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Beads, Gems and Precious Metals Glossary

LongLocks HairSticks are created using the most luxurious and collectable components and findings available. Long discontinued vintage Swarovski crystals, handmade lampwork beads, Venetian art glass, genuine gemstones and precious metals are favorites among my extensive collection of extraordinary hair jewelry findings.

This glossary serves to share information with regard to these very special components with which I have worked over the years. If you would like further information regarding additonal birthstones and anniversary gemstones, as well as the legends behind them, please feel free to explore our Ultimate Guide to Birthstones, Anniversary Gems, Zodiac Gemstones and Their Lore.
Susan Maxwell Schmidt Visual Fine Art
Rare Vintage Swarovski Heliotrope Crystal Bead
Though I have worked with all the gems and precious metals in this glossary at one time or another over the last decade or so, there is generally a limited selection of these components available in my designs at any one given time. In the event a search of the LongLocks HairSticks Boutique does not successfully produce a hair jewelry design with the gemstone or finding you are looking for, you may always feel free to contact me and inquire about the possibilty of creating a special order version of a design I've created in the past that incorporated your preferred stone or metal.
To explore the beads and findings described within this glossary, simply make a selection from the alphabetical list below and you will move to the section containing the corresponding description. Each entry is color-coded by letter grouping for easy navigation.

[A-D] [E-H] [I-L] [M-P] [Q-T] [U-Z]

Abalone Abalone, the sister to mother-of-pearl, is breathtaking in its shades of blues, greens and purples. Abalone lore suggests the gemstone brings wealth, power, and longevity.

Agate Agate is an absolutely gorgeous, translucent gemstone that appears in an extensive rainbow of natural and enhanced colors.

Amazonite Amazonite is a beautiful gemstone that occurs in shades of brown to green to turquoise and sometimes with dramatic white ribbons. Amazonite lore suggests the gem brings joy and upliftment while encouraging creative expression.

Amber Amber is a breathtakingly beautiful gemstone that isn't really a stone at all! Actually a resin, amber has long been thought of as a gem of allure and mystique. Amber occurs naturally in many colors, yellow and honey being the most common; however, it also appears in any hue from dark brown to lemon yellow and even orange, red and white. Rarer pieces occur in blue, green and sometimes violet. Amber can be almost perfectly clear, or often contains "sun spangles", sparkling inclusions that add to the gem's dramatic beauty. This gem is perfect for those who prefer lightweight jewelry, as amber is light in weight and even warm to the touch.

Amethyst Amethyst is the most beautiful form of quartz, appearing in a wide range of hues from the palest lilac to the deepest royal purple.
Apache Gold Iron pyrite is a gorgeous black gemstone with patches of shimmering gold. The gem is also known as "Apache Gold" and "Fool's Gold." Iron pyrite lore suggests the stone allows one to be open to others feelings as well as strengthening weaknesses.

Aqua Terra This gorgeous gemstone probably goes by more names than any other, it is also known as sea sediment jasper, regalite, variscite, impression jasper and snakeskin jasper! Though the natural color of the stone is a teal blue with a beige and black matrix, the gem is often dyed vibrant colors; however, it's really the matrix that sets it apart and creates its very dramatic and unique look. Aqua terra lore suggests the stone encourages serenity and inner peace; enhances clarity and compassion; promotes emotional healing and best of all, improves your love life!

Aquamarine Aquamarine is a breathtakingly gorgeous gemstone that ranges from a blue so pale it's almost white to a rich, almost electric blue-green. Gemstone lore suggests this beauty encourages serenity, harmony and balance, attracts true romantic love and increases one's logic and reasoning ability. The gem is also said to enhance intuition and protect one from harm. Aquamarine, like emerald, ruby and sapphire, is virtually mined out and high quality gems are no longer being found.

Asia Countries of the Far East, primarily China, India and Japan, have an ancient tradition in beadmaking. The oldest beads found in China were of stone, made about 16,000 BC, and found in the Neolithic caves at Shou-kou-dian. The written character for 'jade' and 'bead' is actually the same in Chinese and Japanese. Beautiful beads made of such wonderful components as porcelain, glass, ceramic, crystal and precious metals continue to be made by the gifted artisans in these countries, and exported all over the world.

Autumn Jasper Autumn jasper is a truly beautiful stone that displays lovely autumn colors from sage to forest to sienna. Jasper lore suggests the gem encourages unselfishness and brings joy, happiness and love of mankind. Jasper is considered the "mother" of all gemstones and thought to be a strong healing stone.

Aventurine Aventurine is a lovely translucent stone that occurs in a wide range of hues from green to peach. Aventurine lore suggests the gemsone benefits all areas of creativity and imagination, as well as intellect and mental clarity. It is believed it enhances prosperity and brings career success. It is also said to give one a sense of calm and balance, enhance happiness and encourage restful sleep. Aventurine is said to bring good luck, especially in games of chance.

Azurite-Malachite Azurite-malachite is among the azurite gemstone combinations that were coveted by the ancient Egyptians for what they believed was their ability to aid in communication with the gods. The opaque deep blue and striated green gemstone is actually a naturally occuring combination of two, azurite and malachite, which often organically form together. This gemstone was actually ground for use as cosmetics many centuries ago, which leads one to wonder if Cleopatra's historical beauty was actually enhanced by the use of this gem. Gemstone lore suggests azurite-malachite helps to control anger and improve intuition and clarity. It is also thought to enhance wisdom, as well as reduce inflammation and pain.

