Jewellery
Do you like wearing jewellery? What types? How often do you wear jewellery? Do you wear a lot of jewellery? Do you usually buy jewellery? Why do some people wear a piece of jewellery for a long time? Have you ever given jewellery as a gift?
Vocabulary
  • Bead (noun) - a small, coloured, often round piece of plastic, wood, glass, etc. with a hole through it. It is usually put on a string with a lot of others to make jewellery.
  • Beaded (adj.) - decorated with beads.
  • Bracelet (noun) - a piece of jewellery that is worn around the wrist or arm.
  • Engagement ring (noun) - a ring, usually with a precious stone in it, that you give someone as a formal sign that you have decided to get married.
  • To misplace (verb) - to lose something temporarily by forgetting where you have put it.
  • Astray (adverb) - away from the correct path or correct way of doing something.
  • To festoon (verb) - to decorate a room or other place for a special occasion by hanging coloured paper, lights, or flowers around it, especially in curves.
  • Faff (noun) - something that takes a lot of effort or causes slight problems.
  • Out and about (idiom) - active; doing the things you usually do.
  • Necklace (noun) - a piece of jewellery worn around the neck, such as a chain or a string of decorative stones, beads, etc.
  • To peruse (verb) - to read or look at something in a relaxed way.
Click on the image to learn more
Click on the image to learn more
Questions and answers
M: Do you like wearing jewellery? What types?

R: Well, I used to like wearing it. I had a religious chain and this beaded bracelet. And, oh, I had a gold engagement ring as well on my finger. But I don't wear them now because I was terrified of misplacing them. So I got them tattooed on my ribs instead, to ensure that I didn't do this.

M: How often do you wear jewellery?

R: Almost never these days, unless it's to make a statement or it's a very special occasion. Like I said, I don't wear them now because I was living in fear of losing or misplacing them or even them getting stolen. Regardless of how unlikely that is. I was just trying to make sure it didn't happen 100%.

M: Do you wear a lot of jewellery?

R: I'm running out of ways to say no, because I'm scared it'll go astray. I usually travel quite light. So if I'm just sort of festooned in jewellery, then it's just a lot of extra faff. And I don't really need that, when I'm out and about, well, even when I'm out and about, I should say, not just when I'm travelling from country to country.

M: Do you usually buy jewellery?

R: For my mom? Yeah. By contrast to me, she's really into earrings and necklaces and bracelets and everything else that falls under the umbrella of jewellery. I don't think I've bought it for anyone else. But that's probably because all of my ideas get absorbed by the effort of thinking of gifts for my mum. Also, hi, mum! I'm on the internet.

M: Why do some people wear a piece of jewellery for a long time?

R: Well, I imagine for some sentimental or cultural reasons. I mean, for example, I used to wear my grandmother's engagement ring on my finger for good luck. But most people wear engagement rings for cultural reasons like showing that they're not on the dating market or on the dating scene. The same thing goes for wedding rings actually.

M: Have you ever given jewellery as a gift?

R: These questions are not terribly original, are they? As I said before I buy jewellery as a birthday or a Christmas present for my mum or maybe I'll see something in a store when I'm out randomly that I think she'll quite like. I don't often go perusing market stalls these days actually. So usually it's perfume or something like that. But if I'm going to buy it as a gift, then it'll be my previous answer I'll need to refer you to.

M: Thank you, Rory, for your answers!

R: Hooray!
Discussion
M: Jewellery! Check out my rings. Do you like my rings?

R: Yes, I like the rings. Where did you get them? You've got one on each finger and thumb, right?

M: Yeah.

R: Okay, so there's a story behind each one of these. So tell us what they are.

M: Oh, there is a story behind each ring. Oh, so this one is from Peru. This one is with diamonds. Not from diamonds but with diamonds. Okay? Golden diamonds. Diamonds are whose best friends?

R: Well, diamonds are a girl's best friend. But diamonds are also forever. Apparently.

M: Yes. This one is from Venice. Venetian glass. Ooh...

R: What's Venetian glass? And how is that different to regular glass?

