Jewelry

The tools and materials used by an artisan.

Jewelry FindingsThe component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry.

Functional Jewelry Findings:The component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry that serve a mechanical function such as attaching, joining, linking. Examples of functional jewelry findings includePin BackCatchesPostOmega Clip, andScrew Back.

Decorative Jewelry Findings:The component parts or materials used in making jewelry that provides the beauty of the piece. In handmade jewelry these are the parts that are normally produced by the goldsmith or silversmith. There are many decorative findings commercially produced such asCharmsFiligrees, andFestoons.

Hybrid Jewelry Findings:The component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry that serve a mechanical function such as attaching, joining, linking, BUT due to their nature lend themselves to becoming decorative findings as well. Examples of hybrid jewelry findings includeBead CapsBracelet Links, andLocket Bails.

Adhesive Ear Post:An ear post with a flat surface, which is used with a 2 sided adhesive dot rather than solder or fusion for attaching an ornament part of the earring.

Bail:An oval-, teardrop-, or D-shaped metal component used to connect pendants to a chain. It is meant to slide onto the chain rather than to be soldered to it so that the pendant is not permanently part of the chain.Photo and additional information.

Baker setting: a round setting similar to the Tiffany Setting, but always four prong; unlike the Tiffany, the Baker is made from a single piece of metal.

Bangle: a non-flexible or barely flexible (some flex cross-wise but not around the circumference) bracelet made of solid or hollow metal, or wire. May be one piece so that it may be slipped over the hand to hang loosely, or with a hinge so that it may be opened and fastened around the wrist.

Bar Pin:See Pin BackPhoto and additional information.

Barrel Nut:A barrel-shaped clutch with a rubber-type insert that grips a pin; generally used for stickpins or earrings.See Bullet clutch.

Barrette:any ornamental bar with a pin and clasp mounted on the back, worn as a hair ornament.

Basket Setting:An open-sided setting in which the lower portion of a stone is visible.Photo and additional information.

Bead:1. A hollow metal form that is swaged from spinning seamless tubing, then separated and rolled into its final shape. . 2. Any small or rounded component, made from a variety of materials, with a hole through it; to be strung singularly or with others in a sequence.Photo and additional information.

Bead Cap:A metal ornament, sometimes filigree that is placed on a glass or stone bead to cover any roughness or damage around the drilled hole. Also serves to accentuate the beads.Photo and additional information.

Bead Clasp:Typically, a clasp mechanism that is hidden in a bead or pearl.

Bead Cone:A metal cone shape which is used to secure and cover the ends of multiple strands of beading.Photo and additional information.

Bead Tip:A concave metal piece, attached to a metal loop, used to attach thread to a clasp. It is used between the clasp and the beading thread to hide the beading thread knot. The knot sits inside the concave piece.Photo and additional information.

Belcher Setting:A ring mounting in which the claws for the setting are formed from the shank of the ring.

Bezel:Generally, a type of setting into which a continuous groove has been cut to fit a faceted stone. The metal above the groove is burnished over the edge of the stone to secure it.Photo and additional information.

Bezel Cup:A type of setting designed to hold flat-backed stones in which the top of the setting is burnished over the stone to secure it in place. Generally available in plain edge, serrated edge, or rolled edge styles. Rolled edge styles require the stone be glued in place.Photo and additional information.

Bezel Wire:See Channel Wire.

Bolo Slide:A device that has a flat surface and tabs rolled into a tube formation on the back of the flat surface. The flat surface allows space to which the bolo ornament can be affixed, and the tubular formations allow the leather cord of the bolo to slide through, in turn making it a neckpiece.Photo and additional information.

Bolo Tip:Long hollow conical shaped findings that are glued to the end of a bolo cord to prevent fraying of the cord.Photo and additional information.

Bow: the ring or hoop on the pendant of a watch case for fastening the swivel of a watch chain; any bow-shaped ornament, flat or three-dimensional.

Box Setting:A square or rectangular grooved setting generally used for mounting a stone on a ring or pendant. The top edges of the groove are swaged over to secure the stone.Photo and additional information.

Bracelet Link:A decorative pieceoften metal, having loops or rings on each end for linking with jump rings or connectors.Photo and additional information.

