Jewelry Lingo

Antique/Roman Glass Shards: These are 2000 year-old shards from Israel, legally purchased and exported that began life during Roman times as a cup, perfume bottle or something else.   Buried in the earth for millennium, they contain natural iridescence from the materials in the earth.   They are treated so the iridescent colors will not rub off.

Bail:  A term that means the device from which a pendant will hang.

Bezel:  A metal frame in which a stone is secured.   Prongs, tube settings, pave, gypsy settings, are all bezels.

Brilliance: The light-reflecting property of a stone; it depends on the nature of the surface, the refraction index and light absorption.

Culet: The part of a cut stone that lies below the girdle or the outermost rim of the stone; on a brilliant-cut gem, the flat face at the bottom of the stone.

Durability:  The resistance of a mineral to loss of brilliance or polish due to physical and chemical agents.

Druzy Quartz: (also spelled Drusy or Druse)  A thin layer of quartz crystals covering the surface of a host stone.  A good example is the crystals filled inside of the cavity of a geode.  

Facet: A flat face on a cut stone

Fairmined:   An assurance label that certifies gold and from empowered responsible artisanal and small-scale mining organizations. It transforms mining into an active force for good, ensuring social development and environmental protection, providing everyone with a source of gold to be proud.

Girdle: The outermost rim of a cut stone, generally the point at which it is held in the setting.

Hardness:  Resistance of a mineral to scratching.

Kum boo: A Korean technique that fuses fine sheets of gold onto silver, creating beautiful decorative motifs.

Mokume-gane:  A Japanese technique for fusing metals together without solder.  In Japanese, "mokume" means "wood grain" and "gane" means "metal".  The fusing involves high temperature, a reduction atmosphere and pressure.

Niello: An ancient technique used to blacken silver, usually as a patina or accent.

Recycled Metal:  Silver and gold that is refined from studio sweepings, scrap from jewelry manufacturing, unwanted jewelry, electronics, dental crowns, etc. 

Reticulated Silver: a mix of sterling, fine silver and copper.  The metal is repeatedly heated, quenched and pickled.   The copper content concentrates at the core of the metal and is surrounded by a skin of fine silver.  During the actual reticulation process, the jeweler's torch is moved in a specific pattern to bring the copper core to a melting point that in turn creates a liquid within the fine silver.  The resulting pattern looks like a mountain peak, moire fabric or a bargello needlepoint.   No two pieces are alike and all reticulated silver is created in the studio of Ellen Lyons Jewelry Designs.