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Shore Hardness

Three different scales ranging from 10-100 for measuring the resistance of gels, rubbers and plastics to indentation. Shore A00 measures very soft rubbers and gels. Shore A measures flexible rubbers to semi-rigid plastics. Shore D measures hard...


Tin is a pure metallic element, listed on the periodic table as Sn (an abbreviation of Stannum, which is Latin for tin). Tin resists oxidization and corrosion, so it is commonly used in metal jewelry components. Tin is found in alloys such as bronze...


finishes have a neutral grey background with bluish or purplish tinges, sometimes referred to as "black chrome." Its name derives from a particular alloy of copper, bronze and zinc, which was originally used in gunmaking, though many alloys...


Zinc is a pure metallic element, listed on the periodic table as Zn, which is commonly used in metal jewelry components. Zinc is found in alloys such as brass (a mix of copper and zinc) or used as an anti-corrosion coating over other metals. The...

Zebra Wire™

Zebra Wire is a copper wire designed for fashion jewelry, crafts and home décor projects. Colored Zebra Wire is made by electroplating a copper wire core, spraying the copper with a vibrant enamel coating, and applying a protective lacquer. This...

Blister Pearl

Blister pearls are a pearly excrescence formed on the inside of the shell of a mollusk (oyster) commonly enclosing a foreign body, such as a bit of mud or parasite. Blister pearls are often irregular in shape.


Brown-plated items have a polished copper core, dipped in a liquid brown compound (the recipe is a trade secret). The items are then baked to fuse the coating into the metal, slowly cooled, then polished again. Items can display a slight rainbow...

Bridge jewelry

Bridge jewelry is generally thought of as jewelry that is the bridge between fine jewelry and costume jewelry. It may use vermeil, gold-filled or sterling silver metals and semi-precious stones such as amethyst, citrine, turquoise, jade, topaz,...

Costume jewelry

Costume jewelry is generally thought of as jewelry made from base metals, glass, plastics and other synthetics. It may also be comprised of shell, wood and other organic materials. Costume jewelry can be artisan-made or mass produced.

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.


Vitrail is a translucent color-coating effect that is vacuum sealed onto the reverse side of glass and crystal beads. Named for the French word that translates as 'stained glass' in English, the vitrail effect shines through the transparent...

Beading Wire

Beading wire is actually a cable composed of multiple strands of wire twisted together. It is much more flexible and stronger than single strand wire. The most common type of beading wire is made from braided stainless steel strands of wire and is...


A round crystal component which is faceted to a point on both sides.

Grip Length

The depth of the grip range of an ice-pick bail. The grip length measures the distance of a stringing hole from the edge of a drilled focal, so a flat round with a hole 5mm from the edge will require a bail with a grip length of 5mm or more.

Sterling Silver-Filled

Items are made by combining a durable outer layer of sterling silver (.925/20) surrounding a copper-alloy core. Fabrication is completed with an anti-tarnish coating to preserve the beauty. Sterling silver-filled items handle like sterling silver.


(see also Earpost) A finding, usually metal, used to create ear jewelry. The post or stud of the finding passes through the ear, and is secured by an earnut on the back. The front can be plain or highly decorated, and many styles offer attachment...

Aurora Borealis 2X (AB2X)

The AB2X surface effect has two times the coating of the AB effect, covering the entire crystal. The iridescent rainbow effect is seen on all sides, producing the utmost sparkle.


Originally a term from ancient Greek astronomy, "zodiac" described the constellations which are on the path the sun takes across the sky over the course of a solar year. Those constellations were each eventually assigned to one of 12 months, forming...


A particular faceting style or "cut," unique to and patented by Swarovski in their line of beads and jewelry-making components.

Wire Guardian

(also called Accu-Guard™ or wire protector) A horseshoe-shaped loop of metal used to cradle and protect beading wire, thread or cord from fraying through contact with metal components such as clasps or links.

Wire-Wrapping Pliers

A pair of pliers with designed with a stepped round tip, in order to make consistent 4mm, 6mm and 8mm loops or jumprings.

Venetian Bead

(also called Murano glass) A glass bead created in the style of the glass artists of Venice, primarily on the island of Murano. Venetian glass beads are famous the world over for their color, craftsmanship and exceptional quality. Many glassworking...