Breloque:A small item, such as acharm,designed to be suspended from a chain.Photo and additional information.

Broach:A less frequently used spelling of the term brooch.

Brooch:Any piece of jewelry that may be pinned to clothing.

Brooch Converter:Over fits the brooch pin so that the brooch can dangle on a necklace.

Bullet Clutch:A barrel-shaped clutch with a rubber or mechanical insert that grips an earring post.Photo and additional information.

Bunch Rings:Inexpensive rings with small center mountings for inexpensive stones. Generally sold in bunches intended to be worn together. Also known as stack rings or stackable rings.Photo and additional information.

Buttercup Setting:Typically used for pendants and earrings, this deep, six-prong setting is shaped vaguely like the buttercup flower. The prongs are distinctly flared at the base, which has a scalloped outline when viewed from the top. Available in closed-back or open-back form. Also called a scallop setting.Photo and additional information.

Butterfly Clutch:A clutch that grips a grooved post. It has two wings that are squeezed to release it from the post. Also called a grip fastener or military grip.Photo and additional information.

Button Loop Tie Holder:A metal piece with an indent in the middle for slipping over the button that goes behind the tie. Also has a loop on each end for attaching a chain that goes in front of the tie.Photo and additional information.

Cameo:Generally a stone, usually an agate, or a shell composed of two differently-colored layers, which has been carved so that one portion is raised from the differently-colored matrix. Available in natural materials, in glass, plastic, porcelains, doublets etc.

Cap: Cover hinged to the center of a watch case.

Cartouche: Symmetrical ornamental shape, generally used for decoration or engraving – from Egyptian tablets used for royal names.

Case screw: Small screw with full or three-quarters head, designed to fasten a watch movement to its case.

Case spring: Spring which causes a hunting case lid to snap open when the crown is pressed.

Catch, a piece of hardware designed to accept and lock a top wire or a pin-stem;see also Joint, Catch, and Pin-Stem.In necklaces and bracelets, it is the locking or closing mechanism; see also Clasp.

Chai: Hebrew word meaning Life or the number 18; common religious finding used as pendant, ring, brooch etc.

Chain Extender: SeeNecklace Extender

metal piece, usually a small square or rectangle, with a hole in each end. Its specific function is to carry the quality stamp or trademark of the manufacturer, and to provide an easily handled attachment point for spring rings. Also known as a quality tag or a plaque.

Over the last few years these tags have taken on many shapes and sizes and are often used to define thecountry of originas well.

Chandelier Finding:A finding, most often used on an ear ring, with a decorative drop or drops that hang down from the ear lobe and dangles like a chandelier.

Channel Setting: A setting in which the stones are fitted into grooves in two parallel walls, as opposed to being held separately by prongs.

Channel Wire:Narrow flat stock that has been formed into a channel. Also known as bezel wire, eyeglass wire, and U-wire.Photo and additional information.

Charm:object designed to be attached to a chain bracelet. Charms can depict figures, sports, occupations, numbers, and letters, among the many representations available. Generally designed for bracelets, charms may also be used as pendants, or hung from brooches and watch chains.Photo and additional information.

Charm Hanger:A charm hanger or holder is a jewelry finding which can be attached to a neck chain or cord with a jump ring or bail. The bottom portion of the holder can be opened to add individual or a variety of different charms. Also referred to as a charm holder.

Chaton:A foil-backed glass or manmade stone.Photo and additional information.

Chevron: Ornament made of lines joining at an angle; eg. military insignia such as sergents stripes.

Choker: Short (generally 14-inch) necklace, usually of beads or pearls or chain.

Cinch Mount:A mount which surrounds only the girdle of a faceted stone or the rim of a cabochon. Also referred to as a wrap-tite settingPhoto and additional information.

Clamp:A metal prong or claw on a gemstone setting. Also called a cramp.

Clasp: A fastening device, such as a catch or hook, used to hold two or more objects or parts together, as with chains. When we started researching this term we found it to such a broad term that we felt it best to leave the definition alone and create a link to photos of each of the various types of clasps not yet defined.

Clip:A two-part piece attached to the back of an earring. The two pieces closed around the earlobe, using mechanical pressure to hold the earring in place.Photo and additional information.

