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Cabochon - An undrilled gemstone with a smooth rounded top and a flat back. A cabochon is not faceted.

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Cameo - A carved gem or shell, in which the carved design stands out against a background of a different color.

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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.

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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.

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Carbon Steel - A type of steel that contains carbon, with other alloys making up a trace portion. This term is also used generically to refer to steel that's not stainless.

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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.

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Cat's Eye Quartz (Gemstone) - (also called Hawk's Eye Quartz) This quartz has fine parallel internal lineations, similar to tigereye, which produce a silver-white "eye" or line that moves as the stone moves. Natural colors vary from black to grey.

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Cathedral Glass - Cathedral glass beads are made in the Czech Republic by pressing into a steel mold, coating with color then grinding and polishing every facet to reveal the base glass. The color coating remains on the ends, giving the appearance of bead caps.

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Celluloid - Thermoplastic material that was commonly used in jewelry before the invention of injection molding. Now used to simulate tortoiseshell.

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Ceylon - Used to describe a particular finish in seed and bugle beads. The use of Ceylon before a color name indicates the addition of a luster coating or the inside coloring of an opalescent bead.

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Chain - A series of connected links, typically made of metal.

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Chain Tab - A chain tab is a small, flat metal finding that is often hung on a piece of precious-metal jewelry and stamped as a "tag" that identifies the precious metal content.

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Chain-Nose Pliers - A pair of pliers with flat gripping surfaces, used to create reach into tight places, at difficult angles, to grip components, close jumprings, bend wire and stabilize a design while working. Available in both long-nose and short-nose varieties. Short-nose pliers offer more strength and stability and long-nose pliers give more reach.

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Chalcedony - Various types of colored quartz, usually with a milky appearance, including carnelian, agate, cat's eye and jasper.

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Charms - Small ornaments worn as pendants or on bracelets.

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Chatelaine - An ornamental chain, pin or clasp, usually worn at a woman's waist, to which trinkets, keys, a purse, or other articles are attached. Also used to refer to pins with two figures linked together by a chain.

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Chaton - A particular shape of cut glass or crystal, most commonly known as Swarovski crystal rhinestones. A chaton is a faceted, pavillion-shaped (pointed) bottom. Some chaton styles have the same point on top, while others have a smooth domed top (similar to cabochons) or a flat top (similar to faceted gemstones).

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Chevron Beads - (also called rosetta beads or star beads) Glass bead style first created in Italy in the late 1400s. Chevron glass is composed of a varied number of consecutively-laid layers of colored glass. In between layers, the glass is pressed into a mold, to create the patterns within the beads. The glass is stretched to create a long tube, then cut into beads. Individual beads are then beveled or rounded at each end to reveal the chevron or star patterns in the glass. Only those beads with the internal structure exposed by beveling, cutting or grinding the end surfaces away are called Chevron Beads. All others are called rosetta or star beads.

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Choker - A tight-fitting necklace that is worn close to the base of the neck. May be plain or with pendants or ornamentation. Measures approximately 16 to 18 inches.

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Clasp - A fastener in jewelry-making, which connects two or more ends of a piece of jewelry together, allowing it to be worn. Clasps can be utilitarian and purely functional, or highly embellished design elements. Clasps are available in most materials, including metal, gemstone, bone, wood and more.

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