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Jewelry: The How To Pronounce It Guide

Posted by Laurie Zeiden on

If you've ever been a sales person, you've probably heard someone asking for a product and mispronouncing its name. That's certainly true in jewelry. Many designers' names and many jewelry terms aren't pronounced the way they look. Do you know how to pronounce VERMEIL? What about CINI? Check below and you may be surprised to learn you're right. Or maybe, you're wrong. And maybe like me, you're so used to saying it a certain way, knowing what's correct doesn't really change anything.


French luxurty haute-couture design house founded in 1952. The jewelry designs are classic and versatle.
Pronounced ZHEE-VON-SHEE

Italian designer whose work was prominent during the years between the two world wars. Her work was influenced in part by the surresalist movement of design and sought after by collectors. Beware of "misspelled" hallmarks - counterfeits unfortunately are out there.

Over 100 years old and still considered by many to the one of the premiere costume jewelry companies. Napier designers are available at all price points on the secondary market.
Pronounced NAPE-EE-YER

Italian born Boston designer started his company in 1922. Early work was mostly done in silver and gold; rhinestones were used starting in the 1950s.
Pronounced CHEE-NEE

New York jewelry company successfully transitioned from fine jewelry to costume jewelry. Ciner is known for its use of quality stones.
Pronounced SIGH-NER

Founded in 1942, Weiss costume jewelry includes a large array of designs at a variety of price points. Pieces are available on the secondary market, but beware, this is one companies counterfeiters have embraced.
Pronounced WICE

Iradj Moini
New York designer since 1989 who formerly designed for Oscar de la Renta. His pieces are in museums and seen in countless fashion editorials.
Pronounced EE-RAJ  MO-EE-NEE


Process of metal being hammered into relief from the reverse side
Pronounced REH-POO-SAY

Appearance of gold over another metal such as silver. These four examples are all pieces stamped sterling silver.
Note, if you're using this word to describe a bright red, then it's pronounced VER-MULL
Pronounced VER-MAY

A decorative technique in which a very precise, intricate and repetitive pattern is mechanically engraved into an underlying material
Pronounced GA-LOWSH
**** 5/23**** based on the comments I'm getting, I'm starting to think maybe there is a second pronunciation. The comments imply that GI-O-SHAY may also be acceptable.

This in an evolving, and on-going blog post. I'll add more examples as I think of them. 

Robin Deutsch for lending a photo for this blog
Merry Shugart for helping to make the list

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  • What a helpful and beautiful looking guide, thanks for posting!

    Amanda Gosse on

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