gvdammerung writes "Jewelry is a fixture of royal and noble courts, as well as in many guildhalls. Jewelry is, however, distinct from gems, which are merely a component part. This article will present information such that a DM or player may create a piece of jewelry considering - precious (or semi-precious) metals, design (of which there a great many), principal and secondary (or supporting) stones, and assignment of value.
Fashion in the Flanaess - Jewelry and Gemstones
By: Glenn Vincent Dammerung, aka GVDammerung, with the able assistance of S. Katherine Dammerung, aka SKDammerungPosted with permission. Do not repost without obtaining prior permission from the author.
The Flanaess is blessed with a wealth of gemstones. Not surprisingly, jewelry is a universal form of personal adornment throughout the Flanaess. Only the quality of the jewelry fluctuates. Commoners will use copper or brass set with fancy or semi-precious stones. The wealthy and the nobility will have jewelry crafted from gold, silver or platinum set with precious stones.
Jewelry, along with constituent gemstones, also form the chief medium for trade beyond strictly local boundaries. Jewelry and gemstones are a convenient way to store and transport wealth. While some jewelry is traded as jewelry, essentially valuable objects of art, much jewelry, as well as raw gemstones, is used in trade because it is easily portable compared to raw bullion of gold, silver or platinum. Most international trade is conducted in gemstones and jewelry.
The style of jewelry in the Flanaess is thus a thorough mixture of once individual cultural styles. It is barely possible anymore to say that a particular style in jewelry is entirely Suloise or Flan, Oeridian or Baklunish, or even elven or dwarven. Because jewelry and gemstones are common in trade, styles have become mixed through this trade. What does distinguish jewelry is craftsmanship. It is certainly possible to see cultural difference reflected in the craftsmanship involved in creating jewelry or cutting gemstones, even if the styles of the individual pieces are not so distinct.
The Value of Jewelry and Gemstones
The value of jewelry and gemstones is not absolute. Gems are worth precisely whatever value people attach to their possession. No one needs gems or jewelry to survive, not even dragons and dwarves. Some gems are rarer than others and this scarcity can give a perception of value. However, in the Flanaess where there is a great deal of natural mineral wealth, rarity is a relative concept. The quality of gems, the highest quality being more rare, can also give a perception of value. Here again, however, this is relative because the Flanaess has so many sources of gemstones of all qualities. This is not to say that scarcity by type and by quality are meaningless; they still principally help determine value. What is equally important, however, is the quality of the workmanship, the cutting of the raw stones and the working of the raw metal. This is where the concept of jewelry, as distinct from the raw material in gems and metals, comes to play a pivotal role is assigning value.
This article will present a discussion of particular jewelry designs and of particular gemstones, with appropriate notes. No attempt will be made to assign value to either or any combination. In my campaign, value is assigned in terms of the gemstone or overall piece of jewelry as an initial matter. Essentially, the design and gem type is set and a value is then attached. The DM makes the initial assignment, unless the piece is commissioned by a PC in which case the PC defines the piece with DM approval. In each case, the valuation is a "raw" figure and the necessary materials to compose and support the valuation are derived thereafter, if this is even desired or necessary. If the final result is not satisfying, it is easy enough to rachet up the initial valuation without a lot of number crunching. Increasing the valuation will just see the components float upward in response.
This methodology is in contract to a valuation method that would look to value each of the individual components of construction in the first instance and add these to achieve a final valuation, which would be unknown until the final accounting. This latter method is more precise but can be very time consuming (calculating karat weight, waters, cuts, color, inclusions, setting, metalwork and overall craftsmanship etc.). I have assembled a guide to calculating value in this way and it runs to pages of variables that must be accounted for before a final valuation is determined. The other problem with this method is that the final value may be inappropriate for the campaign or, if a commissioned piece, may be outside the PCs price range. Then, you get to start all over again.
With the first method, the desired result is determined and it dictates the component parts. In the second method, the component parts are uniquely defined and they determine the finale result. Its speed versus accuracy. I find speed generally more useful and practical. Only the most obsessive players will worry about particular combinations of karat, cut, color, clarity etc. or if it is a particularly important piece, in which case the details can be worked out outside of the game.