Twister Clasp

A hinged clasp which is hooked through each end of a continuous necklace, or opera-length pearl strand, changing it into a twisted choker necklace.

Torpedo Clasp

(see also Barrel Clasp and Screw Clasp) A low-profile clasp with a threaded closure, which is twisted or screwed to open and to close. Can include Bead Clasp styles.

Toggle Clasp

(also called bar-and-ring clasp or T-bar clasp) A style of clasp consisting of a loop (usually a circle, but sometimes other shapes such as stars, hearts or leaves); the other piece is a ''T'' shaped bar. The clasp is closed by pulling the ''T''...


A miniature braided stainless steel cable-style wire used for jewelry-making. Tigertail has a nylon coating, which protects the steel wire from corrosion or wear, and is stiff enough to be strung without using a beading needle. Tigertail is secured...

Thread Heaven®

A non-toxic, hypoallergenic synthetic polymer material used to coat beading thread. It binds thread fibers and prevents fraying--straightens, strengthens and weatherizes. It adds a thin, even, slick coating to thread so beads slide easily and...


A length of fine string composed of several fibers twisted or spun into a single strand. Thread can be made of natural fibers (such as silk and cotton) and manmade fibers (such as nylon and Kevlar). Thread that has been woven (or braided) into a...


A heat treatment used for metals and glass. Tempering is used to toughen steel and change the breakage effect in glass. Tempered glass is used for automobile windows, glass tables, lab equipment and more.

Tab Lock Clasp

An easy-open clasp which closes by inserting the decorative tab into the slot of the other half of the clasp. This easy-open, easy-close style is held closed by the weight of the finished jewelry itself. Due to their ease of opening, they are...

Swivel Clasp

A form of the Lobster Claw Clasp. The swivel allows the design to twist 360 degrees while the clasp stays in place, so they are ideal for bracelets and anklets.


A company and brand name for leaded crystal glass. Swarovski products are renowned for their color, brilliance and high quality


As defined by the American Gem Trade Association (AGTA), stabilization is the use of a colorless bonding agent (commonly plastic) with a porous gemstone to give it durability and improve appearance. Turquoise is a commonly stabilized gemstone.

Springring Clasp

A popular spring-loaded clasp used with a jumpring or chain tab. It comes in a multitude of sizes, for single-strand to multi-strand designs.

Split Ring Pliers

A pair of pliers with a small hook on one tip, designed to open split rings just enough to slide them onto a finding. The split ring can then immediately close without distorting or warping the metal out of shape.

Split Ring

Double-wire ring findings, similar to those found on a keychain, used to connect jewelry-making components. Used when security and strength in a ring is paramount, as it is both stronger and bulkier than an equivalently sized jumpring.

Snap Lock Clasp

(see also Fold-Over 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...

Slide Lock Clasp

(see also Multi-Strand Clasp) A clasp consisting of a set of tubes, one of which slides inside the other and locks into place. The bar style of these multi-strand clasp holds almost an unlimited number of strands of chain, cord, beading wire or...


A frame, container or cage designed for the placement of faceted gemstones or cabochons.

Seed Bead

A uniformly shaped significantly small bead used for beading and jewelry-making. Seed beads are available in a myriad of colors, finishes and sizes.

Screw Clasp

(see also Barrel Clasp and Torpedo Clasp) A low-profile clasp with a threaded closure, which is twisted or screwed to open and to close. Can include Bead Clasp styles.


A form of weaving that creates a material with a glossy surface and a matte back. Commonly used in formal dress material, ribbon and cording.

Saltwater Pearl

(see also Cultured Saltwater Pearl) Pearls created by a pearl farmer, who inserts a tiny piece, or "seed," of mother-of-pearl into a saltwater pearl oyster. The pearl oyster will coat the seed with progressive layers of nacre, creating a pearl.

S-Hook Clasp

A double-ended clasp shaped like an "S." Available in a spectrum of sizes and styles; some clasps are sold with two rings. Pinching the arm of the "S" secures the clasp. Pulling the "S" open again releases the ring and opens the clasp.

Round-Nose Pliers

A pair of pliers with round jaws, used to create curves and loops in a range of diameters in headpins, eyepins and other metal wire.

