The Correct Spelling: Jewelry or Jewellery, Which One Prevails?

Published on July 18, 2017, in the Jewelry Blog category, for those with a fondness for jewelry, one of the aspects that often leads to confusion is the correct spelling of the word. In this article, we will provide both spellings and outline their distinctions. Spoiler Alert: Both Jewelry and Jewellery are indeed correct spellings.

"England and America, two nations divided by a shared language" - George Bernard Shaw

When Shaw spoke those immortal words, he couldn't have known just how accurately he summarized the situation. English is the most widely spoken language across the globe, with British English being the predominant form. However, American English remains unique to North America, and there are variations within Canada depending on the region.

The straightforward response is that both spellings are deemed correct. "Jewelry" is the preferred spelling in the United States and Canada, while "Jewellery" is favored in the United Kingdom (and most English-speaking countries around the world).

However, we ask ourselves, why do we require American English when Spanish and French, for example, are also widely spoken without prefixes like "Mexican Spanish" or "Madagascan French"? The answer lies in the fact that Americans took it upon themselves to simplify the spelling of numerous words. Over time, these simplified forms have become the accepted norm in the United States. While some English scholars may insinuate that this stems from a lack of intelligence, the truth is not as insulting.

British English is a fascinating blend of Latin, French, and German influences, with many of these influences persisting in modern times. When America was still a young nation, many early settlers had limited education. They adopted literal spellings, which, upon contemplation, makes perfect sense. The publication of Webster's Dictionary in 1831 solidified this habit within the nation's lexicon, and American English was born.

An ideal example that showcases this phenomenon is the word "jewelry" (or "jewellery").

The prevalence of double 'L' in many words in British English is indicative of their French origins. Grammar rules dictate that any inclusion of a double letter must be followed by a vowel. Therefore, the inclusion of the 'E' in "jewellery" is a requirement.

In the United States, we do not burden ourselves with unnecessary rules and regulations, for we are the land of the free. We have discarded this archaic concept of adding letters for the sake of letters, which is extremely foreign in every sense of the word.

This difference in single-double usage applies not only to the noun but also to the corresponding verb. In the United States, "jeweled" is the standard spelling, whereas in Britain, "jewelled" is preferred. British individuals will always argue that they are correct and we are incorrect since it is their language (as indicated by the name). While they may be correct about being correct, it should be acknowledged that American English spellings are routinely used by 325 million people, so how can that be considered wrong?

Here are the countries that employ different translations:

- USA: Jewelry

- Canada: Jewellery and Jewelry

- UK: Jewellery

- Australia: Jewellery

- India: Jewellery

- South Africa: Jewellery

The reality is that language is a complex and highly subjective entity. Nowhere is this more evident than in the discrepancies between British and American English. Theater or theatre? Meter or metre? Colorize or colourise? Advertise or advertize? Wait, we don't utilize advertize?

"Advertise" happens to be one of the few words on which we all agree, despite the fact that nobody seems to know precisely why. It is likely that, given the relatively recent emergence of the word into common usage, there was only ever really one version, and consequently, it was embraced as the universal spelling.

Nonetheless, we are content to stick with "jewelry," "jeweled," and the like because we are just as correct as anyone else.

So, are you in search of jewelry, or are you simply indulging in some window shopping? Here is a stunning assortment of jewelry for you to peruse!

  • Kentwood Ring

Vintage Aquamarine

Chitina Ring

Hays Ring. Circa 1920 (Antique, Art Deco Era)

Belfort Ring

Paradis Ring. Circa 1900 (Antique, Edwardian Era)

Vercelli Ring

Kirkwall Ring. Circa 1900 (Antique, Edwardian Era)

Aster Ring

The term "diamond" poses an intriguing challenge. Its composition is represented by the letters D I A M O N D. When pronounced phonetically, it sounds like dˈa‍ɪ‍əmənd.

Do you have an interest in jewelry? Feel free to send a message to an expert in the field of jewelry and expect to receive a response within one working hour.

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