Jewelry Vocabulary: 10 Terms You Want To Know

Fond of fine jewelry? Or just looking for your first piece?
In either case, I’d like to offer some useful terms to help you as you scour the marketplace.

Most fine jewelry is connected to historical meaning, symbols or function.

So, in addition to knowing jewelry basics regarding precious metals (14K, 24K, platinum, palladium, etc.), it’s important to learn design terms and history before you invest in a precious piece. This is especially true if you are shopping for fine jewelry for the first time.

Honestly, I pick up something new daily. Sometimes my customers teach me things. Usually, I’m delving deep into research. There’s always something new to discover!

Below are a few terms that will have you talking like a pro.

1. Lariat necklace

The lariat, a long chain reminiscent of rope, is often worn draped multiple times around the neck. Sometimes this necklace incorporates a loop at one or both ends. This way, it may be worn like a lasso. Or it may be worn doubled over with the ends passed through the loop formed in the middle.

instagram user @kseniadesigns

2. Byzantine chain

This metal link chain design incorporates a rope-like texture and intriguing textural features. 

instagram user @pamasberry

 3. Mesopotamian Seal pendant 

The earliest civilizations used seals. In archaeology and art history, they had great significance. In ancient Mesopotamia, craftsmen carved or engraved cylinder seals in stone or other materials. These could be rolled along to create an impression on clay. They could be repeated indefinitely. The ancients used them as labels on consignments of trade goods, or for other purposes. They were normally hollow and worn on a string or chain around the neck.

Some featured finely carved images with no writing, while others had both.


Jean Grisoni Gold Pendant with Ancient Mesopotamian Cylinder Seal with Scene

4. Locket. A locket is a small object that opens to reveal a space, which holds items, usually a photograph. Often, a locket comes as pendant or sometimes is part of a charm bracelet. 


Edwardian era antique locket

 5. Claddagh ring. This traditional Irish ring is rich in symbolism. The hands represent friendship. The heart is associated with love. The crown signifies loyalty.

instagram user @irisdombrage

6. Figaro chain. This link chain incorporates a pattern of two or three small, circular links with one elongated oval link. The most distinguished figaro chains are manufactured in Italy.


instagram user @itspatriciamorales

7. Toggle clasp. This two-piece clasp has a bar which fits into a loop. The bar passes through the ring to secure the piece.


8. Trade beads. Old glass beads, mostly made around Venice 200 to 400 years ago, are used for trade in Africa and the Orient. In previous centuries, these colorful beads were often used in exchange for slaves, ivory, gold and other items.

instagram user @katopopstudio 

9. Mother of pearl or nacre. Some mollusks produce an organic-inorganic composite material as an inner shell layer. It also makes up the outer coating of pearls. It is strong and resilient.

instagram user @erina808

10. Tension set rings. I personally love this type of gemstone setting. Other settings have prongs that hold the stone. They may have a bezel or other mounting. Tension setting uses compression. The metal setting is actually spring-loaded to exert pressure onto the gemstone, and tiny etchings/grooves are added to the metal in order to create a shelf for the gemstone’s edges to rest. The gemstone appears to be floating in the air with nothing holding it in place.


Tension Set Ring

Out Of The Stream: Spice Up Your Wardrobe By Adding An Avant-Garde Piece

People use the word avant-garde a lot. One dictionary definition of the word reads “an intelligentsia that develops new or experimental concepts especially in the art.”

Honestly, it all comes down to innovation.

And these pieces by famous avant-garde designers and brands clearly illustrate this concept.

I love the designs that have an asymmetrical cut, unique shapes or the details that enable to create different looks.

Each of these pieces has a “flaw,” making the design exquisite, chic, and timeless.

Timeless Chic


Styling And Interior Design: Seaside Glamour

“Imagination is everything. It is the preview of life’s coming attractions.”

― Albert Einstein


Seaside Glamour: Morrocan Chic

Seaside Glamour

Could I Have That?

Sensitive People


Emotional sensitivity sometimes has a negative connotation. Some label highly insightful people vulnerable and weak. Nothing can be farther from the truth.

You may have a family member, friend or the loved one who is extremely responsive; and you may want to help him or her grow. Perhaps you are highly sensitive yourself. (If you recognize that, congratulations, it’s a big step in becoming a stronger person.)

