We could describe the jewel set at the highest points of the crown as at its "peak" or "cap". What is it a "peak" or "cap" of, in the context of the object, in jeweling? For example, if this were a natural formation, the gemstone would be the peak of the moutain. How can I describe the arch here, so that I can say, the gemstone is set atop the word?

I am referring to the jewel at the top of the arch

  • Not that this is remotely an answer, but I can't help but seeing the similarity to a suspension bridge, in which case the supports for the gemstones would be "towers". – user888379 Sep 7 '20 at 17:10
  • @user888379 yes, i was thinking towers, or spires, but was certain there was a more correct term in the instance of a manufactured object – socrates Sep 7 '20 at 17:57

Wikipedia uses the word tines:

enter image description here

Grafenkrone: the coronet of a Graf (count) displays nine visible tines [mounted] with pearls.

This term may not apply when the diadem has pointed arches.

The tiara below is named as a diamond spike tiara on Pinterest:

enter image description here


The term is not specific to jewellery and is possibly more familiar as an astrological, historical or mathematical term but those points on the crown in your picture are the apexes of cusps. Merriam Webster gives one definition (sense d in the liked entry) as

an ornamental pointed projection formed by or arising from the intersection of two arcs or foils (foil here being used in the sense of "an indentation between cusps in gothic tracery")

The entry for "cusp" also has an illustration showing a piece of ornamental tracery composed mainly of cusps.

The possibly more familiar astrological and historical uses of "cusp" are derived from sense a of the MW definition

a point of transition

(in astrology the transition from one sign or house to another)

The decorative cusp is an example of a physical cusp of which there are natural and practical examples.

The definition does not preclude the case of two convex arcs intersecting as in a pointed gothic arch but the word "cusp" is more usually applied to the intersection of concave arcs as in your crown picture.

  • I think apex also works here. – Decapitated Soul Sep 8 '20 at 7:57
  • @DecapitatedSoul That's true, you can talk about the 'tip', 'apex', 'top' or, probably many other words to describe the highest point of the cusp. However the OP is specifically asking for a word to describe the structure on whose highest points the jewels are fixed. The OP calls them 'arches' but they are, in fact, cusps because the bars which form the structures are concave arcs which intersect at the tips. An arch is formed predominantly, if not completely, from convex curves. – BoldBen Sep 8 '20 at 21:08

Keystone or pinnacle might be what you're looking for.

Keystone (noun): The middle stone in the top of an arch that has a special shape and holds all the other stones in position.
[Cambridge English Dictionary]

  • 1
    I wouldn't say it was a keystone. The jewel is attached to the point of the structure and the structure's only purpose is to hold the jewel. The jewel has no structural function and if the jewel is removed the structure will not be affected. If the keystone is removed from an arch the arch will will be weakened, probably to the point of collapse. – BoldBen Sep 8 '20 at 7:17
  • @BoldBen, Aye, you're probably right. – Decapitated Soul Sep 8 '20 at 7:55

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.