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A dictionary of the terminology used in jewellery making.

a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z
Abalone is a common name for any of a group of small to very large edible sea snails, marine gastropod molluscs.

Other common names are pāua, ear shells, sea ears, muttonfish and muttonshells.

The thick inner layer of the shell is composed of nacre (mother-of-pearl), which in many species is highly iridescent, giving rise to a range of strong changeable colors, which make the shells attractive to humans as decorative objects, jewelry, and as a source of colorful mother-of-pearl.

Accent bead
Another word for focal beads. See focal beads.

Acrylic (resin)
A form of plastic, highly fexible. Used to make beads and other jewellery making pieces.

Another word for glue. A liquid or gel that is used to stick items together.

Adjustable Clasps

Chain extender

These are a type of hook clasps. It consists of a hook and a chain.
Typically used in making necklaces. The necklace is attached to the ring on the chain, and the hook can be hooked onto any of the links in the chain, this allows the wearer to vary the length of the necklace.

Agate is a variety of silica. Agate comes in a variety of natural colours. Sometimes to enhance the effect agate beads are dyed

An alloy is a material composed of two or more metals or a metal and a nonmetal. This is done to improve the quality of the main metal. For example, to add strength, to reduce rust, to increase flexibility, to create a more attractive colour. Examples of alloys include, brass, pewter, steel.

Amazonite (sometimes called Amazon stone) is a green variety of feldspar. Amazonite has is green or has a green hue.

Amethyst beads
Amethyst is a violet variety of quartz. Amethyst has been used in jewellery since the ancient times, they were particularly popular for the ancient Greeks and Romans.

A bracelet won around the ankles.

Antique beads
Similar to the term for vintage beads. Typically antique beads were made over 100 years ago. The word antique in antique beads is a subjective description and is usually not an indication of the beads rarity or value,

Antique finish
A chemical process used to give metal beads and jewellery components an appearance of age.

Aquamarine is a blue or turquoise variety of the mineral beryl.

Unit of measurement for Seed Beads.

Aurora borealis (ab)
Is a special coating on crystal beads. This coating gives the crystal beads a highly iridescent (shiny) colour. The Aurora Borealis finish produces colour changes as a variation of the light that falls upon it.

The phrase is often abbreviated to AB.

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