Monday, 11 February 2013

Dictionary of Jewelry Words started from “C”

Canning Triton-jewel


A stone cut with a smooth, rounded surface, with no FACETS and highly polished. Usually it is cut from an opaque or translucent stone (but some EMERALDS. AME1 HYSTS, and GARNETS have been so cut), or a stone with a special optical effect (e.g. ASTERIA, OPAL MOONSTONE). The style of cut was used in antiquity and continued until the 15th century when it began to be displaced by FACETING; but its vogue was revived in ART NOUVEAU jewelry. Cabochons are of various shapes, usually circular or oval, but sometimes rectangular or triangular. There are four basic forms: 

(1) the 'simple cabochon', with a dome of varying degrees of steepness and a flat base; 

(2) the 'double cabochon', with a dome-shaped underside that is flatter than the upper dome; 

(3) the 'hollow cabochon', with the interior cut away so as to make a shell-like form with increased translucency and often to have FOIL attached to the interior; and 

(4) the 'tallow-topped cabochon', with a shallow dome. On rare occasions a cabochon is cut with a flat surface or 'table' on the top of the dome. 

Among the stones that are often cut as cabochons are the CARBUNCLE (ALMANDINE), CATS-EYE, IGER'S EYE, and AMAZON ITE. The stones so cut are said to be cut en cabochon. See JADEITE TRIPLET.


A variety of COMMON OPAL that is opaque and bluish white(with a surface like porcelain in appearance) or sometimes, if alumina is present, pale yellow. Cacholong is so porous that it will adhere to the tongue. It is highly regarded in the East.


Bird Cage PendantLiterally, padlock. A type of bracelet having concealed in a compartment under a hinged lid on the front an enameled miniature portrait. The hoop was sometimes made of curved segments or of chain.


An openwork globular form that is found in MINOAN JEWELRY enclosing a spherical bead; see HORNET PENDANT. It derives from a similar cage-like form found on the heads of some PINS of earlier periods.

Caillou du Rhin

Literally, pebble of the Rhine. The French term for cut ROCK CRYSTAL. Also called pierre d'Alencon.

Cairngorm (stone) 

A variety of QUAR'I'Z that is yellowish brown to a smoky shade of yellow. It was originally found on Cairn Gorm, a mountain in the Cairngorm range in Scotland, and has been used frequently in SCOITISII JEWELRY. The popular demand exceeds the local supply, and so it is often imitated with heat-treated varieties of Brazilian AMETHYST. The name is now discouraged, as the stones today rarely, if at all, come from the Cairngorms. Other sources are Arran (Scotland), the Swiss Alps, and Colorado.

Cairo star cut

The style of cutting a large diamond so that it has a small 6-sided 'FABLE that is only one-quarter of the width of the GIRDLE and has a CULET larger than the usual size; the high CROWN is composed of 6 STAR FACETS, 6 BEZEL FACETS, and 12 CROSS FACETS, the sides of the last forming the girdle, and the PAVILION is cut with 49 FACETS in a great variety of shapes and sizes so as to form a very complicated surface, plus a making a total of 74 facets.


An obsolete name for TURQUOISE.

Calder, Alexander (1898-1976)

An American sculptor, born in Philadelphia best known for his mobiles. After making objects with mechanical moving parts, he developed his special technique of mobiles dependent upon air currents and perfect balance. He began designing and making jewelry c. 1932, but his jewelry is mainly static. A frequent motif is a HELICAL PATTERN made of a continuous strand of coiled wire or coiled metal ribbon. His style, not requiring technical skill, has often been copied.

Calibre cut

A style of cutting a gemstone, usually of small size, in a shape, often oblong or elliptical, so that it and others so cut will fit snugly together in clusters. Stones are cut in this way to standardized measurements so as to be readily fitted into standard mounts.


A compact variety of IDOCRASE (VESUVIANITE) that is olive-green or grass-green, or white with green streaks. It resembles NEPHRITE (JADE.). Its name is derived from its source, California. It is sometimes miscalled 'American jade' and 'California jade'.

Calima jewelry

Caravel-PandantArticles of PRE-COLUMBIAN JEWELRY made in the Calima region of south-western Colombia (perhaps the oldest, c. 300 BC, in Colombia), often cut from nearly pure gold sheet metal and having hammered and REPOUSSE decoration, and sometimes having miniature work cast by the CIRE PERDUE process. The articles are large, and include PECTORALS (sometimes decorated with repousse human faces), NOSE ORNAMENTS (sometimes with thin, dangling cylinders that vibrate), I.IME DIPPERS and long pins (with ornate tops in the form of naturalistic or imaginative human or animal figures), furierary MASKS, and the 'twisted-nail' EAR ORNAMENTS made of long, tightly coiled wire, and also a so-called 'diadem.