I believe that you can transform any weakness into a strength. First, truly BELIEVE that your flaw is a positive point and build strategies accordingly. Yes, sensitivity is a strength.  It’s what makes you unique; it’s what makes you beautiful!  Celebrate your gift!

Here the steps that will make you even stronger:

  1. Cultivate and nurture your sensitivity. Instead of cursing it or distracting yourself with your hobby or job, experiment with your abilities by applying your sensibility in the way you connect with people, write, etc.
  2. Find a balance between spending time alone and in a fast-paced environment. Isolating yourself is not healthy. Likewise, a highly stimulating environment for a prolonged time can adversely affect you emotionally and physically.
  3. Often, our minds play tricks with us. We don’t listen to our instincts. Heed your intuition when you make major decisions, while using common sense, of course.
  4. Instead of delving into spiritual books and whining about your sensitivity, focus on building your character and growing a thicker skin. Push yourself out of your comfort zone. Do things you’ve never done before or feared in the past. Learn new skills. Explore.
  5. If you have a highly sensitive loved one, make a conscious effort not to reject or misunderstand him or her, especially at a young age, when the core values are formed.
  6. Exercise. Master your problem-solving skills by utilizing your innate creative force. Apply your natural ability to see the big picture by solving difficult tasks. Master your ability to simplify things.
  7. Eat the Godiva and enjoy the martini. Don’t be afraid to indulge occasionally, as long as you don’t form bad habits.
  8. Examine your circle of friends. Choose people who sincerely believe in your success and encourage you. Stay away from negative, insecure people.
  9. Find an unstructured workplace environment that allows you to learn new skills, develop several roles and grow quickly. A closely supervised job or profession of routine is simply not for you.
  10. Again, avoid routine. Let yourself fall in love. Sing.  Sample different cuisine. Travel. Visit a yoga or dance class. Find new ways to stimulate your senses, so you can live your life to the fullest.

Paisley Trend Takes Hold

My fashion-lovers,

What’s do you think of the paisley-print trend?

Famous designers, such as Givenchy, Jil Sander, Stella McCartney, Isabel Marant, Moschino, Mulberry and many others, incorporated this trend in their most recent collections.  Givenchy’s recent designs, which feature a combination of paisley prints and black-and-white geometrical patterns have been endorsed by numerous celebrities, including Nicole Richie, who is famous for her haute bohemian style. Click here to get her look for less. Paisley Print: Givenchy

Here are a few things you might want to know about this exotic print:

  • Etro, an Italian fashion house, used the paisley print to develop its first collection in 1981. Since then, paisley has became the brand’s signature print.
  • Paisley” is an English term for a design that uses the boteh, a droplet-shaped vegetable motif that originated India and Persia. The name derives from the town Paisley, in central Scotland, which is a center of textiles where paisley-printed designs were produced.
  • The pattern is sometimes called “Persian pickles” by American traditionalists or Welsh pears” in the Welsh textile industry.
  • Paisley designs became extremely popular in the West in the 18th and 19th centuries, following imports of post-Mughal types of the design from British India, particularly in the form of Kashmir shawls, and were then copied locally.
  • The Kashmir Paisley shawl became the symbol of love and the status symbol for affluent French, Russian and British women looking to highlight their beauty and taste for timeless fashion and art.
  • In late 1960s, the years known as summers of love, with festivals, the androgynous hippie look was a strong force on ladies’ clothing styles.  Paisley prints, headbands, tie-dyed shirts, braless looks and bell-bottomed jeans were very popular at that time.
  • Paisley prints are still popular in Iran and South and Central Asian countries.  Particularly in Iran and Uzbekistan, its use goes beyond clothing― paintings, home décor, jewelry, frescoes, garden landscaping, pottery, etc. Paisley Inspiration

An artist, dreamer, traveler or a woman who appreciates cultural diversity pulls off this look the best.  If you simply appreciate high fashion designs, you have to have at least one piece from Etro. Find a silk paisley foulard― a great versatile accessory,  which can be worn as a headband, an accessory around your neck or decoration for your favorite purse.


What are your thoughts on this trend? Are you on board with paisley prints?

Minimalist White Dress

Martin Margiela

Dress: Maison Martin Margiela
Shoes: BCBG (BCBGeneration) Cynthia Clear Pump
Purse: Nine West
Sunglasses: Nau!

Martin Margiela Dress Martin Margiela Dress Martin Margiela