A Guide to Understanding Jewelry Store Terminology


Whether you're buying jewelry for the first time or you've shopped for a few pieces over the years, it's a good idea to know what you're talking about at the shop. The terminology can be confusing if you're not familiar with jewelry. 

These are some of the terms you should be familiar with as you shop for jewelry online or at a local shop.


A karat is a unit of measurement for the purity of gold. For instance, pure gold is 24 karats. If a piece of jewelry is labeled 18k, then that means it's composed of 75% gold.


Carat is also a unit of measurement, but it refers to the weight of a diamond or other gemstone.


The setting refers to the way a gemstone or stones are attached to the jewelry piece. Popular settings used in engagement rings and other pieces of jewelry include prong, bezel, and tension settings.

Gemstone Cut

This refers to how a gemstone is cut after it's been extracted from the ground. A well-cut gemstone will sparkle and shine more than one that's not cut properly. Popular cuts include round, princess, pear, and oval.


These are gemstones that are associated with each month. People often give jewelry pieces with birthstones as gifts to commemorate a special occasion or milestone.


Clarity is a measure of how clear or translucent a gemstone is. A high-grade stone should appear bright and vibrant with little to no blemishes or discoloration.


Cultured stones are artificially produced in a laboratory setting, so they look very similar to naturally occurring gemstones. They're often cheaper than their natural counterparts and can be used to create beautiful pieces of jewelry.

Color Grade

Color grade refers to the hue and saturation of a gemstone. A higher color grade indicates that a stone is more vivid in color.


Metals are used to create jewelry settings and also as decorations on their own. Popular metals include gold, silver, and platinum. A base metal might also have gold plating.

Costume Jewelry

Costume jewelry is usually made from inexpensive materials such as plastic and metal. It isn't meant to last for a long time and is primarily used for fashion purposes.

Talk to a Jeweler If You Have Questions

If you're ever unsure about a certain term or meaning, it's best to ask the jewelry store staff for clarification. They'll help you understand the terms and make sure you are getting the piece you want.

Speak to a jewelry supplier such as Diamond and Designs to learn more.


10 January 2023

Making My Look More Interesting

A few months ago, I caught a glimpse of myself when I was walking by a large mirror. I couldn't believe how old I looked. It was as if my personality had been sucked right out of my body. I knew that I had to do something to turn things around, so I went to a friend for help. She suggested sprucing up my look with a little jewelry, and I decided to give it a shot. I was nervous to wear earrings, bangles, and necklaces, but it made a huge difference. My blog is all about teaching people how to use jewelry in exciting ways, so that you can feel your best.