A compromise between the two methods is to define the centerpiece of a jewelry design, usually a single stone, exactly and then generally value the supporting stones and setting. This lets a PC speak in terms of karat weight and waters, which is usually sufficient. Again, however, the center stone is best defined outside of the play session but at least it is just a single stone.
Standard jewelry designs are given below. They can be found in jewelry shops or in treasure hordes. Not included are custom designs or very rare designs. These should be determined by the DM or PCs for a particular campaign. [For example, in my campaign, there is a particular "Suel cut" for gemstones and an Imperial design, knowledge of both of which was lost during the Rain of Colorless Fire and which now only appear in surviving examples from before that time which cannot be replicated in the present Flanaess.]
Rings, Generally - Worn on the fingers or less often the toes, rings are worn by both men and women.
Signet - A signet ring carries the armorial bearings, the insignia or sign of a noble person or house. Signets may also be used by merchants and guilds.
Solitaire - A solitaire ring features a single, usually largish, stone, without supporting stones.
Crowns are circular or semi-circular headpieces, worn by men and women around the brow.
Crown - The classic crown is a massive circular headpiece that is a sign of royalty. Only royalty may wear a crown.
Coronet - A coronet is a less massive crown that is worn by Princes and Princesses.
Coronal - A coronal is a less massive crown that is worn by the nobility, but not the royalty.
Demi-Coronal - A demi-coronal is a less massive coronal that is worn by the designated heirs of the nobility.
Camelaurion - A camelaurion is a crown, coronet, coronal or demi-coronal with a closed crown, rather than an open one. Camelorions were originally a Suel creation but were popularized in the Great Kingdom. They are still most commonly found in East Aerdi and Keoland.
Circlet - A circlet is a light crown without any ornamentation rising above the band. It may be worn by knights and any of the nobility or royalty.
Chaplet - A chaplet is a circlet made or jeweled links or plaques.
Diadem - A diadem is a semi-circular coronal. It is worn only by women.
Tiara - A tiara is a lighter, smaller diadem, but which may be rise higher in the front. It is worn only by women but may be worn by women of any station.
Carcanet - A carcanet is a jeweled headband composed of individual jeweled links. It is worn only by women. The carcanet was originally an East Aerdi fashion and is still most common there.
Ferronniere - A ferronniere is a narrow headband with a single central jewel. If the headband is composed of individual jeweled links, the ferronniere is then a type of carcanet. The headband may be ribbon or a solid, plain metal band, however.
Anadem - An anadem is a wreath or garland of leaves or flowers (which may be fabricated rather than real) worn in the hair. The anadem was originally an elven creation but has been adopted by the Suel of Keoland more than in any other area.
Necklaces are worn around the neck by men and women, depending on the type of necklace. Women’s necklaces are graded by length as follows:
Choker - 15 inches long
Princess - 18 inches long
Matinee - 22 inches long
Opera - 30 inches long
Rope - 60 inches long
Bayadere - A bayadere is a necklace composed of multiple strands, usually of pearls.
Choker - A choker is a necklace that fits tightly around the neck.
Collar - A collar is a leather (usually dyed) necklace that supports a dozen or more "studds" that are set into the leather. Each studd is an individual, cut gem, usually sizeable diamonds. The collar with studds was originally a Western Aerdi fashion and is still most common in Furyondy and Veluna.
Collarette - A collarette is a short necklace with flowing or draped ornaments in front, in addition to the jewels of the necklace itself.
Collar of Estate - A collar of estate is a wide linked (usually square) necklace, with or without a pendant, that signifies a position (Guildmaster, Grandmaster, Minister of War, Chamberlain etc.) or estate (Knight, Baron, Count, etc.). It is usually worn by men but nothing would prevent a woman from wearing one, although collars of estate generally appear "heavy."
Collier de Chien - A collier de chien is a choker composed of multiple strands of jewels or pearls.
Collier - A collier is a wide necklace that encircles the throat from throat to chin.
Chaine de forcat - A chaine de forcat is a heavy gold or silver chain worn by senior and junior knights respectively.
En esclavage - An en esclavage necklace consists of strands, often pearl. The top strands are shorter than the longer bottom strands. This creates a gap or separation in the middle that shows off the skin. The en esclavage is worn exclusively by women.
Gorget - A gorget, adapted from the military, is a chain from which is suspended a crescent shaped metal scallop. It is only worn by men.
Pendant - A pendant necklace consists a single stone that hangs from a chain.
