Guyot Brothers, manufacturers of decorative jewelry findings since 1904
Decorative jewelry finding as a Santa Claus motif.    Art Deco style filigree jewelry finding.    Filigree hoop with a loop on top.     Filigree jewelry finding with five petals.  Decoratice jewelry finding as a large turtle charm.

Jewelry Findings Glossary
Introduction, General Terms


Findings: The tools and materials used by an artisan.

Jewelry Findings: The component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry.

Functional Jewelry Findings: The component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry that serve a mechanical function such as attaching, joining, linking. Examples of functional jewelry findings include  Pin Back, Catches, Post, Omega Clip, and Screw Back .

Decorative Jewelry Findings: The component parts or materials used in making jewelry that provides the beauty of the piece. In handmade jewelry these are the parts that are normally produced by the goldsmith or silversmith. There are many decorative findings commercially produced such as Charms, Filigrees, and Festoons.

Hybrid Jewelry Findings: The component parts or materials used in making a piece of jewelry that serve a mechanical function such as attaching, joining, linking, BUT due to their nature lend themselves to becoming decorative findings as well. Examples of hybrid jewelry findings include Bead Caps, Bracelet Links, and Locket Bails.

Jewelry Findings Glossary & Jewelry Making Glossary
Specific Terms


Add-a Loop: See soldering tab.

Adhesive Ear Post: An ear post with a flat surface, which is used with a 2 sided adhesive dot rather than solder or fusion for attaching an ornament part of the earring.

Alligator Clip: See Tallis Clip

Bail: An oval-, teardrop-, or D-shaped metal component used to connect pendants to a chain. It is meant to slide onto the chain rather than to be soldered to it so that the pendant is not permanently part of the chain. Photo and additional information.

Baker setting: a round setting similar to the Tiffany Setting, but always four prong; unlike the Tiffany, the Baker is made from a single piece of metal.

Bangle:  a non-flexible or barely flexible (some flex cross-wise but not around the circumference) bracelet made of solid or hollow metal, or wire. May be one piece so that it may be slipped over the hand to hang loosely, or with a hinge so that it may be opened and fastened around the wrist.

Bar Pin: See "Pin Back" Photo and additional information.

Barrel Nut: A barrel-shaped clutch with a rubber-type insert that grips a pin; generally used for stickpins or earrings. See Bullet clutch.

Barrette: any ornamental bar with a pin and clasp mounted on the back, worn as a hair ornament.

Basket Setting: An open-sided setting in which the lower portion of a stone is visible. Photo and additional information.

Bead: 1. A hollow metal form that is swaged from spinning seamless tubing, then separated and rolled into its final shape. . 2. Any small or rounded component, made from a variety of materials, with a hole through it; to be strung singularly or with others in a sequence. Photo and additional information.

Bead Cap: A metal ornament, sometimes filigree that is placed on a glass or stone bead to cover any roughness or damage around the drilled hole. Also serves to accentuate the beads. Photo and additional information.


Bead Clasp: Typically, a clasp mechanism that is hidden in a bead or pearl.

Bead Cone: A metal cone shape which is used to secure and cover the ends of multiple strands of beading. Photo and additional information.

Bead Tip: A concave metal piece, attached to a metal loop, used to attach thread to a clasp. It is used between the clasp and the beading thread to hide the beading thread knot. The knot sits inside the concave piece. Photo and additional information.

Belcher Setting: A ring mounting in which the claws for the setting are formed from the shank of the ring.

Bezel: Generally, a type of setting into which a continuous groove has been cut to fit a faceted stone. The metal above the groove is burnished over the edge of the stone to secure it.  Photo and additional information.

Bezel Cup: A type of setting designed to hold flat-backed stones in which the top of the setting is burnished over the stone to secure it in place. Generally available in plain edge, serrated edge, or rolled edge styles. Rolled edge styles require the stone be glued in place.  Photo and additional information.

Bezel Wire: See "Channel Wire".

Bolo Slide: A device that has a flat surface and tabs rolled into a tube formation on the back of the flat surface. The flat surface allows space to which the bolo ornament can be affixed, and the tubular formations allow the leather cord of the bolo to slide through, in turn making it a neckpiece. Photo and additional information.

Bolo Tip: Long hollow conical shaped findings that are glued to the end of a bolo cord to prevent fraying of the cord. Photo and additional information.

Bow: the ring or hoop on the pendant of a watch case for fastening the swivel of a watch chain; any bow-shaped ornament, flat or three-dimensional.

Box Setting: A square or rectangular grooved setting  generally used for mounting a stone on a ring or pendant. The top edges of the groove are swaged over to secure the stone.  Photo and additional information.

Bracelet Link: A decorative piece often metal, having loops or rings on each end for linking with jump rings or connectors.  Photo and additional information.


Breloque: A small item, such as a charm, designed to be suspended from a chain.  Photo and additional information.

Broach: A less frequently used spelling of the term brooch.

Brooch: Any piece of jewelry that may be pinned to clothing.

Brooch Converter: Over fits the brooch pin so that the brooch can dangle on a necklace.

Bullet Clutch: A barrel-shaped clutch with a rubber or mechanical insert that grips an earring post. Photo and additional information.

Bunch Rings: Inexpensive rings with small center mountings for inexpensive stones. Generally sold in bunches intended to be worn together. Also known as stack rings or stackable rings. Photo and additional information.

Buttercup Setting: Typically used for pendants and earrings, this deep, six-prong setting is shaped vaguely like the buttercup flower. The prongs are distinctly flared at the base, which has a scalloped outline when viewed from the top. Available in closed-back or open-back form. Also called a scallop setting. Photo and additional information.

Butterfly Clutch: A clutch that grips a grooved post. It has two wings that are squeezed to release it from the post. Also called a grip fastener or military grip. Photo and additional information.

