All mechanical watches – manual or self-winding – should always be working, as their continuous movement allows the mechanism to create its own routine and prevents the oils from drying out. In order for them not to stop, manual watches must be wound every day (preferably around the same time of day) and automatic watches should be worn, as the movement of the wearer allows the rotor inside the timepiece to wind the mechanism. However, if an automatic watch is not used for a certain period of time, it will stop (generally, reserve power is around 40 hours). To prevent this from happening, you can manually wind using the crown, like a manual watch, or even use a watch winder (a device that keeps automatic watches running). Also, if an automatic watch has stopped, you should wind it manually by turning the crown about 20 times and never shake it.
There are three types of movement that keep a watch running.
1. Manual mechanical – energy is provided by hand winding via the crown.
2. Automatic mechanical – the watch is wound by a rotor, normally shaped like a half-moon that rotates due to the movement of the wearer’s arm.
3. Quartz – energy is supplied by a battery.
This is a watchmaking company that boasts all (or almost all) the stages of watch design. There are few companies with this status – they are usually brands that are highly respected in the industry for their autonomous capacity to devise, design, produce and test the Calibres (mechanisms or movements) of their own watches.
A chronograph is a watch with a stopwatch function that features totalizers and additional hands. A chronometer is a watch with a mechanism that has received a certificate after passing a number of precision tests administered by the Contrôle Officiel Suisse des Chronomètres (COSC); it can be a simple watch (hours, minutes, seconds) or a chronograph.
Name for the most elaborate calendar timepiece complication that indicates the date, day of the week, month and cycle of leap years. Mechanical complexity means that multiple parts and movements work together to calculate the months with fewer days and jump to the beginning of the next month, including the variation in leap years. Normally, perpetual calendars display the phases of the moon and, if they are always working, only need to be adjusted in the year 2100 – a leap year in which 29th February will be ignored for correction purposes.
This is a technical term that describes the shape, size or specifications of a watch mechanism. The calibre can be wound manually or automatically, and comes in different shapes and sizes. Previously, the diameter of a calibre was measured in lignes, with a ligne equivalent to 2.256 mm.
It is the main button, generally located on the right-hand side of a watch case. It is used to wind the watch, set the hands and the date (by pulling the crown out). Many watches have a threaded system for the crown to ensure the case is tightly sealed, where it is necessary to unscrew it before using. Crowns normally carry an embossed brand logo and if they are decorated with (precious or semi-precious) stones, they are called a cabochon.
A feature of a watch fitted with a mechanism in which the hour hand is replaced by a disc numbered from 1 to 12. A small module makes this disc move to the position (time) after 60 minutes, causing the following number to appear in the window of the existing time on the display.
This is a francophone word to describe the decoration of certain dials using intertwined geometric shapes, in relief, carved on a metal surface by a specific too.
The luminescent compound may be tritium or LumiNova – new regulations have recently banned the use of tritium. The tritium was mixed with luminescent paint: luminescent things need an energy source to glow and this came from tritium’s radioactivity. As tritium is a beta emitter, its level of radioactivity is so harmless that Beta particles can be nullified with a simple sheet of paper. The advantage of tritium is that glows continuously, even in daylight, although it has a limited lifespan of around twelve years, making repainting necessary.
LumiNova is a passive light-emitting paint, which needs energy from natural or artificial light. Its brightness and longevity are superior to tritium, although it loses its luminescence after a few hours and needs energy (light) to glow again.
This is the scale usually visible on the dials or bezels of chronographs that measures the speed of a vehicle by timing it over a kilometre; the second hand of a chronograph gives an accurate reading of the average speed at which the vehicle travelled this kilometre on the watch’s tachymeter scale.
The transparent cover of a watch case is sometimes called “crystal”. The crystal protects the display on the watch front, but can also be used on the back as a transparent background, which allows the wearer to see the intricate details of the watch’s mechanism, giving the impression that it is “open”. Most luxury brands use sapphire crystal, which has a hardness of 400, compared to 50 of window glass and 100 of quartz. Sapphire crystal is an extremely hard and scratch-resistant synthetic glass for watches. It is super transparent and offer excellent visibility.
The word “Baroque” only refers to the pearls’ irregular, non-symmetrical shape, and has nothing to do with their intrinsic nature. Despite these irregular shapes being common in natural pearls, they are also plentiful when cultured.
Although they originate from organisms that live in the sea (assuming that they are a particular type of cultured pearls), your necklace’s pearls should not be taken to the beach for a number of reasons: the hole in each pearl will expose the interior, including its organic content, to the risk of harm, with sometimes very visible consequences; the sand from the beach, particularly on the Portuguese coast, has a lot of quartz and other minerals that are harder than the pearl’s nacre (which is mainly aragonite) and this can damage its surface quality and shine; finally, skin products used for the beach, whether for sunbathing or protection, can also damage pearls – which are very sensitive to chemicals. So, it is inadvisable to use pearl necklaces at the beach, especially in the water. That said, there is no better summer combination than the silky lustre of pearls contrasting with tanned skin, but maybe not on the beach!
