Biwa - A cultured pearl originally non-nucleated, grown in a freshwater mussel from Lake Biwa in Japan. Only those actually produced there should be called Biwas; others are simply called freshwater cultured pearls.
Bola - (also called Bola tie or Bolo tie) A type of necktie popular in the American Southwest, created using a length of cord fastened with a clamping slide finding, and finished with metal bola tip ends. The finding is often hidden by a cabochon, carving or other large design motif.
Box Clasp - (see also Tab Insert Clasp) A clasp with a tab which is inserted into a decorative frame or box. Some styles come with safety latches or safety chains, which prevent the wedge-shaped tab from pulling out and the jewelry from dropping off. Some styles are accented with gemstones, enamel or inlay work. They are commonly used for lightweight necklaces, bracelets and anklets. Can include Bayonet Clasp, Bead Clasp and Filigree Clasp styles.
Bracelet - A form of jewelry, usually decorative, worn around the wrist created from leather, fibers, plastics or metals. Bracelets can be embellished with stone, wood, shell or other materials. Some bracelets are used for medical or identification purposes (such as allergy bracelets).
Brick Stitch - (also called Cheyenne stitch or Comanche stitch) An off-loom bead-weaving technique used by many cultures across the world. In brick stitch, beads are woven together similarly to how bricks are stacked in a brick wall.
Cane Glass - Beads resembling old-fashioned candy sticks. Small canes of colored glass are fused together to create a larger rod, then coated with clear glass and fired. Most cane glass beads feature "lattichino"--thin white, clear or colored candy cane-like stripes. "Slicer" beads are smaller pieces, created from slices of cane glass.
Carat - The unit of weight used for precious stones. One carat equals one-fifth of a gram. Also a measurement of fitness in gold. Pure gold is expressed as 24Kt.
The term ''carat'' dates back to the traders of the ancient world. A standard weight was required for precious gems as merchants of the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East were dependent on the ability to trade with a reasonably consistent unit of measurement. It was this need that led to the adoption of seeds and grains as widespread units of measurement.
The carob seed and the wheat grain, both of which had been used for food purposes were found to be ideal units of weight. For centuries the carob seed remained the weight measurement for precious gems. By the Middle Ages, however, changes in the trade routes had occurred and large centers of trade were now found within Europe. The carat, as it had become known, became linked to 4 grains Troy weight, with the carob seed having been abandoned at some point during the shift of trade centers. The Troy carat was the equivalent of approximately 205 milligrams. This measurement of weight lasted for the carat until the 20th century. It was between 1907-1914 that the carat was married to the metric system of weights. By 1914 the United States officially abandoned the former Troy measurement of 205.3 milligrams for the carat, and adopted the current metric carat measurement of 200 milligrams.
Cat's Eye (Glass) - (also called Fiber Optic Glass) Created with manmade fiber optic glass, cat's eye refracts light in a way reminiscent of the oblong center of a cat's eye. This center appearance of movement is caused by chatoyance, which is defined as changeable luster or shine.