A facet is one of the flat surfaces of a cut stone or glass.
Faceting is the cutting and polishing of the surface of a stone.
Fancy diamonds are rare diamonds that are red, blue, green, or purple;
these diamonds are quite valuable. Diamonds are precious, lustrous gemstones
made of highly-compressed carbon; they are one of the hardest materials
known. Diamonds have a hardness of 10, a specific gravity of 3.5, and
a refractive index of 2.417 - 2.419.
Fancy cut stones are cut in unusual ways. Some fancy cuts include the
heart, fan, rivoli, trapezium, cathedral window, half-moon (lunette),
kite, and triangle.
The fantasy cut is a new way of faceting stones that uses freeform angles
- virtually anything goes.
Fashion jewelry is another name for costume jewelry. The Trifari leaf
pin above is gold-plated and has glass stones.
Faux means false. A faux gem is an imitation.
A feather is an internal flaw (also called an inclusion) in a gemstone
that can start at the surface of the stone and extend deep inside. Feathers
can either ruin a stone (by making it fragile and/or changing the color),
or add to its beauty.
A fede ring is one that depicts two hands clasped together.
Feldspars are a family of minerals that include moonstone (adularia),
amazonite, sunstone, and labradorite.
Fenichel is a very rare costume jewelry mark. Fenichel pieces are well
made, often using high-quality rhinestones and/or enamel on rhodium-plated
Ferrer's emerald is a glass stone made to imitate an emerald.
A fetish is a charm, amulet, pendant or other decoration associated with
magical properties; it often represents an animal or person.
A fibula is a brooch (pin) that looks a bit like a safety pin. Fibulas
have been used since ancient times to secure clothing.
Figural jewelry is disigned to look like real objects. Common subjects
are the human body, animals (especially butterflies, dogs, cat, birds,
and shells), flowers, leaves, and everyday objects (like baskets and fans).
Filigree is gold or silver wire that have been twisted into patterns and
soldered into place. Openwork filigree is not soldered onto a sheet of
metal and is difficult to make. Imitation filigree is made of stamped
Findings are the parts that jewelers use in making jewelry. For example,
clasps, hooks, pin backs, jump rings, and earring backs are findings.
Fineness is the proportion of silver or gold in a metal alloy. Fineness
is usually expressed in parts per thousand. For example, the fineness
of sterling silver is 925.
Finger Ring Size
To size a finger for a ring, a finger-ring gauge is used. The rings are
marked with their size and the person determines which one fits well.
Another, less accurate method is a cardboard card with cut-out holes marked
with the ring sizes. To determine the ring size of a finger using the
circumference of the finger, or to determine the size of a ring given
its diameter, the formulas are:
A stone's fire is the streaks of brilliant color within it. Good quality
opals, like the one above, have a lot of fire.
Fire opals are a type of opal that is fiery orange to red in color (but
have no opalescence). These opals are rarely transparent - they are usually
milky. Opal is a mineral composed of silica (and some water) and is a
species of quartz. Many opals have a high water content - they can dry
out and crack if they are not cared for well (opals should be stored in
damp cotton wool). Opals have a hardness of 5.5 to 6.5 and a specific
gravity of 1.98-2.50. Fire opals are found in Western Australia, Mexico,
Brazil, Guatemala, and Honduras.
Firestone is an imitation iridescent rainbow quartz. It is made by heating
rock crystal until it crazes; iIt is then put into dye as it cools.
A flaw is a an imperfection in a gemstone. Flaws include: cracks, inclusions
of other minerals or liquid-filled cavities. A flawless stone is called
"clean." Flaws can greatly reduce the value of a stone, but
in some cases, like moss agate or rutilated quartz, the "flaws"
increase the value of the stone.
Fleur Be Lis
The fleur de lis (meaning "flower of the lily" in French) is
a heraldic symbol of French royalty; it is still used in many French flags.
