basket Your basket >
Your wishlist >
reset search

We offer layaway, spread payments on the piece of your dreams. Ask us for details. Free insured shipping on all orders !!!

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.

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z     all


The process of testing the purity of metal in an article, e.g. ascertaining the proportion of gold or silver in relation to other metals that are constituents of the alloy, but without making a complete analysis.

Assaying has been legally required in Great Britain since c. 1300 for articles of gold and silver (since 1975 for platinum). The process formerly involved rubbing with a touchstone, but today technical procedures are used to test the scrappings of each part of an article submitted; gold is tested by cupellation, silver by the 'volumetric method' and in both cases the content must be established to the nearest 0.1%.

When an article contains a metal of two different qualities (e.g. 22- and 18- carat gold), the assaying applies only to that of lower quality, and the mark ignores the metal of higher quality.

Certain articles are exempted, such as pieces of a delicate nature (e.g. filigree) or low monetary value, as well as pins and springs that must be of a strong metal; for chains, all links are assayed but the mark is dispensed with.

Assaying was done in ancient Egypt and Rome, and has been carried out on the Continent for centuries; there is no governmental assaying in the United States.

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

Jewelry Glossary

Missing an explanation?
click here to request one

Jewelry Theme Search
Antique Jewelry Lecture
Adin Wallpapers    Help    Shipping Policy    Dealer Terms    Special Requests    Follow us on :   Twitter   Facebook   Google+   Instagram   Links
Home  |   Site Security  |   Track your Order   |   Return Policy   |   Contact Us  |   Antwerp  |   Terms And Conditions   |   Site Map  |   Blog  |   Testimonials  |   In Memoriam