While any old word can be used to describe jewelry, I was disappointed at the lack of guides online about writing clear, concise, appropriate, and most importantly, convincing product descriptions. In an age where most people are now more likely to buy jewelry from Etsy rather than Tiffany’s, it’s important to create copy for your jewelry that isn’t stale or unenthusiastic; remember, content is King, and if your content doesn’t entice people to buy your product, then they’re just filler words that you can do without.
But how do you write about jewelry? What words can you use that haven’t already been recycled so many times that it just becomes dull? Sure, you can call an amber necklace “pretty” or “lovely”, but so can your 6th grade nephew. God forbid you use the word “beautiful” as an adjective; might as well take an express train to BORINGville.
So instead of those words, we’re going to look at different ways to write about jewelry, what words we can use to describe jewelry, as well as take a look at some commonly used terms the jewelry industry uses to describe their products. All of this, of course, will not only help you become a better writer, but it will also help you create product descriptions or website copy that evokes emotion from your readers, a goal that professional writers and sales people share. Why? Because evoking emotion creates a bond with your reader/customer, making it all the more possible that the reader/customer invests in you.
It’s not about fooling someone into buying your product; it’s about using what is called ‘connotative language’. Connotative language is wording that evokes a particular emotion from your readers. This type of language helps readers connect with your product, making them want it and desire it and ultimately helping them make the decision of purchasing it.
Adjectives like ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ are, while accurate, fairly vague: what is beautiful to some might not be beautiful to others. Aside from its vagueness, it’s also bland and overused, meaning that readers will most likely pass over or ignore this word than connecting with it.
Instead of using tired adjectives, flex your creative muscles to try and make readers feel something: maybe your brooch reminds you of the color of the sea at dawn, or maybe the silver bars on the necklace remind you of a flechette, which makes it seem aggressive. It all boils down to that age-old writers maxim: Show, don’t tell.
Alternatives to Use:
When choosing alternative descriptive words to use, don’t be stuck with ‘beautiful’, instead, choose words that evoke specific feelings for specific types of jewelry, for example
Vintage Jewelry: when talking about vintage jewelry, it’s always best to use words that evoke an image of candlelit rooms with high ceilings, crisp white linens, and the clinking of crystal on glass. For me, words like ‘graceful’, or ‘lustrous’, or ‘heirloom’ all evoke these feelings. You could also use ‘Classic’ and ‘Timeless’, although I’ve always felt like those two are starting to become overused.
Delicate Jewelry: Jewelry with more delicate designs like colorful polymer clays, charm bracelets, miniatures, or charm necklaces all evoke this feeling of sweet, cute, and fun. So why not use those words? Other words to consider: charming, delightful, cutesy, sparkling, and darling. For these kinds of pieces, it’s always best to appeal to younger, female audiences.
Heirloom/Special Occasion Jewelry: These are pieces that are intended to be the crown jewel of any persons collection; these pieces are premium, fine, luxurious, magnificent, regal, exquisite, and most importantly, worthy of the price tag it comes with. Use words that convey images and feelings of royalty, luxury, and the highest echelons of society.
Be as creative as you can be with your product descriptions, and always augment them with words that the jewelry industry uses officially. It not only helps you sound more professional, it also gives it that sense of gravitas because it lets people know that you actually know what you’re talking about! Here are some words to consider
Articulation: A term used to describe jewelry that’s been divided into segments. Often used for pieces like bracelets or other flexible pieces.
Aurora borealis (or AB): A specific type of iridescent coating that’s used on rhinestones. AB is used to add shimmer and sheen and was invented in 1955 by a collaboration between Swarovski and Dior. Rhinestones with the AB coating change colors depending on the angle in which you view it, giving it a feeling that it’s constantly moving.
Baroque Pearl: Pearls that have an irregular, non-round shape.
Channel Setting: Describes a type of setting wherein rectangular gems are set in a row with a metal piece folded over its edges.
Crystal: Used to describe very clear, very high-quality glass that’s used in jewelry or in other pieces. Crystal usually contains lead oxide, which allows it to have more clarity than lesser-quality glass.
Dentelle: A specific way of faceting rhinestones that make them form an eight-point star.
Filigree: A thin, metal wire that jewelers use to create delicate, lace-like patterns.
Gilding: Used to describe the gold coating that covers a non-valuable metal object.
Invisible Setting: Describes a technique wherein precious stones are set on a piece of jewelry from the back so as not to show any kind of metal mountings in the front. This is used to create the impression that the stone being used is larger than it really us.
Japanned: A type of metal that has been treated with a specific type of black finish.
Jet: A type of coal, usually made from ancient driftwood, that’s been formed through centuries of heat, pressure, and chemical action. Jet is often highly polished first, then carved and faceted, before being engraved. Highly popular in Victorian England in the 19th century, where it was used as “mourning jewelry”.
Lapis lazuli: A type of deep-blue gemstone that is sometimes mottled with white streaks or brass-like inclusions in its body. Also used to describe the shade of deep-blue that this stone has.
Marquise Cut: Also known as a Navette, the Marquise Cut refers to a type of gem cut that produces an oval shaped gem with pointed ends.
Parure: A complete and matching set of jewelry, often consists of earrings, a brooch, and a necklace.
Pot Metal: An alloy consisting of tin and lead, this gray metal was used in the early 20th century for costume jewelry. In present times, it’s used to give the jewelry a sense of nostalgia.
Rhinestone: A very clear type of glass stone or crystal that is cut and shaped in such a way that it looks like a diamond.
Sautoir: A type of jewelry popular in the 20’s and consists of a long strand of beads that end in tassels. The beads are often replaced with pearls to give it a classier look and feel.
Striations: Refers to the lines, scratches, or grooves in a gemstone.
Vermeil: Often used as a gold wash that coats sterling silver, it can also refer to the copper, silver, or bronze that jewelers use to plate a base metal.
By using both connotative language and industry-standards, you can describe jewelry in a compelling way that makes people feel how special it is, not to mention making you sound like a professional writer, all of which ultimately leads to better website copy.