14kt Gold-Filled – composed of a solid layer of gold, bonded with heat and pressure to a base metal such as brass. Some products are made using sterling silver as the base, although this more expensive version is not common today. Some high quality gold-filled pieces have the same appearance as 14 karat (58%) gold. In the USA the quality of gold filled is defined by the Federal Trade Commission. Gold-filled is a higher quality than gold plated.
Argentium Silver – a modern sterling silver which replaces the traditional 7.5% copper content with metalloid germanium. Since Argentium retains the 92.5% silver content of the traditional alloy, it is still referred to as sterling silver. Argentium is hard and resistance to tarnish. Since Argentium does not oxidize quickly, it rarely causes allergic reactions.
Art Glass – the type of glass generally used in making jewelry, plates and vases, often colored.
Bail – the part of the pendant through which the chain or necklace passes.
Bezel – A rim of metal holding the stone and surrounding the gem. Bezels can have straight edges, scalloped edges, or can be molded into any shape to accommodate the stone.
Cabochon – A facet-less style of cutting that produces a smooth surface. They can be in many shapes, including round with high domes to squares.
Casting (Lost Wax) – this is the traditional method of making designs from wax, covering the designs with investment (a plaster of paris-like material that forms around the wax), heating the wax out of the design so that all that remains is the investment mold (thus losing the wax, or “lost wax”), and injecting the investment mold with silver or gold to form beautiful shapes or jewelry.
Dichroic – this refers to a type of art glass on which has been added a thin metallic coating giving it a shiny appearance. Dichroic glass was originally created in Germany, but was popularized in the space-travel era of the sixties, used as a reflective coating for astronauts’ visors. Artists picked up on the beauty of the coating, and the process got more and more sophisticated. Dichroic glass is fairly expensive.
Enamel - powdered glass applied to other glass or various metallic or ceramic substances by fusing it or using other high heat techniques. Enamel is often mixed with a thick liquid substance for easier application.
Faceted Stone – a gemstone with small, polished plane surfaces causing it to sparkle.
Focal Bead or Focal Piece – the portion of the necklace or bracelet on which the attention is centered (but does not necessarily have to be in the center of the piece).
Frit - glass ground into various sizes, from powder to coarse. Glass artists use frit for creating landscapes and other designs in which a more blended type of look is desired. The coarser pieces are often used for accents, flowers, etc. The frit is generally adhered to another piece of glass by fusing it in a kiln at a high temperature, usually around 1300 degrees or more.
Fused Glass – Art glass (or other types of glass) that have been melted together in a kiln at high temperatures to form shapes or to blend together.
Gold plating – a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver, by chemical or electrochemical plating.
Kiln – a big oven-like apparatus that heats to high temperatures in which you can melt glass to form jewelry and other art objects, fire ceramics, fire precious metal clay, etc. It generally heats quite a bit higher than a traditional kitchen oven.
Lampworking – an ancient technique of heating rods of glass in a very hot torch and forming them into beads or other shapes. This art used to be done over a lighted lamp or candle, thus the name. Now we use torches, which take a lot less time as they get much hotter.
Pendant – a piece of jewelry generally adorning the neck. It is usually the focus of the entire necklace.
Prong – The metal tip or bead that actually touches the stone and holds it into place.
Silversmithing – used to make jewelry and other art objects by working traditionally with silver (although now used more generically for other types of metal such as brass, copper, etc.) and cutting them, rolling, making shapes in the metal or forming metal into various shapes or designs. This technique is often coupled with faceted stones to make beautiful jewelry designs.
Sterling Silver – 92.5% pure silver alloyed with another metal (usually copper or nickel) for strength.
Toggle – Jewelry with a closure comprised of a bar that fits sideways into a circle. Toggle can also refer to the closure itself.
Trunk Show – a showing of objects of art, often jewelry, in which the artist brings the items to your party or business to sell to you friends/customers.
Wire Wrapping – an ancient technique using gold, silver or other metals and thin wire put together in different ways to form jewelry, household objects, and other art objects. The method generally involves laying pieces of square, round or triangular metal together and binding with other pieces of metal wire, usually half round or square, and can also involve wrapping square or round wire around another for a spiral effect.