Button Loop Tie Holder: A metal piece with an indent in the middle for slipping over the button that goes behind the tie. Also has a loop on each end for attaching a chain that goes in front of the tie. Photo and additional information.

Cameo: Generally a stone, usually an agate, or a shell composed of two differently-colored layers, which has been carved so that one portion is raised from the differently-colored matrix. Available in natural materials, in glass, plastic, porcelains, doublets etc.

Cap: Cover hinged to the center of a watch case.

Cartouche: Symmetrical ornamental shape, generally used for decoration or engraving - from Egyptian tablets used for royal names.

Case screw: Small screw with full or three-quarters head, designed to fasten a watch movement to its case.

Case spring: Spring which causes a hunting case lid to snap open when the crown is pressed.


Catch: In brooches, a piece of hardware designed to accept and lock a top wire or a pin-stem; see also "Joint, Catch, and Pin-Stem." In necklaces and bracelets, it is the locking or closing mechanism; see also "Clasp."

Chai: Hebrew word meaning "Life" or the number 18; common religious finding used as pendant, ring, brooch etc.

Chain Extender: See Necklace Extender


Chain Tag: A flat metal piece, usually a small square or rectangle, with a hole in each end. Its specific function is to carry the quality stamp or trademark of the manufacturer, and to provide an easily handled attachment point for spring rings. Also known as a quality tag or a plaque.
Over the last few years these tags have taken on many shapes and sizes and are often used to define the country of origin as well. 


Chandelier Finding: A finding, most often used on an ear ring, with a decorative drop or drops that hang down from the ear lobe and dangles like a chandelier.

Channel Setting: A setting in which the stones are fitted into grooves in two parallel walls, as opposed to being held separately by prongs.

Channel Wire: Narrow flat stock that has been formed into a channel. Also known as bezel wire, eyeglass wire, and U-wire. Photo and additional information.

Charm: A miniature object designed to be attached to a chain bracelet. Charms can depict figures, sports, occupations, numbers, and letters, among the many representations available. Generally designed for bracelets, charms may also be used as pendants, or hung from brooches and watch chains.  Photo and additional information.

Charm Hanger: A charm hanger or holder is a jewelry finding which can be attached to a neck chain or cord with a jump ring or bail. The bottom portion of the holder can be opened to add individual or a variety of different charms. Also referred to as a charm holder.

Charm Holder: See Charm Hanger.


Chaton: A foil-backed glass or manmade stone.  Photo and additional information.

Chevron: Ornament made of lines joining at an angle; eg. military insignia such as sergents’ stripes.

Choker: Short (generally 14-inch) necklace, usually of beads or pearls or chain.

Cinch Mount: A mount which surrounds only the girdle of a faceted stone or the rim of a cabochon. Also referred to as a wrap-tite setting  Photo and additional information.

Clamp: A metal prong or claw on a gemstone setting. Also called a cramp.

Clasp: A fastening device, such as a catch or hook, used to hold two or more objects or parts together, as with chains. When we started researching this term we found it to such a broad term that we felt it best to leave the definition alone and create a link to photos of each of the various types of clasps not yet defined.  

Bayonet clasp Pinch clasp
Figure 8 safety clasp Slide clasp
Friction tube clasp Swivel clasp
Hook and eye clasp Tension clasp
Magnetic jewelry clasp Tube and hook

Clip: A two-part piece attached to the back of an earring. The two pieces closed around the earlobe, using mechanical pressure to hold the earring in place. Photo and additional information.

Clip On Bail: See Locket Bail

Cluster Setting: A metal form, generally circular, for setting multiple stones close together.
Photo and additional information.

Clutch: See "Ear Nut" or "Butterfly Clutch."

Clutch and Bar: A tie tack clutch with a small chain attached to a bar. The bar is designed to pass through a buttonhole to secure a necktie.  Photo and additional information.

Clutch Back: See "Ear Nut" or "Butterfly Clutch."

Cocktail ring: Any sculptured ring designed to hold diamonds and colored stones.

Collar: Molding in the shape of a ring or band around a piece or stone.

Collar button: Metal button designed to close the starched collars that used to be separate from shirts up to about 60 years ago.

Collet: Decorative band or collar with top and bottom edges parallel; flange in which any kind of stone is set.

Colored stone: Any precious or genuine stone other than diamond used as a component in jewelry; sometimes used to describe synthetics, glass, plastic or similar imitations.

Comfort Disc:  A plastic disc that fits over the post of a pierced earring for greater comfort. Photo and additional information.

Cornucopia: Popular "horn of plenty" symbol of abundance and luck - spiral horn from which cascade edibles or flowers.

Corrugated Bead: A hollow metal sphere, with two holes, made from corrugated tubing. Twist-corrugated beads have corrugations that spiral around the bead horizontally instead of vertically. Photo and additional information.

Coupe: A flat plate rolled slightly at the rim.

Craquelees: Rock crystal stones artificially cracked or crazed by heating.

Crest: Any symbol, figure or device placed above the shield in a coat-of-arms design.

Crimp Bead: A very small piece of cut tubing used to finish off a strand of beads. The cord goes through the crimp, through the clasp, and back through the crimp, which is then flattened with crimping pliers or needle nosed pliers to secure the cord. Photo and additional information.

Crimp Tube: A crimp bead made into a tubular shape rather than a round.

Cross: Christian symbol of the resurrection; religious finding that takes dozens of forms, plain or decorated, from the common Latin Cross to the Greek and Byzantine Crosses; called a crucifix if it includes the crucified Figure of Christ.

Cuff bracelet: Wide bracelet, either slipped on or hinged.

Cuff Link Action:  The functional component of a cuff link.  This is a hinged item assembled in such a way that the inside of the structure can be turned 90 degrees after inserting it through the button holes on the shirt cuff, thereby holding the cufflink on the cuff.  Photo and additional information.

