Jewelry Terms

Jewelry Terms

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Abalone: A swirled iridescent shell of small sea snails found off the coast of California and Mexico. It is typically gray with green and pink, or dark pale green.

Acrylic: Transparent thermoplastic whose light weight and shatter-resistant properties make it a good alternative to glass. It is commonly referred to as Perspex or Lucite.

Adhesive Ear Post: An ear post that is flat on top that is used with a two sided adhesive for attaching a decorative ornament onto the earring.

Agate: A variety of chalcedony (cryptocrystalline quartz) with a fine grain and bright color, typically seen in curved, banded form. Agates are usually associated with volcanic rocks.

Alexandrite: A variety of chrysoberyl that appears to change color in different lights. Colors can range from green to yellowish or pink in daylight and red in incandescent light. Many rhinestones can appear light aqua in incandescent light and light amethyst in natural light.

Alloy: A metal made by combining two or more metallic elements or ore to strengthen, harden, change color, or provide resistance to corrosion.

Amber: Fossilized tree resin known for its typical yellow-orange-brown color. It is naturally occurring, and can range in colors including whitish, pale yellow, brown, black, red, green, and even rarely seen blue. It has been known to contain pieces of plants or insects typically referred to as inclusions.

American Cut: Referring to a period of handmade glass cutting in America from 1876 to 1917. This period is also referred to as "American Brilliant Period Cut Glass". Glass from this period is typically highly prized among collectors.

American Jade: A term synonymous with Californite, which refers to a form of Vesuvianite with qualities of Jade.

Amethyst: Color varies form light pinkish violet to a deep purple. A type of quartz with a distinctive violet color.

Amulet: An ornament thought to provide protection or luck.

Angelskin Coral: A pale pink variety of coral. It is typically seen as quite precious.

Ankh: An Egyptian symbol representing the character for eternal life.

Anklet: An ornament worn around the ankle, also called ankle chain or ankle bracelet.

Anneal: To heat and slowly cool glass or metal for softening and relieving internal stress.

Anodize: A process of coating metal using an electrolytic process to increase corrosion resistance and prepare the surface allowing glue or paint to adhere more easily.

Antique: Noun: An object of high value due to considerable age (generally 100+ years)
Verb: To use artificial means making an item appear aged. This process involves darkening recessed areas allowing engraving to be more visible. (Antiquing, Antiqued)

Aquamarine: A light greenish blue, named after the Aquamarine variety of the mineral Beryl.

Arabesque: A form of decoration involving scrolling patterns and flowing lines.

Art Deco: A popular art form in the 1920's and 1930's characterized by bold outlines and linear symmetry. It is influenced by neoclassical and cubism, as well as Egyptian and Aztec styles.

Art Nouveau: An art style popular between 1890 and 1910. Its distinguishing features include curved lines like those seen in nature.

Articulated: Connected by a hinge or pivot.

Asterism: An effect more commonly seen in cabochons referred to as the star effect. It is displayed visibly as rays of white light radiating from a center point.

Aurora Borealis: Created by Swarovski, named after the Northern Lights and also know as AB, Aurora Borealis stands for the crystal stones that have a very high iridescent surface.

Aurora Borealis 2X (AB2X): Twice the coating of the AB effect which covers the entire crystal. This effect is seen on all sides of the crystal.

Aventurine: A glistening form of quartz, typically with a green color. It has also become a general term referring to different kinds of stones.


Baguette: A narrow, rectangular stone.

Bail: A type of connector used to attach charms or other items to a chain. They typically have a loop or hook for chain, and a loop, hook, or open area to be pinched around the connected item.

Bakelite: A synthetic plastic that does not conduct electricity and is resistant to heat. Its light weight and durability made it very popular for jewelry making in the 1930's and 1940's.

Baker Setting: A setting made from a single piece of metal that only has four prongs and is round in shape.

Band: The portion of a ring that wraps around a finger.

Bangle: A type of bracelet that is either a non-flexible closed circle, or open on one end with a spring on the other. They may be made of glass, metal, rubber, or plastic.

Bar Pin: An accessory involving a bar with a pin or type of fastener on the back. Typically the fastener for a brooch.

Bar Setting: A type of ring setting similar to a channel setting, in which the sides of gemstones are exposed. In this type of setting, a single bar separates each gemstone.

Baroque: Ornate designs involving flowers in bows originating from 17th century France.

Baroque Pearl: A pearl that is natural, cultured or manufactured, but is irregularly shaped, and non-spherical.

Barrel Bead: A bead which is wider across than the center is, making a tubular shape, and narrowing flat tapering ends.

Barrel Nut: A clutch that is barrel-shaped and has a rubbery insert that is generally used for earrings or stickpins.

Barrette: A pin or clasp used primarily for holding hair.

Basemetal: A type of metal that is not among those considered precious. Examples include iron, lead, tin, and zinc.

Basket Setting: A setting that has an open-side to where you can see the bottom of the gemstone.

Basse-Taile: A technique of engraving a low relief in metal, then applying clear enamel to accent those relieves.

Baton: A smaller type of baguette.

Beach Glass: Glass found washed up on shore that is naturally weathered. It typically has a frosted look, and is the result of items like bottles, jars, or windows. (Sea Glass)

Bead Board: A flat surface with different rows and channels used to measure necklaces and bracelets, of different designs. These boards are made with a non-slip surface to hold the gems and beads in place.

Bead Cap: A concave finding used to attach to either side of a bead on a strand for decoration and/or protection from rubbing against other beads.

Bead Cone: In the shape of a metal cone, it is used to cover the ends of more than one strand in beading.

Bead Reamer: A tool that is used for bead holes that can be manual or electric. They are used to soften edges, enlarge or smooth the drill hole in beads.

Bead Tip: Used to finish the end of a necklace or bracelet, it is a clam shell-shaped metal finding that has a type of loop attached to it. It helps to secure the connection of jump rings and clasps to the necklace or bracelet.

Beads: A decorative object with a hole for stringing or threading.

Beggar Beads: Agate necklaces or multicolored stones worn by beggars in historical times. These beads and necklaces were thought to bring and attract wealth.

Belcher Setting: A rings setting that has its prongs or claws formed from the shank of the ring.

Bell Cap: A metal finding either used to hide a knot at the end of a strand of beads, or used to cap the end of an oblong bead. They have a ring at the top for connecting or converting items into pendants.

Bent Chain Nose Pliers: Pliers with bent jaws that are good for reaching into tight spots and odd angles to grip beads and components without blocking the vision.

Bezel: The sloping facets on a crown of a cut gemstone.

Bezel Setting: A metal rim setting encircling the sides of a stone. This is a good type of setting for keeping a stone secure or concealing chips or imperfections.

Bicone: A bead with two slanted, cone shaped ends that widen and join in the middle.

Birth Stone: Gemstones associated with months of birth

January - Garnet
February - Amethyst
March - Bloodstone, Aquamarine
April - Diamond
May - Emerald
June - Pearl, Moonstone, Alexandrite
July - Ruby
August - Peridot
September - Sapphire
October - Opal, Tourmaline
November - Topaz, Citrine
December - Turquoise, Zircon, Tanzanite

Biwa: Grown from mussels in Lake Biwa in Japan, these freshwater pearls are unusually shaped and normally take 3 years to grow.

Black Hills Gold: Hand crafted jewelry made from solid 24 Karat gold and gold alloys involving leaves and vines, and in some cases, gemstones.

Black Onyx: A lesser common variety of onyx that may have bands of white or other colors. Naturally black onyx is rare.

Black Opal: The most rare form of opal. It is generally a stone with one or many bars of varying brilliant colors on a dark background.

Black Pearl: An organic gem formed by black lip oysters. They are also known as Tahitian pearls.

Blister Pearl: A pearl that is attached to the inside of a mollusk shell.

Bloodstone: Green jasper with spots of iron oxide. It is a form of chalcedony quartz.

Blue Opal: Also known as Peruvian Opal. They are translucent blue-green variety of opals.

Blue Topaz: A blue form of topaz known to be naturally rare. It is common for blue topaz to be artificially produced.

Bog Oak: Wood that has been fossilized in bogs or peat marshes, and as a result is very dark in color and hard.

Bola: It is made using a length of cord that has metal bola tip ends. The tie has a finding that slides that is often hidden by large carvings, cabochons or other designs using mainly turquoise. (Also known as Bola Tie or Bolo Tie)

Bolo Slide: Usually a flat metal piece that has a design on top, that has two tube-like formations on the back that a leather cord can slide through.

Bolo Tip: Very long hollow cone-shaped finding that you glue to the end of a bolo tie. It helps to prevent the cord on the tie from fraying.

Bolt Ring: A circular type of clasp with a spring operated catch. Also known as spring ring clasp.

Bone: Rigid organs that support and protect the internal structure of vertebrates. It has been used in various types of jewelry.

Book Chain: A type of chain whose links are folded, rectangular metal resembling a book.

Bouton Pearl: A blister pearl that has been removed from the shell, thus having a flat side.

Bow: A design or ornament that is in the shape of a bow, being two dimensional or three dimensional; The hoop or ring that is on the top of a watch case that allows the connection of the swivel to the watch chain.

Box Chain: A chain made of square links resembling a box.

Box Setting: A type of setting whose edges are pressed onto the girdle of a gemstone holding it in place. This is also referred to as a gypsy setting.

Bracelet: A piece of jewelry, typically chain or a hoop, worn around the wrist.

Bracelet Link: Usually a decorative piece of metal that has two ring loops on both of the ends to link to connectors

Brass: An alloy of copper and zinc which is prized for its malleability and low melting point which allows it to be cast easily

Brazilian Chain: Articulated chain that resembles a snake. Also known as Snake Chain.

Breloque: An item that is small and suspends from a chain on a bracelet or a necklace, such as a charm.

Brick Stitch: Sewing beads into a pattern similar to how bricks are stacked when being laid.

Bridge Jewelry: Jewelry that is less fine than precious jewelry, but more than costume jewelry. Its name comes from the description that it "bridges the gap" between the two. It is typically made with semi-precious stones, gold-filled metals and sterling silver.

Brilliant Cut: A cone shaped cut of a gemstone intended to have the highest possible brilliance. This cut has 58 facets if the stone has a culet, and 57 if not.

Briolette: A pear-shaped stone that has either triangle or rectangle facets. It usually has one pointed end, and does not have the thin perimeter that divides the crown from the pavilion.

Britannia Silver: An alloy of silver with 95.84% minimum pure silver.

Bronze: An alloy of copper and tin. It is primarily copper, but is harder and brittle.

Brooch: A decorative item designed to attach to garments. Some brooches have served as a fastener for clothing since ancient times.

Brooch Convertor: A horizontal or vertical finding that is used to make a brooch into a pendant.

Brown Plated: Having a polished copper core, items are dipped into a liquid brown compound. Some items may have a slight rainbow effect after having the liquid baked onto it and being repolished.