Rosary Pliers

A pair of pliers created by blending Round-Nose Pliers with Side-Cutting Pliers. Round-Nose Pliers create round loops and curves. Side-Cutting Pliers cut wire smoothly.


A particular configuration of beads and components used in the Roman Catholic religious belief. A number of rosary forms have occurred over time, such as the soldiers' rosary or the penal rosary. The word "rosary" has also been adapted as a general...

Rondelle Bead

A flat or disc-shaped bead. Typically round, rondelles are also available in square or triangular shapes.

Rocaille Bead

A small seed bead, sized at 15/0, manufactured by Miyuki of Japan.


A thin band of flexible material, usually fabric or thin leather, used for binding and tying. In jewelry-making, ribbon is used as stringing material, embellishment and more.


A technique used in metalworking used to harden steel by immersing in air, oil, water or brine (salt water).

Porcelain Bead

Created from ceramic material and fired at a high temperature, leading to a stronger and tougher bead or component.

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.


A precision hand tool used for a variety of purposes in jewelry-making: to hold objects firmly, to cut or bend wire, to crimp or flatten components and others.


A rare grey-white metal (and element) used in jewelry. It is resistant to tarnish and wear-and-tear.


A liquid applied to a metal surface that removes surface impurities (such as stains, scale, rust and more).

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.

Pearl Reamer

A specialized file or hand drill used to complete or widen the drill hole in pearls.


The process by which the outermost layer of metal changes in color and consistency due to exposure to oxygen, creating a Patina. The antiquing process used to darken sterling silver and the green color of the copper Statue of Liberty illustrate the...

Organza Ribbon

Ribbon woven in a sheer fabric in a variety of colors.

Omega Chain

(also called Omega necklace) A type of neckwire where bands or links of metal are assembled on a wire or woven mesh. The embedded wire or mesh provides the structure and necklace strength, so the visible links can take on any design.


Nylon beading thread produced by the Belding Corticelli Company. Extremely fine thread popularly used in seed bead on-loom and off-loom bead weaving projects.

Nylon Jaw Pliers

A pair of pliers with attached nylon contact surfaces. Ideal for gripping round, square, twisted, coated, plated and precious metal wires during wireworking.


Large, tumbled freeform pieces of gemstone or glass.


A length of metal with a small hole on one end used to draw stringing material through beads and components, or used to draw thread through textiles, leather or other backing material.

Multi-Strand Clasp

A clasp which secures jewelry with two, three, four or more strands. Some styles are accented with gemstones, enamel or inlay work. Can include Adjustable Clasp, Bar-and-Ring (or Toggle) Clasp, Filigree Clasp, Hook-and-Eye Clasp, Lobster Claw Clasp,...


An image or pattern created by using small colored pieces set in mortar.

Mohs Hardness Scale

A scale ranging from one to ten which rates the hardness of a gemstone or mineral in comparison with other minerals and gemstones. Talc rates as one, being one of the softest minerals. Diamond, the hardest substance on the planet, rates at ten.


A jewelry setting designed for the placement of faceted gemstones or cabochons.

Memory Wire

A steel wire which holds (or "remembers") its preformed circular shape. Available in multiple sizes to make necklaces, bracelets and rings. Memory wire jewelry does not require a clasp, using wire tension to keep jewelry on.


A wood or metal form used to shape metal into a desired shape and size, or to size rings or wrist bangles.


A set of beads used by Hindus and Buddhists for prayer and meditation, similar to a Catholic rosary. Mala sets are usually made of a loop of 108 beads.

Magnetic Clasp

A two-piece clasp containing one or more magnets. The magnets hold the two pieces of the clasp together, keeping the jewelry secure. Can include Bead Clasp, Crimp Clasp, Hook-and-Eye Clasp and Snap Lock Clasp styles.


A technique of cord knotting which produces a rough, almost lace like band. Commonly used in jewelry and household décor, macramé popularly uses cotton, hemp, silk and leather cords.


(also called lustre) A description of how light interacts with the surface of a material. Originally applied to gemstones such as the pearl or opal. The use of luster/lustre has been expanded to indicate a glossy sheen on other materials such as...