Dapping: An operation that adds a third dimension to a normally flat ornament - e.g. doming a flat ornament.

Devotional jewelry: Religious, items - crosses, Christ Heads, chais etc.

Diadem: Regal emblem

Die setting: Forming a flat piece of metal with hardened steel forms called dies. A pair of dies with male and female patterns are pressed into the metal with great pressure to cut, shape or add surface detail.

Dog collar: Wide, flexible band of any material to be worn tight around the neck; similar to choker.

Dog tag: Identification tag worn around the neck by members of the armed forces.

Dome: Any convex decoration. It can be made manually with a dapping block and a dapping punch, or by using a power press. Photo and additional information.

Doublet: Any stone made of two component parts, frequently genuine stones combined with glass, plastics, or synthetic stones.

Drop: A small ornament suspended from a piece of jewelry.  Photo and additional information.

Ear Back: See "Ear Nut."

Ear Clip: See "Clip."

Ear Cuff Findings: A non-traditional earring, rolled like a finger ring with a notch cut out of it for slipping over the middle part of the ear. Predominantly made of flat stock but could be made of filigree or other decorative stampings.  Photo and additional information.

Ear Nut: A clutch with a hole through which an earring post is attached to secure the earring to the earlobe. The friction version has two curved wings that grasp a grooved post. Also referred to as earring back, clutch, push back, or clutch back. Photo and additional information.

Ear Post: See "Post."

Earring: Any ornament - button, clip, pendant shape etc. - attached to the lobe of the ear by screw, clip or wire.

Ear Screw: A U-shaped ear wire with a threaded back, which clamps earrings to un-pierced ears.  Photo and additional information.

Ear Threads: Earring component  made of very small chains and a thin pin that thread through holes in the ears. They often have a small ball, cup or loop on the end opposite the pin. Beads can be added to the chains before threading or can be fastened to the cup or loop on the end. Photo and additional information.

Ear Wire: A bow of wire, looped to fasten an earring to a pierced ear. It is generally made of precious metal or hypoallergenic surgical steel. See also "Kidney Wire."

Earring Back: See "Ear Nut."

Earring Clutch: See "Ear Nut."

Earring Jacket: A separate decorative component that can be added to an earring (or interchanged with other components) by the wearer to create different looks. For example, various beads that can be attached to an earring and changed. Photo and additional information.

Ecclesiastical rings: Rings with religious motifs worn by higher-ranking Church officials and dignitaries.

Elephant hair jewelry: Generally jewelry made from elephants’ tail hair or bristles - usually a twisted bracelet; commonly copied in metal.

Elk tooth: Emblem of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks; either natural elk’s teeth or molded plastic. At one time common as a watch fob ornament.

Engrave able: Any item with a relatively flat, thick area suitable for engraving. Photo and additional information.

Enhancer: A bail-like finding that may be opened to fit over a strand of pearls or beads and then locked closed. Also known as a pearl enhancer.

Etching: See "Metal Etching."

Eternity ring: Band set with full or half circlet of stones given by a husband or wife as a pledge of undying love. Similar styles include: guard, caliber and insert rings.

Euro Wire: See "Lever back."   

Eye: A loop, made of wire or other material, used as a connector for chains, pendants, etc. Photo and additional information.

Eye Pin: A wire of varying length that has been manipulated at one end to form a loop to which decorative stones or beads can be attached. Photo and additional information.

Eyeglass Holder End: A figure eight shaped stretchable cord which allows one open loop to be linked to the temple of a pair of eyeglasses and the other side linked to a chain or eyeglass leash of choice. Usually there is a bead or crimp bead in the center of the cord, thereby forming the figure eight.

Eyeglass Wire: See "Channel Wire."

Fancy balls and beads: Balls and beads in shapes other than spherical, e.g.. beel shapes, ovals, cups etc.

Fancy Gallery: See "Gallery."

Ferrule: A metal band or cap that is fitted to the end of wire, thread, cord, wood, or other material to prevent fraying or to add decoration.  Photo and additional information.

Festoon: A pendant with rings on both sides, through which chain or cord can be attached. It usually functions as the centerpiece of the necklace. Photo and additional information.


Figure-Eight Safety Catch: A type of safety catch in which a figure eight or hourglass-shaped hinged wire snaps over a pin. Photo and additional information.

Filigree: Ornamental work formed of bent wire that is soldered into delicate and complex designs, somewhat reminiscent of lace patterns. It also may be stamped or cast. Photo and additional information.


Fishhook: A fishhook-shaped finding used to make earrings. The hook end passes through the pierced ear, while an ornament hangs from the other end. Also known as French wire or French ear wire. Photo and additional information.

Fish Hook Clasp: See "Lobster Claw."

Flambeau: Ornament shaped like flame or torch-end.

Flat stock: Metal passed through successively narrow rolling mills; generally used for stamping.

Fleur-de-lis: Iris-shaped ornament, famous as the insignia of French royalty. Photo and additional information.

Flexible bracelet: Bracelet composed of hinged links actuated by springs, permitting the links to pull apart slightly. Used mostly for watch bands.

Flexible extension bracelet: Bracelet composed of hinged links actuated by springs, permitting the links to pull apart slightly. Used mostly for watch bands.

Fob: A chain or ribbon attached to a pocket watch. Used to pull the watch out of a pocket, or to attach the watch to clothing with a pin. Photo and additional information.

Fold Over: A hinged clasp made from flat stock that has been formed to "fold over" itself on one end and "fold over" a separate finding on the other end. Photo and additional information.

Foliation: Ornamental designs - engraved, stamped or cast - in the form of leaves, vines etc. Photo and additional information.