Brushed Finish: A satin finish with fine lines running in one direction. This finish has a distinctive look, and causes liquids to have a limited ability to bead on the surface.

Bugle Bead: Beads in the shape of a tube, being longer than thick. Some may be twisted.

Bugtail: 1mm satin hollow cord that comes in many different colors.

Bullet Clutch: A clutch that is bullet-shaped and usually metal that has a rubbery insert that is used to grip earring posts.

Bunch Rings: Also known as stackable rings, they are generally sold in bunches that are supposed to be worn together. They have small center mountings for inexpensive stones.

Buttercup Setting: Usually used for pendants, earrings or rings, this setting has six prongs and resembles the buttercup flower. The prongs start from the bottom closer together and the flare up as it reaches the top. It is available in a closed or opened-back setting.

Butterfly Clutch: A clutch that is released by squeezing two wings that are griped to a grooved post.

Butterfly Wing Jewelry: Jewelry that uses real butterfly wings. The wings are typically encased in glass and set in a pendant or pin.

Button Loop Tie Holder: A metal piece that has an indent in the middle to slip over a button and a loop on each end to connect a chain that goes behind a tie.


C Catch: A loop of wire shaped like a "C" that holds a pin closed on a brooch.

Cabochon: A gemstone with a flat back and a smooth rounded front. It is usually in the shape of an ellipse.

Calcite: A mineral that is found in a wide variety of shapes and colors found in various places including hot springs, caverns, and volcanic rocks. The main distinguishing feature is that when looking through transparent calcite, items appear double.

Calibrated: Gemstones cut to a standard size to fit specific findings. Also called Calibre and Calibre Cut.

Cameo: A stone with a raised relief image usually the image of a woman placed on a contrast colored oval.

Cameo Habille: A cameo with additional embellishments like gemstones.

Camphor Glass: Cloudy white glass that imitates rock crystal.

Cane Glass: Glass beads that are colorful and fused together to make a large rod, that are then coated with a layer of clear glass, then fired.

Cap: A cover that is hinged to the top center of a case to a watch.

Carat: A unit of weight equal to 200 milligrams.

Carbon Steel: A type of steel that is not stainless and contains carbon.

Carnelian: A type of steel that is not stainless and contains carbon.

Cartouche: An oval design typically with ornamental scrollwork.

Carving: An object cut from hard material.

Case Screw: A small screw that is designed to fasten the movement of a watch to its case.

Case Spring: A spring that causes a cases lid to pop open when the button is pushed.

Casting: An item formed through the process of pouring molten metal into a mold and removing once cooled.

Cat's Eye: A stone or bead that shows a luminous band similar to the eye of a cat.

Cat's Eye Quartz: Has parallel internal lineations, which produce a silver-white lines.

Cathedral Glass: These glass beads are pressed into a mold and coated with color. These come in many different shapes and styles of faceting. The tips are a different color than the initial bead, and look like a bead cap.

Cathedral Setting: A metal band with arches rising to or above a gemstone.

Celluloid: Credited as the first thermoplastic, it is tough, moldable, and inexpensive to produce. It lost popularity by the middle of the 20th century after being replaced by other plastics like Bakelite.

Celtic: Referring to a design with geometric woven lines and knots originally depicted in the Celtic culture from medieval Europe.

Ceramics: Objects typically made of clay and fired. They are generally molded to their desired form.

Ceylon: A particular finish in seed beads or bugle beads.

Chain: A series of connected, typically metal links.

Chain Nose Pliers: Come in both long and short nose sizes. Used to reach tight places, difficult angles, grip components, close jump rings, bend wire, etc.

Chain Tab: A small flat metal "tag" used to identify precious-metal.

Chalcedony: A form of cryptocrystalline quartz that is a semi-transparent light bluish gray.

Chandelier Finding: An earring that has a drop or multiple drops that hangs down from the ear piercing and dangles like a chandelier

Channel Setting: The groove created by two bars of metal running parallel, which makes a channel for the stones.

Charm: A decorative pendant usually attached to a bracelet.

Charm Hanger: A finding that can be attached to a chain or cord by a jump ring or a bail. The bottom of the hanger can be opened up to add single or many different charms.

Chasing: Using a hammer and punches to create a low relief design in metal.

Chatelaine: A clasp worn on the waist with chains connected to items at the end. This stylish item worn mostly by housekeepers in the 19th century had numerous items like sewing tools, coin purses, and watches.

Chaton: A round, faceted stone usually with a foil back.

Chaton Cut: Most gemstones or rhinestones have a chaton cut. The stones have at least 8 facet cuts.

Chevron: An ornament or design that is made up of lines and colors that join at an angle.

Chevron Beads: This bead is created by laying different colors of layers of glass inside of a mold, while in between the layers the glass is pressed to make patterns in the beads.

Choker: A type of necklace typically worn with a close fit and high on the neck.

Chrome: An electroplated layer of chromium, usually on metals, that provides a mirror finish.

Chromium: A hard metal that has a high polish and is malleable.

Chrysoprase: A form of chalcedony that is a lighter green (sometimes referred to as apple green) to a dark green.

Cinch Mount: A setting that surrounds the griddle part of the faceted stone only, or the rim of a cabochon.

Cinnabar: The bright red ore of mercury.

Citrine: A yellow variety of quartz with resemblance to topaz.

Claddagh: A Celtic symbol showing friendship, loyalty, and love symbolized by hands around a heart with a crown.

Clamp: Also known as a cramp, it is the metal prong on a setting.

Clasp: Available in most materials, clasps are used to connect two or more ends of a piece of jewelry.

Clasp; Ball Joint: A clasp in which using pressure on the ball portion to keep it closed.

Clasp; Bar And Ring: A type of clasp that involves a bar and a ring. When threaded through the ring, the bar will not pass back through. Also known as a toggle clasp.

Clasp; Barrel Clasp: A clasp that is screwed or twisted to close or unclose onto the other end. (see also Screw Clasp)

Clasp; Bayonet Clasp: A bead like clasp with a narrow prong like closure.

Clasp; Bead Clasp: A type of clasp that is hidden by a bead or a pearl.

Clasp; Box Clasp: A tab like clasp that is inserted into a decorated box or frame.

Clasp; Crimp Clasp: A structural crimp clasp used to attach onto the end of beading cords and wires.

Clasp; Filigree Clasp: Can include Box Clasp and Fishhook Clasp styles, this clasp has a filigreed surface with delicately bent wires of gold or silver.

Clasp; Fold Over Clasp: (See also Snap Lock Clasp) Ideal for bracelets or anklets, this clasp is a low profile hinge and folds shut, closing securly and locking with a quiet "snap" sound.

Clasp; Hook-and-Eye Clasp: Possibly the oldest clasp in the world, this clasp has a hook on one side and a circular or oval loop that the hook latches into.

Clasp; Lobster Claw Clasp: This clasp resembles a lobster claw, with a rounded top and a self closing lower part that open when you push down on a tiny lever. This clasp is available in many different sizes, shapes and styles.

Clasp; Magnetic Clasp: A two part magnetized clasp that holds securely and is easy to put on or take off. Available in many different styles and shapes.

Clasp; Multi-Strand Clasp: (See also Slide Lock Clasp) A two part clasp that makes three or more strands secure by hooking or sliding one side onto the other.

Clasp; S-Hook Clasp: A clasp that is in the shape of an "s" that a ring goes onto to one or both sides, to bring a two ended piece of jewelry to a close.

Clasp; Screw Clasp: (see also Barrel Clasp) A clasp that is screwed or twisted to close or unclose onto the other end.

Clasp; Slide Lock Clasp: (See also Multi-Strand Clasp) A two part clasp that makes two or more strands secure by hooking or sliding one side onto the other.

Clasp; Snap Lock Clasp: (See alsoFold Over Clasp) Ideal for bracelets or anklets, this clasp is a low profile hinge and folds shut, closing securly and locking with a quiet "snap" sound.

Clasp; Springring Clasp: A clasp that is a circular hollow tube with a wire that is attached to a spring, and opens and closes by pulling and releasing on a prong that is attached to the wire. This clasp is most generally used on necklaces.

Clasp; Swivel Clasp: A clasp that has a swivel on the bottom that allows the clasp to twist freely without breaking or coming undone.

Clasp; Tab Lock Clasp: A two part tab that has a T-shaped opening on one side that allows the other solid side to slide into it and lock into place. This clasp is more recommended for necklaces, since the weight of the jewelry is what keeps the clasp closed.

Clasp; Toggle Clasp: A type of clasp that involves a bar and a ring. When threaded through the ring, the bar will not pass back through. Also called bar and ring clasp or T-bar clasp

Clasp; Torpedo Clasp: (see also Barrel Clasp and Screw Clasp) A clasp that is screwed or twisted to close or unclose onto the other end.

Clasp; Twister clasp: A clasp that is hinged and hooked onto a necklace or choker.

Cleavage: The tendency of stones to break along certain planes to create a smooth surface.

Clip On Earring: An earring that uses mechanical pressure to hold an earring in place on an earlobe.

Cloisonne: A technique of decorating metal involving separating areas by metal strips or wires, then filling those areas with enamel and firing.

Cluster Setting: A stone setting in which a larger center stone is surrounded by smaller stones.

Cocktail Ring: Any ring that is sculptured for design to hold any diamond or gemstone.

Coil Bead: Can be used as a pinch crimp bead, it is created using coiled wire.

Coil End: A bead that has a wire coil, and has a loop on the end.

Collar: Usually a three strand choker-like necklace that fits snuggly around the neck.

Collar Button: A button that is usually metal that is designed to close the collars on men's suit shirts.

Comfort Disc: A plastic disc that fits over an earring back to enhance wearing comfort.

Cone: Used to bring multiple ends of strands together at a single point and attach to a clasp, or part of a design.

Corrugated Bead: A hollow metal bead that is made from corrugated tubing that has two holes, in a circular shape.

Costume Jewelry: This jewelry is made of many different kinds of base metals, glass, plastics, shell, wood and other synthetic and organic materials.

Coupe: A plate that is flat and has the rims only slightly rolled.

Cowrie / Cowry Shell: A smooth, glossy, commonly white shell that has a narrow, long slit-like, jagged opening. It is also available in different colors and patterns.

Craquelees: A rock crystal stone that is heated to the point of cracking.

Crest: A symbol, any symbol, that is designed above a shield to make the coat-of-arms design.

Crimp: A metal bead or short metal tube used to secure the beginning and ends of a strand, to keep your beads on wires, and some beading cords.

Crimp Bead: A metal bead used to secure the beginning and ends of a strand, on beading wires and most beading cords.

Crimp Tube: A short metal tube used to secure the beginning and ends of beading wires and most beading cords.

Crimping Pliers: These pliers have a specially-designed grooved opening that helps with folding, rolling, and smoothing crimp beads and tubes unlike other pliers that make the Crimp Beads and Crimp Tubes flat.

