A glossary of ethnic jewellery terms


The Rajasthani people are the native inhabitants of Rajasthan (“the land of kings”) region of India. Their language Rajasthani is a part of the western group of Indo-Aryan languages. Traditionally men wear dhotis, kurta, and paggar or safa (kind of turban headgear). Traditional Chudidar payjama (puckered trousers) frequently replaces dhoti in different regions. Women wear…Continue Reading

Rihanna chain

One of the most recognizably Tunisian adornments is the rihanna chain. It is comprised of thin flat thin-gauged metal rings that have been soldered together in a chain. It is worn either as a necklace or a pectoral paired with fibulae, and was traditionally worn by women in Tunis and Djerba. Photo Ethnicjewels.ning.comContinue Reading


Rubies are precious stones and a member of the corundum family (Al2O3). Rubies range in color from the classic deep red to pink to purple to brown. Rubies are extremely hard; only diamonds are harder. During the renaissance, people thought that rubies could counteract poison. Laboratory-produced rubies were created in the 1890’s; they are difficult…Continue Reading

Rose gold

Rose gold (also known as pink gold) is gold with a pink tinge. It has been alloyed with a mix of 90% copper and 10% silver.Continue Reading


A rondelle is a small disc used as a spacer in beadwork. Some rondelles are clear crystal discs, often used between colored crystal beads. Other rondelles are encircled with chanel-set diamonds or rhinestones.Continue Reading

Rolled Gold

Rolled gold is a very thin sheet of gold that is laminated to a lesser metal (usually brass). The two layers of metal are heated under pressure to fuse them together. The sheet is them rolled into a very thin sheet and then used to make jewelry or other objects. Jewelry made from rolled gold…Continue Reading


A ring is a piece of jewelry worn around the finger; rings have been worn on every finger, including the thumb. Rings have been worn through the ages, and often have significant meaning. Some rings include wedding and engagement rings (denoting commitment), signet rings (impressed with the owner’s seal), bands (made from a ribbon of…Continue Reading


The rati is an Indian unit of weight that is used for gemstones. A rati is equal to 0.91 carats. The rati has varied in the past (and in different regions).Continue Reading

Chasing / repousse

Chasing is a type of metal decoration in which the metal is manipulated using a hammer and a punch, resulting in an effect similar to engraving or embossing. Repousse is a method of decorating sheet metal in which designs are hammered into the back of the metal. Special punches are used to form the designs,…Continue Reading