Jewelry Learning Center

JEWELRY LEARNING CENTER

Explore the various elements of a jewelry design, including the surface, structural components, and important shape options.

Setting

Known as the area of a piece of jewelry that holds in the diamond or gemstone, jewelry settings come in many different styles. The style of the setting can heavily influence the mood, feel, and overall appearance of the design. Some settings can instantly modernize a style that is otherwise more classic, and vice versa. It’s important to consider your activity level, lifestyle, and aesthetic preferences when choosing a setting. A person that treats their jewelry delicately may consider minimalist settings, such as prong or pave designs. However, if a person is more active and doesn’t like removing their jewelry very much, they should lean towards a more sturdy setting, such as a bezel or channel-set design.

Prong
V-prong
pave
Milgrain
Double Prong
Common Prong
Channel
Bezel
Bar

Small bands of metal wrap around the edges of the stone, securing it tightly into place. While different stone shapes commonly use a standard number of prongs to secure the stone, you’ll typically see about 3-4 prongs per main gemstone in the design.

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Metal

All jewelry at PJ Custom is created with fine 14 karat gold, 18 karat gold, or platinum upon request. Gold is our favorite choice for metal settings because it promises a lifetime of wear and remarkable quality, and it’s resistant to rust, tarnish and corrosion. For centuries, gold has been treasured throughout the globe, with yellow gold being the most popular. But today, more contemporary styles are shifting into white gold, rose gold, and a combination of gold colors (called two-tone).

Pure gold is too soft to be worn every day, so jewelry makers combine it with silver, copper, nickel and zinc to give it strength and durability. Gold that is higher in karat weight will be higher and heavier in gold content, with 14k gold composed of 58.3% gold, and 18k gold composed of 75% gold.

Yellow Gold
White Gold
Rose Gold
Platinum
Two-Tone Gold

Yellow gold has been used for centuries, providing a rich, warm feel to a jewelry design. It’s traditionally the most popular metal color, and is the best choice to pair with diamonds that are lower on the color scale (H-K).

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Shank

Specifically relevant to rings, the shank is the band(s) that rests around the ringer and meeting the main center of the ring design. Available in many different shapes, options and sizes, the shank is a very important detail when designing a ring. It’s important to consider that the shank should provide support, comfort and security to help prevent the ring from center stone loss, twirling around the finger, and lending emphasis to the right parts of the design.

Twisted Shank
Single Shank
Double Shank
Triple Shank
Trellis
Free-form Shank
Tapered Shank
Cathedral

Symbolic of eternal, infinite or intertwining love, twisted shanks can be created using an infinite pattern, woven pattern, Celtic knots or X shapes. Small stones may be added to the design to draw extra emphasis to the detail.

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Finish

Jewelry can be textured through a variety of different approaches. Some finishes are especially flattering when paired with certain gemstones, and some provide a more masculine or feminine finish to a design. Some finishes also help hide any scratches or scuff marks that can be picked up from daily wear and tear.

Hammered
Matte
Polish
Satin
Brushed

Hammered metal finishes appear as if a flat surface was used to hammer flat, even facets within the jewelry. This striking finish is a popular choice for men’s bands.

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Filigree

Filigree designs involve delicate embellishments along the jewelry created with metal, where fine threads of precious metal are twisted and curled into the design. Filigree designs give a high-value look to a design, providing antique flourishes, fine details and intricate elements that give a more feminine look.

Browse examples of filigree jewelry
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Engraving

Engraved jewelry involves the process of cutting and etching elements into the surface of the metal by hand. Engraved textures can turn an otherwise simple and dull design into a highly ornate design by adding patterns, leaves, and other organic shapes into the jewelry. Engravings can also give a piece of jewelry a highly personal connection, since many people choose to engrave important, sentimental information into their piece. Popular choices include initials, locations, symbolism (i.e. infinite signs) and other details relevant to the piece of jewelry.

Browse examples of engraved jewelry
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