ABS Plastic
Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene is 30 times more durable than regular plastic, holds it's shape when molded by heat, is chemical resistant and is not affected by temperature.  ABS plastic is used in recreational AirSoft guns. 

Alabastrite is made from oxylite and polystone which forms a stone-based polyresin that can be intricately molded and painted.  Clean by dusting; do not wash water soluble paints with water.  The manufacturer says the paint will not come off if it gets wet, and that they have had no complaints in this regard.  If your alabastrite product does get wet, at the worst, there may be some minor color fading.

A mineral, a type of chrysoberyl, with a hardness of 8.5, appears to be different colors depending on whether it is viewed in natural or artificial light.  Alexandrite appears to be red when seen in candlelight and blue to green when seen in fluorescent light.  Alexandrite is mined in Russia, Brazil, Burma, Ceylon, and Rhodesia.

Aluminum Reflector
Light reflector that is part of a bulb and is closed around the base of the bulb.  When you hold this bulb up to the light, you will see no light leaking between the reflector and the bulb.  Produces a white light.

A form of the mineral quartz and is a relatively common gemstone.  Amethyst is usually purple, but can range in color from pale lavender to a very deep, reddish purple to a milky color to green.

Art Deco
Art Deco was a style popular from the mid-1910's until the mid-1920's, originating in Paris, France, characterized by geometric lines and angles.

A baguette cut is a stone (usually a diamond) that has been cut into a long, rectangular shape.  Baguette means "stick" or "rod" in French.

Baroque is characteristically irregular, ornate, embellished, slanted or bent, while keeping the original form.

Baroque Pearls
Baroque pearls are irregularly-shaped pearls.  Baroque pearls can be natural or artificial.

Barrel Clasp
A jewelry fastener that resembles a barrel.  The two pieces of this clasp screw together.

Bas Relief
A sculptural effect in which forms stick out only slightly from the background; no figures are undercut.

Beam Spread or Angle
For reflector type lamps/bulbs.  The total angle of the directed beam (in degrees) to where the intensity of the beam falls to 50% of the maximum value.

The bezel is the part of a cut stone that protrudes above the edge of a setting.  The bezel is also known as the crown.

Bezel Setting
A bezel setting is a way of setting a stone in which the stone is held by a band of metal around the outside of the stone.

Bone China
White clay with bone ash added.  Bone ash content must be at least 25% by U. S. guidelines.  Fired at 1800 degrees, the translucent material is finished with a glaze or underglaze (matte).  Lighter, stronger, more expensive than porcelain.

A bracelet is an ornament worn wrapped around the wrist.  Types of bracelets include solid and hinged bangles, expansion, cuff, beaded, charm bracelets, Yurman-style and, and link bracelets.

Brass is a metal alloy containing at least 50% copper and zinc.

An oval or pear-shaped stone having its entire surface cut in triangular facets.

Bugle Beads
Bugle beads are small, long, cylindrical beads.

A gemstone of convex round or oval form, polished, but not cut into facets.

A gem or shell carved in relief, especially one in which the raised design and the background consist of layers of contrasting colors.

A carat (ct.) is a standard measure of weight used for gemstones.  One carat weighs
0.2 gram (1/5 of a gram or 0.0007 ounce).  A hundredth of a carat is called a point.  The carat unit was introduced in 1907.

Cathedral Ring Setting
A cathedral ring setting is a simple band that arches when seen from the side (like the arches of a cathedral).

Cat's Eye
A is a yellow to green-yellow stone (chatoyant chrysoberyl) with a bright, pupil-like slit that seems to move slightly as the stone is moved.  Most Cat's eye are cut as cabochons to maximize the distinctive pupil-like effect.  Found in Brazil, the Cat's eye has a hardness of 8.5.

Compact Fluorescent Lamp, bulbs designed to take the place of standard incandescent lamps/bulbs saving energy costs by producing more light with less energy.

Channel Set
Channel set jewels rest in a metal channel, held in only by a slight rim which runs along the edges of the channel.  Channel set jewels are usually round or baguette shaped.

Cutting edge of a knife closest to the handle.

A choker is a type of necklace that fits tightly around the neck.  Chokers are from 14" to 16" in length.

Color Temperature
Warmth or coolness of the lamp/bulb, measured in Kelvin (K).  The higher the temperature the cooler the appearance of the light.  The higher the temperature the greater the blue component in the spectrum and the smaller the red component.

Copper is a soft metal often used in jewelry.  It is used in making bronze, brass, and gold alloys.  Copper turns green as it ages, and copper exposed to weather will age faster.

