is due to its wide top. Often chosen by those with shorter fingers as it looks to elongate.

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

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

Pavilion
The bottom half of a gemstone, sitting below its widest point (the girdle). It is usually hidden within a setting but it contains important facets (cuts) that help light bounce in and reflect out the stone, giving it brilliance and fire. The facets of the pavilion meet at the point at the bottom called the culet.

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 made of 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.

Perpetual Calendar (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 & Butterfly
Occasionally also called a 'French Fitting, this is the commonest form of earring fastening for pierced ears. Used in studs and drops, a 'post' attached to the earring connects threads through the piercing and is secured in place with a separate scroll shaped device (butterfly). Butterflies that 'screw' onto the post are sometimes found on more expensive diamond earrings for extra security. Replacement gold and silver butterflies can be purchased online here.

Princess Cut
A square cut diamond created by Betazel Ambar and Israel Itzkowitz in 1980. Looking square or slightly rectangular when viewed from above, it resembles a pyramid shape when viewed from the side. The second most popular cut after round brilliant, princess cut stones are slightly cheaper as the cut lends itself to more flaws and imperfections. However, present flaws (if any) are often in the corners and can be hidden by settings and claws.

Quartz (Watch)
A controlling mechanism used in most modern watches that enables the watch to keep time. Using a standard lithium battery, a quartz movement keeps accurate time and helps to extend the life of the battery.

Rhodium Plating
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. Rhodium plated jewellery is 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
A traditional process invented in the 19th Century in which a sheet of gold is laminated to a base metal. 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.

Round Brilliant Cut
Arguablly the most popular diamond cut featuring 58 facets with the most ideal proportions to enable to best light distribution, fire and scintillation of the stone. First created by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919, round brilliant cut stones produce little waste when being cut and ensures even the smallest of stones offer excellent light dispersion.

Rubover Setting
A stylish setting for gemstones in which the gold or other precious metal is formed into a rim that completely surrounds the stone and holds it in. Smooth, comfortable to wear and protects the stone from dirt.

Screw Down Crown (Watch)
A type of button and stem/crown that's threaded and winds down to secure dust protection and water resistance.

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

Shank
Part of a ring that encircles the finger, usually a plain band. The shank attaches to the shoulders and head of the ring.

Shock Resistant (Watch)
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.

Shoulders
Part of a ring that connects the shank (band) to the setting/head at the top. Often decorated or stone set to complement the main head of the ring.

Signet Ring
A ring that was traditionally 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, which 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 and 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 (Watch)
Solar panels within the watch capture light and convert it to electricity which powers the movement.

Spring Bar (Watch)
A metal pin used on most watch straps to fasten them to the watch case.

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

St. Christopher
A medallion, usually gold or silver, representing St. Christopher carrying a weary traveller across a river; the patron saint of travellers. 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
A metal containing at least 92.5% pure silver.

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

T-Bar
A type of clasp used on neck chains, pocket watch chains or bracelets. A 'T' shaped bar is threaded through an open circle.

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

Tennis Bracelet
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.

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 lightweight and strong), hypo-allergenic and fashionable. Titanium in its natural form is also used in jewellery as a metal for ear piercing studs and body jewellery, and when anodised (producing colourful surface swirl patterns) in fashion jewellery.

Torc (or Torque)
A style of bangle boasting a history that can be traced all the way back to Roman times. Unlike bangles with hinges and fastenings, torc bangles are sufficiently pliable to be gently twisted over the wrist via a small gap (think of it as a C shape) and gripped to fit. The ends are often finished with a ball which can be plain or embellished with gemstones.

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 Clasp
Also known as a karab, carabiner or lobster clasp, this is similar to a bolt ring clasp as it has a trigger which lifts a bar, allowing a jump ring or other loop to be inserted. A popular fastening for heavier chains.

Trillion Cut
A triangular shaped cut for gemstones, also known as trilliant, trillian or trielle. Comprised of three equal sides, it produces a unique style that has immense fire and displays sharp brilliance if cut to the correct depth. Often used as side stones to complement larger round brilliant cut, princess cut or cushion cut solitaires at the centre.

Trilogy (Three Stone)
Trilogy rings or trilogy jewellery is set with three gemstones to symbolise the three stages of a relationship: the past, present and future. As a result, three stone rings make very popular as anniversary rings. Meghan Markle's three stone engagement ring has certainly brought the trilogy ring to the forefront of the engagement ring selection process. Click to view our range of three stone rings.

Water Resistance (Watch)
Measured in atmospheres (ATM), one atmosphere is the air pressure at sea level and is equivalent to 10m of water. The most common ratings are:
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 literal depth to which a watch may be taken.

World Time
A watch that displays the time in multiple time zones around the world.
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