M: No, it's some special kind of glass that they produce only in Venice on this one island. I don't remember the name of it.

R: Somewhere in Venice. If you're Italian, let us know.

M: Yeah, so this is like a handmade. Rory, do you think that jewellery has a story? So every jewellery piece, jewellery or jewellery piece has a story.

R: I don't know if every piece does because you get some stuff that's mass-produced. All of the stuff that I've worn has been one of a kind. But if you're going to wear it, then it probably should have a story. Because what is the point of jewellery? It's like an attractive adornment on a human being and it's designed to provoke conversation of interest. So surely there should be a story to go with it. And not just because.

M: One of a kind means it's not mass produced, like for everybody, but it's only like unique, it's only one piece. Like this handmade ring, you won't find the same ring anywhere, right? So I prefer jewellery. What do we say? I prefer one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces?

R: Well, you can't prefer it really. Because if it's one of a kind, then you either have it or you don't. I suppose it's fair to say like all of my jewellery is one of a kind. Or all of my pieces of jewellery are one of a kind.

M: Yes and jewellery is uncountable. So jewellery is. And it's expensive. Okay? So like... Jewellery. It's expensive. And jewellery, there is lots of jewellery. And jewellery is it. Not they. Okay? Yeah. Or jewellery pieces. You can say jewellery pieces are one of a kind. I prefer gold and diamonds.

R: Nothing too expensive or extravagant then.

M: No, no, just like mass market, just like diamonds.
R: Apparently, the reason that diamonds are so expensive is because they're basically controlled by a cartel. So that artificially inflates the price of the diamonds. You should be able to get them really cheaply.

M: Okay. Rory, you mentioned beaded something. So like beaded bracelet.

R: I do. Well, I have, I don't wear it, but I have a beaded bracelet which was made for us by our mutual friend Pavel. Hello, Pasha!

M: Hey!

R: We're advertising for you. I don't wear it now. Because like I say, this thing that I got from him was one of a kind. So I don't want to lose it. So instead I have one of, or, sorry, rather I'm getting one of the parts of it tattooed on me. It's going to be added to a collection that I have, and that way I will definitely not lose it.

M: Dear listener, so our Rory is afraid of losing his one-of-a-kind jewellery pieces. So he got them tattooed. Where, Rory?

R: I got them tattooed on my ribs.

M: Show, show, show, show, show, show.

R: I'm not taking my shirt off on the internet.

M: Why not?

R: These are desperate times but no one is that desperate. So no. But I do have them tattooed on my ribs. On the left side close to my heart where everything matters.

M: Aw... So sweet. So you see, Rory had them tattooed. Or you can say like, I had a heart tattooed on my neck. Or I had a dragon tattooed on my nose, for example.

R: Probably wouldn't do that for talking about jewellery. Although you could say like I had my ears pierced.

M: Yeah. And going back to this bracelet bracelet. It's this like... Pearls. Like the bracelet. Beaded. Beaded is like little things. Like...

R: Little things? They're like little spheres or little balls that you have.

M: Spheres or like little balls. Like little stones. Beads. Beads or beaded. You can also say I prefer beaded necklaces. Beaded bracelets. Okay? You can just Google now. Beads. Beads. So these little stylish jewellery pieces. Rory wears jewellery on special occasions. All right? What kind of special occasions? Like Fridays?

R: I'm trying to think of the last time I wore anything. Like, I suppose like family reunions and things. That's quite a special occasion. Maybe weddings, nights, or like important nights out. I haven't done that in such a long time though. I'm just trying to remember the last time but honestly, I couldn't tell you. It must have been a year ago now, because that's when I got this fear of things going astray. So I just decided I'm not running that risk anymore. So Rory wears jewellery to make a statement. So I have this bracelet I'm Lord Rory Duncus Fergus...
R: One day you will remember my name and that will be a great day. Well, either that or it will be a sign of the apocalypse. Anyway.

M: Okay, so if I wear like this, like the pearls to make a statement. Like what statement? I like pearls?

