Resources-Glossary/Terms

Metals

About elements, alloys, base metals, platings, allergies, and precious metals. Metals can be elements or alloys. Elements are the basic building blocks of chemistry. Examples of elements: Oxygen, nitrogen, hydrogen, iron (Fe), copper (Cu) and niobium (Nb). Alloys are mixtures of various elements. Alloys can be a "base" (less costly) metal, like brass, or a "precious" (more costly) metal, like sterling silver or karat gold. Jewelers and engineers create alloys to change the color, melting temperature, and/or strength of elements. For example, solid gold is too soft for most applications. To make it stronger, it is alloyed (mixed) with other elements.

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Nickel-Free Metals

The term "nickel free" can be confusing since jewelry marked nickel free is still allowed to contain a very small amount of nickel... but it is such a tiny amount that it takes extremely sensitive instruments to measure it. The European Union's (EU) Nickel Directive limits the amount of nickel that may be released onto the skin from jewelry and other products. This type of measurement is distinct from measuring the percentage of nickel that exists in an alloy's composition. There is not yet a US standard for allowable amounts of nickel in jewelry, but if/when there is one, it will probably be similar to the European standard.

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Spanish-English Jewelry Glossary

Spanish-English | English-Spanish

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Nickel-Free Metals Information

The term "nickel free" can be confusing since jewelry marked nickel free is still allowed to contain a very small amount of nickel ... but it is such a tiny amount that it takes extremely sensitive instruments to measure it.

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Glossary of Jewelry-Making Terms

Antiqued: Beads or Findings that have had their surfaces treated to appear oxidized ("distressed" or aged). Antiqued metal beads have either a genuine patina, a plating, or a other coating which simulates an oxidized or tarnished surface. Antiqued bone beads are dyed a darker hue, often with the use of natural dyes such as tea. The crevices of antiqued beads, charms and findings often appear darker while the raised areas are often polished, to mimic the appearance of actual old, worn beads.

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Units of Measure

Definitions and explanations of common units of measure used at Rings & Things and in the jewelry industry.

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Jewelry-Making Materials

We strive to provide you with clear, honest information, in a complicated and ever-changing world of jewelry-making materials. Our products are made of over 500 different materials (various semi-precious gemstones are over 200 of these), and our website has been growing and changing since 1996 -- so it can be a challenge to keep this all updated and easy to find! The materials defined below account for approximately 80% of the items in our website, and we're adding more all the time! If the material you are looking for is not yet on this page...

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Teach Yourself American (For the British Beader)

British to American                 American to British
Sometimes we're separated by a common language! Here are a few jewellery-related terms that we've found may differ from one side of the Atlantic to the other. This list is mostly for fun. Rest assured, many jewellery and crafts terms are the same in both countries!
British to American
Aikoseed beads / Toho
catchesclasps / clutches
bolt-ringspring ring
bouillonbullion
brooch/broach backspin backs
calottesclamshell / fold-over
cataloguecatalog
centrecenter
colourcolor
cross-drilledcorner-drilled
despatch / dispatchshipment / shipping
dropteardrop
earnuts / scrollsearring backs / earring nuts / butterfly nuts
earstudsposts / post earrings
fanbib
fish-hook ear wireFrench hook ear wire
fob clasptoggle clasp
galvanisedgalvanized
gilt-linedgold-lined / gold-luster lined
hair gripbobby pin
hair slidebarrette
jewelleryjewelry
Kirby gripbobby pin
lobsterclawlobster
lustrealso luster
mattmatte
Miyukiseed beads / Toho
mobile phonecell phone
moukaitemookaite
parrot clasplobster clasp
polythene (sometimes)plastic
ring basesdisk rings
rocaillesalso seed beads
shepherds crook ear wireFrench hook ear wire
spectacle endseyeglass holders
stationspendants
string (of beads)strand
thongingcord (single-strand)
torque (torq/torc)neck ring
trigger clasplobster clasp / spring ring
American to British
barrettehair slide
bibfan
bobby pinhair grip, Kirby grip
bullionbouillon
butterfly nutsscrolls / earnuts
catalogcatalogue
cell phonemobile phone
centercentre
fold-overcalottes
clasps / clutchescatches
colorcolour
cord (single-strand)thonging
corner-drilledcross-drilled
disk ringsring bases
earring backs / earring nutsearnuts
eyeglass holdersspectacle ends
fold-overcalottes
French hook ear wirefish-hook or shepherds crook ear wire
galvanizedgalvanised
gold-lined / gold-luster linedgilt-lined
jewelryjewellery
lobsterlobsterclaw
lobster claspsparrot clasp / trigger clasp
lusteralso lustre
mattematt
mookaitemoukaite
neck ringtorque (torq/torc)
pendantsstations
pin backsbrooch / broach backs
plasticpolythene (sometimes)
posts / post earringsearstuds
seed beads / TohoAiko / Miyuki / rocailles
shipment / shippingdespatch / dispatch
spring ringbolt-ring / parrot clasp
strandstring (of beads)
teardropdrop
toggle claspfob clasp
Tohosee Aiko / Miyuki

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Jewelry Safety: Lead Content Classifications

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