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Glossary

This is a list of some of the terms and abbreviations used.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z


Panther link

A flat chain in which solid links are arranged like bricks.

Paste

A glass-based substance used to simulate gemstones.

Patination

Patina is a chemical compound formed on the surface of metal. Patinas form on metal from exposure to the elements. The chemical process by which a patina forms is called patination, and a work of art coated by a patina is said to be patinated.

Pave

A large field of small stones set very close together to create a "wall-to-wall" paved effect.

Pavilion

The lower part of a cut stone, below the girdle.

Pearl

A smooth, round growth formed naturally within the shell of a mollusk due to an irritant and used as a gem.

Pearl knot

Knots that are tied between pearls to keep them from rubbing against each other and damaging their nacre, the iridescent layer we see on the surface of pearls.

Pendant

A charm or other item worn on a chain that swings freely.

Penny weight

see dwt.

Peridot

A transparent gemstone which is yellowish green to green in color. Peridot is the birthstone for August.

Platinum

The noblest of the noble metals, Platinum is a white, hard and very dense metal. Platinum is over 20 times rarer than gold. It takes 10 tons of ore to get one ounce of platinum, whereas gold takes 3 tons of ore for one ounce of gold.

Pleochroism

An optical phenomenon where due to double refraction of light by a colored gem or crystal, the light is divided into two paths which are polarized at a 90° angle to each other. As the divided light beams follow different paths within the stone and are traveling at different speeds, they may have the result of differential selective absorption, thus when they leave the crystal they have different colors, making the stone seem to be of different colors.

Point

Unit of weight for gemstones equal to one-hundredth of a carat.

Polish

Process used to make metal smooth and glossy. Increases shine and eliminates flaws.

Post

A pin-like finding attached to an earring. It passes through the pierced earlobe, and may be held in place by a back.

Precious metal

Gold, Silver, Platinum and the other members of the Platinum group.

Precious stones

Rare and costly gems such as diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

Princess cut

A modification of a brilliant square-cut gemstone

Prong

One of several claw-like wires used to hold a gem or stone in place.

Prong setting

The prong setting, sometimes called a claw setting, is the most commonly used gemstone setting and is especially popular for solitaire engagement rings. To create the setting, a gem is inserted into three or more metal prongs that form a basket-like base, then the ends of the prongs are bent over and shaped so that they rest against the gem to hold it securely in place.

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