Cluster Setting:A metal form, generally circular, for setting multiple stones close together.

Clutch:See Ear Nut orButterfly Clutch.

Clutch and Bar:A tie tack clutch with a small chain attached to a bar. The bar is designed to pass through a buttonhole to secure a necktie.Photo and additional information.

Clutch Back:See Ear Nut orButterfly Clutch.

Cocktail ring: Any sculptured ring designed to hold diamonds and colored stones.

Collar: Molding in the shape of a ring or band around a piece or stone.

Collar button: Metal button designed to close the starched collars that used to be separate from shirts up to about 60 years ago.

Collet: Decorative band or collar with top and bottom edges parallel; flange in which any kind of stone is set.

Colored stone: Any precious or genuine stone other than diamond used as a component in jewelry; sometimes used to describe synthetics, glass, plastic or similar imitations.

Comfort Disc:A plastic disc that fits over the post of a pierced earring for greater comfort.Photo and additional information.

Cornucopia: Popular horn of plenty symbol of abundance and luck – spiral horn from which cascade edibles or flowers.

Corrugated Bead:A hollow metal sphere, with two holes, made from corrugated tubing. Twist-corrugated beads have corrugations that spiral around the bead horizontally instead of vertically.Photo and additional information.

Coupe: A flat plate rolled slightly at the rim.

Craquelees: Rock crystal stones artificially cracked or crazed by heating.

Crest: Any symbol, figure or device placed above the shield in a coat-of-arms design.

Crimp Bead:A very small piece of cut tubing used to finish off a strand of beads. The cord goes through the crimp, through the clasp, and back through the crimp, which is then flattened with crimping pliers or needle nosed pliers to secure the cord.Photo and additional information.

Crimp Tube:A crimp bead made into a tubular shape rather than a round.

Cross: Christian symbol of the resurrection; religious finding that takes dozens of forms, plain or decorated, from the common Latin Cross to the Greek and Byzantine Crosses; called a crucifix if it includes the crucified Figure of Christ.

Cuff bracelet:Wide bracelet, either slipped on or hinged.

Cuff Link Action:he functional component of a cuff link. This is a hinged item assembled in such a way that the inside of the structure can be turned 90 degrees after inserting it through the button holes on the shirt cuff, thereby holding the cufflink on the cuff.Photo and additional information.

Dapping: An operation that adds a third dimension to a normally flat ornament – e.g. doming a flat ornament.

Devotional jewelry: Religious, items – crosses, Christ Heads, chais etc.

Die setting: Forming a flat piece of metal with hardened steel forms called dies. A pair of dies with male and female patterns are pressed into the metal with great pressure to cut, shape or add surface detail.

Dog collar: Wide, flexible band of any material to be worn tight around the neck; similar to choker.

Dog tag: Identification tag worn around the neck by members of the armed forces.

Dome:Any convex decoration. It can be made manually with a dapping block and a dapping punch, or by using a power press.Photo and additional information.

Doublet: Any stone made of two component parts, frequently genuine stones combined with glass, plastics, or synthetic stones.

Drop:A small ornament suspended from a piece of jewelry.Photo and additional information.

Ear Cuff Findings:A non-traditional earring, rolled like a finger ring with a notch cut out of it for slipping over the middle part of the ear. Predominantly made of flat stock but could be made of filigree or other decorative stampings.Photo and additional information.

Ear Nut:through which an earring post is attached to secure the earring to the earlobe. The friction version has two curved wings that grasp a grooved post. Also referred to as earring back, clutch, push back, or clutch back.Photo and additional information.

Earring: Any ornament – button, clip, pendant shape etc. – attached to the lobe of the ear by screw, clip or wire.

Ear Screw:A U-shaped ear wire with a threaded back, which clamps earrings to un-pierced ears.Photo and additional information.

Ear Threads:Earring component made of very small chains and a thin pin that thread through holes in the ears. They often have a small ball, cup or loop on the end opposite the pin. Beads can be added to the chains before threading or can be fastened to the cup or loop on the end.Photo and additional information.

A bow of wire, looped to fasten an earring to a pierced ear. It is generally made of precious metal or hypoallergenic surgical steel.See also Kidney Wire.

Earring Back:See Ear Nut.

