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Jewellery Dictionary

CZ:  Cubic Zirconia is a form of zirconium dioxide. It is usually colourless and relatively flawless. Since its optical and physical properties resemble, to some extent, those of diamonds, Cubic Zirconia is often used as a very good imitation of one.


CZ was developed in a laboratory in the 1970’s, followed by commercial production.

Terms used to describe substances that are used to mimic another are faux, fake, imitation and simulant. It only becomes an issue when it is misrepresented as a diamond or other gemstone.


VERMEIL:  Vermeil is a combination of Sterling Silver with a layer of gold on top. To be considered vermeil, the gold must be at least 9 carats, and be at least 1.0 micron thick.


NICKLE-FREE: Gold or sterling silver that is alloyed without using nickel, because some people have allergic reactions and/or skin irritation when wearing the metal


PAVÉ:  A method of setting stones close to each other across an entire metal surface, so that it appears to be "paved" with gems. This popular setting gives a rich, textured look to jewellery. 


RHODIUM: A member of the platinum group of metals, rhodium is often used to give a platinum type finish and durability to silver or gold. This metal top layer is usually applied using electroplating


ELECTROPLATING: The process of applying a thin metal layer atop another metal, using a plating solution and electric current. This method is most often used to make jewellery more durable and shiny. 


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