Loop-Closing Pliers

A pair of pliers with an internal groove, allowing for the curvature of different sizes of loops. These pliers are used to smoothly close loops, jumprings, bracelet links and more without distortion, bending or scratching.


(see also Bead Weaving, On-Loom) The process of using seed beads woven between the warp threads on a Beading Loom, to create a design or pattern.

Lobster Claw Clasp

A self-closing clasp in the general shape of a lobster's claw. However, this spring-loaded clasp is available in a range of shapes, sizes and styles. Suited for lightweight to medium weight designs, however, some larger styles can accommodate larger...

Liver of Sulfur™

A sulfur based oxidizing agent, used to create an antiqued finish on silver, copper and brass beads and components. Metals treated with this agent are given a blackened, vintage-style finish which is used to accentuate details and textures in bead...

Liquid Silver/Liquid Gold

A group of identical silver (or gold) tube beads strung in an uninterrupted group of strands. The multi-strand jewelry created this way gives the appearance of flowing or liquid metal.


A component within a piece of jewelry which connects one component to another, or a single loop in a chain. A link has the same amount of loops or holes on each end.

Leverback Earwire

(also Hinged Earwire) A type of earwire which has a hinged locking mechanism at the bottom, for added security.

Lampworked Glass

(also lampwork glass, lampworking, flameworking or torchworking) A type of glasswork, commonly seen in beads or focal components, which uses a gas-fueled torch to melt glass rods and tubes of glass to create patterns and designs.

Kidney Earwire

A type of earwire which loops through the ear and has a small hook on the bottom to latch the wire closed for added security.


A synthetic fiber used in bulletproof vests and adapted to jewelry-making for its high strength, especially in relation to its thickness. It is resilient to changes in heat.


A piece of wire formed into a loop, usually round, and used to connect together jewelry components. Jumprings are sometimes offered in other shapes besides round, including oval, triangle, square and more.


(usually Wire Jig or Wireworking Jig) A plate or frame with moveable pegs used for creating standardized and repeatable wire-based jewelry components.


An iridescent color, coating or finish on a bead which creates a play of colors on its surface. Similar to AB Finish, iris has a darker and shorter spectrum of color play.


Bead and component material carved from the horns of animals such as cattle and goats. Horn is a permanent growth on the head of an animal. Antler is a material which is grown and shed yearly by wild animals such as deer, moose and elk.

Hook-and-Eye Clasp

Also called Hook-Style Clasp. A clasp with a hook on one side and an open loop on the other. The loop is usually circular or oval, but other open shapes can be used. Possibly the oldest style of clasp in the world. Can include Adjustable Clasp,...

Hexagon Bead

Bead that is not a seed bead, with six sides. A hexagon bead is usually a flat bead, with a drill hole that runs from one of the six sides through the middle of the flat bead to the side directly opposite.

Hex-Cut Bead

Seed bead with six sides, giving it a hexagonal shape. Available from many manufacturers, in a variety of colors, sizes and finishes.

Hemp Cord

A cord made from the fibers of the industrial hemp plant and commonly used in jewelry. Hemp cord can be used in its natural coloration, or dyed with bright colors. It knots easily, making it ideal for knotting or macramé projects.


A gunmetal grey mineral form of iron oxide used in jewelry-making and décor objects. Sometimes magnetized. Believed to have metaphysical attributes.


A manmade material designed to resemble natural hematite, at significantly lower cost. Sometimes magnetized, or used as a base for a variety of finishes and coatings.


A length of wire, usually straight, with one flattened or embellished end. The flattened end prevents beads from slipping off the end of the pin.


A grouping of multiple strands of beads tied together. Many forms of seed beads are sold this way, especially Czech seed beads. The number of beads per hank is dependent upon the number of strands per hank, length of strand and beads per strand.

Half-Drilled Bead

A bead with a drill hole that only goes halfway through. Half-drilled beads are attached to various settings using a glue or other adhesive.


(see also Adhesive) A liquid, semi-liquid, gel or film that adheres or bonds items together.E-6000® and G-S Hypo cement are glues.


A piece of mineral which, when cut and polished, is used to make jewelry, embellish clothing or create household décor. Some gemstone material is organic, such as amber, jet and pearl.
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