Perfectly Precious: Understanding Jewelry Terms

Jewelry shopping can be a nuanced activity. From understanding your or your loved ones’ sizes and preferences to knowing what type of product to ask for at your local jeweler’s store, it can be easy to be blindsided by both the glittering jewels and equally glittery terms and titles of the industry.

So, what do some of those terms mean? Read on to gain a better understanding of the fine and precious items you might come across while browsing a collection:


  • Precious Metals

While jewelry might contain all manner of metal — be it aluminum, copper, or even bronze — precious metals are higher in both their luster and their melting points, as well as less chemically reactive, rendering them more durable and more desirable in economic value. Silver is one of the most commonly used precious metals, whereas gold and platinum are rarer and more expensive.


  • Precious Jewels

Precious stones are prized as a result of their rarity and hardness. In particular, precious stones of note include diamonds, emeralds, rubies, and sapphires.

There are also, however, semi-precious stones, which are still aesthetically popular although lesser valued, as they are not as hard or rare. Semi-precious stones include but are not limited to amethysts, garnets, opals, pearls, and more.


  • Fine vs. Costume Jewelry

Fine jewelry refers to items made specifically with precious metals and jewels, whereas costume jewelry is made of semi- or non-precious materials. That being said, costume jewelry is also the term for jewelry items that have been mass-produced to imitate fine jewelry, hence being referred to as “costume.”


Are you ready to put your newfound knowledge to use? Or are you interested in learning more as you expand your own collection? Then stop on in to Hemming Jewelers today! As Jacksonville’s #1 independent jeweler, we’re guaranteed to have a variety of jewels and accessories that will make your day.