This is an old question still asked regarding the jargon in our sector, but that has long been banished from the technical vocabulary of jewellery (according to the CIBJO – The World Jewellery Confederation, the expression “semi-precious stone” is considered incorrect and even misleading). The reason for this is because, as a question, it is not possible to distinguish between gems using criteria of monetary value because there are so many, so-called “semi-precious” stones that may cost considerable amounts in different markets (e.g. aquamarines, alexandrites, red spinels, tanzanites, tsavorites, tourmalines, etc.).
In Portuguese, the word cabução does not correspond to a stone, but rather a style of cutting where the stone is polished with a concave surface, with various contours (e.g. round, oval, pear-shaped, heart-shaped). In watchmaking, the cabochon encrusted on crowns are usually rounded sapphires.
The word brilliant is still used as a synonym for diamond, which, strictly speaking, is incorrect – although this expression is still part of professional jargon. In a commercial or informal context, we can use the word ‘brilliant’ for a cut diamond. However, ‘brilliant’ is the name given to a style of cut that is not unique to diamonds, although it was first developed for this purpose. It is very common to see small blue, pink and yellow sapphires cut in a round and brilliant style, as well as a range of synthetic stones that imitate diamonds (e.g. zirconia and synthetic moissanite), among others gems.
As such, it is more accurate to refer to a cut diamond as simply a ‘diamond’ (the real name of this gem-quality mineral) preceded by the name and form of its lapidary style, for example, ‘round brilliant diamond’, ‘oval brilliant diamond’, ‘princess diamond’, etc.
In conclusion: ‘diamond’ is the name of the gemstone material (whether cut or not, boasting gem quality or not: let’s not forget industrial diamonds) and ‘brilliant’ is just the name of a lapidary style that is not just for diamonds.
The first C of the 4 Cs is the diamond’s cut. A well-cut diamond will direct more light through the crown. A diamond with a depth that's too shallow or too deep will allow light to escape through the sides or the bottom of the stone.
The color of a diamond is the next important element of the 4 Cs. The diamond’s color ranges from an icy white colorless to a light yellow. It's very difficult to tell the difference from one color grade to another color grade. That's why it's important to compare diamonds side by side. Colorless is the most rare and therefore the most expensive. Yellow is the least rare and therefore the least expensive.
The Clarity of a diamond is an important element of the 4 Cs. It affects the rarity and therefore the expense. The clarity refers to the diamond's tiny markings. GIA created a diamond grading scale to help the consumer understand what makes one diamond worth more than another. The grading scale is based on rarity. Flawless is the most rare and therefore the most expensive. Included 3 is the least rare and therefore the least expensive.
The last of the 4 Cs of diamonds is the carat weight. Many people want the largest diamond they can afford. 1 carat is divided into 100 points so that 50 points is 1/2 carat. Although size is an important factor in determining the value of a diamond, the cut, color, and clarity are equally important.
ROUND CUT DIAMOND
From the hands of an expert cutter, the Round Brilliant Cut diamond delivers on its promise of "beauty and brilliance." The Round Brilliant Cut diamond consists of 58 facets (or 57 if the culet is excluded). This is the classic shape for diamonds and a well cut Round Brilliant diamond maximizes light return better than most other shapes and creates a dazzling display, sure to make her heart skip a beat and her friends jealous.
PRINCESS CUT DIAMOND
The Princess Cut diamond combines the liveliness of a Round diamond and the contemporary shape of an Emerald or Square Cut diamond to create one of the most brilliant fancy shapes of all. As one of the newest diamond shapes, the Princess Cut diamond offers flexibility to work with nearly any style ring.
EMERALD CUT DIAMOND
An Emerald Cut diamond is an elegant beauty. It has a rectangular shape with cut corners which is also known as a step cut (because its concentric, broad, flat planes resemble stair steps). Looking into an Emerald Cut diamond is like looking into a clear pool of water - it draws you in.
CUSHION CUT DIAMOND
The Cushion Cut diamond is an elegantly shaped diamond that has recently gained popularity because of the heightened demand for vintage-styled jewelry. Combining the cut characteristics of both the round and the oval, the Cushion Cut diamond’s rounded corners and larger facets increase this special diamond's brilliance.
RADIANT CUT DIAMOND
While the silhouette of a Radiant Cut diamond reminds us of the elegant Emerald Cut, the Radiant's facet pattern is arranged to create a much more brilliant return of light - befitting its name - Radiant. This diamond cut possesses 70 facets to provide the ultimate in brilliance.
ASSCHER CUT DIAMOND
The Asscher Cut diamond is named after Joseph Asscher who developed the cut in 1902. The Asscher Cut diamond has a similar facet arrangement to the Emerald Cut yet is square rather than elongated in proportion. The Asscher has 74 facets which make this special cut reminiscent of a bygone era. The Asscher Cut diamond has regained popularity as a result of the many famous stars opting to wear this vintage cut diamond.