Originally a gemstone having layers of different colours (e.g. SARDONYX and CORNELIAN) carved to show in low relief the design and background in contrasting colours. The earliest carved two-colour stones, dating from the period of SUMERIAN JEWELRY, were merely beads in CABOCHON form and sometimes stones carved in INTAGLIO for use as SEALS. Later, from the Hellenistic period in the 2nd century BC, carving was done by the Greeks (and subsequently by the Romans) to produce cameos in low relief as ornamental pieces of jewelry. 

The art continued to a reduced extent throughout the Middle Ages and became very popular during the Renaissance when master gem-engravers worked for prominent collectors such as Lorenzo de' Medici. Thereafter, with intervening periods of more or less fashionability, cameos have been made and mounted in articles of jewelry, e.g. brooches, pendants, and especially finger rings. The leading artist of the 19th century was TOMMASO SAULINI. In later periods cameos were also carved in other hard materials, e.g. ROCK CRYSTAL., CORAI„ JET. SHELL, etc., and also moulded of JASPER earthenware in two or more colours by Josiah Wedgwood or of glass paste by James Tassie. Some were copies of classical subjects and coins, but from the Renaissance period new motifs were introduced. Some were made in CHALCEDONY with either the portrait or the background painted with gold.

Cameo habille (French)

A type of CAMEO depicting the head of a person, carved in the stone, wearing a necklace, hair ornament or ear-rings made of small gemstones. Such pieces were made in the Victorian era.

Canary stones 

A variety of CORNELIAN that is yellow.

Candy twist link

A type of link in a CHAIN that is long and twisted to form spiral ridges.

Cannetille (French).


A type of metal decoration on jewelry in the form of thin wires making a coarse FILIGREE pattern, sometimes enhanced with a gemstone or ENAMELLING. It is named after the type of embroidery made with very fine twisted gold or silver thread. The patterns are often in the form of scrolls or rosettes made of tightly coiled wire. The style may have been derived from sources in Portugal or India where filigree work was popular, but possibly it was developed in England, where it was frequently used in the early 19th century, and it was later adopted in France. Gold articles so decorated were hand-made but when used on silver or a base metal, the pattern was made by STAMPING.

Canning Siren jewel

A gold, enameled, and jewelled SIREN PENDANT, the torso being composed of a BAROQUE PEARL. The siren holds in one hand what is meant to represent a mirror (in fact, made of a large Diamond) as she combs her hair with a golden comb; the tail is enameled and now lacks an original pearl drop. On the back of the tail is an enameled inscription with the initials 'V D', presumed to be those of the unidentified Italian maker. The piece is Italian, c. 1580, possibly made by the same hand as the related CANNING TRITON JEWEL and has the same traditional history. 

It is said to have been presented, c. 1648, by a Medici duke to a Mughal emperor and after the Indian Mutiny of 1857-8 it was found in the Treasury of the King of Oudh at Delhi, was seized by the Indian Government, and was sold by it to Lord Canning (1812-62), Governor-General and first Viceroy of India. In 1863 it is said to have been purchased from the Canning estate by Julius Goldschmidt, of Frankfurt am Main, for Baroness Mathilde de Rothschild, also of Frankfurt. It was sold for B.C 40,000 at Sotheby's. London, on 13 October 1970 from the estate of Arturo Lopez-Willshire (d. 1962), it is believed to a private collector in the United States,

Canning Triton Jewel

A gold, enameled, and jewelled pendant in the form of a triton whose torso is composed of a BAROQUE PEARL (see BAROQUE PEARL JEWEL) and whose face and arms are of white enamel, the hair and beard being gold; his tail is enameled in bright green and set with a row of diamonds and a large carved ruby. In his left hand he holds as a shield a mask of Medusa in green and blue, with a ruby in its mouth; in his upright right hand he flourishes a scimitar set with jewels. Three baroque pearls are suspended. It was formerly thought to be of Italian make, but is now, based on stylistic grounds, considered to be of South German origin, late 16th century, with the carved ruby in the tail and the pendent cluster of rubies and baroque pearl added later. 

The piece is reputed to have been given to one of the Mughal emperors by a Medici duke and brought back from India in 1862 by Lord Canning (1812 62), Governor-General and first Viceroy of India. It was inherited by the Marquess of Clanricarde, who bequeathed it to his great-nephew, the Earl of Harewood; the latter sold it in 1931 at Sotheby's. London, to Mrs. Edward Harkness, of New London, Connecticut, who donated it to the Victoria St Albert Museum. A related SIREN PENDANT was also once owned by Lord Canning.

