In order to have meaningful conversations about responsible jewelry practices, we need to share an understanding of key terms.

In biweekly meetings over a period of 3+ years, a working group comprising jewelry designers, gemstone wholesalers, goldsmiths, educators, and sustainability experts defined these ten terms.

  • We focused on these ten terms because we noticed them being used prevalently and with widely differing meanings: in branding and marketing material, in verbal and written descriptions of jewelry related supplies and products, in social media posts and hashtags, and elsewhere. 
  • To propose standardized definitions for these terms, we referenced common use, domestic and international legal documents, and published standards pertaining to jewelry and/or its components.
  • We shared our definitions and asked for feedback via a public survey. Over 400 individuals representing various sectors of the industry, as well as consumers, weighed in our definitions. 

This is an ongoing project meant to reflect our evolving, collective understanding of key terms. At this stage, we are analyzing the data collected via our survey and revisiting our initial proposed definitions in order to reflect the opinions and suggestions that we received. Our hope is that this glossary can serve as an educational tool to clarify these terms, curb misuse, and raise awareness of prevailing discrepancies in current general use.