Naif – You’d have to be a real naif to think this term only applies to easily deceived individuals. In the diamond world, a naif is any unpolished surface on the stone. In cut and polished diamonds, some naif may be left behind on the girdle (in this case, called a ‘bruted girdle’) to give the stone a lil’ something extra (in terms of carat weight).
Násfa – Pendants dating back to the 1500’s were affectionately known as Nasfas, that is if you were in the land of Hungary. Typically fashioned with a flower theme, gallant groom-to-bes would give these to their betrothed beauties from Budpest as an engagement present. If they waited to gift them to their brides on the day after their wedding, they were then called “Morgengabes,” which roughly translates to “Prisoner’s Brooch.”
Navette – this is a nifty name you can give to any gemstone cut in the Marquis style (in an oval shape, with pointed tips). What sets this apart is that it usually describes gems that have this type of silhouette, but are not faceted (meaning the stone is smooth, in the cabochon category). If a jeweler asks if you would like your gem cut in this manner and you are opposed to it, simply answer “No, no navette.”
Nécessaire – here we have any sort of container that is used to hold essential, every day items. These can range drastically in fanciness, from ordinary leather satchels that you stick a fork, spoon or spork in, to fantastically designed golden vessels, utilized in transporting elegant grooming devices, styling products, extra cell phone chargers and a birth certificate authenticating your royal lineage.
Négligée – much like the French under garment of the same name, this is a style of necklace that is truly naughty. The defining features are its delicate chain and two pendant pieces, which hang down about the neck. What makes this so scandalous is that the pendants are hung at different lengths. The asymmetry embodied here was the talk of the town in turn of the 20th century France.
Neo-Renaissance – yes, this is the stylistic period most favored by the protagonist in “The Matrix,” but it also represents the time during the mid to late 1800’s when Europeans were reviving Renaissance (1300-1600’s) inspired art, architecture and jewelry. Pieces popular during this era were often colorful, ornate and intricately designed. It is widely unconfirmed if anyone attended the “Neo-Renaissance Fair.”
Nephrite – is a stone type that is so similar to jadeite, that the two are lumped together and collectively called “Jade.” Some contentious trading of this gemstone between Burma and China for centuries, mostly resolved today.
Nicolo – any design etched into the stone onyx that appears light or bright blue is said to be a nicolo. These little elevated cameos (or their inverted opposites; hollowed out intaglios) were especially popular in ancient Egyptian jewelry.
Niello – a sturdier alternative to enamel, this is a black, metallic substance which is applied over a metal surface (usually silver). Then it’s etched and configured into any number of symbols and designs. Great for knights who like their shields to be extra strong, as well as flamboyant.
Noble Metal – if you can successfully fight off corrosion, and stay eternally shiny, you may qualify to be deemed a noble metal. These include the big three – that’s right, you guessed it – gold, silver and platinum. Much like the Tin Man, these precious metals are not only noble in name, but in their pure, metallic hearts as well.