Have you ever been to Florence? If so, you’ve likely noticed that gorgeous old bridge, Ponte Vecchio, full of glistening gold and jewels.
You may have even wanted to buy something or just step inside one of the historic shops to look around. You may also have been intimidated not knowing the words to use or how to speak about jewelry in Italian.
Whether you’re in Florence or Rome or Naples, if you’ve ever wanted to take home some glistening trinkets or just know how to talk about them, read on!
How to Talk about Jewelry in Italian
Where to buy:
A jewelry shop that sells fine pieces of jewelry is called la gioielleria. By contrast, if you’re looking for cheaper pieces, like costume jewelry, you want to shop in a store that says “bijoux or bijou.” Italian’s adopted the French word for this type of store, with its italianization translation it can also be called a bigiotteria.
Pieces of jewelry
— La collana – Necklace
— L’anello – Ring
— L’anello di fidanzamento – Engagement ring
— La fede / La fede nuziale – Wedding band
— ll braccialetto – Bracelet
— Gli orecchini – Earrings
— La collana a catena [or collana catena, but less used] – Chain (necklace)
Metals and jewels
— Il diamante – Diamond
— Il rubino – Ruby
— Lo smeraldo – Emerald
— Lo zaffiro – Sapphire
— La pietra preziosa – Gemstone
— L’oro – Gold
— L’oro bianco – White gold
— L’oro rosa – Rose gold
— L’argento – Silver
Cocktail Party Fact: In Italy, real silver is also marked with .925 or 925 just like in the US!
— Il titanio – Titanium
— Il platino – Platinum
— Il vetro – Glass
— La ceramica – Ceramic
— I carati – Carats of gold or diamonds
Cocktail Party Fact: In Italy it is popular to hear diamond and ring band width to be expressed in millimeters. So, for example a band might be 8mm, or 4mm, and a diamond might be listed as 6,4 mm instead of 1 carat.
Wondering how all these words might work in real life? Here’s a sample dialogue to get you started.
Soon-to-be-engaged guy: Buongiorno, sto cercando un’anello di fidanzimento per la mia ragazza. Mi può aiutare? – Goodmorning, I am looking for an engagement ring for my girlfriend. Can you help me?
Nice Ponte Vecchio salesman: Ma certo! Che bello! Allora, c’è una pietra che preferisce? Che so, un classico diamante? – But of course! How lovely! So, are you looking for something with a diamond?
Soon- to- be- engaged guy: Si, voglio un’anello con un diamante, grazie! – Yes, I want a ring with a diamond, thanks!
Nice Ponte Vecchio salesman: Benissimo, ha un’idea dei carati che desidererebbe? – Great, and how many carats or millimeters are you looking to buy?
Soon- to- be- engaged guy: Beh, vorrei un 4 carati ma, penso che sia meglio partire da uno! – Well, I’d like four carats but maybe it’s better just one!
Nice Ponte Vecchio salesman: Molto bene, e per la montatura?? Preferisce vedere qualcosa in oro o platino? – OK, and what metal are you interested in?
Soon- to- be- engaged guy: Non saprei, lei cosa mi consiglia tra oro normale o oro bianco? – I don’t know…regular gold or white gold?
Nice Ponte Vecchio salesman: Perfetto. Un attimo solo e le porto tutte le varianti che abbiamo a disposizione. – Perfect. One second and I’ll bring you all of the options that we have.
Soon- to- be- engaged guy: Grazie mille! – Thank you!
Nice Ponte Vecchio salesman: Si figuri ! Torno subito! – Don’t mention it! I’ll be right back.
Have you bought jewelry in Italy? How did it go? Share your stories below!