Forcer back: A hollow shell-backed stamping in which the back is concave, matching the front, which is concave; most decorative gold stampings are forcer backs in order to utilize light-weight metal and save on precious metal cost. Photo and additional information.

Formed bead: Almost always refers to a corrugated bead, either straight or twisted. Tubing is corrugated, cut to length, and formed in foot press. The separation cut cannot be seen as easily as with a cut bead.

Frame: A banded metal ornament designed to take a setting and stone; often confused with the setting itself; if highly decorated sometimes called a Gallery.

French back: An earring in which one leg of a U-shaped wire is attached to the back of the ornament. A screw piece may be fitted through a threaded hole in the other leg; this may be tightened against the unpierced earlobe. See screw back.

French Clip: An alternative to a pierced earring, it incorporates a spring clip (tension on the ear is provided by a spring-loaded pad) and a pad-tipped screw, which adjusts the tension of the spring clip.

French Hook:  A non-closing ear wire shaped similar to a hook. Frequently made with a bead and coiled wire on the front, there is also a loop on the front of the hook, which can be opened for adding the ornamental finding or stone portion of the earring. Photo and additional information.

French Wire: See "Ear Wire."

Friction Post: See "Post."

Fusion Post: A post used in the fusion- or percussion-welding process. It resembles a normal post but has an "initiating nib" at the end. During assembly, when the positively charged post contacts the negatively charged base, an electric arc occurs that fuses the post to the jewelry item. Photo and additional information.

Gallery: A name for metal strips used to make settings for stones or used as a decorative design element in a piece of jewelry. A gallery is generally manufactured as a continuous strip with a repeated design. A highly decorated example is referred to as a fancy gallery. Photo and additional information.

Girandole: A pendant earring usually with three ornaments hanging from a central piece.

Gold filled: Mechanically-bonded (as opposed to electrolytically applied) sandwich consisting of base metal on the inside, and a gold alloy on the outside. The gold alloy must be not less than 10k, when the gold content of the sandwich constitutes at least 1/20th of the weight of the entire metal construction. To be preceded by karat fineness of the gold portion, ie. 14k gold filled. When the gold content weights less than 1/20th of the entire construction, the terms "gold plate," "gold overlay" or "rolled gold plate" may be used, again preceded by a fraction showing the relative weight of the gold to the rest of the material eg. "1/40th 12k Rolled Gold Plate." Because of its laminated characteristics, gold filled cannot be cast, and when seldom stamped is plated to cover the edges which would show the layers of the sandwiched material.

Grip Fastener: See "Butterfly Clutch."

Guard Chain: A small chain usually 2 to 3 inches that has one end attached next to the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, the other end to a loop or link on the opposite end of the piece. It is used as a fail-safe in case the clasp opens.   Photo and additional information.

Gypsy Hoops: See Hoop

Half-Drilled Bead: A ball with a hole drilled only half way through.

Hat pin: Long metal pin with an ornamental head used to fasten a woman’s hat by passing the pin through her hat and hair.

Head: See "Setting."

Headed Pin or Head pin: A wire of varying length or diameter with a flat or domed end that is of slightly larger diameter than the rest of the wire. Photo and additional information.

Heishi Beads: Small shell or other disc beads, usually white, of American Indian origin.

Hidden Screw Clasp: A necklace fastener consisting of two short barrels with screws that connect. The clasp is partially buried in the bead or pearl, giving the necklace a clasp less look when screwed together. Photo and additional information.

High relief: Ornamental work in which designs are raised or stamped to stand out from the surface.

Hinge: Three-component assembly for joining; permits motion of a finding to complete its function as a piece of jewelry: joint, top wire and catch; the joint is the stationary part, the catch is a samll U-shaped finding into which the hoop wire snaps. Top wire is a hinge for hoop earrings in which the hinge attaches the ornament to the earlobe.

Hinged Ear Clip: Variation of ear clip. see "Clip" Photo and additional information.

Hinge-joint: The pin that fits through pieces of metal tubing to create the hinge used for lockets, cases, boxes etc.

Hollow ring-ball: Hollow ball with a ring attached; used in assembling jewelry.

Hollow Wire: Tubular stock used for making beads, bracelets, or chain. May be solder-filled.

Hook wire: Caned-shaped wire finding for pierced earring onto which the decorative piece is attached. See ear wire.

Hoop: Metal wire or tubing that has been formed into individual rings. Used for earrings, bracelets or necklace segments. Some hoops are die struck from strip. Photo and additional information.

Hoop Wire: See "Top Wire."

Incised: Engraved or cut

Identification Bracelet or ident: Usually a link bracelet with a curved center plate designed for engraving a monogram.

Illusion Setting: A type of prong setting containing a faceted metal plate that surrounds the girdle of a diamond, thus making the diamond appear larger.

Initial ring: Ring with the wearer’s initial's raised, engraved or set into a contrasting metal or a stone such as onyx.

Insignia jewelry: Jewelry with emblem, crest, fraternal symbol etc.

Invisible Setting: A variation of the pave’ look, this type of setting applies only to multi-stone arrangements. It is designed to hide all metal around the stone. Rather than having beads of metal hold the stone in place, the stones are cut in a way that allows them to snap into each other.

Ivory clasp: Necklace fastener consisting of two short barrels which connect by means of a male and female screw. Also called a hidden clasp, multi-use clasp.

J Hook:  See "Lanyard Hook."

Jacket: See "Earring Jacket."

Joint: See "Joint, Catch, and Pin-Stem."

Joint, Catch, and Pin-Stem: An assembly used to affix jewelry items, such as brooches, to clothing. The joint serves as the fulcrum on which the pin-stem pivots. The catch is a hook into which the pin-stem fits when closed. (See also "Safety Catch.") The pin-stem is a sharply pointed pin (suitable for piercing clothing) with a base fashioned into a hole or T-shape to facilitate connection with the joint. See also "Pin Back."
Joint.......: Photo and additional information.
Photo and additional information.
Pin-Stem: Photo and additional information.

Joint wire: Hollow wire or tubing formed by bending a strip of thick flat plate and drawing it through a drawplate until the desired diameter and opening are achieved. For seamless tubing, a metal disk is punched, cupped and finally drawn to the appropriate size.

Jump Ring: A plain wire ring of any size, usually round or oval in shape, used for attaching jewelry parts. In general, the ends of the wire are bent together, but not soldered. Photo and additional information.

Key ring: Generally a split ring onto which keys are forced by prying apart the split sections; sometimes made of spring-loaded holders or screw and ball threaded devices.

Kidney Wire: A wire, formed into a kidney shape, to which dangling earrings are attached. Used in pierced earring applications, it is generally closed, as opposed to a shepherd hook or a fishhook, which remains open. Photo and additional information.

Knuckle: Tubular section that forms part of the hinge on the lid of a box, watch case or locket; the hinge pin fits into the knuckle.

La Loop Finding: An open ring or split ring with two swivels attached, which when used on a neck chain, attached at the swivels, allows for a space from which to hand a pair of eyeglasses.

Lanyard Hook: A springy flat stock wire item formed wide at one end, narrow at the other. It opens inward with thumb pressure and stays closed by the temper of the wire. Photo and additional information.

Lapped Border: The polished edge of an item achieved by using a non-yielding surface, such as a stiff felt wheel or a wood wheel. It gives the appearance of a rounded edge.

Lavaliere: An ornament hanging from a chain, worn around the neck.

Lever Back: A hook-shaped ear wire that is hinged to a spring-loaded closure piece at the base of the hook. In the open position, the ear wire passes through a pierced hole in the earlobe. The closure piece is then snapped shut against the ear wire to secure it onto the earlobe. Also called a Eurowire or German ear wire. Photo and additional information.

Link Connector: A finding attached to a decorative cuff-link element, it is placed through the buttonhole and is then secured to lock cuff ends together. The most popular style of link connector is vertically inserted, then swiveled to a horizontal position, ensuring cuff-link security. Also called airplane backs or wingbacks. See "Cuff Link Action"  Photo and additional information.

Lobster Claw: A clasp shaped somewhat like a lobster’s claw. The "pincer" arm is under tension by an internal spring mechanism that is opened and closed by a lever on its side.   Photo and additional information.

Locket: A small, hollow, hinged pendant. The wearer can keep photos, locks of hair, or other mementos inside.  Photo and additional information.

Locket Bail: An oval- or D-shaped metal component used to connect pendants, specifically lockets, to a chain. It is meant to slide onto the chain rather than to be soldered to it. Also called a clip-on bail.  Photo and additional information.


Loop: See "Jump Ring." Photo and additional information.

Love knot: Generally three intertwined rings made from wire or tubing reformed or flattened as a group (after assembly) into regular or irregular shapes.

Low relief: Ornament in which designs are raised above a background surface, but raised only about half as high as in high relief. Also known as bas relief.

Low square setting: Usually the replacement for the upper half of a square prong setting; generally used for repairs.

Marcasite: Trade name for a bright iron mineral called cubic pyrite. When mounted singly or in clusters, marcasite’s bright metallic luster resembles diamonds. Common in antique jewelry, marcasite is currently popular.

Medallion: Round or oval disk, often commemorating somebody or some event, generally with a head or figures. Resembling a coin, they can be cast or stamped. They may be mounted in bezels and hung or inserted into jewelry.

Memory Wire: Flexible steel wire tempered to hold its coiled shape. Used for stringing beads. Coils for rings size, bracelet sizes and necklace sizes are available. Memory wire does not require the use of a clasp. Photo and additional information.

Mesh: A finely woven metal fabric. Photo and additional information.

Metal Etching: A method of creating a design on metal using acid. Parts of the metal are covered and protected from the action of the acid, while the exposed parts are eaten away by the acid to form a design. Photo and additional information.

Metal Stamping: An ornamental stamped metal part, generally formed by die striking.  Photo and additional information.

Mezuza: Case for a written Hebrew prayer; attached to door posts for good luck, but in miniature version a religious finding worn as a pendant or charm.

Milanese Mesh: A flexible mesh created by weaving interlocking wire spirals. It can be made into various shapes and forms, such as necklaces, bracelets, rings, etc.

Military Grip: See "Butterfly Clutch"

Mold: Hollow form into which molten metal is poured; a rubber form into which low-temperature white metal is poured; bronze or iron form into which molten metal is poured; flexible rubber form into which wax is injected as the first stage in lost wax casting; a refractory material (investment) into which the wax patterns are placed, then burned out prior to being filled with high-temperature molten metals such as brass, silver or gold.

Momme: Japanese unit of weight for cultured pearls - equals 3.75 grams.

Money clip: Small form of folded spring metal used for holding bills in the pocket. Often decorated on one or both sides.

Monogram: Combination of letters arranged in a pleasing and artistic form and engraved onto jewelry, watches, silverware etc.

Mood stone: Primary component of the famous "mood ring" of the 1970s. Trademark of Q-Tran for a heat-sensitive liquid crystal material sealed in plastic.

Mordant: An acid used to etch the surface of metal, glass, stone, etc.

Mosaic: Decorative work in which a design is formed of small squares of colored glass or enameled material set into cement. Some precious and genuine stones are similarly laid into a matrix to form patterns such as a checkerboard.

Motif: See "Charm"

Mounting: A piece of jewelry onto which a stone or stones will be set. It can take several forms, such as a ring, a pendant, a bracelet, or a necklace.

Napkin ring: A small ring of any material designed to hold a folded napkin by the place setting at the table.

