Jewellery glossary

Our brand was born out of a love for jewellery making. We want to share our passion and knowledge with you to inspire you to make confident decisions about your jewellery purchases, adding pieces to your collection that you'll love for a lifetime. Browse our jewellery glossary to discover everything you need to know about jewellery and jewellery making. 



Jewellery making term

An alloy metal is a blend of at least two kinds of metal. Alloy metals are necessary to create long-lasting and durable jewellery, as many metals, including solid gold, are too soft to work with in their pure form. Different alloys can also create varying colors within a metal, such as rose gold and white gold. 


Jewellery making term

Assay is the process of testing the purity of a metal to confirm the stated type and quality. 


Baroque Pearl


Baroque pearls is the name used to refer to all pearls which aren't perfectly spherical. They are known for their organic shapes and irregular surfaces. No two Baroque pearls are exactly alike and they range in value based on their type, size, luster, and location of origin.  

Bezel Setting

Gemstone setting

In a bezel setting a gemstone is securily set with metal surrounding the stone, rather than using prongs or claws to hold the gemstone in place. A full bezel refers to when metal completely encircles the gemstone, while in partial bezel settings the metal only encircles a part of the gemstone. A popular choice for engagement rings, this setting is a modern alternative to more traditional settings. 


Jewellery finding

A finding component, most commonly used to hang pendants or charms from a necklace, range from pieces as simple as jump rings made of wire to much more complex and detailed designs. 


Jewellery finding

The band is the part of the ring that wraps around the finger. It is sometimes also referred to as the shank. 


Gemstone characteristics

Blemish is a term used to describe bumps, dents, and any other irregularities on a pearl's surface. It is also used for diamonds to describe surface level imperfections. For Baroque pearls in particular, blemishes are not considered imperfections but rather viewed as unique attributes adding to the beauty and iridesence of the pearl. 


Jewellery making term

Large amounts of precious metals, such as silver and gold, are stored as bullions before being processed into jewellery. 

Bespoke jewellery

Jewellery making term

Bespoke jewellery is jewellery created specifically for a client, often made using meaningful stones or to commemorate a special occasion. All of our bespoke jewellery is designed and handcrafted in collaboration with you by our skilled jewellers in our London workshops. 



Gemstone cut

While most gemstone cuts are faceted, a gemstone with a cabochon cut is shaped and highly polished resulting in a smooth, spherical surface. Gemstones with this type of cut are often bezel set. 

Claw / Prongs

Gemstone setting

Claws or prongs are used to hold a gemstone in place. They can vary in shape and size and be designed as a statement feature of the ring or kept minimal as a way to hightlight the gemstone. Both 4 and 6 prong settings are common. More prongs result in more secure settings. 


Jewellery finding

The clasp is what allows a necklace or bracelet to be easily put on and taken off. Some examples of common clasps include, ball clasps, box clasps, lobster clasps and spring ring clasps.


Gemstone characteristics

Gemstone size is determined by a special unit of measurement referred to as a carat. 1 carat is equal to 0.2 grams. 


Gemstone characteristics

Diamond clarity refers to the visual appearance of a diamond. The fewer inclusions and blemishes a diamond has, the higher the clarity grade will be. The clarity is graded on a scale from I (included) to FL (flawless), with sub-grades to provide more information on the visibility of the specific inclusions. 


Gemstone characteristics

Colour refers to the slight yellow tint, inherent in vast majority of white diamonds. To determine colour, diamonds are graded against a master set on a scale of D (colourless) to Z (light yellow). Colour is often considered the second most important of the 4C's as it is immediately noticeable in the diamond's appearance. 


Gemstone characteristics

Cut refers to how a gemstone is cut and polished from the raw material to create facets that absorb and reflect light, creating the gemstone's signature sparkle. While the two are often confused, a diamond cut does not refer to the shape of the diamond.  



Jewellery making term

The practice of engraving refers to cutting lines into metal to create precise designs or letters on the surface of the metal. It is often used to add special dates, quotes, or symbols to meaningful pieces of jewellery such as wedding bands or necklaces. 


Figaro Chain Link

Our chains

The design of this chain originates in Italy and consists of a pattern of two or three circular links interlocked followed by a single elongated rectangular link.


Gemstone cut

Facets are the flat and polished surfaces on gemstones. Geometrically arranged, facets create the light reflection, which results in the typical sparkle gemstones are famous for. Different gemstone cuts, such as brilliant, cushion, and emerald, are created through the way the individual facets are cut and polished. 

Fresh Water Pearls


Freshwater pearls are taken from oysters which mature in lakes and ponds as opposed to ocean water. Often less perfectly spherical than pearls found in sea water, freshwater pearls have grown in popularity due to the appeal of their more contemporary, organic shape. 