Canterbury Coin Brooch

Cabochon jewelry
A circular brooch made of twelve concentric rings of silver wire, alternately beaded and twisted, framing a central silver Saxon coin encircling which is an Anglo-Saxon and Latin inscription translated as `Wudeman made it'. On the reverse there is a small cross and the legend `Nomine Domini. The brooch, of Anglo-Saxon make from the second half of the 10th century, was found near Canterbury, and was donated in 1951 by E. Thurlow Leeds (d. 1955) to the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.

Canterbury Cross

A brooch cast from light gold-coloured bronze in the form of a cross with four arms of equal length and having rounded and curled extremities. The decoration is a leaf- or vine-scroll on the arms, to each of which is attached a NIELLo triquetra in the TREWHIDDLE STYLE. The pin is missing from the fittings on the reverse. The cross was found in St George's Street in Canterbury in 1867. It is Anglo-Saxon, 9th century; many reproductions have been sold as souvenirs.


(1) A word (short for Cape of Good Hope or Cape Province) prefixed to the names of certain gemstones to indicate the source as South Africa, but resulting in misnomers, e.g. 'Cape ruby' for PYROPE, and 'Cape emerald' and 'Cape chrysolite' for PREIINEEE. (2) A diamond of yellowish tinge of several grades, as formerly classified; it was so called because early diamonds from the Cape were yellowish in contrast to stones from Brazil.

Cape May diamond

A local misnomer that has been applied to ROCK CRYSTAL found near Cape May, New Jersey.


Ambrogio Foppa, called Caradosso; c. 1452- c. 1527; his first name was stated, in a publication of 1521-3, to be 'Cristoforo. A famous goldsmith, medallist, and jeweller, but none of whose works is known to have survived. He was born at Mendocino near Milan, and after working in the 1490s in Milan for Ludovico Sforza II Moro' (1451-1508), and in other northern Italian cities, he settled in Rome in 1505. He was employed by several Popes, making medals, gold and silver plate, and dies for coins; he made a gem-studded tiara for Pope Julius II. He also made small enameled medallions from thin gold plate decorated with subjects from mythology modelled in high relief and enameled. He excelled in enameling and in engraving gemstones (including a diamond engraved in 1500). His reputation rivaled that of BENVENUTO CELLINI who praised him highly.


(1) The unit of weight for a diamond or other gemstone and also for a pearl. Formerly it had various values, ranging from 0.1885 to 0.2135 grams, in different countries and at different times (so that the weights stated for some old stones must be viewed with caution), but now the International Metric Carat (since 1 April 1914 standard in Great Britain, most European countries and the United States) is 200 mg. (3.086 grains troy), or one-fifth of a gram (28 g. equaling about 1 oz). Fractional weights for metric carats are usually expressed decimally, but fractionally for old carats. The term 'carat(s)' used alone now means metric carat(s). The carat is divided into 4 GRAINS, especially in measuring the weight of pearls, and also into POINTS for measuring diamonds. 

(2) The measure for the FINENESS of gold and GOLD ALLOY, expressed as a number, out of 2-1 parts by weight, of parts of gold in the alloy, e.g. '24 carat' means pure gold, '14 carat' means 14/24ths gold in the alloy. (A carat has sometimes erroneously been stated to be 1/24th of an ounce or of a pound troy.) Most jewelry uses gold of 14 or 18 carats, 24-carat gold being used only for very fine work. In Continental marking, gold fineness is expressed as a decimal, e.g. 75% fine = 16 carat = 0.750 gold. The term 'carat' is derived from the Arabic qirat, a bean originally used as a measure of the weight of gold. It is sometimes spelt 'karat' in the United States when it applies to the measure of fineness of gold, to distinguish it from the term 'carat' as applied to the weight of gemstones.

Caravel ear-ring

 A type of earring with a suspended ornament in the form of a caravel (a fully rigged sailing ship, with a forecastle and a poop). Examples made of gold, enameled and set with gemstones, are found in ADRIATIC JEWELRY.

Caravel pendant

A type of SHIP PENDANT with its suspended ornament in the form of a caravel. Such pendants were made of gold with coloured enameling and with gold for the rigging, and were embellished with gemstones; some have figures decorated in EMAIL EN RONDE. BOSSE. They were made in Venice, Germany, and France during the Renaissance, and comparable pieces were made in England (some with ships of different type) as well as on some Greek Islands. See CARAVEL EARRING: DRAKE PENDANT.