Earring Clutch:See Ear Nut.

Earring Jacket:separate decorative component that can be added to an earring (or interchanged with other components) by the wearer to create different looks. For example, various beads that can be attached to an earring and changed.Photo and additional information.

Ecclesiastical rings: Rings with religious motifs worn by higher-ranking Church officials and dignitaries.

Elephant hair jewelry: Generally jewelry made from elephants tail hair or bristles – usually a twisted bracelet; commonly copied in metal.

Elk tooth: Emblem of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; either natural elks teeth or molded plastic. At one time common as a watch fob ornament.

Engrave able: Any item with a relatively flat, thick area suitable for engraving.Photo and additional information.

Enhancer:A bail-like finding that may be opened to fit over a strand of pearls or beads and then locked closed. Also known as a pearl enhancer.

Etching: SeeMetal Etching.

Eternity ring: Band set with full or half circlet of stones given by a husband or wife as a pledge of undying love. Similar styles include: guard, caliber and insert rings.

Euro Wire:See Lever back.

Eye:A loop, made of wire or other material, used as a connector for chains, pendants, etc.Photo and additional information.

Eye Pin:A wire of varying length that has been manipulated at one end to form a loop to which decorative stones or beads can be attached.Photo and additional information.

Eyeglass Holder End:A figure eight shaped stretchable cord which allows one open loop to be linked to the temple of a pair of eyeglasses and the other side linked to a chain or eyeglass leash of choice. Usually there is a bead or crimp bead in the center of the cord, thereby forming the figure eight.

Eyeglass Wire:See Channel Wire.

Fancy balls and beads: Balls and beads in shapes other than spherical, e.g.. beel shapes, ovals, cups etc.

Fancy Gallery:See Gallery.

Ferrule:A metal band or cap that is fitted to the end of wire, thread, cord, wood, or other material to prevent fraying or to add decoration.Photo and additional information.

Festoon:with rings on both sides, through which chain or cord can be attached. It usually functions as the centerpiece of the necklace.Photo and additional information.

Figure-Eight Safety Catch:A type of safety catch in which a figure eight or hourglass-shaped hinged wire snaps over a pin.Photo and additional information.

Filigree:formed of bent wire that is soldered into delicate and complex designs, somewhat reminiscent of lace patterns. It also may be stamped or cast.Photo and additional information.

Fishhook:A fishhook-shaped finding used to make earrings. The hook end passes through the pierced ear, while an ornament hangs from the other end. Also known as French wire or French ear wire.Photo and additional information.

Fish Hook Clasp:See Lobster Claw.

Flambeau: Ornament shaped like flame or torch-end.

Flat stock: Metal passed through successively narrow rolling mills; generally used for stamping.

Fleur-de-lis: Iris-shaped ornament, famous as the insignia of French royalty.Photo and additional information.

Flexible bracelet: Bracelet composed of hinged links actuated by springs, permitting the links to pull apart slightly. Used mostly for watch bands.

Flexible extension bracelet: Bracelet composed of hinged links actuated by springs, permitting the links to pull apart slightly. Used mostly for watch bands.

Fob:A chain or ribbon attached to a pocket watch. Used to pull the watch out of a pocket, or to attach the watch to clothing with a pin.Photo and additional information.

Fold Over:A hinged clasp made from flat stock that has been formed to fold over itself on one end and fold over a separate finding on the other end.Photo and additional information.

Foliation: Ornamental designs – engraved, stamped or cast – in the form of leaves, vines etc.Photo and additional information.

Forcer back: A hollow shell-backed stamping in which the back is concave, matching the front, which is concave; most decorative gold stampings are forcer backs in order to utilize light-weight metal and save on precious metal cost.Photo and additional information.

Formed bead: Almost always refers to a corrugated bead, either straight or twisted. Tubing is corrugated, cut to length, and formed in foot press. The separation cut cannot be seen as easily as with a cut bead.

Frame:A banded metal ornament designed to take a setting and stone; often confused with the setting itself; if highly decorated sometimes called a Gallery.

French back: An earring in which one leg of a U-shaped wire is attached to the back of the ornament. A screw piece may be fitted through a threaded hole in the other leg; this may be tightened against the unpierced earlobe. Seescrew back.

