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jewelry glossary

Antique jewelry glossary

Welcome to our extensive antique jewelry glossary with around 1,500 jewelry related entries.If you feel you are missing an explanation, feel free to let us know and we will add it.

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Gemel ring

The same as gimmel ring, the term 'gimmel' being generally applied today by writers and jewellers (but not dictionaries) to a twin finger ring.

The word 'gimmel' is, according to the Oxford English dictionary, an 'altered form' of 'gemel' which is derived from the Latin gemellus, the diminutive of geminus, twin (just as the name of the zodiacal sign Gemini is derived from geminus). The spelling 'gimmal' (but not 'gimmel') is the spelling listed in the Oxford English dictionary, in Chamber's dictionary (1973), and in Webster's dictionary, as the alternative to 'gemel'. Hence 'gemel' would appear to be historically and etymologically the correct term, but as 'gimmel' has the sanction of widespread usage, it must now be accepted to designate finger rings of this type (as it is for other appliances made of two joined rings, e.g. a horse bit).

From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson

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