Fleurs de lis are a motif often used in jewelry. The green enamel fleur
de lis pin above is by Trifari.
An floater (or invisible) necklace looks as though the beads are simply
floating on the skin; the beads or pearls are strung far apart from one
another on an almost invisible string (like clear fishing line).
A Danish jewelry company that uses real plant parts to make jewelry. The
plant material (usually leaves or sprigs) is electroplated with silver
and then gold plated. The delicately-detailed jewelry is used as pins,
earrings, pendants, etc.
A Florentine finish on a metal's surface reduces the metal's reflectivity.
It is accomplished by engraving parallel lines into the surface using
a sharp tool, and then making more lines or curves at right angles (cross-hatching).
Florenza was a costume jewelry design company started by Daniel Kasoff
Inc. in 1948 in New York City. The name Florenza was first used in 1950
(it was named for Kasoff's wife, Florence). Florenza produced pieces until
1981 (when Dan's son Larry, who was then in charge of the company, was
injured in a car accident). Florenza made well-designed, intricate (mostly)
gold-finished pieces that often contained colored stones (usually pastel,
frosted or aurora borealis stones), enameled surfaces, filigree work,
intaglio, and/or carved cameos. The styles used were often Renaissance
revival/Victorian-inspired pieces, including cameos, Maltese crosses,
floral designs, and cherubs. Florenza designed pieces (including cosmetic
boxes, compacts, lipstick holders, picture frames, etc.) for other companies,
including Estee Lauder and Revlon. The Florenza cameo pin above is hand
Flowering Obsidian (also called snowflake obsidian) is a volcanic glass
that is usually dark (black or brownish) with white "snowflakes".
This glassy, lustrous mineral is found in lava flows, and obsidian stones
can be massive. Obsidian is formed when viscous lava (from volcanos) cools
rapidly. Most obsidian is 70 percent silica. Obsidian has a hardness of
5 and a specific gravity of 2.35.
Fluorescence is property in which light (or other radiation) is emitted
from an object. Many stones (including some diamonds) flouresce when exposed
to ultraviolet light.
Fluorite is a mineral that comes in many colors, including purple, clorless,
red, pink, yellow, green, blue, black, and multi-colored stones. Crystals
are transparent to translucent. Fluorite is relatively soft - it has a
hardness of 4 and a specific gravity of 3.0 - 3.3. The chemical formula
for fluorite is CaF2. Fluorite is frequently fluorescent (various varieties
fluoresce red, blue, green or yellow light). Fluorite is found all around
the world. Some varieties of fluorite include: Blue John (purple with
bands of white or yellow), Chlorophane (thermoluminescent - emitting bright
green light when heated), Yttrofluorite (yttrium replaces some of the
calcium - formula = [Ca,Y]F2), Yttrocerite (cerium and yttrium replaces
some of the calcium in its structure - formula = [Ca,Ce,Y]F2, Antozonite
(contains uncombined fluorine ions - when fractured or cleaved, it gives
off an odd odor).
A fob is a short chain or ribbon that attaches to a pocketwatch; it frequently
had a decorative medallion or other ornament attached to one end. Fobs
were worn hanging from a pocket. Fob is also the word for the small pocket
in trousers that held a pocket watch. The word fob is also commonly used
for the fob charm itself.
A foilback (or foiled stone) is a stone that has a metallic foil backing;
this thin metallic backing is frequently composed of mercury and tin.
Silver-colored, gold-colored, or other-colored foil is applied to the
back of a stone to make the stone more reflective. Before scintillating
cuts (like the brilliant cut) were invented, even precious stones were
foiled to enhance their sparkle. Moisture can damage foil and make the
stone "dead," losing its brilliance. Stones are rarely foiled
Fold Over Clasp
A fold over clasp is a jewelry fastener that is composed of a device that
opens and closes with a hinge, and latches shut. It is used to attach
the two ends of a necklace or bracelet.
