AGJ Glossary of Terms

Ânuenue: [AH' noo (w)eh noo (w)eh] means "rainbow" in the Hawaiian language. Source: Pukui, Mary Kawena & Elbert, Samuel H., Hawaiian Dictionary, Revised and Enlarged Edition, University Of Hawai`i Press, Honolulu, 1986.

Gemstones, etc.: There are many excellent resources online and off for specific stones. Rather than attempt to paraphrase copyrighted texts for you, please use our Contact AGJ page for questions regarding materials. Your inquiries will help build this Glossary of Terms.

Glass, Czech: Czech glassmakers are famous for their "firepolished" (faceted rounds, rondelles and metallic tipped "cathedral" shapes) and "pressed" (flowers, leaves, fruits, animals & other molded shapes) glass beads, as well as their variety of seed beads. Smooth edges and rounded corners are characteristic of these brilliantly colored beads. They may often mimic gemstones or have two-color blending in opaque and/or clear glass, with or without an aurora borealis finish.

Glass, Lampwork: Artist-made beads are created with glass rods, flame torch, forms and an annealing kiln to properly harden the beads. There are many types of glass and styles of design, but all are affected by the chemistry and physics of the glass and flame.

Glass, Murano/Venetian: Italian glassmakers are also well-known for a variety of bead styles - hollow blown glass, "fiorato" (flower or "wedding cake" beads), "millefiori" ("a thousand flowers"), "sommerso" (cloudlike speckles), "aventurina" (glittering precious metal flecks), and precious metal foil, floating in clear colored glass. See also: Millefiori & Note on glass beads

Glass, Recycled/Tumbled: Locally gathered "beach glass" is a very rare find. Most "beach glass" is broken and machine tumbled to achieve smooth edges and a matte finish. Whether genuinely found on the beach or tumbled, it is a good use of recycled material and makes beautiful jewelry. If I ever find a piece on the beach, I'll call it "genuine beach glass" and ID the location... or maybe just keep it for myself!

Note on glass beads: My descriptive use of "artisan," "Czech," "Murano," "Venetian" or "Venetian Millefiori" are only in reference to the genuine article. I will never misrepresent the origin of my beads and their authenticity. Artist-made beads are individual; no two are exactly alike and even well-matched pairs will have slight differences in shape, size and coloring.  Imitations of artist-made lampwork, Czech and Italian beads are being mass produced in other countries. I must admit, mass production methods have improved by leaps and bounds as they've learned and practiced to recreate some of the classics.  I refer to these as "production glass/lampwork" to distinguish those from outside of their country of origin.

Gold, Filled: "1/20 14K" means that the piece is at least 1/20th 14 karat gold by weight. The gold is applied to a base metal. Gold filled is a durable long-wearing material. Beads and components may be machine or hand formed (but not cast), antiqued, polished, textured or laser cut.

Gold, Vermeil [ver-may]: the inside core is sterling silver; the outside is electroplated 24K gold. This produces a darker, bright pure gold color. Some producers are making vermeil pieces that are a closer match to 14K gold color. Many artistically detailed findings are being produced in gold vermeil, so some pieces may be used in my designs, when appropriate. Like gold plated items, care must be taken in polishing and wear.

Maille [mail, or chain maille]: patterns woven from individual metal rings linked to make chains and sheets, as used in armour.

Millefiori [mill-ee-fee-oree]: from the Italian, means one thousand flowers. These colorful beads are made by heating a bundle of very thin rods of colored glass until they fuse together. They are then sliced to reveal the lovely floral patterns in the glass. The technique dates back to the Romans in the 1st century B.C. Current stock of commonly found millefiori is primarily manufactured in China, unless otherwise noted.

Niobium: Nb on the Periodic Table of the Elements.  Niobium wire in jewelry making is a flexible, neutral/brown metallic color that blends well with traditional jewelry metals like gold, brass and copper.  It is particularly noted to be hypo-allergenic for most people and a good choice for earwires. 

Plated Metals: A thin coating of gold, silver, copper or rhodium (a platinum-colored metal) is electroplated over a base metal. More delicate than sterling or gold filled, care must be taken in polishing and wear. I limit my use of plated materials, but find that some items of electroplated (lead-free) pewter are acceptable in certain designs. See also, German Silver, below.

Silver, Bali (hand made in Bali) and Bali style silver (usually produced in India): variable standard, at least the silver content of sterling, sometimes more. Decorative granulation and wire patterns are applied by hand and fused.

Silver, Fine: industry standard 0.999 pure silver. Fine silver is generally too soft for jewelry construction, but is sometimes used for small items for its melting and fusing qualities, as in creating ball-end pin findings.

Silver, Sterling: industry standard 0.925 pure silver. The balance is usually copper which creates a strong, workable alloy. Beads and components may be cast, machine or hand formed, antiqued, polished, textured or laser cut.

Silver, Thailand Hill Tribes: variable standard, more silver content than sterling (current sources quote 0.975), which makes it softer and more workable by hand. Crafting silver is central to the culture of the Hill Tribes people, and supporting production of these beautiful elements helps to sustain their traditional way of life.

German Silver: pure copper wire heavily plated with sterling silver. With durable plating methods and high-quality materials, German Silver is used for wire wrapping to a base form when flexibility is required.

Surgical Stainless Steel: another hypo-allergenic metal often used for earwires, especially with silver and pewter designs.

Vintage: I refer to "vintage" beads as those that are manufactured or pre-owned prior to about the 1960's. New beads from vintage press molds, or new beads with a vintage appearance, are identified as "vintage-style" or "vintage-look".

Wood, Bayong: A valued wood used for altars, often with gold inlay, and for ship building of the Spanish Galleons. Hand-cut beads have a golden shimmer in this richly grained reddish-brown wood.



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