Crystal (Glass)
Crystal is high-quality glass containing at least 10% lead oxide.  Lead added to the melt produces very clear glass resembling rock crystal.

Crystal (Natural)
Crystal is a solid whose atoms form a very regular structure.  Some crystals include quartz, diamond, and emerald.

Cuff Bracelet
A cuff bracelet is a stiff, relatively wide bracelet.

Cubic Zirconia
The most successful simulated diamond.  Cubic zirconia (or cubic zirconium) is an inexpensive, lab-produced gemstone that resembles a diamond.  Cubic zirconia was developed in 1977.  Properties such as refraction, hardness and specific gravity are remarkably similar to diamonds and cubic zirconia are very hard to distinguish from diamonds.  Often a jewelers loupe will be needed to see the difference.

Cultured Pearl
Cultured pearls are pearls produced by oysters that have been surgically injected with bits of mussel shell.  After 5-7 years, the oysters are retrieved and the pearls are harvested.

Extremely hard, highly refractive colorless or white crystalline of carbon.  Diamonds, like all gemstones, are judged in terms of carats, or weight (different from karats, as in gold purity).

Dichroic Reflector
A reflector that projects light forward while deflecting heat backwards, toward the socket, so the light beam itself is cool.  Quartz halogen incandescent light bulbs frequently contain an integrated dichroic reflector which is slightly open around the base of the bulb.  This lets some of the almost invisible red color spectrum escape out the back of the bulb but may create a slight pinkish glow.  This type of reflector is generally desirable for studios or churches because of the pinkish glow.  When you hold a dichroic bulb up to the light, you will see light leaking between the reflector and bulb.

Usually gray, pink, or white mineral, essentially used as a construction and ceramic material, for a furnace refractory, and in fertilizer.  A magnesia-rich sedimentary rock resembling limestone.

An emerald is a very hard, green precious stone with a hardness of 7-8 and a specific gravity of 2.6-2.8.  Emeralds belong the beryl group of stones which includes aquamarines, morganite, and chrysoberyl.  Emerald, and all forms of beryl, have large, perfect, six-sided crystals.

Emerald Cut
Emerald-cut stones are rectangular with truncated, or cut, corners.  The emerald cut is frequently used on emeralds and diamonds.

Enameled Jewelry
Enamel is a glassy substance (powdered glass with colorants) fused onto metal using heat.

Eternity Ring
An eternity ring is a narrow ring with encircled with gemstones.

Fashion Jewelry
Fashion jewelry is another name for costume jewelry.

Engraving is a method of surface decoration in which a design is etched into the surface with a sharp tool.

Faux means false.  A faux gem is an imitation gem.

A high effiency lamp utilizing an electric discharge through low pressure mercury vapor to produce ultra-violet energy.  UV excites the phosphorus lining which transforms into visible light.

Delicate, lacelike ornamental work of intertwined wire of gold or silver.

Footcandle (FC)
Illuminance on a surface.  One lumen per square foot equals a footcandle.

Freshwater Pearl
A pearl that was harvested from a freshwater mussel (a mollusk).  These pearls are frequently shaped like crisped rice cereal, and are less valuable than oyster pearls.

Frosted Acrylic
Acrylic is given the French Lilac process used on glass to achieve the distinctive frosted look.  The drama of frosted glass without the weight.

A group of semi-precious silicate stones that range in color from red to green (garnets occur in all colors but blue).  Garnet has a hardness of 6-8.

Gate Design
Gate design or gate fold is a back and forth fold as in accordion pleated.  Must be unfolded to use. 

A gemstone, also called a precious stone, is a mineral that is valuable, rare and often beautiful.  Rubies, sapphires, emeralds, amethysts, often treasured as birthstones.
Gemstones are priced and graded by carat weight.  A few organic materials, like amber, coral and pearls are also considered gemstones.

Gold is the most malleable (hammerable) and ductile (able to be made into wire) metal, doesn't rust or tarnish.  A precious metal that is very soft when pure (24K).  Graded by purity.  In the U.S. a scale of 24 is used.  24 karats (24K) is 100% pure.  10K is the legal minimum for karat-graded gold.  Gold is alloyed (mixed with other metals, usually silver and copper) to make it less expensive and harder.  Alloyed gold comes in many colors: Yellow Gold is 50% silver and 50% copper; White Gold is Nickel, zinc, copper, tin and manganese; Pink (rose) Gold is 90% copper and 10% silver; Green Gold is high proportion of silver or cadmium; Blue Gold is some iron; Grey Gold is 15-20% iron.  (See "karat" below.)

