Jewellery Making Glossary

A handy guide to everything from jump rings, silversmithing, tools to techniques

Accent gold - An extra special product that allows you to add accents of 24K gold to your metal clay, fine silver or sterling silver designs.

Bail - A component that allows you to hang pendants or charms from a necklace. You can also use a jump ring as a type of bail.

Bead - A polished gemstone with a hole drilled all the way through. For stringing on necklaces, bracelets or earrings.

Bead tips - A great way of attaching thread to findings when making a beaded necklace. Simply pass your thread through the hole in the cup and then knot it and add a dab of glue so that it stays in place.

Bell cap - A metal cap that can be glued to the top of a bead or crystal to make it into a pendant.

Bezel rocker - A real workshop essential for those of you who want to do stone setting. Use a gentle rocking motion with this tool to push a bezel over a stone.

Bezel setting - A setting that is normally used for cabochon stones where a ‘bezel’ or rim is pushed around a stone using a bezel rocker to hold the stone in place.

Bolt ring - A classic and very popular clasp that is a circular shape.

Brass - A beautiful, rich golden-coloured metal.

Briolette - A beautiful pear shaped cut of stone that is often covered in facets to make it super sparkly.

Burnishing - This is a great technique to use when polishing metal, simply put it is when you create a polish on metal using friction. We use a burnisher which is a piece of metal on a handle that you run across the metal you want to polish.

Cabochon - A polished gemstone with a domed top and a flat back, making it ideal for setting into a bezel setting. A great shaped stone for those who are just starting out to set stones in jewellery.

Caribiner clasp - A popular clasp that is also known as a ‘lobster clasp’ because of its lobster claw shape.

Chandelier component - A metal component that can be used to attach multiple strands or multiple beads to. Popular for use to make long, decorative 'chandelier earrings'.

Chatoyance - A word often used to describe the effect of light shifting across a stone. For example, Tiger's Eye has an almost shimmering effect as it shifts between darker and lighter tones.

Chip beads - Chip beads are polished gemstone chips that vary in size and shape, they are a naturally irregular shape which makes them look great all grouped together.

Claw setting - A setting that is often used to set faceted stones with claws that come around to secure the stone in place.

Coin beads - A flat circular bead. Coin beads can be either flat coins or puffed coins if they have slightly rounded surfaces.

Crimp - Crimps are essential when beading. They allow you to finish off your beading designs neatly and easily or create a floating-like effect on beading designs, holding beads in specific places. Simply slide one of these little metal tubes onto your thread before threading on a jump ring, then slide your thread back through the crimp and squeeze closed using a pair of crimping pliers. You can make your crimps look like a little bead and become part of your design using magical crimping pliers.

Devcon Epoxy Glue - Our favourite glue for making jewellery at Kernowcraft and the most recommended glue for setting stones in jewellery settings. An epoxy glue consists of two liquids that need to be mixed together before using. It’s a super strong and long lasting glue.

Earwire - A classic design that looks like a ‘Shepherd’s crook’. They have an open link on the bottom which you can twist open and add headpins, chandelier components or whatever takes your fancy. Available in a range of designs and metals to suit your designs.

Faceted stone - A sparkly cut of gemstone that has a cut (faceted) top creating facets and a pointed back. Is usually set in a claw setting. (if you’re trying to picture it, think of the shape of the stone in a diamond ring!).

Fine Silver - Silver with a silver content of 99.9%.

Fire stain - A darkening of metal that is caused by oxygen when heating metal to a high temperature, particularly when soldering. Silver will go a black colour which can be removed using safety pickle.

Flux - Solder needs flux in order to be able to flow and work properly. Flux comes in various forms but basically, it is put around the area that is being soldered before soldering. Some types of flux like Argotect can also help prevent fire stain.

Gimp wire - Another way to protect thread from getting damaged by rubbing against a clasp. Push your thread through the finely coiled wire and then thread this through your clasp before crimping the thread on the other side. This is a very delicate wire and must be handled with care so as not to distort and stretch the fine coils. Also known as french wire.

Gold vermeil - Gold vermeil jewellery findings and components are made of solid sterling silver that has been plated in gold. Gold vermeil can be hallmarked or stamped as 925. Gold vermeil is likely to be prefered over gold plated items by people with metal allergies as it does not contain any base metals.

Half drilled bead - A polished gemstone that has a hole drilled half of the way through it. These can be glued onto metal pegs or settings for earrings or to create charms and pendants.

Headpin - Headpins are thin lengths of wire that you can thread beads onto. They have either a ball or a wider end at the bottom to prevent your beads from sliding off. They’re perfect for creating drop earrings or making charms out of beads.

Jump ring - A real essential in jewellery making whether you are silversmithing or beading. This is a ring which you open by twisting it, use it to attach chain, thread or other jewellery components to your jewellery. We also sell jump rings that are already soldered together which are great when beading, simply thread your chain or thread through and secure on the other side.

