Have you ever looked at a word and not been convinced that you were spelling it right? It’s okay, we’ve all been there. Or how about browsing around on the internet or reading and come across a word that’s not spelled quite the way you were taught? It’s pretty common in this industry one such set of words is jewelry and jewellery. You’ve probably even seen both here on this blog. Which one is right? Are they both right? Are they used in different contexts? Have no worry, this post is here to explain the difference and tell you why you see them both.
Jewellery and jewelry are both correct. It just all depends on where in the world you’re at and where the person writing the word is from. Jewelry is the preferred spelling for American English. This can be largely attributed to the legacy of Noah Webster, the 19th century educator and lexicographer. You may know the name Webster from the dictionary he published in 1831. Webster printed this dictionary in an attempt to reform the English language. In this reform many English words spellings were changed: colour - color; favourite - favorite; and jewellery - jewelry. While the word didn’t originate with Webster, he was instrumental in it becoming the acceptable spelling in the United States.
Jewellry is found in the English language outside North America. Most common in British English and Australian English, but it can be also be found in New Zealand English, Hiberno-English, and South African English. Both jewelry and jewellery can be found in Canada, sources vary on whether jewelry or jewellery is most popular. The single “l” and double “l” say consistent in the variations of the words: jeweler - jeweller; jeweled - jewelled. However, jewel is not jewell.
Jewel is the original, simplest form of the word. Jewel was derived from the Old French word “jouel.” Jouel, was derived from the Latin “jocale” with translates to “plaything.” To add yet another variation into the mix for your confusion, you may also see the variation joaillerie. Joaillerie can be found in French and a few other European languages.
So, to sum it all up in the simplest way possible for you. Jewelry = American English; Jewellery = British and Australian English; Joaillerie = French. Canada is middle ground with jewelry and jewellery both being acceptable. This is also an easy guide to tell where the writer you’re reading or the jeweller is from. While you’re reading Melroso’s Styling Blog, you may see both jewelry and jewellery. This is because founder and curator Colette is french-born, blog writer is American and most of our jewelry is curated from various places around the world. We’ll use whichever version is appropriate at the time. Interested in learning some more insider jewelry knowledge? Take a look at our posts: What Is Pavé? - Modern Pearl Jewelry - Types of Metals for Rings - And More!