Gold-plated metal has a very thin layer of gold on the surface, usually applied by the process of electroplating.

Regularly increasing in size, such as a graduated pearl necklace, where small pearls gradually increase in size, one pearl at a time, to one large pearl at the center.

Gallons per hour. A white mineral usually used to make Plaster of Paris.

A high pressure incandescent lamp/bulb containing halogen gases such as iodine or bromine which allow the filaments to be operated at higher temperatures and higher efficacies.  Halogens emit damaging UV rays, which cause color fading of sensitive fabric and artworks, just as the sun would.  Lamps based on Halogen technology can not be handled by bare hands without shorting lamp/bulb life.  Dirt, oils, grease, fingerprints must be wiped clean with rubbing alcohol before using your halogen bulb.  Drug stores always carry rubbing alcohol, the 90% is better, as the 70% alcohol is 30% water.  Contaminated bulbs will blister, shorting bulb life by either a breach of the Quartz lens or the filament not burning at an even temperature.  Contaminates, dirt, oils on the lens create hotspots which lead to premature failure.

A lustrous, opaque, blue-black to silvery gray mineral often used in jewelry.  Hematite is iron oxide (Fe2O3) and is found in England, Mexico, Australia, Brazil, and the Lake Superior region of North America.

Incandescent light is generated by heating a thin filament wire in vaccum by an electric current passing through it.

Jade Porcelain
Jade porcelain is a type of porcelain made with a finer clay.  Usually no glaze or only a colorless glaze will be applied at the final firing to exhibit the very smooth surface and to preserve the translucency.  Jade Porcelain is used for night lights because of its high degree of translucency when lit.

Japanese Beetle
Japanese BeetleAdult Japanese beetles are 3/8-inch long metallic green, with copper-brown wing covers having five small white tufts on each side, which distinguishes them from similar beetles.  Adults emerge from the ground and begin feeding from early June thru early October peaking in July.  Japanese beetles can feed on about 300 species of plants ranging from roses to poison ivy.  They feed in large groups leaving the leaves skeletonized.  Even before emerging in June, the white grubs are feeding on the roots of plants, including sod, leaving dead patches that can be rolled back like a carpet.  Adults can fly as far as 5 miles and move from site to site eating and laying eggs.  Females lay 40-60 eggs in turf.    See all Japanese Beetle pictures      See Japanese Beetle Trap in the Pest Control section
To see when Japanese Beetles emerge in your state, see emergence chart.

Karat (K) is a measure of the fineness of gold.  24 karat gold is 100% gold.  18 karat is 75% gold.  14 karat is 58.3% gold.  10 karat is 41.7% gold.  Gold is a soft metal and is often mixed with another metal to give it strength.  See "gold" above.

Petroglyphs of Kokopelli are found carved on walls throughout the southwest dating back 3,000 years.  A symbol of fertility, the hump on his back is said to be full of seeds, which are scattered over the earth to bring new crops.  Some legends say he brings Spring, his flute music warms the earth and causes villagers to dance the night away.  In the morning, the crops are sprouting and all the women are pregnant.  Kokopelli is thought to bring joy, a regeneration of life, and gaiety.

Lead Crystal
Lead crystal, also called crystal, is lead glass that has been hand or machine cut with facets.  Lead oxide added to the molten glass gives lead crystal a much higher index of refraction than normal glass and much greater "sparkle".  Do not store liquids in lead crystal glasses or bottles; do not drink from lead crystal on a daily basis, especially if you are pregnant; and do not feed an infant or child from a lead crystal baby bottle or cup.

Lobster Claw Clasp
A lobster claw clasp is a jewelry fastener that resembles the claw of a lobster.  A tiny spring keeps the arm of this clasp closed.

Total light output of source.

Mandarin Ivory
A perfected technique that allows alabastrite to be processed to look like ivory.

A shiny, metallic semi-precious stone.  It is actually iron pyrite, generally faceted.

Marquis Cut
Marquis-cut stones are shaped like an oval with two pointed ends.

Medium density fiberboard engineered from wood fibers combined with wax and resin to form panels under high pressure and temperature.  Similar to plywood or Masonite™ and more dense than particle board.

