Glossary of Jewelry Terms: R

Radiant Cut: A rectangular gemstone with a total of 70 facets combining the shape of an Emerald cut and the sparkle of a Brilliant cut.

Refraction: The action of changing the direction of a light wave, so the light enters the object in one direction, and leaves it in another.

Regard: A kind of Acrostic jewelry, meaning jewelry where the first letter of each type of stone spells out a word. In this case, a ring or brooch set with a Ruby, Emerald, Garnet, Amethyst, Ruby, and a Diamond so that the first letter of each gemstone spelled out "Regard". Popular in the Victorian era.

Relief: A kind of raised decoration that protrudes above the surface, like a cameo.

Repoussé: A method of embossing a metal sheet by punching and hammering a design from the back, then polishing it up in front with a chasing hammer, producing a three-dimensional bas-relief surface.

Rhinestone: A faceted stone made of glass.

Rhodium: A metal that is a member of the platinum family of metals, but is liquid in its raw, natural state, not solid like platinum. Rhodium can be applied to base metals, gold, sterling silver, or some other alloy, to give it a shiny white surface like platinum. This process was popular in the 30's and 40's, is very durable, and very expensive.

Riveting: A method of joining two objects together by making a hole in each piece, then passing a screw (composed of the same metal as the piece), through the holes to join the parts. This process was used in jewelry instead of soldering when it was not advisable to use heat or when one part was intended to swivel.

Ring Sizes: One of the few aspects of the jewelry industry that is standardized is ring size, though many national systems are in use. The US uses a numeric system from 1-13. The UK has an alphabetic system from A-Z. The European system is numeric from 38-70, representing the interior circumference in millimeters. The most common sizes for women are 6 and 7, and for men 10 and 11
US, British & European Finger Ring Sizes

This comparative chart attempts to reconcile the differing sizing systems in use. Rarely do the measurements coincide but using this list it is possible to approximate one sizing system to another. Sizes within 0.01mm have been equated.

Rivière: A necklace composed of a single strand of gemstones of the same size and cut, usually diamonds.

Rock Crystal: see "Quartz".

Rose Cut: A style of stone cutting that produces a gem with a flat, unfaceted base and a somewhat dome-shaped top that is covered with a varied number of triangular facets and terminates in a point.. This style of cut has been in use since the 16th century. It is an early style of cutting that is thought to have originated in India and to have been brought to Europe by the Venetians. The rose cut is now used primarily on small diamonds.

Rose finish: Jewelry finished so that it has the look of Rose Gold, but no actual gold content.

Rose gold: An alloy of gold mixed with copper, which gives it a red tint.

Rose Quartz: A translucent milky pink variety of Quartz (see also "Quartz")

Round Cut or Brilliant Cut: The most common style of cutting for both diamonds and colored stones. The standard round brilliant consists of a total of 58 facets: 1 table, 8 bezel facets, 8 star facets and 16 upper-girdle facets on the crown; and 8 pavilion facets, 16 lower-girdle facets, and usually a culet on the pavilion, or base. Although the brilliant style was devised to give maximum brilliancy and fire, many stones cut in this fashion do not have ideal proportions or angles for that purpose. Modifications of the round brilliant include such fancy shapes as the marquise, half moon, pear shape and many others.

Ruby: One of the four precious gemstones along with Diamonds, Emeralds and Sapphires. Ruby is a member of the corundum family whose color comes from chromium oxide in the stone. Although corundum can come in many colors, rubies are, by definition, red. Rubies have been synthesized since at least 1890 and can only be distinguished from natural rubies by trained gemologists. Rubies are extremely hard, a 9 on the Mohs scale, second only to diamonds. Fine rubies of good color can be more valuable than diamonds, For centuries, rubies have symbolized beauty, charity, love, passion, power, and royalty. In some countries, engagement rings are set with rubies instead of diamonds. The ruby is the birthstone for July. For more information about the history of rubies, visit Fabulous Facets Gem History (use your browser's "back" key to return here).