Gemstone certification

A Gemologist is responsible for examining both natural and lab-grown gemstones with the purpose of identifying, certifying, and describing the characteristics of gemstones. 

Gold Plating

Jewellery making term

Gold plating is the process of coating the surface of another metal with a layer of gold, offering a more accessible alternative to solid gold jewellery. All of our gold plated jewellery is made up of 925 sterling silver with a thick layer of 18ct gold on top. 


Gemstone certification

G.I.A. stands for the Gemological Institute of America. Established in 1931, they are viewed as the foremost authority on diamonds, gemstones, and pearls worldwide. Our white diamond one of a kind rings come with G.I.A. certifications. 



Jewellery certification

A Hallmark consists of official symbols added to jewellery to guarantee the composition of the precious metal.



Gemstone characteristics

An inclusion is a small imperfection in the structure of a diamond, formed as a result of the extreme heat and pressure needed to transform carbon to diamond. A diamond without any inclusions is incredibly rare. We like to see the beauty in imperfection, viewing inclusions as unique markers making each gemstone entirely one-of-a-kind.


Jewellery Care

Jewellery care guide

All jewellery needs care to remain looking its very best. At Maya Magal we handcraft our jewellery using high quality materials and timeless design for our jewellery to last a lifetime. To make this possible we offer our cleaning and care guarantee, meaning you can always stop by our shops to give your jewellery a refresh - or visit our jewellery care guide to discover how best to care for your jewellery. 



Jewellery characteristics

Karat is a measurement of the purity of metals. Used particularly in reference to gold, 24 karat is the purest form of gold, however, gold must be alloyed with other metals as it is too soft to work with in its pure form. Common gold karats used in jewellery include 9ct, 14ct, and 18ct. The higher the karat, the more expensive the jewellery. 

Kimberly Process

Gemstone certification

The Kimberly process is an initiative created to increase transparency within the in the diamond industry in an effort to eliminate the trade of conflict diamonds. A diamond certified by the Kimberly process is guaranteed to be conflict free. The majority of our diamonds are certified by the Kimberly process and each ring comes with its own certification. 



Our jewellers

A lapidary polishes, cuts, and engraves precious gemstones. 


Jewellery making term

Loupes are a small magnification device used by jewellers to help them when working with smaller or more intricate jewellery designs and gemstones.


Mohs Hardness Scale

Jewellery certification

The Mohs Hardness Scale measures the scratch resistance of a stone or mineral. Hardness is measured from 1 to 10, with 10 (diamonds) being the hardest.


Our jewellers

A mounter refers to the jeweller who crafts the framework for a gemstone or diamond to be set in. 



Gemstone setting

A type of gemstone setting, named after the French word for "paving", in which many small stones are set closely next to one another hiding the metal underneath to create the appearance that the stones are floating. This is a particularly popular setting for diamonds. 


Recycled Gold / Silver

Jewellery metals

Recycled metals such as gold and silver are made through melting down existing jewellery or objects and repurposing this metal into something new. Much of our solid gold and sterling silver jewellery is made using recycled gold and silver to help limit our impact on the environment.  



Gemstone setting

A solitaire ring setting features one special gemstone. An extremely popular choice for engagement rings, this traditional setting often features diamonds of varying cuts and shapes. The solitaire setting is also used for earrings and pendants. 


Gemstone characteristics

The shape of a diamond is the outline or form of a gemstone when viewed from above. While the two are often confused, shape does not refer to the cut of a gemstone, as one shape could be cut in a number of ways. 


Gemstone setting

There are many setting types jewellery makers use to hold a gemstone or diamond in place.  Every setting style is specifically chosen to enhance the beauty and brilliance of the stone. 

Solid Gold

Jewellery metal

In jewellery solid gold must be alloyed with other metals as it is too soft to work with in its pure form. 9ct, 14ct, and 18ct are the most common forms of alloyed gold used to create solid gold jewellery. 

Sterling Silver

Jewellery metal

Sterling silver consists of of 92.5% silver, typically alloyed with copper or zinc. Sterling silver is stamped with 925 to indicate its authenticity. 



Jewellery care

Tarnishing occurs over time, making sterling silver dull and discoloured.  Tarnishing is inevitable but can be removed with a quick polishing. To slow the tarnishing process make sure to avoid contact with water, and store your pieces in a dry, clean place. 



Jewellery making term

Vermeil is a type of gold plating in which the base metal must be silver and the gold plating must be thicker than 2.5 microns. 


White Gold

Jewellery metal

White gold consists of gold alloyed with silver or white coloured metals such as zinc, nickel, or palladium. This gives the gold strength and durability along with its white colour.