Tag Archives: Japanesque

Inspirational Jewelry Keepsakes

(Jewelry Terms: I, J & K)

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Idiochromatic – much like an idiosyncratic gemstone enthusiast, stones of this ilk are essentially pure at heart.  That is to say that the hue exhibited by this type of gem is a result of its integral chemical components, not from impurities in the stone.  The other kind of gems are called allochromatic (like the sultry sapphire) and appear a certain shade because they are laden with beautifully colorful dirt.

Ingot – oddly enough, this is not a French term and so it is pronounced exactly how it looks.  This describes a precious metal that has been rolled, drawn and stamped to create specific pattern or design.  In non-jewelry form, an ingot can take the shape of a bar, brick or seriously valuable paperweight.

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Inro – are nifty little carrying cases that handily attach to one’s kimono.  If you didn’t catch on, they are made in Japan.  Usually crafted out of wood or metal (or for the murderous sect, tortoise or ivory), these cool cases have various metals, lacquers and shells inlaid to construct artful scenes and marvelous creatures (ie, Godzilla wreaking havoc on the populace).

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Inseperables – no, not you and your friend Stacy in 6th grade.  This is a brooch that came into fashion during the 1830’s, replete with two stick pins that are held together with a tiny little chain.  No one knows why this style disappeared or why it’s name looks like a distinct misspelling.

Invisible Setting – this is a type of ring setting that you can claim you have given your lover when you actually have given them nothing.  Actually, its a setting type that makes a row of featured gems appear as if there is nothing holding them in place.  This is achieved by cutting tiny divots into the gem girdles and then securing them with a minuscule matrix of wires.  Gemstones mounted in this kind of setting can look like a row of teeth (presumably held straight with Invisalign braces).

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J

Jabot Pin – yup; you jab this pin right into yourself.  On either end of the pin are fancifully arranged jewels.  Each side sticks into clothing so the only thing one sees are the sparkling jewels, not the dangerous pin mechanism underneath.  Jabot refers to that frilly ever-so-manly swath of fabric that men of the mid-1600’s adorned with cocky glee; the jabot pin holds said lacy puff piece in place.  During the Art Deco explosion of the 1920’s, women took a shine to Jabot pins, making them an indispensable facet of flapper fashion.

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Japonaiserie (aka Japanesque) – any jewelry item that exhibits influence from Japan, typically those embossed with lacquer.  These got hot in the western world at the end of the 1800’s.  Elements commonly found on such works include bamboo motifs and etchings of provincial peoples fanning themselves.  The best way to care for this type of jewelry is to wax on, wax off.

Jarretière – this is a trendy bracelet that looks kind of like a chic little belt for your wrist.  Often made from metal patterned with geometric shapes (like the honeycomb), this comely clasp came into style during the 1800’s and hasn’t really waned yet, as you can still find them in Saks Fifth Avenue and Claire’s Accessories alike.

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Jasperware – Fashion (and, naturally, pottery) maven Josiah Wedgwood developed this porcelain-esque product which mimics onyx, but also allows for you to have a white design on the surface.  This material was used to make cameos and other fun pieces during the 1700’s, but eventually died out in terms of popularity.  Perhaps an integral lesson in survival learned by Wedgwood’s grandson: Charles Darwin.  #FashionOfTheFittest

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Jou-Jou Or – the adorable French term for “toy gold,” which is a gold alloy that has a fairly low karat rating of 6.  It is also the proper way to address the first two potential people to be chosen for something, in a row of three, pending the picker has an audible accent (ie: “Jou, jou or…jou.”)

Justaucorps – the end of the 1600’s saw France gripped in Justaucorps fever.  It’s a relatively trim and fitted coat that suddenly, unapologetically flares out at the waist (basically, a groovy disco jacket of 17th century Europe).  Included on this jewelry aggregation because the buttons were usually constructed of diamonds, gold, gems, silver and perhaps even small, mirrored balls that reflected light in a totally far out way.

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K

Keeper Ring – sometimes jewelry can be more about function than fashion.  The Keeper Ring is just that; a band that keeps another, more costly ring from slipping off one’s slender digits.  These became necessary during the 1700’s, when more people starting wearing diamond rings (and possibly eating greasy fast food).  Eventually they would be deemed ‘guard rings,’ and they went from just utilitarian bands to fairly fancy things.  They now not only keep the expensive ring in place but also add some extra blingage to it.  The third incarnation of a keeper ring is the obviously binder clasp that secures loose leaf in your Trapper Keeper.

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Kitemarks – are little insignias that the 19th century British began stamping on their jewelry to indicate the date that the specific jewelry design of a piece was officially registered (similar to a hallmark).  The date would be found in a diamond or kite shape.  It’s kind of like the original copyright date found at the front of a book (not the publication date).  Those who opposed this and suggested that they should just stamp the date that the piece was forged on the metal were told to “Go fly a kitemark.”

-Joe Leone