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Glossary Of Jewellery Making [Two]

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Fossilised tree sap resin that is cut and polished and used as a gemstone. It is typically golden brown in colour with translucent qualities. It is also a descriptive term relating to the colour of amber.


A form of Quartz, this semi precious stone has a purple translucent appearance created by the presence of iron and manganese when it was forming.


An ornament of gold, silver or other material worn around the ankle in the same manner as a bracelet on a wrist.


Is the process of reheating a material and then cooling it slowly to make it stronger and more pliable. Examples of annealing would be the strengthening of metal wire whilst in turn making it easier to work with, or when working with glass to prevent say lampwork beads from shattering.


Like Vintage Beads this is a subjective description used to indicate the age of an item. Strictly speaking an antique is an item over 100 years old but is also a term that can be used to describe styles and materials from another era such as 1930s Bakelite, Victorian cut beads, Native American beadwork, etc. Since this gives these beads a certain rarity, they are often sought out by designers wanting to create a unique one of a kind jewellery piece you won’t find anywhere else. Click to view a selection of our Antique and Vintage Beads.


A process or surface finish used to give beads and jewellery components an aged appearance.


Is a group of phosphate minerals found in sedimentary rocks. Apatite is the defining mineral for 5 on Mohs Scale of Hardness and occurs in colourless, yellow, blue, violet or green. As a gemstone their use is infrequent but good transparent stones of clean colour when faceted correctly can be bright, vitreous and strongly coloured. Usually they are cut as cabochons providing a cats eye effect.


The art of sewing beads onto leather or fabric.


This gemstone is named after its resemblance to seawater with its coloration created by iron. Aquamarine is a hard gemstone, which makes it an excellent choice for jewellery that will be worn frequently. However, it should be stored in a dark place as it can become paler when exposed to sunlight. Colours are light to dark blue, blue green. These stones can be found in major deposits in Brazil. They are also found in Australia, China, India, Kenya, Madagascar, Mozambique, Myanmar , Namibia, Nigeria, the United States, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Bead Glossary Gemstones Light Blue Aquamarine


Is a form of calcium carbonate, like Coral or Marble, and is named after Molina de Aragon, Spain, where it was first found in 1790. It is transparent to translucent and is usually colourless or white when pure, but impurities can bring about shades of yellow, blue, pink or green.

Bead Glossary Gemstones Blue Aragonite Bead Glossary Gemstones Peruvian Striped Aragonite Bead Glossary Gemstones Orange Aragonite


Often reduced down to AB this is a micro thin layer of metal giving a rainbow Iridescent finish to a crystal or glass bead. First developed for use on crystals by Swarovski when working in association with the fashion designer, Christian Dior, in 1956. It is extremely popular and is now applied widely by all bead manufacturers. This is a durable finish as the metal is permanently bonded with the glass. This finish is also known as Rainbow, Iris and Fancy. Click to view a selection of our Aurora Borealis Beads.

Bead Glossary Aurora Borealis Beads


Unit of measurement for Seed Beads. It is usually denoted by a number followed by a slash and a zero or a degree sign (e.g. 11/0 or 11°). The higher the first number, the smaller the bead.


Is a glass paste composed of very fine copper flakes or powder which is used to decorate glass beads or to simply add sparkle. This technique originated in Venice in the 15th century but the powder is used in both genuine Murano glass and by many of its imitators.

Bead History Vintage Aventurina Beads


This gemstone is a form of Chalcedony that contains small mineral inclusions. These additional materials, usually mica or iron oxide, give the stone a glistening effect. Aventurine’s granular appearance and particular translucence are its most distinctive characteristics. It is also called aventurine quartz. It is usually dark green but it also comes in reddish brown and golden brown. These stones can be found in Austria, Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania.

25. AWL

This is a multi purpose beading tool which can be used, amongst other things, for helping to create knotted designs, clearing clay release blocking glass bead holes, or for making indentations, holes and fine line engraving in polymer or precious metal clays.

Jewellery Making Tools Beading Awls


Is a soft, deep blue copper mineral produced by weathering of copper ore deposits. It usually occurs with green Malachite, which may form green stains or specks on Azurite crystals or aggregates. The two minerals sometimes occur banded together, forming what is called Azure Malachite. A rarer Azurite mixture, known as Bluebird, is Azurite mixed with dark red Cuprite. Azurite is used for beads and as jewellery but due to its softness and tendency to lose its deep blue colour as it weathers its uses are limited. Heating also destroys azurite easily, so all mounting of azurite specimens must be done at room temperature.

Bead Glossary Gemstones Azurite