Jewelry Techniques

Annealing

Annealing is the thermal recrystallization of metal in order to reduce stress caused by work hardening. After the metal is ...
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Anodized

Anodized metal is metal on which a conversion coating, composed of a stable oxide, to allow it to accept paint ...
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Antique Finish

Creating an antique finish involves chemically treating metal to cause it to take on the patina of age ...
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Applique Victorian Locket

Appliqué

Appliqués are decorative items of one material or metal affixed to another. Examples would be flowers or other small metal ...
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Antique French Articulated Chatelaine.

Articulated

An item composed of many movable parts to allow realistic movement is considered to be articulated. An example would be ...
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Garrard Maker's Mark and Hallmarks

Assay

Assaying is a testing process that determines the purity of metal and the proportion of noble metals in an object. In some countries, ...
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Victorian Basse-Taille Enamel Locket.

Basse-Taille

Basse-taille, which translates from the French as "shallow cut", is a design made on metal most often by carving, engraving, ...
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Art Deco Filigree Sapphire Brooch.

Beaded Wire

Wire is referred to as "beaded" when a bead-like decorative element is added to its edge. Millegraining is one technique that can ...
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Art Nouveau Floral Motif Locket with a Bloomed Finish.

Bloom Finish

Blooming, a popular finishing technique for karat gold jewelry from 1870 to 1890, was first documented in 1853. The means ...
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Braze

Brazing is a process of soldering or welding using brass. This is considered a form of hard soldering ...
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Art Deco Diamond Ring. Note the Bright Cutting Surrounding the Diamond.

Bright Cut

Bright cutting is accomplished by making sharp, shiny, angled cuts with a graver in metal around set stones to further highlight the ...
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Platinum and Diamond Treasure Ring, by Tammy Kohl. Note the Bright Finish.

Bright Finish

A bright finsh is any metal that has been polished to a mirror-like finish. Platinum and Diamond Treasure Ring, by Tammy ...
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Satin Finish Created by Brushing the Metal.

Brush Finish

A brush finish is a matte finish on metal created by scratching the surface with a wire brush, creating softened ...
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Burnished

Burnishing is a metal polishing process whereby a hardened steel highly polished tool, a burnisher, is rubbed over the metal to produce ...
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Butler Finish

A butler finish is the brightest of the brushed finishes. The process is meant to imitate a hand rubbed finish created ...
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Vintage Camphor Glass and Diamond Ring.

Camphor Glass

Camphor glass is clear glass that has been treated with hydrofluoric acid vapors to give it a frosted, whitish appearance ...
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Georgian Garnet Cannetille Cruciform Brooch.

Cannetille

Pink Topaz & Chrysoberyl Cannetille Gold Cross c.1830. Cannetille is a close relative of filigree work. It typically features fine gold wires ...
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Cast

Cast

A jewelry item that is cast has been made by a process that involves pouring molten metal into a mold and letting ...
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Victorian Champleve Enamel Pocket Watch.

Champlevé

Translated from the French, Champlevé means "raised field." Champlevé is an enamel process where the surface to be enameled is carved, ...
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Chasing

Chasing

Chasing is a process whereby the front surface of a metal object is decorated by indenting the metal without cutting or engraving the ...
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Chenier Hinge

Chenier

Chenier is the name for hollow tubing used in jewelry making. Also known as hollow or joint wire, this tubing ...
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Chip Carving

Chip carving comes from the direct translation of the German word 'Kerbschnitt'. This metalworking technique has been in use since ...
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Cloisonne Locket

Cloisonné

Cloisonné (from French: cloison = partition) is an enamel technique where formed wires in closed shapes are affixed onto a ...
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Commesso.

Commesso

Commesso is a bas-relief composition of precisely cut gem materials (pietra dura) combined with enameled gold elements to form an ...
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Cupellation furnace from Agricola

Cupellation

IntroductionThe word cupellation is used to either indicate a precise, analytical method of metal purity testing or a certain way ...
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Scallop Shaped Cut-Steel Brooch.

Cut-Steel Jewelry

Cut-steel jewelry is jewelry "set" with tiny faceted and polished steel studs, fashioned to resemble gemstones and usually riveted in ...
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Damascene

Damascene

This damascene cigarette case depicts a rustic piece of Japanese landscape. A Shinto shrine, marked by a characteristic gate, sits in the ...
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Die Rolled

Metal that is die rolled has been put through a rolling machine wherein the rollers (i.e. the die) have been engraved ...
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Die Struck 14k White Gold Bracelet, c.1930s.

Die Struck – Stamping

A stamping die is used to cut shapes from a sheet of metal. A sharp-edged die is placed on the metal ...
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Ductility

Ductility is the property of a material to stretch without getting damaged. Metals having ductile property can be stretched into wires. An ...
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Electroplate

Electroplate is a thin coating of metal applied to the outside of a base metal through an electrical process. The ...
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Art Nouveau Sweet Pea Brooch with Émail "en Ronde Bosse".

Émail en Ronde Bosse

Émail en ronde bosse is an enamel technique where the enamel is applied to rounded or irregular shapes in high ...
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Etruscan Breastplate

Embossing

A synonym for Repoussé. Embossing means creating a relief by raising the surface of sheet gold from the back. The ...
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Detail of Georgian Diamond Flower Brooch Mounted En Tremblant.

En Tremblant

"En tremblant" is a French term - meaning "to tremble". It was first used to describe 18th and 19th-century jewelry ...
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Art Nouveau Enamel Pansy Pin.

Enamels on Jewelry

Enameling is a decoration technique in which a glass of certain composition is fused to the surrounding or under laying ...
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Victorian Engine Turned Locket.

Engine Turning

A Gold and Enamel Match Striker Featuring Enameled Sunburst Engine Turning. By Abram Beilin, St Petersburg, 1908-1917. Photo Courtesy of ...
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A Master Engraver uses Gravers to Decorate the Movement on a Swiss Watch.

Engraved

EngravedAn engraved jewelry item is one in which a design is cut, by hand, into the surface by the use ...
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Antique Silver Locket is Etched with a Maritime and Fauna Motif in a Japonesque Style.

Etched

Etched designs are produced through the use of acid. A coating (or resist) is applied and a design cut into ...
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French Handmade Gold Longchain.

Fabricate

Jewelry that is fabricated is made from component parts such as precious metals, gemstones, pearls and the like. This can include ready-made findings.French Handmade Gold ...
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Filigree

Filigree

Filigree is the name given jewelry designs created from very fine metal wires soldered in intricate patterns. The wires could ...
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Fineness

Fineness

Fineness is proportion, expressed in parts per thousand, of the purity of gold, silver, and platinum in jewelry. i.e. Sterling silver is ...
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Flash Plating

Flash plating is a very thin deposit of metal not exceeding 10/1,000,000 of an inch ...
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Florentine Finish

Florentine Finish

Mid-Century Abstract Diamond and Gold Brooch with a Florentine Finish. A Florentine finish is a textured surface decoration on metal composed of ...
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Forged

Metal that is forged is shaped by heating then hammering it into shape. This technique is usually employed for large ...
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Portrait Miniature Hand Painted Enamel on Porcelain.

French Enamel

French enamel is a fine miniature painting in enamel which, in its best form, may rival oil paintings. A golden ...
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Fusion Welding

Fusion welding is a bonding technique for metals were two parts are heated right up to their melting point while ...
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Glyptography

Glyptography

Cross Inscribed on Steatite c. 2300-1950 BC. © Trustees of the British Museum. Glyptography comes from the Greek word glyptos which means ...
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Victorian Etruscan Revival Ball Form Earrings with Granulation and Wirework Decoration.

Granulation

Granulation is a process that causes very small gold beads to adhere to the surface metal, through heat, with no ...
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