Mercury Glass
Mercury glass, or silvered glass, contains neither silver nor mercury. Mercury glass is, instead, clear glass which is mold-blown into double-walled shapes. The glass is then coated on the inside with a liquid silver nitrate solution, through a pinhole hole in the bottom. Originally produced from around 1840 until at least 1930 in Bohemia (now the Czech Republic), Germany and also England. Sometimes called poor man's silver. Should not be used with food.

Maximum overall length including base or pins. More or less.

The iridescent coating on the inside of oyster shells.  Mother-of-pearl is used for jewelry, buttons, etc.

Mystic Fire
Mystic fire (also called mystic topaz or rainbow topaz) is topaz that has been color enhanced by coating it with a fine layer of metal atoms (in a process called vacuum deposition).  This stone has red, green, violet, and blue streaks.  Mystic fire has a hardness of 8.

Neodymium Glass
The neodymium oxide may be either in the glass itself or a coating sprayed onto the inside of the light bulb glass.  Light bulbs made with neodymium glass have a purplish color.  These types of bulbs emit full spectrum light, as does the sun; a simulated natural daylight that is crisp and vivid, increasing the contrast of colors.  It filters out the excess yellow color found in standard light bulbs providing accurate, clean light.  Most commonly available as incandescent bulbs, or CFLs (compact fluorescent lamp), and may be sold under the names neodymium, daylight or full spectrum bulb/lamp.  Produces an uplifting and bright light.  Helps people who suffer from SAD (Seasonal Adjustment Disorder) or "winter depression" or "winter blues".

An acronym for Parabolic Aluminized Reflector.  A PAR lamp/bulb may use either an incandescent filament, halogen filament tube or HID arc tube.

A heavy, wide knife; a machete.

German four-masted steel sailing ship and one of the famous sailing ships of the German shipping company F. Laeisz.  The name "Passat" means trade wind in German. 

PE Rattan
Also known as PE wicker or Resin wicker, is made from synthetic materials like polyethylene or polypropylene resin fibres.  It has a great supple feel and look, and has proven to be very durable and low maintenance.

Smooth, lustrous, variously colored round gemstone originally formed as a deposit around a grain of sand in the shells of certain shellfish.  Pearls may be formed naturally or "cultured" through an artificial implanting process.

Measurement of diamond size.  See "carat" above.

Fine ground white clay, molded and fired in an oven for eight hours at 1200 degrees, finished with a glazed or underglazed finish.  Glazing produces a high gloss; underglaze produces a matte finish.  Bisque is a matte finish without glaze.

Powder Post Beetle
The larva of this beetle feed on cellulose in wood turning it to powder and cause extensive damage.  The beetles are especially destructive in a moist warm environment where they thrive, although some species occur throughout the United States.

Polypropylene carbonate, a thermoplastic material.

Type of pure silica material which is clear and can withstand a higher melting point than standard glass.
(Halogen bulbs are made with Quartz because regular glass would melt.)

Rhinestones are highly reflective glass cut and polished to imitate gemstones.  The original rhinestones were quartz stones (rock crystal) obtained from the Rhine river.

A white precious metal, extremely expensive, is often used to plate precious and base metals, giving jewelry a hard, platinum-like sheen.

Rose Gold
Gold mixed with 90% copper and 10% silver to give it a pink/rose tinge.  See "Gold" above.

Wood from the para rubber tree (Hevea brasiliensis) is a new-comer on the market.  Now considered an "environmentally friendly" wood as the older practice was to burn the plantation trees at the end of their latex-producing cycle.  Sometimes called parawood.

A precious gemstone (a type of corundum) that ranges in color from blue to pink to yellow to green to white to purple to pink-orange.  Six-sided asterisms (stars) sometimes occur in star sapphires.  Sapphires are related to rubies and have a hardness of 9.

Shabby Chic
Or Shabby Elegance.  Popular decorating and design style with a distressed, or worn look, finish.

Soapstone, also called steatite, is a soft, easily-carved, fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be green, brown, or gray.  This stone has a greasy, soapy feel to it, hence its name.  Soapstone is carved into figurines, beads, seals, bowls, pipes, cookware, and other items.  It has a hardness of 1-1.5 (extremely soft - it can be scratched with a fingernail).

Spun Glass
Fine blown glass having delicate, often spiral threading or filigree.  Best way of cleaning is probably a feather duster in combination with compressed air. (Compressed air is available in the Attic Trunk chemicals ection.)

