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Glossary and Definitions of Jewelry Terms

Anneal—to heat a metal to that temperature at which it is “dead soft” and can be worked
Bezel—a way of setting stones by surrounding the stone with a band of metal
Casting—the process of pouring molten metal into a mold
Chase—to work metal from the top or outside using special engraving type tools
Chenier—metal tubing used to make hinges or rivets
Casting grain—small pieces of metal of set quality to be melted and cast
Crucible—container for melting metal
Findings-small manufactured fittings for joining  pieces or creating clasps, catches, etc.
Flask—Metal container with removable base into which investment (a type of high silica plaster) is poured to make a casting mold.
      Flask collar or base—the rubber base on which the wax to be cast is mounted
      Sleeve—the rubber sleeve put around a perforated flask used for vacuum casting, removed prior to burnout
Flux—chemical paste or liquid used to coat and keep clean surfaces to be soldered
Lost Wax Casting—The process of precision casting which involves making a pattern of wax, investing the wax in a plaster mold, creating a cavity by melting out the wax and leaving a hole exact in all detail to the wax, pouring molten metal into this
Pickle—an acid solution used to clean cast or soldered metal. Pickle for silver and gold is usually a mild sulfuric acid solution. Pickle for brass is vinegar only copper tongs should be used in the pickle for precious metal
Repousse—to work metal from the back or reverse side usually with dapping dies and such rounded tools
Soldering—to join metal by using alloys which melt and flow at temperatures lower than the temperature of the metal being soldered. Solders contain varying amounts of the precious metals to be joined or none. Care should be taken not to use solders containing lead or cadmium, some zinc is usually present as little as possible is preferred
Sprue—the extra pieces of wax needed to form conduits into a wax mold for the proper flow of metal
Gauge—the thickness or width of metal sheet or wire. The larger the number the smaller the size.
Work-hardened—the opposite of annealed-metal is brittle and springy and can break or crack
Jig—a machine or form to make repetitive forms or designs
Cabochon—a stone with a smooth, rounded top.
Faceted stone- a transparent stone cut in planes to maximize light refraction and reflection
Saw frame—metal and wood handle for jewelers saw blades
Set – to secure a stone in a piece of jewelry, etc. Cabochons are usually bezel set and faceted stones are usually prong set----BUT NOT ALWAYS
Karat-- measure of purity of metal- the higher the karat the more pure the metal
Carat--- measure of weight of stones- equals .2 gram

PMC {Art Clay}- The newest forms of precious metal invented by the Japanese, Mitsubishi Co.  and others. Consists of micron sized particles of metal suspended in an organic clay base. When the clay is burned away, what is left is pure metal, silver or gold.  The resultant piece of jewelry or artifact is somewhat more porous and lighter weight than if produced by casting or fabrication and somewhat less flexible.

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