Medallion - A medallion is a metal disk, pendant from a chain.
Lavalier - A lavalier consists of smaller stones making up the necklace and a single larger stone that hangs from the front.
Locket - A locket is a pendant that opens to reveal a cameo or small object.
Riviere - A riviere is a choker type necklace made of a continuous line of gemstones. The stones are either of strictly graduated sizes with a large center stone or are all of equal size.
Sautoir - A sautoir is a long, rope style necklace with a tassel or pendant at the end in addition to the loop of the necklace itself.
Torque - A torque is rigid metal hoop or band that is slightly open to the rear. It usually features a central gem. The torc is a uniquely Flan design, now more widely popular.
Maniakes - A maniakes is a large, elaborate metal collar that falls from the base of the neck to the mid-chest. It is only worn by men. Maniakes are found almost exclusively in the successor states of the Great Kingdom.
A bracelet is worn on the wrist or forearm.
Armlet - An armlet is a bracelet worn on the forearm, or less often the bicep. Armlets are a Flan invention now widely popularized.
Anklet - An anklet is a bracelet worn around the ankle. Anklets were introduced into the Flanaess by the Baklunish.
Bracelet, Classic - The classic bracelet is a loose loop worn around the wrist. It may be jewel encrusted or of plain or worked metal.
Bangle - A bangle is a stiff bracelet. It may be jewel encrusted or of plain or worked metal.
Cuff Bracelet - A cuff bracelet is a wide stiff bracelet that is worn over, or appears as, a cuff.
Manchette - A manchette is a cuff bracelet made specifically to be worn with a cuff. It is most generally worn by men.
Ring and Chain - A ring and chain bracelet consists of a ring and bracelet connected by a chain.
Ring and Anklet - A ring and anklet bracelet consists of a ring and anklet connected by a chain.
Pins and Brooches
Pins and Brooches are pinned adornments to a garment.
Agraffe - Agraffe come in pairs. They are circular, square or diamond shaped brooches used to fasten a mantle or cape.
Penannular Brooch - A pennanular brooch has a moveble pin on an incomplete ring used to fasten a mantle or cloak. This brooch is a Flan creation that has found some broader acceptance.
Aiguillette - An aiguillette is a shoulder decoration adapted from the military. It consists of a band, braid or cord that hangs over the right or left breast, being fastened at the shoulder and collar. It is often jeweled.
Belette - A belette is a single jewel fastened to the bodice.
Pin - A pin is a jewel encrusted, usually thin, rectangle. It may also be called a bar pin or a bar brooch.
Brooch - A brooch is a group of stones in a shaped design, often an oval or diamond shape.
Cameo - A cameo is an oval brooch made of a shell or stone into which a relief carving, usually of a person shown in profile or as a bust, has been made. The finest cameos come from Keoland and are a Suel tradition.
Cameo Habille - A cameo habille is a cameo in which the person portrayed is wearing a miniature jewel or gem, which is made of an actual gemstone. The Suel of the Urnst states first developed the cameo habille and introduced cameos in general to the central Flanaess.
Girandole - A girandole is bracelet composed of a large gem and three pendant stones, the center stone being larger than the other two pendant stones.
Pampilles - A pampilles is a brooch made up of a cascade of pendant stones. The effect is intended to look like water droplets.
Pendaloque - A pendaloque is a brooch made up of a tear drop stone suspended from a smaller stone.
Rosette - A rosette is a brooch made of smaller genstomes encircling a single, larger gemstone.
Sevigne - A sevigne is a large brooch that serves as a bodice ornament. In its largest form, it is also known as a stomacher.
Stickpin - A stickpin is a straight pin with a single jewel or cluster of jewels at the very end of the exposed tip. It is worn only by men.
A hairpiece is a jeweled ornament worn in the hair.
Aigrette - An aigrette is a jewel encrusted, feather shaped ornament worn in a woman’s hair.
Coif, Jeweled - A coif may be made of a light chains of precious metal with jewels at the intersections of the strands. See Fashion in the Flanaess: The Aerdi West.
Camail, Jeweled - A camail may be made of a light chains of precious metal with jewels at the intersections of the strands. See Fashion in the Flanaess: The Aerdi West.
Barrette - A barrette is a rectangular, curved or arched ornament worn in a woman’s hair. It is jewel encrusted and clipped into place.