R: It could be, yeah. Well, I mean, the jewellery that I, like the necklace and the bracelet that I wear are manufactured in Russia. So you don't get them anywhere else in the world. And with that in mind, the statement is like I'm quite original, and I've been around places.

M: Yeah, I also kind of like wear this ring from Peru like, oh, look at this. It's just like only in Peru you can get these little beads. Red ones. Yes. And there's been a shift towards using jewellery for a personal statement. Okay? So some, you know, like fun jewellery to boost your mood or to show off the countries you've been to.

R: Well, I don't know, has there been? Because people were wearing jewellery for religious reasons for really long, like for a really long time, like, some people wear Saint Christopher pendants around their necks if they're Catholic, to keep them safe while they're travelling. I used to have one of them. And I've got orthodox crucifix that I sometimes wear as well. So... But that's been a thing for hundreds of years, hasn't it?

M: Rory, I've checked the recent jewellery trends.

R: Oh, God...

M: And I'm telling you, okay? Like you should believe me. That now, and I'm reading, you know, I'm reading from my research.

R: I'm reading from the internet and what could possibly go wrong?

M: That there's been a shift towards using jewellery for a true personal statement. Now all these, you know, like, flashy jewellery. Flashy, like bright, like big earrings and they are called eye-catching earrings. So look at me earrings are in fashion. Are in the trend.

R: How do you know? Like what kind of earrings to make you look at people? Or is there a specific kind?

M: Oh my gosh. You know, like you look at a woman and she has these like huge earrings and you're like whoa?

R: What, the big hoops?

M: Hoops, yes, also hoops. Yeah, look at me earrings. And also emeralds and huge, chunky chains they're called, dear listener. Chains is a chain around your neck. Chunky is like huge. Yeah, thick, you know. Thick, chunky chains. Yeah. This is all topic-specific vocabulary that you should use when you talk about jewellery. Okay? Rory, you said that jewellery can get misplaced.

R: It can get misplaced, it can go astray, it can get lost. All of these, it's so funny because basically all of these questions that you just asked, it's not your fault or the examiner's fault. They're all basically the same. So it's like do you wear jewellery? Or do you buy jewellery? Or wearing jewellery or jewellery as a gift. And so you could probably see in my answers, I was just like, oh, my God, these questions are all the same. And you could maybe say that to the examiner. Just like this is not terribly original, is it?
M: Yeah, yeah. And like we usually lose these little rings all the time. Yeah? So they get misplaced. I always kind of find my earrings. I have like 1000, I don't know, jewellery pieces, maybe more. You also said that jewellery can go astray. Astray? It means the same as jewellery gets misplaced?

R: Yes. All of this means the same as losing it because, to be honest with you, I was losing it with these questions. It was like I'm running out of ways to say lost. Go astray, misplace.

M: So I'm scared it will go astray. Astray. One word. It? Jewellery. Okay? So it will go or it goes astray. I liked when you said like if I put jewellery on, I have a lot of faff or there is a lot of faff.

R: Yeah. I think I said if I'm festooned in jewellery. Now, festooned is just another way of saying like, absolutely covered in everything. And I can't do that. Like, I just find it really annoying. All I'll end up doing is just playing with it. And that's not very good. It's not very polite when you're talking to somebody to faff around with your jewellery. Faffing around is just fiddling with. Festooned is when you're covered in it. Although, speaking of being festooned with things, apparently, now, maybe it's not a trend now, but it was a trend before. In India, people, some people, have shirts made of gold and lots of gold things which I didn't know was a thing. I thought that would be really really uncomfortable, to be honest with you. But it's a thing.

M: Dear listener, if you don't like jewellery, okay? You can talk about other people you know who enjoy jewellery. For example, my mom is into earrings. So she's into earrings, she likes earrings, or she's a fan of earrings. To be a fan of something. So earrings, bracelets and then you do need specific vocabulary for different types of jewellery. So for example, a bracelet or a bracelet could become a necklace. Sometimes necklaces have pendants. Rory, what does a pendant mean?

R: Oh, that's, well, you have the neckless that goes around the neck and then the pendant is the thing that hangs from it. Right? Tell me I'm right.

