Glossary of Jewelry Terms - HPSilver, LLC / Unique Hand Made Jewelry

ALLOY:

A mixture of two or more metals to create more desirable characteristics and added strength.   For example, pure silver is too soft for most jewelry applications, so small amounts of harder metals such as copper are added.

ALPACA:

A silver substitute which is an alloy of approximately 60% copper, 20% nickel, 20% zinc and 5% tin.

ANNEAL:

The process of heating metal to a specific temperature for a set period of time, then slowly cooling it to toughen the substance and reduce the brittleness that develops while working it. 

ANODIZE:

To produce a controlled oxidation of a metal's surface by means of a chemical bath through which the positive end or "anode" of an electrical current is passed. Anodizing increases the resistance to corrosion, tarnish and wear. 

BAIL: 

Metal piece found at the top of a pendant and is what you use to hang the pendant from a chain, or collar.

BASE METAL:

A term referring to non-precious metals, including copper, zinc, nickel, tin or iron, which are commonly used in costume jewelry.

BIRTHSTONES: