Jewelry Techniques

Castellani Victorian Etruscan Revival Disk Form Earrings with Granulation and Wirework Decoration.

Granulation and its Techniques

Granulation (from Latin: granum = "grain") is a goldsmith's technique whereby the surface of a jewel is decorated with small spheres ...
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Victorian Dome Brooch Topped with Rose Cut Diamonds withing a Wreath of Grisaille Black and White Foliate Enamel.


Grisaille is a monochromatic enameling process that begins with a layer of black (or very dark) enamel. White enamel is ...
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Antique Guilloche Enamel Locket and Chain.


Guilloché is a decoration of concentric design engraved on metal, through the use of a lathe, resulting in an elaborate ...
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Georgian Woven Hair Bracelet c.1828,

Hair Jewelry

Human hair has been incorporated into jewelry since at least the seventeenth century. Around that time, the hair of the ...
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Tiffany & Co. Schlumberger Sapphire Ring with a Hammered Finish.

Hammered Finish

A hammered finish is an all over decorative treatment used on metal that is created by repeated blows of a small hammer ...
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Handmade Gold Dragon Ring with Ruby Eyes.


To be called handmade, an article must be entirely shaped and formed from raw materials. The finishing must also be ...
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Heishi Shell, Turquoise, Coral, Jet, & Silver Necklace. Mary Coriz Lovato, Santo Doimingo Pueblo. Photo Courtesy of the Smithsonian.


Heishi jewelry is created by Santo Domingo and San Felipe Pueblo Indians from New-Mexico in the south-west of the USA ...
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Art Nouveau Hand Carved Diamond and Gold Gypsy Ring.


Incising is cutting into metal to create a sunken line through the use of a graver. Art Nouveau Hand Carved ...
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Lapis Lazuli and Diamond Ring Inlaid with Gold Design.

Inlaid Metal

In jewelry, inlaid metal is embedded so that it is level with the surface of the gemstone or other material. This type ...
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Inlaid Gemstone Pendant Necklace.


Inlay is a type of decorative work using thin flat gem material or metal to create a design on the surface of wood, metal, ivory or ...
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Limoges Enamel on Copper - The Dauphin, Later Frances II.

Limoges Enamel

Limoges enamel is a very fine type of enameling using a technique to paint the enamel on the metal surface. This was ...
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Lost Wax Casting

Lost wax casting is a process that involves encasing a wax model in investment. The wax is burned off and ...
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A metal that is malleable is able to be plastically deformed or extended or shaped using rollers, extrusion, or shaped ...
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Matte Finish Victorian Diamond Pendant.

Matte Finish

Matte Finish Victorian Diamond Pendant.A matte finish is an even texture applied to metal resulting in a non-reflective surface. This can be ...
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Japanese Shakudo Jadeite Necklace with Menuki Elements.


Japanese Shakudo Jadeite Necklace with Menuki Elements.The reappearance of the Japanese in the world and their subsequent participation in the ...
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Micromosaic Bracelet Depicting Roman Architectural Sites.


TechniqueMicromosaics are a type of mosaic created from tiny fragments of glass, called tesserae. The tesserae are mosaic pieces made from an opaque ...
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Millegraining is an extremely tiny beaded detail that finishes an edge on a piece of jewelry. The detail is applied ...
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Antique Micromosaic Brooch.


A mosaic is created from small glass pieces or gemstones fitted together to form an image or pattern. The technique ...
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Mosaics in Jewelry

Mosaics in Jewelry

...There were couches of gold and silver on a mosaic pavement of porphyry, marble, mother-of-pearl and other costly stones.1 ...
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Niello Locket.


Compose the niello in this manner; take pure silver and divide it into equal parts, adding to it a third ...
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Openwork Pierced Antique Rose Gold Locket.


Openwork uses piercing techniques to produce decorative motifs by cutting away metal on a flat area or band to allow ...
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Ornate Pierced Foliate Design on a Silver Box with Amethyst and Citrine.

Opus Interrasile

Opus interrasile comes from the Latin opus (=work) and interrasile (= openings). It is a metalworking technique that involves creating ...
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A Double Sided Silver Lorgnette with Extravagant Open Pierced Work and Plentiful French Style Scrolling. The Silver is Imbued with Natural Black Oxidation Amassed Over Ten Decades of Gentle Aging.


Oxidation results when metal combines with oxygen and produces an oxide or antique finish. This is not tarnish but a ...
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Art Nouveau Cushion-Cut Diamond Floral and Foliate Silver and Yellow Gold Engagement Ring.

