Glossary of Jewelry Terms: G

Garnet: A family of stones having many varieties differing in color and in their constituents, but all are silicates with the same isometric crystallization and conforming to the same general chemical formula. Garnet is a very commonly found in gneiss and mica slate. The name is derived from its resemblance in color and shape to the seeds of the pomegranate. The most common color of garnets range from light red to violet or plum-red, but can also be white, green, yellow, brown, and black varieties. Known varieties of garnet include Andradite, Tsavorite, Grossularite, Essonite, Pyrope, Almandine, Spessartite, Melanite, Allochroite, Ouvarovite, Demantoid, and Rhodalite. (See individual listings). Garnets have a hardness that varies between 6-8 on the Mohs scale. It is believed that the wearer of garnets was kept in good health and protected while traveling. Garnets are worn to signify truth and faith. Red garnet is the birthstone for January.

Gilding: An object decorated with a thin layer of gold, gold leaf or gold foil.

Gilt: Gold-plated

Girandôle: A style of earring or brooch in which a large stone or decorative element suspends three smaller, pear-shaped pendants of similar design.

Girdle: The outer edge, or periphery, of a fashioned stone; the portion that is usually grasped by the setting or mounting; the dividing line between the crown and pavilion. The 'rim' or 'edge' of the diamond. The girdle plane is the largest diameter of the stone.

Gold: Because pure gold is too soft to resist prolonged handling, it is usually alloyed with other metals to increase its hardness for use in jewelry, goldware, or coinage. Most gold used in jewelry is alloyed with silver, copper, and a little zinc to produce various shades of yellow gold or with nickel, copper, and zinc to produce white gold. The color of these gold alloys goes from yellow to white as the proportion of silver in them increases; more than 70 percent silver results in alloys that are white. Alloys of gold with silver or copper are used to make gold coins and goldware, and alloys with platinum or palladium are also used in jewelry. The content of gold alloys is expressed in 24ths, called karats; a 12-karat gold alloy is 50 percent gold, and 24-karat gold is pure. Rose gold or red gold is alloyed with copper to give its hue. 

Gold-Filled: Base metal which has had 0.025 mm of gold bonded to it's surface. More durable than gold-plated. Unlike real gold, gold-fill will eventually tarnish.

Gold-Plated: Base metal which has been bonded with at least 0.0025 mm of gold. Not as durable as alloyed gold or gold-fill. With moderate to heavy use gold-plated jewelry will eventually lose its coating, leaving the base metal exposed. The United States jewelry product standard for gold- filled is a minimum of 12 carat as accepted by the Manufacturing jewelers & Silversmiths Association.

Gold Vermeil: A think layer of gold plating over sterling silver. The under layer must be sterling silver for it to be considered vermeil.

Gold Washed: Products that have an extremely thin layer of gold, (less than .175 microns thick), applied by either dipping or burnishing the metal, but not plating it. This will wear away more quickly than pieces that are gold-plated, gold-filled, or gold electroplated.

Girandole: A piece of jewelry that has 3 dangling, pear shaped pendants.

Guilloché: A style of enameling in which a continuous decoration is engraved by an engine-turned lathe, and then covered with translucent enamel, so that the engraving can be seen through the enamel.