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Silver Jewelry Terminology Page and General Information Page 2


For the purposes of assisting customers who are new to the jewelry industry or may be unfamiliar with silver jewelry, basic information about the Plum Island Silver jewelry catalog contents are listed below.

Topics Include:

Etched Laser Cut








Finish Miscellaneous Topics





FINDINGS- Small pieces of miscellaneous jewelry items are termed findings. Each finding serves a purpose whether it is to close a chain with a clasp finding or dangle from an ear like a french wire earring finding. These may include such things as:

  • Clasps-
    • Various fasteners which close chains and some bracelets. Styles include a lobster claw clasp, so name as it resembles the claw of a lobster.
    • Spring ring, which is a classic type of closure used on most smaller chains.
    • Box clasp, most often seen on fancy and elaborate silver bracelets like the marcasite bracelets.
    • Toggle clasp is a two piece lock system whereby a small loop on one end of a chain or bracelet accommodates a small bar which slips through the loop and remains locked as with the BR-2599 or the BR-1594.
    • For a full listing of clasps specific to each style chain, please see our section of chain styles and clasps elsewhere within the catalog.
    • Ear Nuts- These are the small pieces of silver which provide a means for a silver ear posts to remain on the ears; they are also called ear backs and ear clutches.
    • Jump rings- Oval and round pieces of silver which provide a way for silver charms to remain on a chain and also dangle. They may be "split" which necessitates a jewelers pliers to close them or soldered closed with no opening.
    • French wires- Question marked shaped wires for earrings, allowing for a greater sense of style than plain ear wires as well as mobility of the earring.
      LOCKETS- Include many shapes such as heart lockets, oval lockets, square lockets and a host of others, all of which are worn on a silver necklace and may accept a picture of a loved one or small keepsake.
      MARCASITE- Is a special collection of early 20th century jewelry inspired items. The marcasite mineral is a gray platy mineral with metallic properties. The marcasite jewelry is available as bracelets, MBR-33, rings, MSR-98, earrings, MER-60, pendants, MPN-78, and pins, MPN-97, and is often paired with pearls, gemstones, or onyx accent stones.
      NECKLACES- Any silver jewelry item worn around the neck and generally finished with a clasp is known as a necklace. For the purposes of classification at Plum Island Silver, necklaces are distinguished from silver chain in that they are embellished with additional silver adornments, gemstones, or some other type of alteration. Necklaces are most often worn by women and teens in varying lengths:
      • 16 as choker length 18 and 20 as standard lengths which fall high on the neck 22, 24, 30, and 36 falling longer on the neck and onto the area of the chest.
      • Some ideas of fancy necklaces include the cz studded NK-365 and the colorful NK-751, the NK-776 teardrop necklace, and the beaded NK-838.
      RINGS- Silver rings are worn by all groups of consumers, including children, teens, men, and women. Generally, womens rings range from 5-9, mens silver rings range from 9-13, with variation up to one half size. Within the pages of the catalog, rings are assumed to be womens rings unless the letter U for unisex or the letter M for mens follows the ring number in the catalog. To insure proper size calculation of a customers finger, consider the UTL-37 finger sizer as well as the UTL-11, ring stick which aids in determining the size of the existing rings in the sales case. Several major categories of rings are worthy of note, including:
      • Silver wedding bands which may be etched, such as the SR-2340, plain like the SR-1164, or with Claddagh rings are the Irish inspired rings with the hands, crown, and heart, such as the SR-118 or the SR-2041.
      • Eternity bands are thin silver band rings with small round stones set in a channel around the perimeter of the ring. Examples include SR-76, SR-78, SR-1787.
      • Celtic rings may include claddagh styles, shamrock designs, or the characteristic antiqued loop designs seen on many pieces of silver Celtic jewelry such as the SR-1813 or the SR-696.
      WATCHES- Several styles of silver watches, most of which have a stainless steel stretch band, are available, all with a one year warranty on the quartz movement.
      MISCELLANEOUS- Some assorted terms and pieces of jewelry information.


      A very nice mirror-like finish is exhibited by the BR-2534 silver cuff bracelet
      An example of a high polish finish bracelet with a superior luster.
      Colors, bright and beautiful, are the best asset for enamel jewelryBright yellow enamel highlights this yellow ribbon charm.
      A ladies' silver filigree ring with a nice example of antique finishThe characteristic dull black from antique finishing of a silver ring.
      • FINISH- The finish or the outer appearance of the pieces of silver jewelry can vary and impart very different style attributes to the pieces. Among these finishes are:

      High polish, is the very lustrous type of finish such as that which is seen on the PN-416 or the CH-1640. The catalog abbreviation for this is hp.

      Antiqued finish incorporates a blackish cast onto the silver jewelry as with the CH-1041 and the BR-2469. The black color owes its origins to the addition to a chemical agent in the tumbling process during jewelry synthesis.
      Diamond-cut finish utilizes a diamond edged tool which strikes the silver jewelry on edge and leaves the classic slashed diamond-cut striking effect. Examples include the EA-2253 and the BR-234 and are so denoted by dc in a description within the catalog.
      Laser cutting describes a precision type of diamond cut that creates a design, rather than just reflecting light off of the jewelry, like the silver cross, CH-770.
      Etched or embossed finish is a soft and scrolled engraving design like on the SR-1451 or the BR-282, generally made by stamping the silver early in the jewelry making process.
      Hammered effect is apparent on bracelets like the BR-1749 and rings such as the SR-2348 and conveys the appearance old world craftsmanship and design.
      Pave finish imparts an illusion of minute crystals on a ring like with the SR-2342 or other silver jewelry items.
      Vermeil is a gold finish which is affixed to the sterling silver under layer. Examples include EA-1921 and BR-307, and the NK-643 with gemstones. Often, the silver and gold may both be present on the jewelry and this type of vermeil is often called two-tone silver. Less frequently, the jewelry may be completely finished with exclusively gold overlay as with the BR-1880, and claddagh. This is often listed in the description portion of the catalog item by two tone or vermeil.
      Enamel is a process by which bright and colorful accents are attributed to silver jewelry, generally on the silver charms like with the CH-2252 and the CH-2944, and the enamel moon charm.
      • GEMSTONES- A large number of jewelry items within the catalog contain genuine gemstones and are so noted within the catalog as well as the website. Natural gemstones are assumed unless the term synthetic or lab created is employed. Similarly, the czs or cubic zirconia jewelry is also clearly labeled with its varying colors and cuts, like with the BR-2710 pink cz bracelet and the CH-3042 cz dog tag. The term CZ Is used to denote cubic zirconia, which is a diamond simulant. Gemstone cutting styles may be a cabochon style with a flat back and curved outward face such as the WA-6; The CH-3335 typifies a faceted stone whereby the onlooker may be able to discern small angled flat surfaces on the stone such as with the EA-2564 or the EA-3289. Stones may be said to be inlaid when they appear to be set flush with the setting and there is no measurable height of the stone such as with the BR-2654 or with the SR-2132 and the inlay style of onyx earring EA-2626.
      • PLATING- Approximately 70% of the chains and articles of jewelry from the Plum Island Silver catalog are augmented with some type of anti-tarnish medium. Frequently, the jewelry is coated with a protective metal similar to platinum known as rhodium, which lessens tarnishing. Other methods of tarnish mitigation include chemical dips and anti-tarnish agents that are added to the end of the jewelry making process.

      Back to previous page of jewelry terms.