Palladium - Palladium (pay-law-dee-um) is a dense and lustrous, precious white-silver metal. Discovered in 1803 by William Wollaston, it is named palladium after the renowned asteroid Pallas, which is named after Athena, the ancient Greek Goddess of Wisdom. A cousin of the platinum metal group, this rare metal is popular for fine metal jewelry, findings and beads.
Patina - The coloration that occurs in certain metals when they are exposed at length to the atmosphere. A thin, greenish layer appears on the surface of copper and bronze; a reddish effect on gold. An artificial patina can be created with acids or electrolyte.
Pearl Essence - Also called essence d'orient. A crystalline substance extracted from fish scales and combined with acrylic resins. Used to make imitation pearls. In better imitations, the essence is applied over opaline glass beads; in cheaper imitations, over plastic beads. Discovered in 1565 by Jaquin, a French manufacturer of rosaries, when he accidentally dipped some pearls into water in which he had washed fish. Refined versions today produce spectacular results.
Pewter - A metal alloy that is largely made from tin with trace elements, like copper or antimony added for hardness. Older or classic pewter contains tin while lower grades of pewter may contain lead or zinc and have a darker silver-grey color. Newer or modern pewter uses antimony or bismuth rather than lead.
Peyote Stitch - An off-loom bead weaving technique used by many cultures across the world. In peyote stitch, beads are woven together in a zigzag. Peyote stitch has both flat and tube-shaped variations.
Pony Bead - (see also Crow Bead) A bead cut from a tube of glass or plastic, then tumbled and polished to smooth the edges. Used on the bottom of cornrow braids, in fringe and for some Native American styles.