French Clip:An alternative to a pierced earring, it incorporates a spring clip (tension on the ear is provided by a spring-loaded pad) and a pad-tipped screw, which adjusts the tension of the spring clip.

French Hook:A non-closing ear wire shaped similar to a hook. Frequently made with a bead and coiled wire on the front, there is also a loop on the front of the hook, which can be opened for adding the ornamental finding or stone portion of the earring.Photo and additional information.

French Wire:See Ear Wire.

Fusion Post:A post used in the fusion- or percussion-welding process. It resembles a normal post but has an initiating nib at the end. During assembly, when the positively charged post contacts the negatively charged base, an electric arc occurs that fuses the post to the jewelry item.Photo and additional information.

Gallery:A name for metal strips used to make settings for stones or used as a decorative design element in a piece of jewelry. A gallery is generally manufactured as a continuous strip with a repeated design. A highly decorated example is referred to as a fancy gallery.Photo and additional information.

Girandole:A pendant earring usually with three ornaments hanging from a central piece.

Gold filled: Mechanically-bonded (as opposed to electrolytically applied) sandwich consisting of base metal on the inside, and a gold alloy on the outside. The gold alloy must be not less than 10k, when the gold content of the sandwich constitutes at least 1/20thof the weight of the entire metal construction. To be preceded by karat fineness of the gold portion, ie. 14k gold filled. When the gold content weights less than 1/20thof the entire construction, the terms gold plate, gold overlay or rolled gold plate may be used, again preceded by a fraction showing the relative weight of the gold to the rest of the material eg. 1/40th12k Rolled Gold Plate. Because of its laminated characteristics, gold filled cannot be cast, and when seldom stamped is plated to cover the edges which would show the layers of the sandwiched material.

Grip Fastener:See Butterfly Clutch.

Guard Chain:A small chain usually 2 to 3 inches that has one end attached next to the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, the other end to a loop or link on the opposite end of the piece. It is used as a fail-safe in case the clasp opens.Photo and additional information.

Half-Drilled Bead:A ball with a hole drilled only half way through.

Hat pin: Long metal pin with an ornamental head used to fasten a womans hat by passing the pin through her hat and hair.

Headed Pin or Head pin:A wire of varying length or diameter with a flat or domed end that is of slightly larger diameter than the rest of the wire.Photo and additional information.

Heishi Beads: Small shell or other disc beads, usually white, of American Indian origin.

Hidden Screw Clasp:A necklace fastener consisting of two short barrels with screws that connect. The clasp is partially buried in the bead or pearl, giving the necklace a clasp less look when screwed together.Photo and additional information.

High relief: Ornamental work in which designs are raised or stamped to stand out from the surface.

Hinge: Three-component assembly for joining; permits motion of a finding to complete its function as a piece of jewelry: joint, top wire and catch; the joint is the stationary part, the catch is a samll U-shaped finding into which the hoop wire snaps.Top wireis a hinge for hoop earrings in which the hinge attaches the ornament to the earlobe.

Hinged Ear Clip:Variation of ear clip. see

Hinge-joint: The pin that fits through pieces of metal tubing to create the hinge used for lockets, cases, boxes etc.

Hollow ring-ball: Hollow ball with a ring attached; used in assembling jewelry.

Hollow Wire: Tubular stock used for making beads, bracelets, or chain. May be solder-filled.

Hook wire: Caned-shaped wire finding for pierced earring onto which the decorative piece is attached. Seeear wire.

Hoop:Metal wire or tubing that has been formed into individual rings. Used for earrings, bracelets or necklace segments. Some hoops are die struck from strip.Photo and additional information.

Identification Bracelet or ident: Usually a link bracelet with a curved center plate designed for engraving a monogram.

Illusion Setting:A type of prong setting containing a faceted metal plate that surrounds the girdle of a diamond, thus making the diamond appear larger.

Initial ring: Ring with the wearers initials raised, engraved or set into a contrasting metal or a stone such as onyx.

Insignia jewelry: Jewelry with emblem, crest, fraternal symbol etc.

Invisible Setting:A variation of the pave look, this type of setting applies only to multi-stone arrangements. It is designed to hide all metal around the stone. Rather than having beads of metal hold the stone in place, the stones are cut in a way that allows them to snap into each other.