Cross: A religious symbol of the Christian resurrection. It can be plain or decorated, if it has the crucified figure of Christ it is called a crucifix.

Crow Bead: (see also Pony Bead) Used at the end of cornrow braids, used by Native Americans on purses, shoes and clothing and also in fringe.

Crown: The area above the girdle of a brilliant cut gemstone.

Crystal (Quartz): Natural Quartz in its clear or colorless form.

Crystal Glass: This material has small amounts of lead oxide or molten glass added to change the materials properties. (also known as leaded crystal or leaded glass)

Cubic Zirconia: A synthetic gemstone whose optical brilliance and low cost make it a close competitor for diamonds.

Cuff: A type of bracelet made of a single material that is open on one side with the intention of stretching over the wrist.

Cuff Link: A metal decorative link that is used to fasten the sleeves of either men's dress shirts or women's men-like blouses.

Cultured Freshwater Pearl: This pearl is created by a pearl farmer who places a "seed" or a tiny piece of mother-of-pearl inside of a freshwater pearl oyster.

Curb Chain: A chain that lays flat from being twisted after the links are connected, most generally oval links.

Cushion Cut: Also referred to as pillow cut or old mine cut, this shape of gemstone is typically a square or rectangle with rounded corners.

Czech Glass: Glass that is most generally cut into the form of beads, born from the Czech Republic. Also called Bohemian glass or Bohemian crystal.


Dapping: Curving a flat piece of metal into a dome shape with specific dies or punches.

Dead Soft: An extremely flexible wire that can be bent into a great number of shapes easily.

Delica Bead: Manufactured by Miyuki, Japan, these seed beads are popular with bead-looming and bead-weaving projects. These beads are the same size in every dimension, with very large holes and thin walls. Some are "hex" cut (six sided) or smooth cylinders.

Devotional Jewelry: These are religious items such as crosses, rosary beads, Christ Heads and statues.

Diadem: A crown or headband that is worn by a king or queen to show a sign or royalty

Diamond: A crystal clear rock that is an extremely high form of carbon. It has a high popularity for engagement and wedding rings, earrings and necklaces. It is more costly than most jewelry.

Dichroic Glass: A glass material that contains thin layers of oxide, which make different patterns of light refraction in the glass. Looking at this glass at different angles alter the colors that are shown.

Die Struck: A piece of metal formed in a press to have a raised or curved design.

Dog Collar: A necklace that is similar to a choker, is worn snuggly around the neck of a person.

Dog Tag: Stamped information about the person wearing it in the armed forces, worn around the neck.

Dome: A convex decoration on a piece of metal, that is made by dapping or by a power press.

Donut: Most commonly used as a jewelry centerpiece, it is a flat, usually round component, with a large hole in the middle.

Doublet: A stone that is made with more than one component. Usually combined with glass, plastic, or other synthetic stones.

Drop: A decorative piece of jewelry that dangles from the main piece of jewelry, and moves within the motions of the wearer. A drop usually has one loop on top or a hole or a number of bottom loops.

Druk Bead: A high-quality, smooth, spherical, hand made, pressed glass bead made in the Czech Republic and available in many different colors.


Ear Cuff: A half open small metal cuff that is pinched to the middle or side of the ear. Some ear cuffs have a dangle or chain that is connected to an ear stud on the same ear and others are very decorative.

Ear Nut: A small piece of metal that has a hole punched through it with two wings that are twisted into little circles, that holds the post of an earring in place in a pierced ear.

Ear Post: A post or stud finding, most generally metal, used to create ear jewelry that enters the ear front and is secured by an ear nut in the back. These can come in many different styles and sizes. (See also Earstud)

Ear Screw: An ear wire that is in the shape of a U with a threaded back that clamps the earrings to ears that are not pierced.

Ear Stud: A post or stud finding, most generally metal, used to create ear jewelry that enters the ear front and is secured by an ear nut in the back. These can come in many different styles and sizes. (See also Earpost)

Ear Thread: An earring with a post that acts as a needle that is connected to a chain, that is thread through an ear hole. It has many varieties of chain lengths and styles.

Ear Wire: A thin piece of wire, most commonly the fish hook which has a ball and coil, used to support ear jewelry. They come in a wide variety of styles and fashions.

Earring Jacket: An earring decoration that you can take off and change to create different looks.

Ecclesiastical Rings: A ring that is worn by higher-ranking Church officials, such as a Bishop

Electroplating: Coating one metal surface onto another metal surface by means of electrolysis (usually with copper, nickel, chromium, gold, silver, or rhodium.) The amount of electroplating on a object is measured by microns. One micron = 0.001mm.

Elephant Hair Jewelry: Normally made into bracelets, it is made out of real elephant hair.

Elk Tooth: Also known as elk ivory, it is used for ornamental designs and purposes. Some of these designs are made into rings, bracelets, cuff links, etc.

Embossing: Raising a design on the front of a piece of metal or paper by using a hammer or punches on it from behind.

Emerald: A green gemstone that is known for its distinctive color, and so is the basis for the specific shade of green. Emerald can also refer to a specific cut of gemstone, typically a rectangle with cut corners.

Enamel: A semitransparent or colored opaque, glassy, protective material that is baked onto metal, glass or ceramic.

End Cap: End caps are findings that allows for beads, components or stringing material to be placed or attached into it. End caps are used for beads to add interest and texture to jewelry designs.

End Cutting Nippers: A pair of pliers that are made specifically for metal-cutting. It is ideal for cutting thicker wires, posts and pegs.