Oxide Finish

An oxide finish is accomplished when a black finish is applied to metal. Sometimes the entire surface is coated and, ...
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Applique Victorian Locket

Oxidized Silver

Sterling silver can be oxidized by heating it and allowing a copper oxide to form on the surface. Fine silver ...
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Schlumberger Paillonné Enamel Bangle Bracelet.

Paillonné Enamel

Paillonné enamelling is a 19th-century technique of applying layers of translucent colored enamel over very fine sheets of silver or gold resulting in dramatically bright and brilliant colors ...
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Victorian Painted Enamel Winged Putto Depicted Harvesting Wheat.

Painted Enamel

Limoges Enamel on Copper - The Dauphin, Later Frances II. When a flat surface is decorated by applying enamel with ...
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Patina is a discoloration that forms on metal from exposure to the atmosphere. This effect is prized on jewelry. An ...
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Pertabghar is an Indian enamel technique where a thick layer of, hot, green paste was applied to a golden openworked surface and ...
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Ornate Pierced Foliate Design on a Silver Box with Amethyst and Citrine.

Pierced Openwork

Piercing is the creation of a decorative motif by cutting away metal in a pattern. This is typically accomplished by ...
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Pietra Dura Pendant/Brooch.

Pietra Dura

Pietra dura (translation hardstone) refers to a Florentine mosaic technique that is descendant from the Roman opus sectile mosaic style. In this technique, ...
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Tortoiseshell Pique Pin.


Pique is a technique in which gold or silver is inlaid in tortoiseshell and sometimes ivory or mother-of-pearl. Another meaning is the French word for an inclusion in a diamond. Victorian Pique Brooch ...
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French Art Nouveau Plique-a-Jour Pill Box Displayed as an Objet d'Art.


Plique-à-Jour Dragonfly Brooch.Plique-à-jour, a French term that translates (as nearly as can be determined) to "letting in the daylight" and ...
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Tricolror Mesh Bracelet with Pointillé Textured Accents.


Decoration technique where motifs are created by using small points or dots applied by a sharp tool. The technique was ...
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Retro Bicolor Gold Bracelet.


The term polished can refer to the final lustrous state of a piece of jewelry resulting from machine buffing with ...
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Refining is the process whereby a pure metal is extracted from a mass containing other elements or impurities. The term ...
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Art Nouveau 18k Yellow Gold Repoussé Tulip Blossom Earrings


Relief is the height of a jewelry feature as it rises above or sinks below the background level of the ...
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Georgian Repoussé Garnet Earrings c.1830.


Repoussé is a decorative technique whereby three-dimensional relief designs are formed by raising the metal from the reverse. This is accomplished ...
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Antique Reverse Crystal Cat Intaglio.

Reverse Crystal Intaglio

Victorian Reverse Crystal Intaglio Animal Motif Bracelet. Glyptography is the art of gemstone carving and the term applies to both intaglios ...
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Pair of Satin Finish 18K Yellow Gold Cuff Links by Jean Dinh Van for Cartier

Satin Finish

Satin finish is a technique that dulls the surface of jewelry, etc. through the use of a metal brush, sand ...
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Shakudo Pendant, c. Late-1800s.


Shakudo is a Japanese alloy used in sheet metal inlay or wire inlay. The technique involves inlaying gold, silver, and copper into a darkened ...
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Tiffany Shibuichi Vase. c.1874. Photo © Trustees of the British Museum.


Shibuichi is a Japanese alloy used in sheet metal inlay or wire inlay. The technique involves the inlaying of gold, silver, and copper into a darkened silver base ...
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The Inset at the Upper Left Corner Shows the Area of Improperly Used Lead Solder on the Reverse of this Brooch.


Solder is an alloy of nonferrous metal that, when melted, becomes fluid and bonds with the metals to be joined ...
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Golden South Sea Cultured Pearls.


String is a flexible piece of material used to suspend beads. To string is to slide gemstones, pearls and other beads, that have been ...
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Sulphide Portrait of Benjamin Franklin. Photo Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.


Sulphide Portrait of Benjamin Franklin.Photo Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sulphides, medallions encased in glass, were developed and ...
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Matched Victorian Buckle Bracelets with Taille d'Epargné.

Taille d’Epargné

Main Article: Enamels on Jewelry Matched Victorian Buckle Bracelets with Taille d'Epargné.Taille d'epargné, sometimes referred to as black enamel tracery, ...
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This Circa 1900 Compact Shows a Dark Gray Tarnish in the Recessed Areas. This Can Also be Termed Patina.


Tarnish is a film that forms on the exposed surface of a metal and is usually a metallic oxide. When ...
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The term temper refers to changing the hardness of steel by a process of gradual heating ...
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