Billiment - A billiment is a jeweled border for a hood.
Bodkin - A bodkin is a heavily jeweled hairpin. It may be jewel encrusted but often has one or more larger, featured stones.
Comb - A comb is a larger, jewel encrusted barrette that has teeth or tines to hold it in place, rather than a clip.
Hairpin - A hairpin is a straight pin with a single jewel or cluster of jewels at the very end of the exposed tip.
Earrings are worn clipped to or pierced through the ear.
Earring, Studd - A studd earring is composed of a single jewel that sets tight against the earlobe. Studds are worn equally by men and women.
Earring, Dropped - A dropped earring, which may include a studd, suspends a single jewel from the earlobe. Dropped earrings are also known as hanging earrings.
Earring, Girandole - A girandole is an earring composed of a large studd and three dropped pendants stones, the center stone being larger than the other two pendant stones.
Earring, Pendaloque - A pendaloque is an earring made up of a tear drop stone suspended from a smaller stone.
Earring, Pendicle - A pendicle earring consists of a single pendant. Pendicles are worn equally by men and women.
Earring, Poissarde - A poissarde is an earring with long, multiple jewels (of the same size or graduated in size) pendant.
Earband - An earband, also known as an earcuff, is a solid metal band of cuff with an open end that fits over the outer ear. The earband was originally a Flan design and is still most popular among that group.
Belts are often set with jewels and worn by both sexes. If a belt or waist chain is composed of a chain of precious metal from which metal or jeweled ornaments hang, it is called a Chatelaine or Cordeliere; the ornaments are called Breloques. Chatelaines are only worn by women.
The male equivalent of a Chatelaine is the Knight’s Girdle or Belt. It is a gold or silver chain worn by senior and junior knights respectively, often with the chaine de forcat. Female knights may also wear the Knight’s Chain or Belt, but it is less common.
The head of a man’s walking stick or cane is called a Ferrule. It may be made of precious metal or may be jeweled. Often is it also Figural (see below).
Some types of jewelry are made to match and to be worn as a set.
Gran-Parure - A gran-parure is a matching set of jewelry composed of a crown or tiara and a necklace, earrings, a brooch, two bracelets and a ring
Parure - A parure is a matching set of jewelry composed of a necklace, earrings, a brooch, two bracelets and a ring.
Demi-Parure - A demi-parure is a matching set of jewelry composed of a necklace, earrings and a pin.
False Parure - A false parure is a matching set of jewelry composed of a necklace, earrings and ring. Despite the name, false parures are entirely fashionable.
Figural - A figural is a piece of jewelry designed too look like a animal, monster, bird, plant, or insect.
Rocaille - A rocaille is a piece of jewelry designed to look like a fish, shell or any type of sea life.
Some jewelry is intended to hold perfume or incense.
Pomander - A pomander is a small jeweled case that holds perfume scent. It is worn on a pendant necklace or pendant from a bracelet at the wrist.
Of course, all of the above jewelry will likely incorporate one or more types of gems or jewels. Gemstones may be classified as Organic, Opaque, Patterned, Semi-Precious and Precious as follows.
Amber - Amber is the translucent, fossilizes sap from ancient trees. Amber is generally found along shorelines and is a yellow/orange color (although other colors are known). Amber is considered a fancy gem.
Pearl, White - White pearls are the most common and most prized, when particularly lustrous. They are produced by a particular type of oyster.
Pearl, Black - Black pearls are dark pearls produced by a different type of oyster. Black pearls may be black, blue, red/rosey, pink or even green.
Carnelian - Carnelian is a form of chalcedony. It is reddish with a waxy luster and is always cut in a cabochon or rounded cut. Carnelian is commonly used by clerics of Hextor, who believe it appropriate to their god.
Chrysoprase - Chrysoprase is a form of chalcedony. It is apple green and the most valuable of the opaque gemstones.
Heliotrope - Heliotrope, also known as bloodstone, is a form of chalcedony. It is green with red "veins." It appears smooth and opaque when finished. It is always cut in a cabochon or rounded cut. Iuz is particularly fond of heliotrope, or so rumors say.
Jade, Imperial - A nearly translucent green, Imperial Jade or jadeite is the most valuable. It is the most valued gemstone in the Celestial Imperium to the West.