Engravable: Words that are added onto any item that is thick and flat enough to be engraved.

Engraving: Patterns that are cut or chiseled onto the surfaces of metal, wood and other surfaces.

Enhancer: A bail-like finding that can be defined as a simple piece of wire that opens up in the back and allows you to clip and hang a pendant from a necklace.

Eye Beads: The eye bead is a glass are originating in Anatolia. These beads are often used in amulets and are decorated to look like eyes. They date back to 3,000 year old antiquity.

Eye Pin: A long wire that is used for linking beads together. The wire resembles a needle with a loop at one end.

Eyeglass holder End: A piece of rubber that is formed into a figure eight shape. One end is hooked onto the end of a decorated strand or chain that wraps behind your neck, while the other end slides snuggly onto the temple wear part of the glasses.


Facet: A flat surface on a cut gem, that gives the gemstone its shape and when light moves from one facet to another it creates helps create the flashiness and sparkle of the stone.

Fancy Balls and Beads: Balls and beads that are not in round or spherical shapes but are rather in oval shapes or bell shapes.

Ferrule: A metal ring or a cap that is placed or fitted at the end of wire, thread, cord or wood to prevent fraying or splitting and to add decoration.

Festoon: A necklace that is made out of dainty metal. It most generally has a strand that hangs between two points to make a curved look. It is a turn of the twentieth century necklace.

Fiber Optic Glass: This glass gets its name because of is similarity to the Cat's Eye Quartz. This glass has a unique way with the two materials its made of and how it refracts light, making the whitish line in the center of the glass. (Also called Cat's Eye Glass.)

Filigree: Made of delicate wire metals like gold and silver and having the wires twisted and shaped into delicate patterns.

Finding: Findings are the jewelry parts that are used to complete or finish a complete jewelry unit. Some of these findings include jump rings, clasps, head pins, ear wires, charms, pin stems which are just a few.

Fishhook: Also known as a French ear wire, the "hook" part of the earring passes through the pieced part of the ear, the other end of the earring has a decorative dangle.

Flambeau: An ornament or decoration that resembles a flame or a torch fire.

Focal Component: Used to be the Main attention-grabber, the "focal point" is usually a centerpiece in any necklace, bracelet, anklet or earring.

Foil: A very fine thin sheet of metal that is placed on the back of a gem to enhance its color and brilliance.

Freshwater Pearl: (See also Cultuted Freshwater Pearl) This pearl is created by a pearl farmer who places a "seed" or a tiny piece of mother-of-pearl inside of a freshwater pearl oyster.

Fringe Bead: A glass drop bead that is shaped like a tear drop but is mostly round, used mostly for bead weaving.


Galvanized Bead: A metallic plating that has been applied to a beads surface. Available in many colors.

Gauge: The thickness of a metal, wire or plastic jewelry. The thicker the gauge the thinner the initial jewelry is. This is ideal for earrings, or facial piercings.

Gold-Finished: An item with the base metal usually being steel or brass, and has a finish of gold electroplated onto it.

Gold Electroplate: When 10K gold or more is fitted around an object. Usually not less than 10% fineness.

Gold Filled: Gold-filled is a metal that has so many different parts of gold, depending on what karat it has. It refers to jewelry or another metal item that has a sheet of gold applied to its surface and has several mechanically bonded layers.

Goldstone: A type of glittering glass, typically copper in color with gold specks. It is often mistaken for natural stone.

Grip Length: The grip length measures the distance of a stringing hole to the edge of the drilled focal point, which will tell you how big of an ice pick bail you will need to use.


Half-Drilled Bead: A hole that is only halfway drilled through a bead. These beads can be used on various settings using glue or mounted on pegs.

Hank: A hank is multiple beads on different strands tied together.

Head Pin: A length of wire resembling a needle that has a flat end or head to keep beads from slipping off.

Heishi: A shell disk that has a hole drilled in the center and is strung as a necklace and resembles a serpent because of how fluid it moves.

Hemalyke: A man made material that is made to resemble natural hematite, but at a greatly lower cost. It is an artificial magnetic material that is a silvery, shiny, opaque gemstone that almost looks like metal that is widely used in jewelry.

Hematite: A dark steel colored mineral. It is the mineral form of a type of iron oxide.

Hex-Cut Bead: A bead with six sides, available in many different colors, sizes and finishes. They are also sometimes called two-cuts.

Hexagon Bead: A bead that has six sides and is usually flat, with a drill hole that runs all the way through one of the six sides to the opposite side.

Horn: A bead that is carved from the horns of animals, for example, cattle and goats.


Ice Pick Bail: This is similar to the Prong Bail, it has two small prongs that you pinch together onto a gem and comes in many different styles. It has a loop at the top that a chain can be threaded through.

Inlays: Inlays using materials like shells, mother-of-pearl, horn or ivory are pressed into a surface or depressions to form patterns or pictures.

Intaglio: Opposite of a cameo, an intaglio is a carving or engraving that is cut into a gem or semi-precious stone.

Iris: Similar to the AB Finish, iris has three or four different varing colors in one stone


Jig: A tool with movable pegs used when forming wire into various patterns or designs.

Jump Ring: Jump rings are thick wire formed into a loop, used to connect separate pieces of jewelry together to form one single piece of designed jewelry. Jump rings also allow a clasp to be connected to a necklace, bracelet or anklet. They come in many different sizes and are also available in square, triangle, oval and more.


Karat (Kt): The measurement of fineness of gold.