M: Yeah, absolutely correct. Also for men, you can say, cufflinks. Cufflinks. You have... What are cufflinks? Rory, that's your thing.

R: Are cufflinks classed as jewellery?

M: Yes. Yeah.

R: I thought they would be like just part of clothes or accessory.

M: No, no, no, if they're like, beautiful and if they're made with some precious stones. Precious stones, like emeralds, like, some diamonds. So yeah, cufflinks can be jewellery. What do you call this thing?

R: It's a... Oh, that's a brooch, right?

M: Yes, a brooch. I enjoy brooches. Yeah, careful with the spelling. Brooches. And also jewellery, you can spell it in two different ways. Now Rory is the spelling master. Rory, what are two ways you can spell jewellery?

R: Am I the spelling master? Is it with one "L" and with two?

M: Yeah, in American English you spell jewellery like jewelry. Okay? So both options are correct. Jewellery pieces can have some sentimental value. So you can be personally attached to your jewellery piece. This one is from Baku. My CELTA people, I ran a CELTA course in Baku, and they gave me such a nice brooch as a gift. So yeah, I'm personally attached to this piece.

R: Aw...

M: So Rory, you used to wear your grandmother's engagement ring...

R: Yes.
M: To show everybody you're off the market?

R: No, no, I wore it for good luck. But people wear engagement rings, it's basically a sign saying I'm not available. So if you're wanting to flirt with me, then don't do that. So I suppose in my case, it was like, I worked for good luck. And also because it was like, I'm not interested. So don't flirt with me. That's why you're talking to me.

M: Yeah, I've heard that barmen and bartenders wear engagement rings just to show people that they are off the market in terms of dating. Yeah? So if I wear this, I'm off the market. That's a funny expression, to be off the market. Meaning I'm not available, I'm married or I'm engaged. Yeah? Dear listener, if the examiner asks you some stupid questions, you can react to these stupid questions. And Rory said... What did you say?

R: Well, these questions aren't terribly original, are they? They're not. Like they're basically all the same thing. Not impressed with IELTS today.

M: Do you wear jewellery? Why do you wear jewellery? Do you buy jewellery? And you kind of like, if you don't wear jewellery at all, like what do you say? So you can react to the question, right? So these questions are not really original. Or are not terribly original, are they?

R: Well, maybe you wouldn't say it with the upward intonation because that's like inviting an answer. And the examiner won't be able to answer that question.

M: So how should you say that?

R: Well, what? These questions aren't very original, are they? And then you move on.

M: Yeah, like it's a statement. You're not asking a question. But you're just stating a fact.

R: Showing that you understand the questions are not original. It's a fact the questions are not original.

M: And we're still polite. We're not saying that, oh, these questions are stupid. Tell us what do you do with the market. You peruse...

R: Yeah, you peruse the market. So when you peruse something, it's like you go in and you're looking around just seeing what's there. Maybe looking for something nice, but nothing in particular, perusing.

M: Can you peruse market stalls? Stalls? Like the places at the market.

R: Yes. Thank you for perusing our answers!

M: Dear listener, you can give us a ring. A ring? No, no, no. I mean, like call us.

R: Alright...

M: It's a joke. Yeah, there is an expression, like give us a ring. Like call me. I think it's British, right?

R: Yes. Give us a ring.

M: Give us a ring, like call me. Or give me a ring, call me. Or in one of the movies they've cracked a joke like, oh, give me a ring. No, no, no, not this ring, just a ring. Thank you very much for listening! We love you! We hug you! Stay in touch and write your positive comments in the comments! Bye!

R: Bye!
Access our exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 2 and 3!
Access our exclusive episodes on IELTS Speaking parts 2 and 3!
Did you like this episode?
Make sure to subscribe to our social media to see some of the “behind the scenes” stuff!

Our Instagram: bit.ly/instagramswi
Our Telegram: bit.ly/telegramswi
You can support us by donating as little as $5
Energy drinks, protein bars, and YOUR help make this podcast possible!
Show more
Study with us
Made on
Tilda