Jade, Nephrite -Nephrite jade ranges from green to white to lilac. It is used to carve statues or bowls. It is less valuable that Imperial Jade but still much valued in the Celestial Imperium to the West.
Jet - Jet is a lustrous black. It is fossilized coal. Clerics of Nerull prize jet highly for ornamentation.
Lapis Lazuli - Lapis lazuli is a rich blue and highly prized everywhere, but particularly in Keoland.
Malachite - Malachite is a stone characterized by alternating layers of deep green and lighter greens. It is prized almost exclusively in the lands of the former Great Kingdom, now more in the north and middle than the south.
Turquoise - Turquoise is a bluish stone. It was particularly prized by the Suel in much the same way the Celestial Imperium favors jade. Keoland remains the principle market for fine turquoise.
Patterned stones are valued highly by druids for ornamentation and by the wealthy and noble classes in Blackmoor, Tenh, Stonehold, the Northern Barbarian States, Geoff, Sterich, the Yeomanry and Perranland.
Snowflake Obsidian - Snowflake obsidian is a black volcanic glass with a pronounced snowflake like pattern.
Frost Agate - Frost agates are agates with white markings that look like frost.
Moss Agate - Moss agates are agates with intricate green patterns of almost filigree.
Amethyst - Amethyst is a type of quartz. Its usual color is purple to pale lavender. The deeper the color the more valuable the stone. Imperial Amber is a rich solid, translucent purple.
Aquamarine - Aquamarine is a transparent stone, a type of beryl, that comes in two colors - light blue or sea green. Both are valued equally. Aquamarine is a popular stone in seafaring regions for obvious reasons.
Chrysoberyl - Chrysoberyl is a transparent stone, a type of beryl, that is typically yellow but also be found in a green variety - chrysolite.
Chrysolite - Chrysolite is a green-yellow chrysoberyl.
Chrysoberyl, Cat’s Eye - A cat’s eye chrysoberyl is one that displays a "star." It must be cut in a cabochon or rounded cut or the star effect will be lost.
Citrine - Citrine is a rare type of quartz. It ranges in color from yellow to orange to golden brown. It is a sought after stone by many merchants and guildsmen being an impressive stone that is not quite so expensive as a precious stone.
Garnet, Pyrope - Pyrope garnets are a lustrous red. They are a much sought after stone by many merchants and guildsmen being an impressive stone that is not quite so expensive as a precious stone. Nobles unable to afford rubies many also seek out pyrope garnets.
Garnet, Pyrope-Almadine - Pyrope-Almadine garnets are a lustrous red orange to red purple. They are a much sought after stone by many merchants and guildsmen being an impressive stone that is not quite so expensive as a precious stone. Nobles may similarly seek them out.
Garnet, Rhodolite - Rhodolite garnets are a lustrous purple red. They are a much sought after stone by many merchants and guildsmen being an impressive stone that is not quite so expensive as a precious stone. Nobles may similarly seek them out.
Moonstone - Moonstone is a semi-translucent stone that is a soft whitish-blue. It is often used as a less expensive alternative to opals.
Peridot - Peridots are a transparent yellow-green stone that appears oily. The finest peridots avoid this oily appearance.
Tourmaline - Tourmaline comes in every possible color. Uniquely, the lighter the color the more valuable a tourmaline is considered. Light or dark, tourmaline makes up most inexpensive jewelry that is still impressive all the same. Tourmaline’s variety of colors make it very flexible and able to meet any customers needs for colored gems.
Cairngorm - Cairngorms are not truly precious stones. They are a yellow-brown variety of smoky quartz. They are classed as precious stones because of their history. Cairngorms were the noble gems of the Flan and their mines closely guarded secrets. Cairngorms are now almost impossible to locate with the old Flan ruling classes now all but vanished and are valued as much for their historical association with nobility as scarcity. Cairngorms are the "noble gems of the Flanaess." They are now most often found in the Bone March and the Rakers.
Diamond, Colorless or White - The white or colorless diamond is the standard type of diamond. The clearest stones are the most valuable and rarest, particularly when of any great size.
Diamond, Blue - Blue diamonds are extremely rare but are the most common of the rare colored diamonds. Blue diamonds are considered to symbolize nobility and are sought after in Nyrond, Furyondy and Keoland for this reason.