Kidney Ear Wire: A bow of wire that loops through a pierced ear and latches onto itself.

Knapping: Chipping at a stone with another hard object to form a particular shape. For example Native Americans did this to make arrow heads.


Lampworked Glass: A form of glasswork, rods of glass are heated over a flame or by a gas-fueled torch. When the glass gets hot and is almost in a liquid state, it is placed on a metal rod and rolled as it melts to create patterns and designs.

Lariat: An open ended necklace that has no clasp but is held together by going through themselves, a drop or a decorative ring. They more likely than not have beads or tassels at the end of them and are 48 inches or longer.

Lavalier: A necklace that has a suspended pendant with a single stone or other component attached to it.

Leverback Ear Wire: This ear wire has a hook that goes through a pierced ear and has a hinged lock lever attached to the back of the earring for added security.

Link: A link is used to connect one component to another and has the same amount of loops on each end within the piece of jewelry. It comes in many shapes and sizes.

Liquid Silver Liquid Gold: Silver or gold tube beads strung together in strands that gives the appearance of flowing liquid metal.

Liver of Sulfur: A potassium sulfide oxidizing agent. It is used to bring out the textural details and to create an antiqued finish on metal jewelry. It comes in several forms: liquid, lump, and gel form.

Loop Closing Pliers: A pair of pliers that are made to close loops of different sizes, jump rings and bracelet links easily.

Lost Wax Casting: Also called "investment casting" and "precision casting" is the process where molten metal is poured into a mold that is hollow that has been made by wax that is melted away.

Luster: The way light reflects off of a gem or material.


Mala: A string or loop of usually 108 beads that are used for praying and meditation.

Maltese Cross: Worn by the Knights of Malta, this cross has four arms of equal length with the end of the arms similar to a V formation or an arrowhead.

Manchette Bracelet: A wide bracelet that is like a cuff but usually is worn on the forearm.

Mandrel: A tool that is used to shape or size rings or bangles.

Matinee Length: A single-stranded necklace, usually pearl, that is 20-26 inches long.

Matte: A dull, flat or lusterless finish.

Memory Wire: This wire does not need a clasp because it "remembers" the circular shape it is put in. Can be used for necklaces, bracelets, anklets and rings.

Micron: Used to measure the thickness of electroplating with a unit length of one millionth of a meter (0.001)

Millefiori: A decorative glass that is made by fusing many glass rods together which produces patterns or most generally floral shapes.

Mosaic: A picture or decorated surface that is formed by placing small colored glass or stone into a surface that hardens when dry.

Mounting: A metal jewelry setting that holds a stone in place.


Navette Cut: Navette rhinestones are narrow narrow, pointed oval shape stones that taper to twin points and are faceted.

Nickel: A metal that is popular for plating because it resists oxidation and is a silvery white in color, but it is the most common of metal allergies.

Nickel Silver: Nickel Silver also called German silver, resembles sterling silver but is grayer in color. It has various alloys of copper and zinc and contains no elemental silver unless plated.

Nuggets: Large, earth-formed pieces of gemstone or precious metal.

Nylon Jaw Pliers: These pliers are great for uses like griping and shaping metal wires of all kinds during wire working. The nylon jaws protects the wire from damage.


Omega Chain: Made with bands or links of metal on a wire or on a woven mesh.

Opera Length: A single stranded necklace, usually pearls, about 28 to 36 inches long.

Oxidization: When metal changes color due to exposure to oxygen and loss of electrons making an antiqued look, for example the Statue of Liberty is copper but with over a century of oxidization, it has turned green in color.


Palladium: A rare silvery-white metal that is cousin of the platinum metal group. Discovered in 1803 by William Wollaston, this metal is a lustrous, dense, tarnish-resistant metal that has the lowest melting point of the platinum group, and is popular for fine metal jewelry, findings and beads.

Patina: A coloration of green or brown that occurs on certain metals when they are left to oxidize in the atmosphere for a length of time.

Pave Setting: A setting where the stones are placed so close together you cannot see metal and it looks like it is "paved" with stones.

Pearl Essence: Extracted from the scales of fish, a liquid is coated onto plastic beads to make artificial pearls.

Pearl Reamer: Used to finish or widen drill holes in pearls.

Pendant: A decorative piece of jewelry suspended from a necklace.

Pewter: Grey in color it is a metal alloy made up of tin with copper or antimony.

Peyote Stitch: Also known as the gourd stitch, it is an off loom bead weaving technique. Peyote stitch can be stitched in a flat round shape or as a tube with both even and odd count pieces.

Platinum: A rare precious silvery-white grey metal and element that is difficult to melt. It is tarnish free and not susceptible to wear-and-tear.

Pliers: A variously shaped hand tool with pincers that are parallel, flat and most generally have serrated surfaces. They are used for a variety of purposes such as gripping small objects or bending and cutting wire in jewelry making.

Polishing: Making the surface of a metal smooth, shiny and removing flaws by rotating an instrument or cloth with a polishing substance over it.

Polymer Clay: A type of hardenable plastic sculpturing material made of polymer polyvinyl chloride (PVC). It normally contains no clay minerals, but when a liquid is added to dry particles, it can achieve a gel-like working property. It is used to make jewelry beads and arts and craft items.

Pony Bead: (See also Crow Bead) Used at the end of cornrow braids, used by Native Americans on purses, shoes and clothing and also in fringe.

Prong Bail: A finding that is used to attach a chain to a gem or pendant by pinching the prongs into their drilled holes.


Repousse: Formed in relief by using a hammer on the backside of metal to create designs and patterns.

