A pendant or charm. In ancient times, an amulet was a piece of jewelry worn as a talisman and considered to have magical power or the ability to protect the wearer from harm.
First heating, then cooling metal before working it to make it more malleable. 
Anodizing is an electrolytic process that increases the oxide layer on the surface of a metal, which results in improved resistance to corrosion, water and wear (essentially yielding a more rust-proof material.) 
A decorative art technique used commonly in handmade jewelry, where the surface and edges of the material are distressed to create the appearance of aging as well as adding interest and texture.  
Art Clay Silver
Also known as ACS. A brand of silver metal clay.  
Art jewelry
Any handcrafted or handmade jewelry, often utilizing semi precious stones, fine silver and gold. Usually implies designer jewelry that is one-of-a-kind or produced in limited quantities.  
Refers to handmade jewelry designs that flex and move, with multiple joints between separate parts.  
base metal
Refers to any non-precious metal alloy. Not generally used in fine jewelry fabrication, due to variations in hardness, melting point, color and potential allergic reactions or skin discoloration.  
An enameling technique used in handmade jewelry where a low-profile carved, recessed pattern in metal is “painted” in translucent enamel. This creates color and depth, but still allows the metal to reflect light through the enamel.  
bezel setting
A bezel is a metal frame, like the bezel of a watch that holds the crystal in place. In jewelry, a bezel setting refers to the method of securing a stone using a frame of fine metal that surrounds the stone like a frame, instead of individual prongs.  
A common metal alloy of zinc and copper, which exhibits a warm yellow color.  
A base metal alloy composed primarily of copper, with secondary components ranging from tin to aluminum.   
brushed finish
By sanding a metal surface with a fine grit sandpaper or brush, a satin or brushed finish is created. Used in fine designer jewelry to give the metal a distinctive pattern of fine lines, yet retains most of its metallic luster.  
Refers to a shape of a stone where it has been polished and rounded, rather than being faceted like most popular gemstone cuts. 
A small stone that has been carved to leave a bas-relief design, most often a facial profile or shoulders, neck and head. 
Any process by which material is shaped by a harder tool into an artistic shape or object, like a knife used to carve wood, or a chisel to carve marble.  
The process by which molten metal is poured into a mold, and allowed to harden, thus taking on the shape of the mold.   
Any external or third party “vetting” of the veracity, value or grade of a thing. In gemstones, the International Gemological Institute is the recognized leader in diamond, colored stone and jewelry certification. A certified gemstone is one that has been verified to be authentic and meeting certain minimum standards of purity or clarity.  
A technique where a texture or design is created in metal by using a fine pointed tool. A small hammer striking the mallet will drag it through the metal, like dragging a stick through wet sand, leaving a grooved indentation.  
One of the “Four C's” of grading gemstones (particularly diamonds.) Stones with greater clarity contain fewer imperfections in the stone's crystalline structure.  
Any soft, moldable, malleable material that can be fired or baked to be made hard. In designer fine jewelry, “clay” often refers to silver metal clay, which is a material consisting of silver metal particles and an organic binder. The clay can be formed by hand or using a mold, then fired to burn away the binder, leaving pure silver behind.  
An ancient decorative technique where enamel is used to fill in a pattern formed on a metal surface.  
A pure metal, copper is a chemical element represented on the Periodical Chart as the symbol Cu. It is a softer, malleable metal with very high conductivity.  
A gem that is assembled from two overlaid stones.
A decorative technique used in handcrafted jewelry where a paste is applied to a metal surface, and then baked at very high temperatures to fuse the two materials, creating a whole spectrum of rich coloration.  
A technique for decorating metal or stone by lightly carving designs into the surface. Also used to apply personalized letters and words.  
Refers to a gem stone that has been cut to produce a multitude of angular faces or planes to optimize brilliance.  
fancy cut
Any gemstone cut other than a traditional round brilliant cut most common with diamonds and other fine gemstones.
In jewelry, fashion and the arts, the term is frequently used to describe anything designed to resemble something else, such as faux pearls or faux fur.  
A decorative technique that is like very delicate etching. It renders fine, intricate patterns and designs on a metal surface, and is often used on jewelry findings and clasps.  
Refers collectively to clasps, fasteners, jump loops, earring backs and other jewelry making and finishing elements.  
Refers to any type of processes that alter the surface of a piece of jewelry. Finishing processes may be employed in designer jewelry to improve appearance, durability, tarnish resistance or produce specific effects.  
To fire a jewelry item is to apply heat with a torch, or bake in an oven or kiln to produce a visual effect, cure enamels, fix a glaze or anneal the metal.  
florentine finish
A jewelry item with a surface that is striated or brushed.  
