French Language Blog

French Vocabulary – Jewelry Posted by on Jun 9, 2020 in Culture, Vocabulary

Qui n’aime pas un peu de fantaisie (who doesn’t like a little fantasy) ? In these strange times, a little sparkle, a little distraction is always welcome. So this week, we look at la joaillerie.

The French are glad to die for love …

But in the infamous words of a classic song, diamonds are a girl’s best friend! And from Cartier, to Van Clef & Arpels, Boucheron, and Chaumet, the French are also world-renowned for magnificent bijoux (jewels, gems, but more generally jewelry).

Vocabulaire / Vocabulary

Le collier Necklace
Les boucles d’oreilles Earrings
Le bracelet Bracelet
La bague Ring (usually one with a gemstone)
L’alliance Wedding ring
La bague de fiançailles Engagement ring
L’anneau Ring (can refer to any ring … including les anneaux des J.-O.)
Se faire percer les oreilles To get one’s ears pierced
Pour les hommes For the man
La montre Watch
Les boutons manchette Cuff links
L’or Gold
L’argent Silver
Les pierres précieuses Precious gems
Le diamant Diamond
Le rubis Ruby
L’émeraude Emerald
Le saphir Sapphire
L’améthyste Amethyst


D’or, en or, dorée, …

If you go shopping for something pretty, you’ll need to know a few important terms. Des bijoux are usually made en or (of gold) or en argent (of silver). If you want the real thing, make sure you look for it. Some jewelry is plaquéeplaquée or or plaquée argent (gold or silver plated). If you see something that is dorée or argentée, that can mean that it is simply gold- (or silver-)colored.

In other words, des boucles d’oreilles dorées are not the same as des boucles d’oreilles en or!

With your new vocabulary, see how much of this video you can understand.

La place Vendôme

When you’re in New York, you go to Tiffany’s to see amazing jewelry. A Londres (in London) you go to the Tower of London to see les joyaux de la couronne (the Crown Jewels). Si vous voulez voir des bijoux à Paris, rendez vous à la place Vendôme (If you want to see jewels in Paris, get yourself to the Place Vendôme).

Located across the rue de Rivoli from the Jardins des Tuileries in the first arrondissement, the place Vendôme is home to some of the world’s most famous jewelers (as well as the famous Ritz hotel and to la colonne de Vendôme, Napoleon’s triumphal column to the battle of Austerlitz).


Ma chère belle soeur travaille pour la bijouterie Maty à Paris (My dear sister-in-law works for the French jewelry store Maty in Paris1If you ever find yourself Place de l’Opéra stop in and say bonjour!). These fun videos celebrate l’amour taquin2teasing love, l’amour intello3brainy love, and l’amour gourmand4foodie love. Can you understand them?

Photo by Engin Akyurt from Pexels

Place Vendome photo (C) Tim Hildreth

  • 1
    If you ever find yourself Place de l’Opéra stop in and say bonjour!
  • 2
    teasing love
  • 3
    brainy love
  • 4
    foodie love
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About the Author: Tim Hildreth

Since my first trip to France at 16, I have been a passionate francophile. I love the language, food, music, art, people, and more that make France and la Francophonie in general such an amazing part of our global community. Having lived in France and studied the language and culture for over 35 years, it is my great pleasure to be able to share a little bit of my deep love with you through this blog.