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VINTAGE COSTUME JEWELRY GLOSSARY
This vintage costume jewelry glossary page contains the vintage jewelry vocabulary used in the vintage jewelry industry. I hope it will help make your vintage jewelry collecting more enjoyable.
AURORA BOREALIS (AB) STONES OR BEADS
Stones or beads coated with an iridescent finish that shines rainbow colors. Aurora borealis means northern lights. This coating technique began in 1955.
ART DECO JEWELRY
Art Deco jewlery has geometrical design of lines and angles and is originated in Paris, France. The Art Deco era is between mid-1910's through mid-1920's .
ART NOUVEAU JEWELRY
Art Nouveau jewelry has curves with naturalistic themes. Art Nouveau era is around 1895 through around 1910.
Jewelry made from bakelite plastic. Bakelite jewelry is molded, carved or extruded. Sometimes the color is inlaid into another to make interesting designs. Polka dots are common design in bakelite jewelry. Bakelite plastic is made from formaldehyde and carbolic acid. Bakelite, also known as catalin, was patented by L. H. Baekland in 1907.
Pearls or stones that have irregular surface.
The stone is secured in a stripe of metal without prongs.
BRILLIANT CUT STONES
Brilliant cut stones have twice as much faceting to maximize the sparkles of the stones.
Bugle beads are long glass tube beads.
BUTTERFLY WING JEWELRY
Jewelry made from real butterfly wings where a picture is depicted and then encased in plastic or glass.
A smooth surface, round or oval domed stone without facets.
A relief carving on a shell or stone where the design comes up above the surface. It is the opposite of intaglio where the design is carved into the surface.
Celluloid jewelry is plastic jewelry made from cellulose, the oldest plastics invented in 1869. It is flammable and can be damaged by moisture.
A stone that has a foil backing.
Faceted glass beads to enhance reflectiveness and glitters.
Multistrand choker fits snuggly around the neck.
Jewelry done in a damascening technique where the soft metal like copper or silver is inlaid into hard metal such as steel. Damascening technique was first used in the city of Damascus.
A duette is a pin that has two matching parts. It can be worn as one larger pin or as two smaller pins.
No, no, no..., it is not what you get from the internet! Email is French for enamel.
Powdered glass fused onto metal.
Stones cut into unusual shapes. For example, heart, triangle, kite, half moon, etc.
Jewelry made to look like real objects such as animals, instruments, ballerina, flowers, etc.
Parts used in making jewelry.
FLUER DE LIS
Fleur de lis means flower of the lily. Fleur de lis design is used in some jewelry.
A stone that has a silver or gold colored metallic foil backing to enhance sparkles. When the foil is damaged by moisture, it dulls the stone (a dead stone). You find foiled stones mostly in old jewelry.
Jet is a black cabochon cut stone used in mourning jewelry in the Victorian era (1837-1901). It is light weight but hard and lustrous. Black glass are sometimes made to look like jet but glass is a more hefty and harder than jet.
FRUIT SALAD JEWELRY
Fruit Salad jewelry is set with molded glass or plastic stones. They can be transparent or translucent and are often colorful.
A stone or bead made of clear glass fused with colored patterns.
A necklace that is strung with larger pearls or beads in the front and then tapered into smaller pearls or beads towards the back.
HASKELL STYLE JEWELRY
Jewelry that resembles Miriam Haskell jewelry.
The metal has rugged crater patterns from being hammered.
A form of carving method where the motiff is carved into the surface.
The metal of the piece is black from a black lacquer finish.
Juliana jewelry is a style of jewelry. Juliana is not a designer or maker. Ardent vintage costume jewelry collectors love Juliana jewelry because of its gorgeous colorful stones, hefty showy designs and superb quality. Juliana jewelry typically features navette, large marquise and round stones and also aurora borealis stones to add colors and sparkles. Some feature kite cut, pear shaped stones and dangle faceted crystal beads. Juliana style jewelry was manufactured in the 50's and 60's. The early Juliana jewelry might not have aurora borealis stones. Juliana jewelry is not signed as only paper hanging tags were used. Most juliana pieces no longer have the paper hanging tags. Juliana bracelets typically are five links. The early ones could have six links. Some Juliana necklaces also have a five link design in the center piece. Juliana jewelry is well-constructed and heavy in weight. Juliana jewelry is highly collectible and sought after. Therefore, it commands very high prices and will continue to rise in prices. Mr. Frank DeLizza, the son of Mr. William DeLizza. Mr. William DeLizza was one of the two founders of the DeLizza and Elster factory (D&E) who named his jewelry after his mother's first name, Juliana.
JULIANA STYLE JEWELRY
Jewelry that resembles Juliana jewelry.
A pendant that holds a photo, strand of hair or any small sentimental object.
A type of transparent plastics patented in 1941 by the Dupont company.
A metallic faceted stone made from iron pyrite.
MATINEE LENGTH NECKLACE
A single pearl strand necklace between 22" to 23" in length.
Jewelry made of very small pieces of ornate colorful tiles.
OPERA LENGTH NECKLACE
A single pearl strand necklace between 30" to 35" in length.
Parure means personal adornment in French. It consists of a matching necklace, bracelet, brooch and earrings. Demi-Parure consists of a matching necklace, brooch and earrings.
A brilliant cut glass stone to look like a real gem stone.
The metal changed color over time due to exposure of air.
PRINCESS LENGTH NECKLACE
A single pearl strand necklace 18" in length.
REVERSE CARVED LUCITE JEWELRY
Lucite jewelry is carved on the reversed side. The carved motiff, such as a flower, etc., is then painted. This technique was most popular in the 50's era.
Rhinestones are artificial clear or colored stones made of glass. The best rhinestones are cut from quartz crystal. Natural crystals from the bottom of the river Rhine in Germany were early substitutes for diamonds. Hence the term Rhinestone. Some people also refer to them as crystals.
A rondelle has two metal circular discs with small rhinestones chanel set in between them. Rondelles are used as spacers in strands of beads or pearls.
ROPE LENGTH NECKLACE
A single pearl strand necklace over 40" in length.
A long necklace that has a tassel or pendant at each end. Sautoirs were most common in Edwardian era (1901-1910).
Small pins worn together.
Beads coated with small grains of plastic or glass that look like granulated sugar. Sugar beads were originated in Japan in early 1900's.
The multistrands of the necklace are meeting together at both ends. You can twist the strands to create texture and volume or wear the strands loose.
A part of the jewelry is set on a spring that enables the part to tremble. For example, a flower brooch has a butterfly sitting on a spring and the butterfly trembles when the piece is shaked or moved.
A multicolored stone interchanging with the colors of a rainbow.
WEDDING CAKE BEADS
Ornate, colorful lampwork glass beads decorated with swirls and dots and were originated in Murano, Italy.