Tag Archives: antique jewels

Jewelry Terms: Endearing

Starting with “E”

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Edna-May-jewels-necklace

Edna May – is a necklace type that has two stones hanging from it; the second one attached below the first and ensconced in a cluster of smaller stones.  Worn mostly during the turn of the 20th century, it derives its nomenclature from an American actress of the same name, who often sported one.  While she starred in the film “David Copperfield,” she wouldn’t be caught dead wearing copper.

Egyptian Blue – who knew that those fancy pharaoh, ancient Egyptians used synthetics?  Egyptian Blue refers to a man-made pigment that was ubiquitously used in art and architecture, intended to mimic tantalizing turquoise and luscious lapis lazuli stones.  It’s a composition made of quartz, copper, some organic plant material and possibly mummies.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-jewelry-Egyptian-blue

Electric Jewelry – is kind of hilarious.  It’s a style that was all the rage during the latter part of the 1800’s, where jewelry pieces and ornaments designed for the hair would move tither and thither.  This mystical phenomenon (referred to as “en tremblant”) was achieved with the aid of a tiny battery hidden in the piece.  This whimsical tradition still lives on today, in little dancing snowmen pins your gramma gets you around the holidays from CVS, for two dollars.

En Esclavage – is a somewhat gaudy style used in necklaces and bracelets, where several #swag chains hold together a bunch of plaques.  The plaques can feature all manner of things, such as images of loved ones, flowers, jewels and even other plaques – in a sort of plaque-ception.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-jewelry-sexy-lady-En-Esclavage

En Pampille – that’s right; get ready to be pampered in a waterfall of gemstones.  Here is another trend of the roaring 1800’s, where the jewelry (pendants, brooches, earrings, cell phone cases) featured sparklers of decreasing size, culminating in little pointy, stabby shapes.

via Pinterest.com
via Pinterest.com

Enseigne – is a kind of badge that was worn on hats during the illustrious 1500’s.  These enseignes could feature a portrait-like image of the wearer, a family crest, a favorite figure from mythology or this popular story book called “The Bible.”  Precious metals, lavish enameling, pricey gemstones and the like were the norm on these widespread badges, which many people donned – except, of course, those who exclaimed “We don’t need no stinking badges!”

Entourage – …please, no references to the show/“film”… this is a ring style where a prominent center stone is encircled by a group of more diminutive stones (routinely diamonds).  This method of setting is known as “cluster setting” – as in, “I’m in the center of a cluster of fools, namely Johnny Drama and Turtle.”  Sorry, couldn’t resist.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-Entourage-ring

Equipage – a preterite French phrase that connotes all of the essential every day articles that people would carry around with them.  This falls into the jewelry category, because all these components would be contained in a little Étui.  And that is:

Étui – a small, decorative container that French courtesans and maids alike would carry around with them.  Basically, you put your stuff in there.  They were usually gold or silver, and had intricate design patterns etched onto them.  The not so fair sex would sometimes use étuis too, but larger in size, so they didn’t feel so emasculated for carrying around a little fancy canister.

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Escalier – is a jewelry style featuring huge triangular links, used in bracelets.  A miniature version of this would be replicated for rings in a bezel mounting.  Escalier comes from the time period known as “retro,” which followed Art Deco (so the mid-1930-40’s).  Today we think of anything from the past as retro, so you’d probably instinctively call any Escalier themed jewelry ‘retro,’ without even knowing how accurate that was:  *mind blown*

-Joe Leone

Delightful Jewelry Terms

Terms starting with “D”

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-daguerreotype-flower

Daguerreotype – combining science, fashion and technology, the daguerreotype is second only to the diamond encrusted Apple Watch in  the coolest inventions in the world of jewelry history category.  Developed in 1839 by French photographer/innovator/dawg, Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre, it’s a sort of photograph that would appear on a copper plate, after it was subject to host of potentially lethal chemicals.  Anything for fashion, dahling.

Damascene – is a method used to decorate a metal surface with gold or silver wire inlay in order to create a “scene,” or depiction of an event.  Initially popular in Asia, the Mid-East and eventually Europe, this style of artistry is credited with inspiring the first person to ever use the phrase “…You’re making a scene.”

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-gold-inlay-damascene

Decade Ring – should obviously be given as a present to someone every 17 years.  Thought to have been developed during the 1400’s, the decade ring has ten protrusions jutting out along the band.  These were used to keep track of the ten prayers Christians were supposed to say (like rosary beads), but also doubled as excellent bowling pin counters as well.

Demantoid – Sadly, no: this is not a demented demon humanoid.  This is a gemstone that had quite the time finding its own identity.  Initially mistook for peridot and a host of other greenish sparklers upon its discovery, it was eventually deemed demantoid (which means “diamond-like” or “Shines bright, but only like a diamond.”)

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-demantoid-stone-green

Diaperwork – …now that doesn’t sound that fancy at all… This term is applied to a style of patterning where interlocking shapes are repeated over and over in an alternating manner (to oversimplify it).  This can achieve an intricately beautiful effect, and, it should be noted, will never not sound funny.

Diaphaneity – refers to the way that light passes through an object.  A degree of scientific complications only rivaled by the amount to syllables in this word, there are three basic forms of diaphaneity; opacity, translucency and transparency (this last one isn’t a reference to a parent that has elected to switch genders).

Dichroism – is a doubly daring and dazzling dance of light!  When light refracts out of a gemstone in two different shades (when viewed at varying angles), this is the phenomena of dichroism.  It’s like getting a ‘2 for1’ special at the disco ball store.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-crystal-geode-blue

Difficulta – is exactly what it sounds like; hard.  It’s a fairly esoteric term applied to the action undertaken by artists who attempt to create new forms, but the execution of said forms is increasingly difficult to achieve.  A lot of Renaissance artists strove to master this, but its popularity died down as people became lazier with each generation.  A modern Renaissance of this kind is taking place in the fast-paced and illegal world of Graffiti Art.

Dog Collar (Collier de Chien) – answers the age old question in the jewelry world of “Who let the dogs out?”  This type of close fitting necklace became all the rage during the Edwardian period, as Queen Alexandra was always seen wearing a one that featured multiple strands of pearls (allegedly because she had a gnarly scar on her neck – possibly from a vampire attack?)

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-dog-collar-Queen-Alexandra

Doublet – is the name given to a tricky little, partially fabricated gemstone made up of two components.  Typically, the top (crown) will be an authentic stone (of a lower quality), which is then slapped on top of a brilliant, synthetic bottom (pavilion), thus producing a wondrous (yet falsely achieved) sparkle.  Doublets are the Wonder Bra of the jewel world.

Doublé d’or – this just denotes a piece of jewelry that is “gold plated,” but since it is in French it sounds fancy and not tawdry, like it truly is.  “Plating” is essentially the technique of painting an alloyed gold substance on to a plain ole, base metal, thereby deceiving the onlooker into thinking that you are indeed a fancy-pants.

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Druse – when you view the inside of a large crystal or geode and see a jagged layer of smaller crystals jutting out all over the place, this is said to be druse.  Druse can make for an interesting accent to a jewelry piece, or as a really sharp and painful loofah replacement, in a pinch.

Diamond-Lighthouse-selling-crystal-geode-purple

Dull Lustre – while this is clearly an oxymoron, it is a very specific term that describes the type of ‘partial shine’ given off by ivory.  It’s no coincidence that if one purchases newly acquired ivory jewelry, which is derived from endangered animals, they are themselves are a ‘dullard.’

-Joe Leone