Resin: A type of synthetic, natural, solid or semi-solid material. Some have two different parts that must be mixed up before use, also called two part-epoxy.

Rhinestone: An artificial gem that is an imitation of a diamond or other gem stone. Rhinestones have faceted tops and usually foil on the bottom.

Rhodium: An expensive metal that comes from the platinum family, that is hard and silvery-white in color.

Riviere: A necklace of gemstones that increase in size from the central stone, or are all the same size.

Rivoli: A gemstone that is faceted and pointed on both sides.

Rocaille Bead: Meaning "rock" or "pebble" in French, it is a small seed bead made in Japan

Rondelle Bead: A flat shaped bead, that can come in square or triangle shapes as well and can be used as a spacer between stones on a necklace or bracelet.

Rope Necklace: A long single continuous stranded necklace of 37 inches or longer, some with a knot at the end.

Rosary: A single length of beads that are used by Catholic religious belief. Usually made with dark beads forming into a loop that can be a necklace, a larger bead in the middle has a single drop of beads with a cross connected. Each part of the the rosary has a different significance.

Rosary Pliers: By combining the Round-Nose Pliers and Side-Cutting Pliers into one pair of pliers, the rosary pliers "round-nose" gradually narrows into a point and are ideal to make the chain loops that form the traditional Catholic rosaries.

Round Nose Pliers: A pair of pliers with round forming jaws, that narrow into a point, are used to create loops in wire, head pins or eye pins.


Saltwater Pearl: Farmed by a saltwater farmer, these pearls are always grown in oysters by having a "seed" of mother-of-pearl placed inside of them.

Sautoir: A long necklace that usually is made of bead or pearl but other material as well, that ends in tassels on both ends of the necklace, originating from the jazz era.

Scarab: A beetle from the Egyptian times that is carved onto a gem or stone.

Scatter Pin: Two or more small similar brooches or pins worn in groups.

Sea Glass: Glass found washed up on shore that is naturally weathered. It typically has a frosted look, and is the result of items like bottles, jars, or windows (typically from littering).

Seed Bead: A small bead that is uniformly shaped measuring less than 1 millimeter to a few millimeters. It is used for bead weaving and jewelry making. They are available in many different colors.

Semiprecious Stones: Usually lower quality than precious stones, these are natural stones that are cut and polished that are used in fashion jewelry.

Setting: A metal frame or crown that is designed to hold gemstones securely in place. Available in many sizes and finishes.

Silver-Finished: A base metal that is electroplated with silver in color but does not contain any actual silver content.

Silver Filled: Thicker than silver plated items, silver-filled is a mechanical bonding with a .925 or thick layer of silver fineness that must be at least one-tenth of the metal part.

Silver Plate: A thin layer of a fine silver film that is deposited on a base metal by electrolysis, the same as gold electroplate, but cannot be called sterling silver.

Snake Chain: Articulated chain that resembles a snake. Also known as Brazilian Chain.

Spacer Bar: A flat metal finding with holes that is used to separate multiple strands and to prevent tangles while stringing beads.

Split Ring: Often used as a key ring, it is also used to connect jewelry-making components.

Split Ring Pliers: A pair of pliers that has a hook on one end that helps to open split rings without distorting them.

Stabilized / Stabilization: Stabilization is used mostly on turquoise. It is a form of clear epoxy, resin, or liquid plastic to give durability to porous gemstones and also to improve appearance.

Stainless Steel: A steel that has a minimum of 10% chromium and does not rust and maintains its strength at high temperatures.

Station: A large pendant that is the main focal point of the design.

Sterling Silver: Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal most generally copper. By adding the other 7.5% metal into the silver, it makes the metal more durable and not as easily bendable or breakable. It also makes the tarnishing process slow down.

Sterling Silver Filled: Sterling silver that is bonded to a copper-alloy center. Sterling silver-filled items work just as well as sterling silver.

Stick Pin: A straight pin that is worn to hold an ascot or a necktie in place that has a decorative head.

Surgical Steel: Is the best kind of steel to be used that will not cause allergic reactions.

Swarovski: A company and brand name that is known for its crystal glass, that is polished and shined to the utmost brilliance and quality.


Tigertail: A nylon coated, small, braided wire that is used for beading. It is stiff enough to be strung without using a beading needle.

Titanium: 100% hypoallergenic and is grey-silver in color. It is the strongest and hardest metal in the world.

Troy Ounce: A Troy ounce is known as oz t, or t oz. It measures the weight of precious metals and gemstones, and there are 12 ounces in a Troy pound unlike avoirdupois ounces which is used for food and non-precious metals.


Up Eyes: A small circular finding that is bonded to a bead or stone to add a loop to make it a pendant.


Venetian Bead: These beads are also called Murano Beads. They are famous for their color, quality and craftsmanship.

Vermeil: Vermeil is made of sterling silver, gold, and other components of precious metals. However, to be considered vermeil, the gold that coats the sterling silver has to be at least 10 carat gold (42%).

Vitrail: A translucent or iridescent coating that is only applied on one side of a bead or glass.


White Metal: Alloys that are sometimes used in white metal are antimony, tin, lead, cadmium, bismuth, and zinc. This is one of the most used metals in costume jewelry.

Wire Guardian: A bent, horseshoe-shaped, small piece of metal that is used to thread wire into it and make perfect end loops in jewelry. (also called a wire protector)

Wire Wrapping Pliers: A pair of pliers that are used and designed specifically to make 4mm, 6mm and 8mm jump rings or loops in jewelry.