Ivory clasp: Necklace fastener consisting of two short barrels which connect by means of a male and female screw. Also called ahidden clasp, multi-use clasp.

J Hook:See Lanyard Hook.

Jacket:See Earring Jacket.

Joint:See Joint, Catch, and Pin-Stem.

An assembly used to affix jewelry items, such as brooches, to clothing. The joint serves as the fulcrum on which the pin-stem pivots. The catch is a hook into which the pin-stem fits when closed. (See also Safety Catch.) The pin-stem is a sharply pointed pin (suitable for piercing clothing) with a base fashioned into a hole or T-shape to facilitate connection with the joint. See also Pin Back.

Joint…….:Photo and additional information.

Catch……:Photo and additional information.

Pin-Stem:Photo and additional information.

Joint wire: Hollow wire or tubing formed by bending a strip of thick flat plate and drawing it through a drawplate until the desired diameter and opening are achieved. For seamless tubing, a metal disk is punched, cupped and finally drawn to the appropriate size.

Jump Ring:A plain wire ring of any size, usually round or oval in shape, used for attaching jewelry parts. In general, the ends of the wire are bent together, but not soldered.Photo and additional information.

Key ring: Generally a split ring onto which keys are forced by prying apart the split sections; sometimes made of spring-loaded holders or screw and ball threaded devices.

Kidney Wire:A wire, formed into a kidney shape, to which dangling earrings are attached. Used in pierced earring applications, it is generally closed, as opposed to a shepherd hook or a fishhook, which remains open.Photo and additional information.

Knuckle: Tubular section that forms part of the hinge on the lid of a box, watch case or locket; the hinge pin fits into the knuckle.

La Loop Finding:An open ring or split ring with two swivels attached, which when used on a neck chain, attached at the swivels, allows for a space from which to hand a pair of eyeglasses.

Lanyard Hook:flat stock wire item formed wide at one end, narrow at the other. It opens inward with thumb pressure and stays closed by the temper of the wire.Photo and additional information.

Lapped Border:The polished edge of an item achieved by using a non-yielding surface, such as a stiff felt wheel or a wood wheel. It gives the appearance of a rounded edge.

Lavaliere:An ornament hanging from a chain, worn around the neck.

Lever Back:A hook-shaped ear wire that is hinged to a spring-loaded closure piece at the base of the hook. In the open position, the ear wire passes through a pierced hole in the earlobe. The closure piece is then snapped shut against the ear wire to secure it onto the earlobe. Also called a Eurowire or German ear wire.Photo and additional information.

Link Connector:A finding attached to a decorative cuff-link element, it is placed through the buttonhole and is then secured to lock cuff ends together. The most popular style of link connector is vertically inserted, then swiveled to a horizontal position, ensuring cuff-link security. Also called airplane backs or wingbacks.

Lobster Claw:A clasp shaped somewhat like a lobsters claw. The pincer arm is under tension by an internal spring mechanism that is opened and closed by a lever on its side.Photo and additional information.

Locket:A small, hollow, hinged pendant. The wearer can keep photos, locks of hair, or other mementos inside.Photo and additional information.

Locket Bail:An oval- or D-shapedused to connect pendants, specifically lockets, to a chain. It is meant to slide onto the chain rather than to be soldered to it. Also called a clip-on bail.Photo and additional information.

Loop:See Jump Ring.Photo and additional information.

Love knot: Generally three intertwined rings made from wire or tubing reformed or flattened as a group (after assembly) into regular or irregular shapes.

Low relief: Ornament in which designs are raised above a background surface, but raised only about half as high as inhigh relief. Also known asbas relief.

Low square setting: Usually the replacement for the upper half of a square prong setting; generally used for repairs.

Marcasite: Trade name for a bright iron mineral called cubic pyrite. When mounted singly or in clusters, marcasites bright metallic luster resembles diamonds. Common in antique jewelry, marcasite is currently popular.

Medallion: Round or oval disk, often commemorating somebody or some event, generally with a head or figures. Resembling a coin, they can be cast or stamped. They may be mounted in bezels and hung or inserted into jewelry.

Memory Wire:Flex