Diamond, Canary - Canary diamonds are a vibrant to pale yellow. They are very rare but, after blue diamonds, they are the next most common of the rare colored diamonds. Canary diamonds are sought after by the Church of Pelor because they appear to symbolize the sun.
Diamond, Champagne - Champagne diamonds are pinkish brown. They are a common type of colored diamond and one of the least, but still, valuable types of diamond.
Diamond, Cognac - Cognac diamonds are brownish. They are a common type of colored diamond and one of the least, but still, valuable types of diamond.
Diamond, Green - Exceedingly rare, green diamonds are almost unheard of in any quantity. They are so rare as to be an oddity.
Diamond, Red - Exceedingly rare, red diamonds are almost unheard of in any quantity. They are so rare as to be an oddity. They are the rarest of the colored diamonds.
Emerald - Emeralds are a type of beryl. They are a hypnotic green and valued highly. The Amedio Jungle produces the finest emeralds, which are much sought after.
Emerald, Star - Star or trapiche emeralds exhibit a star pattern but, unlike rubies or sapphires, where the star is white, the star of the emerald is black. The star emerald can only be cut cabochon is the star is to be preserved. Star emeralds are very rare and very mysterious. Rumors of their supposed abilities abound.
Jacinth - Jacinth is not truly a precious stone. It is a orange-yellow to orange-red transparent type of zircon. It is valued as if it were a precious stone due to its history. Jacinth’s are easier to craft with magic than any other type of stone. They are said to hold mystical power that may be bestowed upon an owner who is attuned to the stone. (The most powerful and rarest type of jacinth is said to be blue jacinth but it is a legend) The finest jacinth have an absolutely purity of color, rich and vibrant, almost alive like flame. These stones are those sought after. Other jacinth are discarded as unworthy.
Opal, White - White opal is the standard opal. It is a magnificent iridescent stone that shimmers from inclusions.
Opal, Black - Black opals are dark orals. They are not truly black but may have large iridescent black flecks.
Opal, Fire - Fire opals are a fiery orange to red in coloration. The rarest are transparent, most are milky.
Opal, Hyacinth - Hyacinth opals are a iridescent yellow to orange. They are found almost exclusively in Medegia.
Opal, Prase - Prase opals are a translucent green and very uncommon.
Opal, Rainbow - Rainbow opals are characterized by defined bands of color. They are very uncommon but not particularly sought after.
Ruby - A ruby is the finest red stone known with a beautiful transparency.
Ruby, Pigeon Blood - Pigeon blood rubies appear as crystalized drops of deep red blood. They are very rare.
Ruby, Star - Star rubies exhibit a white star pattern. They must be cut in a cabochon or the star will be lost. They are very rare.
Sapphire - A sapphire is the finest blue stone known with a beautiful transparency. While other color sapphires are known, they are not sought after.
Sapphire, Star - Star sapphires exhibit a white star pattern. They must be cut in a cabochon or the star will be lost. They are very rare.
Utilizing the above information, a DM or player may quickly produce a detailed piece of jewelry.
First, select a precious (platinum, electrum, gold, silver) or semi-precious (copper, bronze) metal out of which the piece will be made.
Second, select the design of the jewelry.
Third, select the type of primary or central stone, as well as any supporting stones, of the same or different type.
Fourth, assign a gold piece cost.
Thus, one might have a coronet made of gold and featuring a central canary diamond and encrusted with smaller canary and white diamonds that is worth 25,000 gp. Because the value is assigned, one need not determine the value of each constituent part of the piece. Rather, the materials are assumed to be appropriate to the 25,000 gp price assigned. Quick and easy. But with enough detail (metal, design, primary and secondary stones) to appear "real" to players wondering what they have found or have had created.
While almost every country of the Flanaess will have it native jewelers, usually in the capital city, those from the City of Greyhawk, Dyvers and Verbobonc are regarded as the most skilled or fashionable. It would be appropriate to add 10% on top of the assigned valuation for pieces made in any of these three cities.
Among the great consumers of jewelry, the greatest are the successor states of the Great Kingdom, to include the Iron League states. Following on are the Urnst states and then Veluna/Furyondy and Keoland. In all cases, jewelry is most regularly a feature of royal courts, imitated by noble courts and finally by the merchant classes. Jewelry among the lower classes is virtually unheard of.