Table: The large facet that caps the crown of a faceted gemstone. In the standard round brilliant, it is octagonal in shape and is bounded by eight star facets; the top facet.
Table-cut: See “Emerald Cut”.
Tanzanite: A variety of zoisite named after its country of origin, Tanzania, where it was first discovered in 1967 and is still the only place where it can be found. Tanzanite is popular for its brilliance and is known for its varying shades of violet; from deep rich purple to lilac. The gem can be heated to achieve the most sought after shade, a vibrant blue violet. Good quality tanzanite is usually faceted, but the rare pieces that have flaws are simply made into cabochons.
Tapered baguette: A small gemstone cut in a trapezoid shape with one end narrower than the opposite end.
Tarnish: A dulled luster or finish caused by a thin deposit of a dirt which discolors the surface of metal and is easily removed. Also a reaction between metals and other chemicals which discolors the surface, particularly silver which reacts with sulfur. The silver sulfide can be removed with a proprietary cleaning product and gentle abrasion. A thin deposit of a dirt which discolors the surface of metal and is easily removed. Also a reaction between metals and other chemicals which discolors the surface, particularly silver which reacts with sulfur (sulfur). The silver sulfide (sulfide) can be removed with a proprietary cleaning product and gentle abrasion.
Tanzanite: A beautiful violet colored crystal stone that derives its name from the gemstone discovered in Tanzania, Africa.This popular gemstone color works very well with a wide range of purples and blues.
Topaz: Topaz is a stone which occurs in many colors, including blue, green, yellow, pink, brown and clear; it is often treated with heat to develop it into a rich “Tiffany” blue color. The most valuable topaz is “Imperial” topaz with a golden yellow to orange color. Although it is a hard stone, topaz can be susceptible to breaking. Topaz is sought after for many reasons, as it is lustrous, has double refraction and a strong hue.
Taxco (pronounced TAHKS’ coh): The center of silversmithing in Mexico. Silver produced there up until about 1970 is considered collectible. In 1979 the government began to require silversmiths to stamp a registration mark consisting of two letters and several numbers
Tennis bracelet: A bracelet made up of individually set gemstones of uniform size and color linked together like a chain so it is somewhat flexible
Tiffany Setting: A generally round, high, six-prong setting with long, slender prongs that flare out from the base introduced by Tiffany & Co. in 1886. It is most commonly used today for large stones such as a diamond solitaire.
Tin: A malleable, silvery metallic element which is not easily oxidized in the air, and so is used chiefly to coat iron to protect it from rusting. It is primarily extracted from the ore cassiterite where it is found as an oxide. Tin is malleable at ordinary temperatures, but brittle when heated and is a part of numerous alloys such as soft solder, pewter, type metal, and bronze. It is most commonly used in the form of tin foil with mercury to form the reflective surface of mirrors.
Toggle clasp: A means of fastening two ends of a chain together consisting of a ring on one end and a short bar on the other. The bar is slid through the ring and sits across it so it does not slide or pull.
Topaz: A fluosilicate of aluminum that occurs in rhombohedral crystals and is used as a gemstone. Although it is a hard stone, topaz can be susceptible to breaking. According to some, the name is from Topazos, a small island in the Red Sea, where the Romans obtained a stone which they called by this name, but which is now called chrysolite. Topaz is sought after because it is lustrous, has double refraction and a strong hue. It may be found in many colors, such as blue, brown, clear, green, orange, pink, red, yellow, white. The most valuable topaz is “Imperial” topaz with a golden yellow to orange color. The most popular color is an enhanced blue treated with heat to develop it into a rich “Tiffany” blue color which resembles aquamarine, but is more affordable. Yellow quartz is sometimes called topaz, but is considered “false topaz”. True topaz is said to be the symbol of love and affection to act as a protector by making the wearer invisible in emergencies. Topaz is the birthstone for November. For more information about the history of diamonds, visit Fabulous Facets Gem History (use your browser’s “back” key to return here)
Torsade: A necklace formed by many stands of beads; sometimes the beads include many different sizes.
Tortoise Shell: A mottled, nutty brown shell material with a spotted, striped, or sometimes even speckled pattern. Popular for 19th century jewelry and hair combs, tortoise shell was banned and is no longer used for these items. There are very close plastic imitations of tortoiseshell. One technique to differentiate tortoise from its imitators is to touch the surface with a hot pinpoint. Tortoise will give off a smell like burning hair, while plastic will emit an acrid chemical odor.
Translucent: Partially transparent. A translucent stone will allow some light through, but it will still be too cloudy to see objects through clearly.
Trembler: See “En Tremblant”
Trillion Cut: Trillion cut is a triangular shaped diamond with abbreviated corners and typically 44 varying facets.
Turquoise: Turquoise is a semi-precious stone, and is known for its true “robin’s egg blue”. Although turquoise is very opaque, it is also porous and is predominantly found in desert regions worldwide. It was originally discovered in Turkey, and green hued turquoise can be found in North America. This unique stone is usually cut into cabochons, or domes, to enhance the natural beauty of the gem. For more information about the history of turquoise, visit Fabulous Facets Gem History (use your browser’s “back” key to return here)
GLOSSARY OF JEWELRY TERMS INDEX