Carcan (et)

A CHAIN or necklace composed of ornamental gold links, usually enameled and often set with gemstones; the links are sometimes joined in alternating patterns and occasionally separated by groups of pearls. Such pieces were worn during the 15th-17th centuries, sometimes at the base of a high collar but more often suspended around the neck and extending down to the waist. Some examples are decorated on the back of the links with enameling in MORESQUF. patterns from designs by HAN3 MIELICH.

Cardinal’s ring

A type of finger ring given to a cardinal by the Pope upon his consecration. There is no apparent prescribed form, but such rings arc usually set with a SAPPHIRE. Beneath the BEZEL is the engraved coat of arms of the Pope

Carolingian jewelry

Articles of jewelry made during the dynasty of the Frankish kings, from c. 751 to the reign of Charlemagne, 800-14, and thereafter under his successors until the 10th century. The style is characterized by the use of coloured gemstones, sometimes featured by being mounted in high settings and surrounded by small stones to emphasize the large central stone. During this period there was a revival of interest in Roman antiquities. The forms of the preceding EROVINGIAN JEWELRY were influenced by Byzantine styles, as well as by decrees of Charlemagne, such as his banning the use of jewelry by the laity except royalty and the nobility; consequently, jewelry thereafter consisted mainly of religious articles made in the abbeys and Court workshops of Germany, including crosses and reliquaries. Another decree prohibited burials with jewelry, so that surviving specimens are rare, being from abbeys, cathedrals, and royal treasuries.


A STEP CUE diamond that is square.

Carthage Treasure

A TREASURE of silver plate and jewelry (including necklaces, finger rings, cameos, and intaglios) of the Early Christian Era, C. AD 400, found at the Hill of St Louis at Carthage in present-day Tunisia.


A leading French jewelry firm founded in 1847 by Louis Francois Cartier (1819-1904). Its headquarters are in Paris, with branches in several major centres. The founder was joined in 1872 by his son Alfred (1836-1925), and the latter, with his eldest son, Louis (1875-1942), moved the Paris business in 1898 to its present address, 13 Rue de la Paix. In 1902 Alfred's second son, Pierre (1878 1964), opened a branch in London and in 1903 in New York City. In 1909 the London branch was taken over by-the youngest brother Jacques (1885 1942), by which time it had moved to its present address at 175 New Bond St. A group headed by Robert Hoeg (1917-79) acquired from the Cartier family the branches in Paris (1972), London (1974), and New York (1976). 

Hoeg was Managing Director until his death when he was succeeded by his daughter, Nathalie (b. 1951), who since 1974 had headed the high, fashion jewelry department and promoted the boutique collection of jewelry known as 'Les Musts'. Originally the firm made jewelry of enameled gold set with gemstones, which attracted a prestigious clientele, including French royalty and the future Edward VII; in recent years it has greatly expanded into new types and styles of jewelry, and is extending its world-wide operations.

Cartier Diamond

Canterbury CrossA diamond found in the Premier Mine, South Africa, in 1966, and weighing rough 240.80 carats. It was bought in 1967 by Mrs. Walter Ames (sister of Walter Annenberg, former American Ambassador to the Court of St James's) from HARRY WINSTON, who had had it cut as a pear-shaped diamond weighing 69.42 carats. She sold it at auction in November 1969 at Parke- Bernet Galleries, New York City, with the understanding that the buyer could name it. It was purchased by CARTIER of New York, which immediately named it. The next day it was bought by Richard Burton for his then wife, Elizabeth Taylor, who renamed it the 'Taylor-Burton Diamond'; he soon had a duplicate cut for her in YTTRIUM -ALUMINIUM-GARNET. 

In 1979, the stone (having then been named the Cartier-Burton Diamond) was sold by her (then Mrs. John Warner) to Lambert Bros., jewellers, of New York City, who resold it privately. carved setting. A style of cLosF.0 SETTING of a gemstone in a finger ring that is similar to PAVE SETTING except that the depression for the stone is not cut out of the metal but is merely scooped or carved into the metal, so that the stone is covered at the back. This style was often used in the 18th century.


A process of decorating metal or a gemstone by cutting into it to produce an artistic pattern.


A type of ornament in the form of a small, elongated, flat-topped, and pointed bell such as was suspended in groups from some articles of MIXTEC JEWELRY and other MEXICAN JEWELRY.

Writer – Thames and Hudson
Visit Also:

Bali Beads

Seamless Beads

No comments:

Post a Comment