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Jewelry Making and Tools Glossary



A mixture of two or more metals, often combining to enhance properties like strength, durability, or color in handcrafted jewelry.

Chasing and Repoussé:

Techniques involving the creation of relief designs by pushing metal from the back (repoussé) and refining the design with tools from the front (chasing).


Delicate, intricate metalwork made from twisted threads or tiny beads of metal, often used to create decorative patterns in jewelry.


A stamp or mark on jewelry indicating the metal's purity, the maker's mark, and sometimes the year of creation.


A unit of measurement for the purity of gold, with 24 karats representing pure gold.


The art and craft of cutting, shaping, and polishing gemstones.

Matte Finish:

A surface texture that lacks gloss or shine, often achieved through brushing, sandblasting, or chemical treatments.


The intentional application of a patina or tarnish to metal, often to enhance the appearance of age or to create an antique look.


Joining two or more pieces of metal by melting a lower-melting-point metal, known as solder, into the joint, to create a strong bond.

Wire Wrapping:

A technique where wire is manipulated to create decorative elements, often used to secure gemstones or beads in jewelry.


The natural process of metal oxidation, resulting in a dull or discolored surface, commonly seen in silver jewelry.


The process of heating metal to make it more malleable by removing internal stresses, often followed by quenching to cool it quickly.


The use of files to shape and smooth metal surfaces during the jewelry-making process.


Polishing a piece of jewelry using a soft cloth or wheel with polishing compounds to achieve a smooth and shiny finish.


The application of colored glass or powdered glass on metal, followed by firing, to create a decorative and durable surface.


The technique of attaching small metal beads or granules to a metal surface to create intricate patterns.

Fold Forming:

A technique where metal is folded, hammered, and unfolded to create complex and visually interesting shapes.

Lost Wax Casting:

A casting method where a wax model is encased in a mold, melted, and replaced by molten metal to create a final metal piece.

Rolling Mill:

A tool used to reduce the thickness of metal sheets and create various textures or patterns.


Joining two pieces of metal by passing a metal pin through holes in both pieces and then flattening the ends.


Creating designs on metal surfaces by applying an acid-resistant substance and then exposing the metal to an acid solution.


Creating holes or patterns in metal using specialized punches and a hammer.


Adding patterns or textures to metal surfaces using various tools or methods, such as hammering, rolling, or stamping.


Using a jeweler's saw to cut intricate shapes or designs from metal sheets.


A Korean technique where thin sheets of gold are fused onto the surface of silver to create decorative accents.
Carat (ct):

A unit of weight measurement for gemstones, with one carat equivalent to 200 milligrams.


The degree of flawlessness or imperfections within a gemstone, affecting its transparency and overall quality.


Refers to the shape, proportions, and overall craftsmanship of a gemstone, influencing its brilliance and visual appeal.


Documentation from a gemological laboratory confirming the authenticity and characteristics of a gemstone, providing assurance to buyers.


Indicates that a gemstone or metal has been sourced ethically and does not contribute to violent or unethical practices.

Custom Design:

Tailoring a piece of jewelry to a customer's specific preferences, often involving unique designs or modifications.

Designer Jewelry:

Jewelry created by a recognized and often celebrated designer, known for distinctive style and craftsmanship.

Estate Jewelry:

Pre-owned jewelry, often vintage or antique, that may have historical or collector value.


A stamp or mark on jewelry indicating the metal's purity, the maker's mark, and sometimes the year of creation.


Natural imperfections, such as internal or external flaws, within a gemstone that can affect its clarity.


The quality of shine or brilliance in a gemstone or metal, contributing to its overall visual appeal.


The metal framework or setting that holds a gemstone in place within a piece of jewelry.


Secondary color hues present in a gemstone, affecting its overall color appearance.

Promise Ring:

A symbolic ring often exchanged between couples to signify a commitment or promise to each other.

Recycled Metals:

Metals sourced from recycled materials, contributing to sustainable and environmentally conscious jewelry production.


A single, standalone gemstone in a piece of jewelry, often used to highlight the beauty of the individual stone.

Stackable Rings:

Rings designed to be worn together, allowing for creative combinations and personalized styling.


Reflecting current fashion or design trends in jewelry, appealing to those seeking contemporary and modern pieces.


Jewelry designs that draw inspiration from historical eras, providing a nostalgic or classic aesthetic.

Lost Wax Casting:

A metal casting technique where a wax model is melted away to create a mold for casting metal.

Sprue/ Gate:

A wax rod used to create a channel through which molten metal is poured into the mold during the casting process.

Centrifugal Casting:

A casting method where molten metal is forced into the mold by spinning the flask rapidly.

Vacuum Casting:

A casting method where a vacuum is used to draw molten metal into the mold, reducing the chances of porosity.

Wax Injector:

A tool used to inject molten wax into a mold to create wax patterns for lost wax casting.


Arranging multiple wax patterns on a central wax sprue to create a cluster, allowing for more efficient casting.

Metal Casting:

The process of pouring molten metal into a mold to create a final metal object.

Shrinkage Allowance:

Compensating for the contraction of metal as it cools and solidifies during the casting process.

Metal Alloy:

A mixture of different metals that is melted and cast to create the final jewelry piece.


Rapidly cooling the metal object by immersing it in water after casting to enhance hardness.


Heating metal to a specific temperature and then slowly cooling it to relieve internal stresses and improve malleability.

Pickle Solution:

An acid solution used to remove oxidation and scale from the metal after casting.

Casting Grain:

Small pieces of metal specifically designed for melting and casting into jewelry.


The process of refining the surface of the cast metal to achieve the desired texture and appearance.


A method of finishing where cast pieces are placed in a tumbler with abrasives, resulting in a polished surface.


A surface coloration or tarnish that forms on metal, often deliberately induced for decorative purposes after casting.


Filling engraved or carved areas with a contrasting material, often done after casting to enhance design details.

The ability of a metal to deform or stretch under stress without breaking.


A furnace or hearth used for heating metal to high temperatures for shaping and working.


A mass of metal, usually rectangular, produced by casting and suitable for further processing.


The ability of a metal to be hammered or rolled into thin sheets without breaking.

Melting Point:

The temperature at which a metal changes from a solid to a liquid state.

Precious Metal:

A term referring to metals with high economic value, such as gold, silver, and platinum.

Tools Glossary 


A cylindrical tool used for shaping and sizing rings, bracelets, and other circular jewelry components.

Texture Hammer:

A specialized hammer used to create textured patterns on metal surfaces.


A stamp or mark on jewelry indicating the metal's purity, the maker's mark, and sometimes the year of creation.

Bench Pin:

A small wooden or metal pin attached to the jeweler's workbench, used for support while sawing, filing, or performing various tasks.

Flex Shaft:

A motorized tool with a flexible shaft that holds interchangeable attachments like drills, burrs, and polishing wheels for precision work.

Jeweler's Saw:

A fine-toothed saw used for cutting intricate shapes in metal sheets or wire.

Round Nose Pliers:

Pliers with rounded, tapering jaws used for bending, shaping, and holding wire in jewelry making.

Flat Nose Pliers:

Pliers with flat, parallel jaws used for gripping, bending, and straightening metal components.

Chain Nose Pliers:

Pliers with flat, tapered jaws for gripping and manipulating small objects, particularly in chainwork.

Wire Cutters:

Cutting tools specifically designed for cleanly cutting jewelry wire without causing deformities.

Flush Cutters:

Wire cutters with flat blades that leave a flush or flat cut on the wire, minimizing the need for additional filing.

Ring Mandrel:

A tapered, cylindrical tool used for shaping and sizing rings.

Steel Block:

A sturdy, flat surface made of hardened steel used as a work surface for hammering and shaping metal.

Chasing Hammer:

A hammer with a flat face for striking and shaping metal, often used in conjunction with chasing and repoussé techniques.

Ball Peen Hammer:

A hammer with a rounded end (ball peen) and a flat end, suitable for texturing and shaping metal.


A tool with a smooth, rounded end used for polishing and smoothing metal surfaces.

Dapping Block and Punches:

A set consisting of a block with hemispherical depressions and matching punches used for shaping metal into domed or concave forms.

Bezel Roller:

A tool for securely setting stones in bezel settings by rolling the metal over the stone's edges.


A metal plate with a series of holes of decreasing sizes used to draw wire through for reducing its diameter.

Soldering Torch:

A torch used for soldering and annealing metals in jewelry making.

Third Hand:

A tool with adjustable arms and clips used to hold small components in place during soldering or other precision work.


A small magnifying lens used by jewelers for close examination of gemstones and intricate details.


A machine used for polishing and finishing jewelry components by tumbling them with abrasives, water, and sometimes cleaning agents.