Fiber Optic Glass - (also called Cat's Eye Glass) This glass gets its name from its similarity to Cat's Eye Quartz and the unique way the two materials refract light. The whitish "eye" or line resembles the oblong center of a cat's eye.
Finding - A jewelry-making term for any metal component used to connect and/or assemble jewelry. Findings are materials used to thread through, glue on, hook into, link onto or otherwise attach beads and components together. Findings include jumprings, clasps, bails, headpins, earwires and charms, to name a few.
Fine jewelry - Fine jewelry is generally thought of as jewelry that uses at least 14Kt gold or other precious metals and precious gems like diamonds, sapphires, rubies or emeralds. Fine jewelry can be mass-produced or artisan-made.
Fire-Polished - (also called fire polish) A process in which beads are machine faceted, then polished by glazing inside a red-hot glass oven. This softens the edges of the facets and gives the beads a smoother feel than machine-polished crystal beads. Fire-polished beads traditionally originate in the Czech Republic.
Fishhook Clasp - A lightweight clasp with a fishhook-shaped interior hook which is inserted into an oval box. The interior hook prevents jewelry from immediately falling off if the clasps are accidentally opened by hooking on the crossbar within the clasp box. Ideal for lightweight necklaces and bracelets.
Flush-Cutting Pliers - A pair of pliers used to trim headpins, eyepins, wire-wrapping wire and cable-style beading wire (such as Accu-Flex®). The outside surface of the curved blades create a flat, flush-to-the-surface cut--even in the tightest of places.
Focal Component - Any item that is used as the central element in a necklace, bracelet or other jewelry design. A focal component is intended to be the main attention-getter, the "focal point." Examples include pendants, carved gemstone beads, cabochons in settings, etc. Sometimes referred to as a "station."
Fold Over Clasp - (see also Snap Lock Clasp) A low-profile clasp which is less likely to tangle or snag on clothes or hair than other styles. This hinged clasp folds shut, closing securely and locking with a quiet "snap." With this secure closure, snap lock clasps are ideal for bracelets or anklets.
French Wire - (also called bullion) Tightly coiled, fine wire that forms a flexible tube. It is used by jewelry makers to conceal and protect stringing materials from abrasion by metal jewelry findings, especially the clasp. Also sewn onto fabrics in textile embellishment projects and used as a spacer material with high-end gemstone beads.
Freshwater Pearl - (see also Cultured Freshwater Pearl) Pearls created by a pearl farmer, who inserts a tiny piece, or "seed," of mother-of-pearl into a freshwater pearl oyster. The pearl oyster will coat the seed with progressive layers of nacre, creating a pearl.