Neck Chain: A chain that can be used to hang a variety of ornaments, such as lockets, crosses, and beads, around the neck. It varies in length and can be worn separately or in multiples. Photo and additional information.

Necklace Extender: A short length of chain, beaded chain or other necklace material with a connector on one end and a loop on the other. Photo and additional information.

Necklet: A short necklace or chain - less than 18 inches in length.

Necktie Alligator Clip:  Used for holding a necktie on a shirt at mid-chest, a necktie alligator clip is a spring clip with teeth which opens when pinched at the handle end.  Its name can be attributed to its alligator-mouth appearance when viewed from the side.  Photo and additional information.

No-Hole Ball: Either a hollow metal sphere swaged from seamless tubing or a solid metal sphere machined from rod. (Solid no-hole balls are generally brass, while hollow no-hole balls are available in both base and precious metals.) After swaging, the ball is separated and rolled into shape. Mostly used as ball earrings with posts.  Photo and additional information.

Non-magnetic: Watch parts made of non-ferrous metals that cannot be magnetized.

Nothing necklace: Extremely fine gold chain, sometimes with small stones or ornaments.

Novelties: See "Charm".

Obverse: The face of a coin or medallion (opposite is reverse).

Omega Clip: The name for a wire finding shaped like the Greek letter omega. Used as a clip earring finding, the omega wire pivots in one end of a yoke or joint attached to the earring.  Photo and additional information.


One-hole Ball: A hollow metal sphere with one hole. It is made by drawing flat stock into a cup, then rolling it until it forms a sphere, leaving a small opening or "hole." Photo and additional information.

One year pearls: Cultured pearls with extremely thin layer of nacre over the nucleus.

Open setting: Stone setting with the sides open so that the lower portion of the stone is visible.

Opera length: Long (30 inches) necklace, generally of pearls; double the length of a choker.

Oval bead: Oval or teardrop-shaped metal bead, formed in a swaging process, and cut separately. See fancy bead.

Oval setting: A setting similar to the Tiffany setting, but made oval to accommodate oval-shaped stones.

Pad Insert: A molded rubber insert that fits into or over the clip portion of a clip earring for greater comfort. Photo and additional information.

Pallions: Small pieces of solder.

Paternoster beads: Alternate term for Roster Beads.

Patina: Green film formed by oxidation on copper and bronze; can be formed naturally over a period of time through exposure to air, but can be hastened or artificially induced by coloring agents. Currently very popular in costume jewelry.

Pave' Setting: A method of setting small stones as close together as possible, so that the piece literally looks "paved" with stones.

Pearl Cup: A cup designed to hold a pearl secured by adhesive. It sometimes has a small peg that fits into a hole in the pearl for added security.

Pearl drop: A real or imitation pearl with a metal ring attached for suspending from a piece of jewelry.

Pearl enhancer: A bail-like finding that may be opened to fit over an endless strand of pearls or beads and then locked closed. It may be stone-set and used alone or with a drop.

Pearl Shortener: A hinged ring that may be used to shorten an opera-length pearl strand. The strand is doubled and the two resulting loops are hooked into the shortener.  Photo and additional information.

Pearl slug eye: A straight short wire with a ring at one end; used to insert into a pearl to convert it into a pearl drop. Also: Head pin, a straight, short wire with a head; the tail of wire is formed into a ring.

Peg Setting: 1.) A peg often set into a metal cup or hemisphere, which fits into a hole drilled into a pearl. The pearl is then fastened by cement or epoxy. 2.) Any setting with a small pin on the bottom that then fits through a hole that has been drilled or cast in a ring or plate, securing the setting.

Pelican Clasp: A clasp similar to a lobster claw in construction but narrower and slightly curved. See also "Lobster Claw."

Pendant: An ornament designed to be suspended from a chain or necklace.  Photo and additional information.

Pennyweight: A unit of Troy weight for precious metals. Generally shortened by DWT, it contains 24 grains or 1/20th of a troy ounce.

Photo Etching: See "Metal Etching."

Pinch Bail: A metal jewelry finding which is sold partially folded in half with short prongs on the inside of each end. When pinched together, either by hand or with pliers, it holds a pendant chain or cord and the pendant itself hanging from the chain or cord. It serves as a jump-ring but is usually decorative, adding to the overall design of the pendant. Photo and additional information.

Pin Back: A joint, catch, and pin-stem assembly that is pre-assembled on a metal plate (the ends of the plate are actually formed into the joint and catch). The entire unit may be attached to a piece of jewelry by soldering or gluing. Also called a bar pin. See also "Joint, Catch, and Pin-Stem." Photo and additional information.


Pin Stem: See "Joint, Catch, and Pin-stem."

Pin-tongue: A pin attached to a base with a hole in it designed to hold the joint-pin, which is part of the hinge. Used to fasten brooches, bar pins etc. on clothing.

Plaque: See "Chain Tag."

Plate: Metal sheet or flat stock used for stamping out findings; may also refer to the electrolytical precious metal deposit over base metal from the electroplating process or the mechanically-bonded precious plate used in the gold or silver-filled process.

Post: A pin-like finding attached to an earring. It passes through the pierced earlobe and is usually secured by a clutch. Photo and additional information.

Press: Equipment used to stamp findings - can be a foot press, screw press, electric press, percussion press, hydraulic press etc.


Prong: A claw or wire used to fasten and hold a stone in a setting. See also "Prong Setting."

Prong Setting: A setting consisting of a series of prongs (generally four or six) that hold a stone. Photo and additional information.

Push Back: See ‘Ear Nut."

Puzzle ring: A ring made of several connected rings that fit together.

Quality Tag: See "Chain Tag."

Rabbit Ear Bail: See "V-Bail." Photo and additional information.

Religious finding: General classification for any finding of religious meaning or symbolism, eg. a Cross or Star of David.