Kumihimo - This is an ancient Japanese braiding technique that creates gorgeous braids for necklaces, bracelets

Liver of Sulphur - A fantastic product that allows you to create a patina on metal. Mix with a drop of water and create beautiful colours on metal, from blues and pinks to browns and blacks.

Lockring - A way of securing jewellery components together much the same as a jump ring. However a lock ring has a small crimp that slides over the open part, this is then crimped when your pieces are attached together. This is often preferred rather than a jump ring for people that don’t want to solder a jump ring but still want a really safe and reliable way of attaching jewellery components together.

Mokume Gane - A truly beautiful metal that was first made in 17th century Japan. This metal sheet is a laminate of approximately 25 layers of sterling silver and copper which is repeatedly rolled and hand worked to reveal beautiful 'wood grain' patterns. Available in three pattern ways from Kernowcraft.

Moulding compound - A two-part rubber-like substance that when mixed together allows you to make reusable moulds out of anything you like. Great for picking up both textures and shapes.

Necklet ends - A great way of finishing off beaded necklaces, it disguises the knot you tie in the thread and allows you to attach to clasps. Simply knot your thread and close the clam-like cup around the knot, use a jump ring to join a clasp to the end.

Patina - An effect on metal that can cause darkening or changing of colour, normally caused by oxidisation. We use Liver of Sulphur to create a beautiful patina.

Peg and loop components - these components are a small piece of wire with a loop at the top. The ‘peg’ part is used to glue into half or top drilled beads and the ‘loop’ part is used to attach the finished piece to your jewellery.

Potato beads - A lovely shape of bead that isn’t perfectly round but has natural irregularities for a beautiful and unusual finish.

Pre-notched setting - A pre-notched setting does what it says on the tin! It is a setting for a faceted stone that already has notches marked into the setting to allow the faceted stone to sit in the setting. These are often a great setting for those starting to set faceted stones as they are already notched it is merely a case of adjusting the claws to fit the stone and pushing them over the stone.

Pusher - A handy tool that allows you to push claws over a stone when setting.

Rondelle - A shape of bead that is not perfectly round but slightly flatter at the sides. It’s a great shape that is a lovely alternative to a perfectly round bead in jewellery designs.

Safety Pickle - An acid concentrate that is mixed with water and used to remove fire stain from metal after soldering. A workshop essential.

Snaptite setting - A fantastic setting that allows you to set a faceted stone with ease. Snaptite settings have tensioned pre-notched claws, doing away with the tricky parts of making a claw setting fit a faceted stone. Simply choose the same size snaptite as your stone and gently push the snaptite over the back (pointed part) of the stone until it clicks into place. These are available loose, as pendant or earring settings.

Soldering wig - Despite the funny name, this is a really handy tool that allows you to support your piece whilst soldering it together. It’s great if you need that extra hand!

Sterling Silver - Silver with a silver content of 92.5%.

Stick Pin - A pin that is used as a brooch pin.

Tarnish - A reaction that happens when metal reacts with the oxygen in the air that can leave it looking darker and less shiny. Don’t worry it can be removed with either a silver polishing cloth or silver sparkle!

Toggle clasp - A clasp of two parts, a straight bar which links through a circle. Kernowcraft has a beautiful range of designs in toggle clasps that can really become part of your design.

Top drilled bead - A polished gemstone that is drilled in the top of the shape. The drill hole is not all the way through so these can be glued onto metal pegs or settings for earrings or to create charms and pendants.

Tumble polished stone - A stone that isn’t drilled but is polished to a beautiful high shine. Gemstones found stones and sea glass can be 'tumble polished' in a tumbler which rolls the stones around in a barrel of grit, recreating the natural process that would occur in the sea or a river, gradually grinding away the sharp edges and polishing the stones into a shiny rounded pebble.

Vermeil - Gold vermeil jewellery findings and components are made of solid sterling silver that has been plated in gold. Gold vermeil can be hallmarked or stamped as 925. Gold vermeil is likely to be prefered over gold plated items by people with metal allergies as it does not contain any base metals.

Wire Guardian - Also known as thread protectors, these are handy little components to protect threads from wearing away on clasps etc. Simply push your thread through the thread protector and use the thread protector to attach to the jump ring. Crimp the thread together underneath the thread protector.

Wire wrapping - The technique of wrapping wire around a bead or stone. This can be to make it into a charm, or attach to a pendant or can be used to create a lovely wire pattern around a stone. See our wire wrapping instructions in our techniques section.

Wraptite setting - A setting designed for a faceted stone. The light wire channel setting sits around the edge of the stone holding it in place and allowing you to see the entire stone. They’re so easy to set so great for beginners.

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