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Jewelry Speak Definitions

Updated: Dec 5, 2023

With the holidays right around the corner, I know that many of you will be shopping for a meaningful gift with jewelry this time of year. As with any industry, there is terminology that most people may not know the definition of but is used a lot by the professionals when talking about their product. I call ours jewelry-speak! Here are a few definitions to help you shop this year!

yellow gold ring with round diamonds in a sun burst setting..

· Karat: Karat that begins with the letter k refers to the gold content in jewelry and is abbreviated as “kt.” For instance, 14kt means that there is 58.5% of gold in the piece while the rest are other metals to make it strong.

· Carat: Carat with a c is how much a gemstone weighs, whether it be diamond or a colored gemstone. It is often abbreviated as “ct”, or “cts,” for instance, 1.10ct. means 1.10 carats.

· Carat Total Weight: When the term “total weight” is used, it refers to the weight of all the gemstones added together. For instance, the center diamond alone on a ring can be 1.50ct, but the weight of the other 25 accent diamonds added together is 0.50ct total weight. Whenever you see “total weight” or “ct twt”, know that they are adding multiple diamonds or gemstones together.

· White Gold or Rose Gold: Gold is always yellow when it comes out of the ground, so to create different colors in gold, other metals are added to the mix to make it a different color. For instance, a 14kt rose gold necklace will be 58.5% gold with other metals, like copper, to make it pink.

· Platinum: Platinum is an entirely different metal than gold and has its own set of properties. For instance, platinum is a naturally white metal and is usually hypoallergenic because it is has only 5% to 10% other metals.

· Natural Diamonds vs Lab Grown Diamonds: Lab grown diamonds have the same chemical composition and crystal structure of a natural diamond, but they are grown in a factory instead of the earth. By law, it HAS to be disclosed in the description of your piece if the diamonds (or gemstones) are lab grown!

As a Graduate Gemologist, I can help you sort through the terminology so that you understand what you are buying. Angela Cisneros Jewelry Concierge brings back the joy and confidence of jewelry shopping, so that you can celebrate with ease! My by-appointment approach means:

  • One-on-one appointments (personal attention and no crowds!)

  • Discretion and privacy (surprises remain surprises!)

  • Expert help from a Graduate Gemologist with 26 years of experience (yep, that’s me!)

Learn more about me and my process:


Book your FREE appointment with me:

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