Fool's gold is pyrite, a shiny, metallic mineral that looks like gold,
but is actually a a form of iron. Marcasite stones come from pyrite.
Forstner is a mark of the Forstner Chain Corporation of Irvington, New
Jersey The company was renamed the Forstner Jewelry Manufacturing Corp.
in 1950. Forstner produces silver vermeil and gold-filled jewelry, specializing
in chains and snake bracelets. Marks of this costume jewelry company include:
Forstner (since January, 1947), Forstner Sterling, Forstner Chain Corp.,
Forstar (since June, 1950), Bolita, Dapper, Dubl-Lock, F.C.C., Fortune,
Merry-Go-Round, Numium, Radio, Snap-Lock, Slide Ring, Trustyle, Union,
Fossil ivory is the tusk of the extinct Woolly Mammoth (an elephant-like
animal that lived during the last Ice Ages).
Fossils are the remains of ancient animals and plants, the traces or impressions
of living things from past geologic ages, or the traces of their activities.
Fossils can be used to make beautiful jewelry. Fossils came in many different
mineral and organic forms, including plain-looking rocks, marble-like
casts of ancient animals, opals, and amber (fossilized tree resin).
A fracture is a crack in a gemstone (also called a feather).
A stone cut in an unusual or non-calibrated shape
A French costume jewelry, button, and accesory company that was begun
by Solomon Freirich in the 1920s after he bought Maison David, a hats,
dress ornament and accesory maker. In the USA, the company is called Freirich;
in France it is called Maison David (David's House). Freirich also produced
buttons for many fashion designers, including Chanel and Dior. The company's
increased its costume jewelry production in 1955, when Solomon Freirich's
son, Arthur Freirich, joined the firm. The 'FREIRICH' mark was first used
on costume jewelry in the 1960s (Freirich jewelry produced before then
is unmarked). Freirich jewelry is often Victorian in style, with enamel
work, delicate HREF="/jewel/glossary/indexf.shtml#filagree">filagrees,
glass stones, and metal stamping that emulates granulation. Freirich went
out of business in 1990.
French enamel refers to fine enamel work (like the work of Fabergé)
the was first developed in France. In this technique, many thin layers
of translucent colored enamel (glass paste with colorants) are applied
to a metal surface. After firing the piece at temperatures of up to about
820°C, the work is polished. A final layer of clear enamel often covers
the piece. Fine miniature paintings in enamel on a white-enamel ground
have been produced in France since this technique was developed in 1620-1630
by the French goldsmith Jean Toutin of Chateaudun and other French goldsmiths.
"French Ivory" is synthetic (imitation) ivory. It is molded
from plastics (like celluloid) and is also called Ivoride, Ivorine, and
"Genuine French Ivory."
French jet is black glass (pyrolusite glass) designed to imitate real
jet. It was frequently carved.
A freshwater pearl is a pearl that was harvested from a freshwater mussel
(a mollusk). These pearls are frequently shaped like crisped rice cereal,
and are less valuable than oyster pearls. Biwa pearls are very good quality
Frost agate is agate with white markings (that look like frost).
"Fruit Salad" jewelry is costume jewelry that is set with colorful,
molded stones. The stones are glass or plastic, and can be transparent
Fuchsite is a deep emerald green variety of the mineral muscovite that
is rich is the chromium. It has a glassy luster. Fuchsite is relatively
soft; it has a hardness of 2-2.5 and a specific gravity of 2.77-2.88.
The chemical formula for fuchsite is K(Al,Cr)2(AlSi3O10)(OH)2.
A full cut stone is a gemstone with 58 facets.
Furnace glass (also called furnace worked glass) is made by working (shaping)
hot glass by hand (the glass was heated in a glass furnace). Long tubes
of glass are drawn from molten glass, then beads are cut from the tube
(and later tumbled and reheated to smooth the edges of the beads). Furnace
glass beads are made in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and designs.