Soldier Bug
Soldier BugPodisus maculiventris  These predatory stink bugs prey on Mexican bean beetles, Colorado potato beetles, hornworms, cabbage looper, webworms, armyworms and other garden and crop pests.  Both nymphs and adults feed on caterpillars and the larvae of beetles.  They can eat caterpillars that are so big that few other predators can handle them.  Prey is harpooned, injected with a substance that paralyzes it within 60 seconds, and is killed as body fluids are sucked out through the harpoon.  Podisus are highly mobile.  Nymphs can walk quickly from plant to plant.  Adults will spread rapidly by flying and walking.

A ring set with a single stone, usually a diamond.

Sterling Silver
To qualify as "sterling" a given piece must be composed of at least 92.5% pure silver.

White clay with fine ground stone.  Working with stoneware demands great expertise, and is in fact becoming a lost art.  Stoneware is safe to use in microwave and conventional ovens.

That part of a metal blade extending into the handle.  Full tang would extend completely to the base of the handle. 

Total cubic zirconia weight.

Total diamond weight.

Tennis Bracelet
A simple, flexible, in-line diamond bracelet.  The name was first used when tennis player Chris Evert dropped a diamond bracelet during a tennis match in the summer of 1987 at the U.S. Open Tennis Tournament.  Since then, that style of bracelet has been called a tennis bracelet.

Terra Cotta
A hard, semifired, waterproof ceramic clay, in a brownish-orange color, used in pottery and building construction.

Toggle Clasp
A simple fastener consisting of a ring on one end of a chain and a T-bar on the other.  The bar slides through the ring holding the two ends together.

A non-translucent, porous semi-precious stone that is usually cut as a cabochon.  Persian turquoise is robin's egg blue and has no matrix (streaks of the mother stone from which they were found).  North American turquoise is greener and has a matrix streaks.  Over the years, oil from your skin is absorbed by the stone and it will change color slightly.  Turquoise has a hardness of 6.

United States Postal Service, i.e., Post Office.

UV Block, UV Filter, UV Protected, UV Stop, UV Radiation
Radiant energy in the range of about 100-380 nanometers (NM).  Halogen light bulbs create UV (ultra violet) rays.  Bulbs with UV block, filter or protected bulbs block up to 80% of the UV rays, the industry standard.  Most manufacturers do not state just how much UV blocking you are actually getting, leading consumers to believe that they are getting 100%.  UV Stop is the only one that blocks 100% of UV rays.  Over time, UV rays can fade fabric and paint colors just as direct sunlight will do.  Halogen bulbs that are white, frosted or have a glass cover(CG)usually do have UV blocking.

A green patina, or crust of copper sulfate or copper chloride, formed on copper, brass, and bronze that is exposed to air or seawater for a long period.

A measurement of the electromotive force in an electrical circuit or device expressed in volts.

A unit of electrical power.  Wattage is the energy used or power consumed.

Xenon lamps/bulbs do not emit damaging UV rays, which make these ideal for highlighting sensitive fabric and artworks.  Xenon lamps/bulbs are much more tolerant when dealing with unstable voltages resulting in longer life.  Xenon bulbs are filled with low-pressured xenon gas.  Lamps based on xenon technology can be handled with bare hands with no effect on lamp life.

Yellow Jackets/Paper Wasps
Yellow Jacket WaspPaper WaspYellow jackets have bright yellow and black horizontal stripes, are attracted to food, and can be very pesty at your picnic table in late summer.  They nest in the ground, in an abandoned rabbit or field mouse hole, or between rocks and in logs.  A yellow jacket nest has only one entry.  One yellow jacket queen can make a colony of 5,000.

Paper wasps have a longer body, slim waist, and long legs that hang down in flight.  Their nests are usually under eaves, are often umbrella shaped, entirely open at the bottom and hung by a single thread.  A sentinel will usually be present.  Paper wasps will attack if their nest is threatened but usually mind their own business and are not as pesty as yellow jackets.

Only the queens of both wasps hibernate over the winter; all the others die off.  Early in spring, the queen will make a nest of only a few cells and lay eggs for workers.  The nest is enlarged as more and more eggs are laid.  In late August, queen cells are developed to produce queens to overwinter for next year.  Both species are beneficial as they consume many kinds of insects, including flies and mosquitoes.  They are a problem when man and wasp invade each others' "personal space."  To see when Queen Yellow Jackets emerge in your state, see emergence chart. For more information, see wasp identification and emergence chart, this is in PDF format and requires Acrobat reader.  See Yellow Jacket Traps in Pest Control section

Zen Garden
A stylized Japanese rock garden with the primary features being raked sand and specifically placed stones to promote meditation that opens the mind and brings inner peace.

More Jewelry Terminology