PEAR CUT DIAMOND
The Pear Cut diamond combines the cut characteristics of the Round Brilliant diamond and the regal Marquise Cut diamond to form an elegant, beautiful and brilliant cut of diamond. Also known as a "teardrop," this cut of diamond is sure to bring a tear of joy when it is given to the one you love.
OVAL CUT DIAMOND
The Oval Cut diamond in its modern form was created in 1957 by Lazare Kaplan. The Oval Cut diamond has 57 or 58 facets with a large surface area to bring out it’s amazing brilliance. The Oval diamond’s shape is graceful and proportioned which make it a popular choice for engagement rings.
HEART SHAPED DIAMOND
Being one of the most difficult diamond shapes to cut, the eye-catching Heart shaped diamond is made up of between 56 to 58 facets and is beautiful to see. Nothing says “I love you” like a romantic heart shaped diamond with a brilliant cut.
MARQUISE CUT DIAMOND
With its design, said to be inspired by the fetching smile of the Marquise de Pompadour, the Marquise Cut diamond's elongated shape flatters the hand and symbolizes true love to last the ages. It features 58 facets and has been around for centuries which make the Marquise cut diamond a timeless treasure.
An easy way to clean your diamond is to use a quality jewelry cleaning solution. If you don’t have that available, you can use warm water with a few drops of mild dish soap to clean your diamond. You then can use a new soft toothbrush (only used for cleaning jewelry) to get to the hard to reach places.
The wonderful thing about diamonds is that they never ever lose their beauty and brilliance once they're cut. You simply have to clean that diamond and you get that look that you had the day you fell in love with it.
When it comes to diamonds, many people think of the stones' size or carat-number as the most important measure. However, that is not the case: Other than the carat measure, which provides information on the diamond's weight and hence stands in relation to its size, there are 3 other main factors determining the quality of a diamond.
The price of a diamond is mainly affected by the 4Cs:
1- Carat weight
The higher the quality, the higher the price. Finding a stone that fits your budget means getting the right trade-off between the 4 determinants.
The carat, sometimes known as a ‘metric-carat’, is the standard unit of weight for polished gems, as well as rough diamonds. One carat – international abbreviation ‘CT’ – is the equivalent of 200 mg, i.e. a fifth of a gram. This unit was officially introduced in Portugal in 1911 as a standard measure, approved and defined by the Comité International de Poids et Mesures at its General Conference in Paris in 1907.
The question regarding the colour of rubies is a very interesting and old one. A ruby is essentially a red sapphire, being the same mineral but of a different colour (just like amethyst and citrine are quartz but have different colours and names). The element that makes a ruby red is chromium. If there isn’t enough of this impurity, the gem is pink and lighter in colour, depending on this percentage. In this case, strictly speaking, the stone cannot be called a ruby, but rather a pink sapphire which, incidentally, have increased in popularity since the discovery of deposits in Madagascar in the 1990s.
Paraiba tourmalines are very rare and sometimes command astronomical prices (hundreds of thousands of euros). What distinguishes them from other tourmaline is their colour, which is an intense bluish green or a very distinctive bright blue, the best examples being extremely rare stones. Their name comes from the fact that they were discovered in the state of Paraiba, Brazil, in the 1990s. They are now also found in the Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Norte, in Nigeria and in Mozambique.
Quite often (in fact, almost always …), citrine quartz is called topaz. This is misleading and, in some cases, may have negative consequences as, strictly speaking, they are two different things. This is because yellow topaz and citrine quartz are the same colour, and most come from the same country, Brazil. Currently, yellow topaz has a higher commercial value than citrine, and because the name is better known and catchier, unscrupulous traders are tempted to dupe less well-informed consumers and other traders.
Ceylon, now called Sri Lanka, is one of the oldest regions for sapphires, not only blue ones, but also yellow, gold, pink and other colours. The expression “Ceylon Sapphire” became synonymous with lighter blue sapphires due to the quantity of this material that, at least until the 1980s, traditionally came from this island. As a merely commercial expression, it does not indicate the origin of the gem. Also, Sri Lanka has sapphires with a more saturated and intense colour, which are considered better quality in the market, making this expression even less relevant. In short, the expression should be understood as merely an old commercial term.
Platinum is a particularly rare and valuable precious metal. To obtain one gram of platinum it is necessary to extract more than 300 kg of ore – while ‘only’ 100 kg are needed to obtain a gram of gold. Platinum also melts at a higher temperature (1,773º) than gold (1,063º) or silver (960º) and is harder, heavier and more resistant than other metals used in jewellery and timepieces; a platinum object weighs 35% more than the equivalent in 18-carat gold. Platinum is almost always used in a very pure alloy (95% platinum).
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