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What is...?  

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WHAT IS...?
Terminology
Rather than explain the wide variety of beading terms with each item, the terminology is
explained on this page to make it easier to understand the descriptions of the beaded items.
Abbreviations are also spelled out.

For photographs and descriptions to show what is available in clasps, click on: Clasps.

For photographs to show what is available in earwires and earposts, click on: Earwires.

Abalone ... "Paua," a naturally occuring gorgeous shell, usually green with pink flashes.
AB or Aurora Borealis ... an iridescent fire-polished half-coat that is applied to the backside
  of a bead, so that when light hits the front of the bead, it has more flash and life to it.
Air Bubbles ... translucent glass is frequently identifiable from stone by air bubbles trapped within.
Alexandrite ... a type of glass or stone that is pale purple under incandescent light,
  light blue under fluorescent, and sometimes clear under both or in sunlight.

Bicones ... two triangular shaped sides with their bases in the middle and flattened apex.
Baroque ... usually refers to an unusual, non-symmetrical or uniquely shaped pearl or bead.
Blue Goldstone ... actually manmade glass of midnight blue color with glittering copper flecks.
Blister Pearl ... partially formed half of a globe-shaped pearl resting in a pool of nacre.
Briolettes ... 3-dimensional teardrop shaped beads.
Brown Goldstone ... a rich, glittering medium brown glass bead with sparkly flecks.

Cat's Eye ... a type of glass bead that picks up the light and reflects it in a circular fashion,
  much as natural tigereye does. Also called "fiber optic glass." Known for its chatoyancy.
Celestial or Chinese Crystal ... usually hand-cut, well-faceted Oriental sparkling Crystal.
Chatoyancy ... descriptive of the sheen over surfaces such as tigereye or fiberoptic glass.
Clip-Ons ... an earwire for non-pierced ears to hold earrings against the earlobe.
Cloisonne ... enamel inset within small wires over a metal bead, originated in Asia.
Copper Goldstone ... actually manmade glass with glittering copper flecks.
Coral ... once part of a reef of tentacled skeletal creatures, usually red, also red-orange,
  white, brown, and black.
Crackle Glass ... translucent glass that's been heated to cause crackles and craze marks
  inside the bead.
Crystal ... transparent glass with lead added to it for more flash and sparkle.

Dichroic Glass ... layers of strongly colored sheets of glass and foil fused together in a kiln,
  creating a unique bead or pendant with intense, true colors.
Earnuts ... the piece behind the ear that holds earposts or earwires in place; metal or rubber.
Earwire ... the finding that connects through or to the ear, supporting an earring component.

Findings ... the metal portion of jewelry pieces, such as clasps, spacers, end caps, crimps, etc.
Foil Glass ... usually a translucent glass bead with a silver or gold foil center.
Fossil ... fossil stones with prehistoric inclusions, sometimes dyed.
French Hook ... a type of popular earwire, in the shape of a shepherd's hook.
Freshwater Pearls ... usually cultured pearls, with a thinner nacre than saltwater pearls.

GP ... short for "gold-plated."
Hemalyke ... deep charcoal grey glass that looks like Hematite, aka "Black Diamond."
Jet ... petrified coal which has been polished.

Lobster Claw ... a clasp that looks a bit like a lobster claw, which fastens to a jump ring.
Lampwork Glass ... individually made, often intricate, glass beads using a torch and hand-tools.

Inclusions ... thread-like bits or other particles found in translucent stone.
Iris ... short for "iridescent," a rainbow quality to a bead.

Marquis ... an elongated oval shape with pointed ends, usually faceted.
Matrix ... the streaks, speckles, and inclusions in stones, often black or brown.
Memory Wire ... thin, stiff wire molded into a permanent circular or oval shape.
Millefiori ... literally means "a thousand flowers," a type of bead usually made from
  cane glass, that exhibits flowers and speckles.
Moon Coin ... large, flat, round bead, usually Mother-of-Pearl.
MOP ... abbreviation for "Mother-of-Pearl," a sheeny shell, from the interior of clamshells.

Oat ... a long, narrow oval shaped bead, also called "rice."
Opal Glass ... a translucent, milky glass which casts a luminous shadow and has flashes
  of peach, yellow, pink in it.
Opaque ... solid color, no light shines through.

Paua Shell ... Abalone, naturally ocurring shell, usually green with flashes of pink, peach.
Pillow ... a bead that has been cut with a slightly puffed pillow appearance to it.

Rice ... a long, narrow oval shaped bead, also called "oat."
Rondelles ... a partially flattened round, so that it is not as wide as tall.
Rounds ... round-shaped beads.

S-Hook ... a type of clasp, usually Sterling Silver, in the shape of an S which fastens to a jump ring.
Scarabe ... the purply-black iridescent sheen, such as seen on certain beetles.
Semi-Precious Stones ... refers to stones such as Garnets, Amethysts, etc. that have more value
  than common stones. The term is also used for organic beads such as Amber and Petrified Wood.
SP ... short for "silver-plated."
Sterling Silver ... 92.5% precious metal silver combined with other metals for hardness.
Stick Pearls ... freshwater pearls in a flattened, elongated square with rounded corners.
Surgical Steel ... used in earwires and hypoallergenic for most people,
  except it does contain some nickle.
Swarovski Crystals ... a high-quality, top brand of sharply cut, well-faceted crystals with flash.

Teardrop ... also called Pear shaped, beads with pointed apex and rounded bottom.
Transparent ... clear, freely allows the passage of light.
Translucent ... allows some light through, some transparency.
Vitrail ... a smoky, iridescent color.
Window Glass ... glass beads cut to appear like framed windows, usually with a shiny or
  translucent center and a frosted or gilded frame.

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