Ring adjustor: A metal device which clamps inside a ring; used to tighten a ring that is too large or has to be large to fit over the knuckle; also called ring guard; also enhancing decorative bands, sometimes joined at bottom, into which another ring is placed to create a different look.

Ring Blank: A stamped finger ring of any style that has yet to go through the various finishing processes.

Ring Guard: A finding made and used to temporarily reduce the inside diameter of a ring. 

Rolled Bead: A cut metal bead that has been rolled. The term is applied only to round beads, not to oval or oddly shaped beads. See "Bead".

Rolling mill: Hardened steel rollers geared to turn together and reduce the thickness of bars, rods or wire. Also used to impress a pattern in the surface of flat or round stock.

Rope chain: Chain of fine wire in close spiral links, making it look like a rope.


Rondelle: See "Roundel."

Round Setting: A round-shaped metal form that uses prongs, bezels, or any other means of clamping the stone securely. Photo and additional information.

Roundel: A doughnut-shaped or squatted disk shaped bead that is used as a spacer or an accent in stringing applications. The characteristic of not being round, but flat on the sides is a defining feature. Roundels can be made of any material but are commonly made of glass, precious and base metals.

Rosary: A chain of beads used by Roman Catholics to count devotional prayers.

Rosary beads: The beads that form a rosary.

Sacred Heart Medal: Religious piece depicting the figure of Christ and His Heart.

Safety catch: A pin/tongue catch for brooches, pins etc. The tongue or bar that can be operated to close the opening in the catch; prevents the loss of jewelry. See figure eight safety.

Safety catch for a Pin Stem: A catch which incorporates a sliding piece that locks the pin-stem in the closed position, thereby prevent accidental release.

Safety Chain: See "Guard Chain."   Photo and additional information.

Safety Clasp: A type of clasp that uses more than one function to secure the closure on a necklace or bracelet. Used most frequently on fine or more expensive jewelry. Photo and additional information.

Saint’s Medal: Article of religious jewelry representing a saint eg. St. Christopher.

Satin finish: A dull finish imparted by sandblasting, brushing with a stiff wire brush, or by chemical means; a soft luster rather than a high polish.

Scallop Setting: See "Buttercup Setting."

Scarab: Ancient Egyptian representation of the scarabaeus beetle; symbol of resurrection. In ancient times, frequently made with carved name or cartouche on underside and used as a signet.

Scarf Clip: Hinged device that includes a flat surface to allow space to which an ornament is attached, and an open ring through which the scarf is pulled. The device is then folded onto itself, thereby holding the scarf in place in a decorative fashion. Photo and additional information.

Scarf pin: Originally a decorative pin about two inches long, passed through a tie; now used primarily for women’s scarves.

Screw Back: An ear nut or clutch that screws onto a threaded post.


Screw Back Ear Clip: An ear clip with a threaded screw that tightens an earring against a non-pierced earlobe for tension adjustment.

Screw Clasp: A necklace fastener consisting of two short barrels with screws that connect. Photo and additional information.

Screw Eye: A straight, short wire with a ring at one end. The straight end is inserted into a pearl with adhesive to convert it into a pearl drop. Photo and additional information.

Scrimshaw: Originally incised whalebone or whale ivory, with paint or ink rubbed into the engravings; carved by American whalers; the look and style has been copied in plastics.

Scroll: A spiral curve.

Seamless: Without a seam, generally referring to a ring or piece of tubing made from one piece of metal cupped, drawn and cut.

Security post and nut: A push-on, screw-off post/nut unit for pierced earrings.

Sellers thread: A standard screw thread with flat top and bottom.

Semi-Mounting: A mounting that is only partially set. It usually has small side stones, but no main or center stone.

Setting: A metal form into which a stone is set using prongs, a bezel, or any other means of holding the stone.

Sew on Screen: A domed stamping with multiple holes punched in it, for sewing on beads with beading thread or beading wire.

S-hook Clasp: Two  flat stock findings with a matched appearance. One part is shaped like  the letter S, and the other part like the number 8. When used together they work as a clasp for a necklace. Photo and additional information.

Shank: In a ring, the shank is the part that surrounds the finger. The shank and the setting in which a stone is to be set are collectively referred to as a ring mounting.

Shell cameo: Generally a cameo carving in which the white upper layer of a shell stands out from the darker brownish underside. Generally of Italian workmanship.

Shepard Hook: A pierced earring wire shaped like a shepherd’s crook-similar to fishhook wire but with a longer shaft. See also "Ear Wire." Photo and additional information.

Shoelace Charm: A charm with ring for attaching to the lacing of a shoe, or a slotted decorative item that can be laced through a shoe lace at the toe end of the lacing.

Signet ring: A ring with the wearer’s coat of arms, initial or crest engraved; originally used to impress a wax seal for identification of letters or documents; also called seal ring.

Simulated stones: Imitation stones of glass, paste or plastic.

Sister Hook: Two overlapping metal hooks hinged to form a heart outline when open. Used as a clasp.  Photo and additional information.

Solder-Flushed Finding: A type of finding that has a solder coating, facilitating assembly with quick heating.

Soldering Tab: A metal loop (commonly brass) with a small rectangle or square appendage. Used for adding loops to products by soldering or gluing

Solitaire: Generally used to describe a ring with a single center stone, or the stone itself.

Snake chain: Machine chain, round square, rectangular or oval; joints between links are curved to suggest snakeskin.

Snap: See clasp.

Snuff box: A small hinged box, generally ornately engraved on the lid; originally used for carrying a tobacco product the user sniffed.

Soft collar pin: Bar pin with spring clips at each end to grip the ends of the wearer’s shirt collar.

Souvenir spoon: Generally a small demitasse-type spoon used to commemorate an event or a place.

