Antique Brass - Antique brass items have been plated with a brass finish over raw brass and then oxidized. The items are then coated with a protective lacquer finish.
The reason for the plating is simple: raw brass will stain your skin and clothing a greenish black. When cared for properly, professionally finished pieces will stay beautiful for many years.
Artistic Wire - Artistic wire is a brand of high quality, silver-plated copper wire. It resists peeling, stays shiny (it's non-tarnish!), and looks like polished sterling silver!
Aurora Borealis - Iridescent rainbow finish added to glass or crystal after polishing. It is named after the northern lights (aurora borealis). The finish is long lasting and won’t fade or chip with normal wear. Often referred to as "AB".
Bali Silver - Bali Beads are handcrafted in Bali, Indonesia. They are made from at least 92.5% sterling silver and come in many unique designs, shapes and sizes. Bali beads are not cast but patiently made one at a time.
Bali style - Bali style beads are similar in design to Bali beads but are not necessarily sterling silver. They may also be cast and not handmade as Bali beads are.
Base Metal - Non-precious metals such as copper, nickel, tin, or zinc.
Bead cap - Metal findings that are used as a decorative touch on either side of a bead.
Bicone - A bead with two cones connected at their respective bases. (See the "Aurora Borealis Crystal" above. This bead is bicone shape).
Brass - A yellowish alloy made of copper and zinc -- usually 67 percent copper and 33 percent zinc. Sometimes other metals are included in the amalgamation.
Crimp Bead - A soft metal bead that is pinched ("crimped") onto beading wire, cord or string to hold beads in place.
Crystal - Glass with a lead composition of at least 30%. Lead is added for its refractive properties. Swarovski Crystal is amongst the finest.
Czech Glass - High quality glass beads that are machine faceted and fire-polished for a soft glistening look.
Extender/Extension Chain - This is a short chain that attaches opposite the clasp so that you can vary the length of a necklace, bracelet, or anklet. Many of our items already have these attached but they can also be purchased separately to be used with jewelry you already own. If you've ever wished your necklace was just a few inches longer, then you need a Necklace Extender!
Facet - One of the flat polished surfaces cut on a gemstone or crystal; facets can also occur naturally on gemstones.
Findings - These are the metal Jewelry components used to put jewelry together. Clasps, ear wires, jump rings, and bead tips are all considered findings.
Filigree - Intricate metalwork, typically with an open design.
Freshwater Pearls - Cultivated from freshwater mollusks, they consist of multiple thin transparent layers of calcium carbonate, with protein as a binding agent that hold the layers together.
see: Caring for Pearls
Gem/Gemstone - A crystalline rock that can be cut and polished. Gems are often classified as "precious" and "semiprecious" based on cost.
Gold - a soft, shiny metal that is the color of...gold. Pure gold is 24 karats (24k); 12k gold is 50% gold and 50% of another metal (often copper, silver or zinc). Any "gold" less than 24k is an alloy.
Gold Fill (aka) Rolled Gold - Fine Jewelry material that will last a lifetime. It is created by bonding Gold (usually 14kt) to a core of semiprecious metal (usually brass). Gold is essentially rolled around the core. The finished product has 100 times more gold than gold plate and is strong, durable, and resistant to tarnish.
Gold-plate - a base metal with a thin layer of gold bonded to it.
Greek Leather - Famous for its smooth finish, consistent color, strength and supple texture, Greek Leather will keep its good looks longer than other types of leather when cared for properly.
Iridescent - Producing a lustrous display of rainbow-like colors.
Jewelry/Jewellery - In Canada we spell JEWELLERY like this. According to Webster, jewelry is “objects of precious metal often set with gems and worn for personal adornment.”
Lamp work - Handcrafted glass beads made from glass rods to which heat has been applied. An amazing technique which yields beautiful results.
Lever back - A type of earring finding which has a hinged closure.
Lobster Clasp - A metal clasp that gets its name from its "lobster claw" shape. A lobster clasp which is rounded (curvy) is called a parrot clasp.
Magnetic Clasp - Magnetic clasps are great for bracelets and watches since they snap together easily with one hand. When doing them up, be careful that you don’t pinch your skin though - some magnets are very strong and will sometimes snap together unexpectedly. This can hurt!
To open the clasp, do not pull them apart but crack the two ends as though you were snapping peas :)
Memory Wire - Memory Wire is a wire that remembers its shape when stretched and will then go back to its original shape. Jewelry made with memory wire does not require a clasp as it just wraps around your wrist!
Oxidation - The darkening that occurs in some metals as its surface combines with oxygen. See Sterling Silver Tarnish Prevention
Parrot Clasp - A metal clasp that is similar to a lobster clasp but rounded at the closure. Parrots are our favorite clasp and can be found on most of our Necklaces.
Rolled Gold – see Gold Filled.
Semi Precious Gems - These are the beautiful stones given to us by Mother Nature. Gems/Gemstone guide coming soon!
Silver plate - a base metal with a thin layer of silver bonded to it.
Soft flex® - Soft Flex is constructed from many strands of marine quality, stainless steel wires which have been woven together and then coated with nylon. Softflex is very flexible and drapes nicely - more like rope than wire!
Soft flex (Gold) - Multi strands of Stainless Steel cable overlaid with 24k Gold and then coated with nylon. Beautiful AND strong!
Soft flex (Sterling Silver eXtreme) - Multi strands of Stainless Steel cable overlaid with Sterling Silver and then coated with nylon.
Sterling Silver - The whitest of metals, it looks great with almost everything! Our Sterling is the standard 92.5% or .925. Fine Silver is 99.9% silver and is often too soft for use in jewelry. For this reason, silver is usually combined with other materials (especially copper) to harden it.
See tips on Sterling Silver Tarnish Prevention & Cleaning Sterling Silver
Stretch Magic - A strong elastic cord for making jewelry. No clasp is necessary but you must be careful not to over stretch the cord. It is recommended to “roll” the bracelet on and off to avoid over stretching.
Surgical steel - Strong and corrosion resistant, surgical steel is often used in jewelry that pierces the body, such as belly rings.
Swarovski Crystals - This authentic crystal from Austria is world-famous. The outstanding quality is the result of special polishing, perfect cut, exact geometry and precise angles resulting in Maximum Brilliance and Exquisite Sparkle! (sometimes referred to as Austrian Crystal) see: Swarovski Crystal birthstone chart
Swarovski color changing Crystals - Swarovski Crystals arrive in many fabulous colors, coatings, and shapes. For those of us who appreciate a little mystery, they have two colors (Cantaloupe & Alexandrite) that change color depending on the source of light.
Swarovski Pearls - Unlike natural pearls, these are resistant to sun rays, scratches, perfumes and washing. Swarovski pearls are made with a crystal core and coated with iridescent, mother of pearl-like layers. What you get is a perfectly round pearl without the price tag and they are weighted to feel the same as real pearls.
Vermeil - (Ver-may) A layer of gold plating over Sterling Silver. With higher industry standards, vermeil is much more durable than standard gold plating but should be gently polished with a soft cloth.