Gemstones refer to both precious and semi-precious stones, including diamond, onyx, emerald, tourmaline, sapphire, ruby, topaz, turquoise, opal, cubic zirconias, amethyst, alexandrite, moonstone and garnet.  
In referring to gemstones, genuine means it’s the real thing, not synthesized by man. However, a stone may have been treated in some way to enhance its appearance, so it is still “genuine” but no longer “natural.”  
Precious yellow-colored metallic element designated by the Periodic Table symbol of Au. Gold is very malleable and ductile, and not subject to oxidation or corrosion, so it is commonly used in fine jewelry making. 
gold plate
Never used in fine designer jewelry, this refers to material with a thin layer of gold that has been electromagnetically fused to a base metal.  
A stamp or mark that is unique to a jewelry maker, indicating the identity of the item’s creator.  
Describes a piece of handcrafted jewelry that has been shaped, formed or otherwise decorated using a metalworker’s hammer.  
Any decorative element that is embedded or attached to a piece of fine jewelry so that it is flush with the surface.  
Refers to radiance or luminosity of a stone or metal surface.  
mabe or mobe
A stone in the shape of a half-sphere or dome.  
matte finish
A finished appearance that is dull, not shiny or glossy, and may also be textured to varying degrees.  
The craft and art of making objects from metal. Silversmithing and much jewelry making are forms of metalsmithing.  
A visual phenomenon named for the appearance of opals, where a material appears to be different colors depending on the way light is hitting it. With an opal, it may appear to be many different shades of yellow, red, blue, green or purple when viewed from different angles.
Jewelry which is made of natural materials or inspired by nature or natural occurrences. Jewelry which incorporates natural materials including Amber, Bamboo, Horn, Bone, Stone and Wood.
In the context of jewelry, the effect of oxidation is rust, patina or tarnish. When controlled, oxidation may in fact be a desirable decorative element introduced by the jeweler with heat or chemical treatments.
A surface film on bronze and other similar metals that is produced by oxidation. In art jewelry making, a patina or patina-like effect is often deliberately created to add texture and color to a piece.  
A setting technique for small gemstones where the stones are set so closely together that no metal shows and the surface appears to be paved with stones.  
photo etching
Etching is a technique for creating a design on metal using acid. Parts of the metal are covered and protected from the action of the acid, while the exposed parts are eaten away by the acid to form a design. Photo etching is the use of photographic negatives to allow light through to the metal which has been coated with a photopolymer (a photosensitive plastic.) Where the light hits the metal, the photopolymer hardens. When the metal is placed in an acid bath briefly, only the “negative” areas protected by the film are etched away.  
A plastic material that cures and becomes solid when exposed to light.  
The use of a small drill or awl to create a series of holes in metal in a pattern or to create a light airy texture.  
precious gemstones
The four precious gemstones are diamonds, emeralds, rubies and sapphires. All other gemstones are considered semi-precious.  
precious metal clay
Also referred to as PMC. A brand of silver metal clay.
precious metals
The three metals that have been prized for centuries for their rarity, beauty and physical properties: gold, silver and platinum. Art jewelry is generally limited to the use of these metals because of their durability and intrinsic value.  
The definition of “repurposed” is: to use or convert for use in another format or product.   
A texturing method used by art jewelry makers that produces pronounced ridges and rippling through controlled heating.
The use of a metal fastener, like a nail or brad to attach something, usually metal to metal.  
sand blasting
The use of fine sand to polish or texture metal. Sand blasting is commonly used in art jewelry to create unique effects and visual depth.  
semi-precious gemstones
Any gemstone other than diamond, ruby, sapphire or emerald.
The mechanism that holds a stone in place on any piece of jewelry.  
An intaglio engraving in metal, stone or gem that depicts a coat of arms or initials. Most commonly used in signet rings, which also were used historically as personal seals for letters and documents.  
silver metal clay
A clay-like material used to make fine art jewelry that consists of silver metal particles and an organic binder. The clay can be formed by hand or using a mold, then fired to burn away the binder, leaving pure silver behind.  
sterling silver
Often misunderstood to be “pure silver,” sterling is actually an alloy of silver containing 925 parts per 1000 (92.5%) of silver and 75 parts (7.2%) other metals, commonly copper. Sterling is indicated with the marking 925.  
A treatment for stones and metal where the item is placed in a vessel with sand, stones, or other abrasive materials. The vessel is then shaken or rolled or mechanically agitated to tumble the contents together for a period of time. The result is a smoother finish on the treated material.  
wearable art
Another way of referring to art jewelry.