Spacer Bars: A flat metal component with holes which is used to keep strands of beads from crisscrossing in a multi-strand necklace 

Split Ring: An oval or round ring inside of which the metal spirals and functions just like a split key ring. It provides added security when attaching charms or ornaments to necklaces or bracelets. Photo and additional information.

Spokes: Metal stampings made in various configurations for the making of a variety of clusters. Most although not all are characterized by having a center with a hole, and "spokes" extending out from the center in many different shapes and forms.

Spoon jewelry: Rings, bracelets etc. made from the small spoon handles or sugar tongs; originally a crafts product, now produced by commercial manufacturers.

Spring Hinge: A hinge that incorporates a spring in its construction to always keep a piece, such as a bangle bracelet made of two halves, in the closed position.

Spring Ring: A circular tube-just short of a complete circle-inside which a coiled spring presses on the inner end of a curved wire. The wire projects from the tube to complete the circle. By pressing on a small lip, the wire can be pushed back into the tube, allowing the ends of necklaces, bracelets, etc., to be attached. Photo and additional information.

Square prong: A high, four-prong setting with 90 degree angles at the four corners; a heavy post formed by a dovetail or similar piercing is usually found along the flat side.

Stamping: The operation by which a press is used to strike and form metal in a die. Generally feasible only when long runs are anticipated due to set-up time and tooling costs.

Stud spiral: Stone mounting for used shirt studs.

Swage:  To bend or shape cold metal using a tool or hammer.

Swivel: Used to attach watches or other finished jewelry items to a chain. Usually comprises an oversize metal loop on one end that can be opened and firmly closed. The size of the metal loop allows the jewelry piece to move freely while remaining secured.  Photo and additional information. 

Synthetic: An artificially-made substance with the physical properties and chemical composition of the real thing, ie. Verneuil synthetic ruby or synthetic emerald by Chatham or Gilson. Not an imitation, which in the case of stones is glass or plastic.

Talisman: "Magical" charm - can be an ornament, ring, stone, etc., often with applied occult or astrological characters.

Tallis Clip: Also known as an alligator clip or sweater clip. Usually embellished, then assembled with a chain in pairs.

Tap: A hard steel screw with fluted, hollow cutting edges to cut threads in a pre-formed hole.

Tassel: An ornamental tuft of threads, cords, or chains of equal length, hanging loosely from a knob or from the knot by which they are tied together.

Tempering: Reducing the hardness of hardened steel by gradual heating to stages less than annealing heat.

Textured finished: Any finish other than high polish; includes Florentine, bark, satin, hammered, woven, nugget, granulated, bright-cut etc.

Thimble: Finger cap generally covered with small indentations for pushing needles through cloth; can be made of any base or precious metal, or porcelain, glass etc. Functional but also popular as a collectible.

Threaded Post: A screw post that requires the use of a threaded ear nut. Photo and additional information.

Thread setting: Setting where the edge of the bezel or frame or outer edge of beadwork is cut to a fine edge before mill graining. A bright cut edge for mill graining.

Three bead setting: Variation of the square prong setting where each corner post is formed into three round beads instead of the usual float top. The corner itself forms one bead with the other two adjacent to it at the side toward the diamond.

Tiara: Hairpiece worn like a crown, usually set with gems.

Tie Bar or Tie Clip: A metal clip that uses spring tension to attach the mid-portion of the tie to the shirt. Usually has a stone or embellishment added.  Photo and additional information.

Tie Tack Post: A short pin  to which is attached the ornamental top used  in making a tie tack or lapel pin. Photo and additional information.

Tiffany Setting: Generally a round, six- prong setting in which the prongs flare out gracefully to clamp the stone. Sometimes used to describe a four-prong setting.  Photo and additional information.

Toggle Chain: A short piece of chain that connects two functioning parts, such as a key ring and a spring ring. It allows for flexibility between the parts. 

Toggle Clasp: The method of attaching necklaces or bracelets whereby a rigid metal bar (plain or highly decorated) is inserted through a ring. When the bar is turned sideways, it is prevented from coming back through the ring, providing closure. Photo and additional information.

Top Wire: A straight or humped wire with a loop at one end that attaches to a hinge. It is inserted into a pierced earlobe and snapped into a catch, securing a hoop or dangling earring.

Total weight: Generally used for diamond jewelry but can be applied to any jewelry with small stones. It refers to the combined carat weight of all stones in the piece.

Troy ounce: A unit of Troy weight, used for weighing precious metals. The ounce contains 20 pennyweights (DWT) each of 24 grains. A Troy pound, a measurement never used for precious metals, contains twelve ounces.

Tuxedo chain: Pocket, watch chain with a swivel or spring ring to attach the watch on one end and a clasp on the other to attach to belt or pants.

Twist-Corrugated Bead: See "Corrugated Bead."

U-Wire: See "Channel Wire."

Unit Cluster Setting: Any flat or domed plate drilled to accommodate melee.

V-Bail: A two-loop bail that looks like a "V" from the front. Also known as a rabbit ear bail. Photo and additional information.

Vacuum coating: The deposition of an extremely thin metallic coating, generally on plastic or very inexpensive metals, by volatilization within a vacuum.

Vanity: Generally a lady’s compact, a hinged powder case with a mirror inside the cover.

Vermeil: A heavy gold electroplate (not less than 10k) over sterling. According to FTC standards, the minimum thickness of the plating must be equivalent to 100 millionths of an inch (2.5 microns) of fine gold.

Waldemar chain: Man’s watch chain, generally about 14 inches long, usually worn across a vest front, with a swivel for the watch bow on one end and a spring ring on the other for a charm, pocket knife etc.

Watch Fob: See "Fob".



Initially published in AJM magazine by The Manufacturing Jewelers and Suppliers of America September 2000.
Reprinted & Edited by Guyot Brothers Co Inc with permission.

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