Black Onyx Black onyx is a mysterious and beautiful gemstone that has been treasured and worn since ancient times.

Bloodstone Bloodstone is a gorgeous gemstone of deep forest green with tiny speckles of bright red scattered throughout.

Blue Quartz Blue quartz is a gorgeous gemstone that can range from deep blue to sea green. Blue quartz lore suggests the gem eases communication and increases inner vision.

Bohemian glass Industrialized glass making began in the Czech Republic, formerly known as Czechoslovakia, in the early 15th century. Local production throughout the country was characterized by many small workshops that specialized in the blowing, engraving, cutting and the painting of glass and crystal. Bohemian glass was originally thought to be magical, as was Prague considered a magical city. Bohemian glass has been famous worldwide since the 18th century, although local production of glass actually started in the 14th century. Bohemian glass is still very popular today and is used extensively throughout the jewelry making industry.

Bone The bone hair sticks and beads used in LongLocks designs are imported from India, where the cow is revered as a sacred animal. Only after the animal has reached a naturally occurring end are the local artisians allowed to use the bone to craft their jewelry and findings. Bone has been used as jewelry since time began and is likely to be the first gem to have adorned the human body, there is evidence that even the Cro-Magnans adorned themselves with it. Bone lore suggests that the wearing of it promotes abundance and prosperity, and aids in safe passage when traveling.

Boro glass Boro beads are created by lampwork bead artists using borosilicate glass. Borosilicate glass is a specialized variety of glass that is far stronger than the glass typically used in bead making. The organic palette of borosilicate glass is described as "living color" that can be manipulated and shaded by the bead artist, which results in spectacular beads that encase layers of whispy, ever changing hues and multidimensional textures. Boro glass beads are incredibly mesmerizing when bathed in sunlight.

Botswana Agate Botswana agate is a simply breathtaking stone that can combine shades of taupe, peach, opal white, brown, pink and gray. Every stone is different and some even appear to move as you view them from different angles.

Cape Amethyst Cape amethyst is a mesmerizing gemstone that occurs in swirls of white, lavender and purple. Cape amethyst lore suggests the gem helps to balance emotions and the spirit, as well as increase energy.

Carnelian Carnelian is a beautiful form of chalcedony that occurs in shades ranging from sienna to deep red.

Ceramic Various forms of ceramic beads have existed almost as long as beads themselves have existed, coming into fashion following the use of natural found elements such as feathers, claws and teeth. Today Peru, Asia and Greece are the homes of the largest communities of artisans who continue to craft ceramic beads, and many of these contemporary beads continue to represent the ancient designs of their long heritage. In most cultures ceramic or terracotta beads have always been believed to ward off danger or were used as specific talismans.

Chalcedony Chalcedony is a breathtaking gemstone that comes in a variety of colors, the most popular being blue, pink and lavendar. Gemstone lore suggests the stone has calming properties, and encourages stability, optimism, generosity and benevolence. It is also said to enable one to communicate with accuracy and authority.

Charoite Charoite, which is found only in the Murun mountains in Russia, is a very rare gemstone that is treasured for its outstanding beauty. Colors in the gem range from lavender, lilac, violet and royal purple with white, copper, gray and black veining, all of which may be pearlized. Charoite lore suggests the stone enhances self-esteem while increasing spiritual growth and the ability to love others.

Chrysoprase Chrysoprase is an extremely valuable semiprecious gemstone that has been treasured for centuries. The optimum color is somewhere between a jade and seafoam, but the gem is breathtaking in all its variations of beautifully translucent green.

Cinnabar Red is a symbol of long life in China and the Chinese have used cinnabar in their art for centuries. Although high quality modern cinnabar is hand carved from rough made of many layers of red lacquer, the quest of the ancient Chinese for a bright red stone resulted in working with the hazardous, rare, and expensive natural cinnabar, which contained high levels of deadly mercury.

Citrine Citrine is a form of quartz and the gemstone appears in a wide variety of yellow and orange tones.

Clay See Ceramic

Cloisonné The Chinese and East Indians have perfected the art of enameling metal beads in beautiful designs and vibrant colors. This enameling process is known as "cloisonné." Cloisonné has been used for centuries by jewelers to create their designs. The famous French jeweler Fabergé, who crafted the spectacular Fabergé Imperial Easter Eggs for the czars of Russia, used cloisonné extensively in his magnificent creations.

Coral Coral is a gemstone that has been treasured for centuries, and has a wide range of color including white, blue, red and black. Coral lore suggests the gem protects from harm, wards off evil and aids fertility.

Cubic Zirconia Cubic zirconia became the most popular choice as a substitution for diamond when a Russian scientist found a way to create it in a laboratory in the 1970s. The stone is durable, brilliant and absolutely beautiful. Cubic Zirconia actually weighs 75% more than diamonds of the same weight, and registers a hardness of 8.5 of the Mohs scale, making it harder than most gemstones and only 1.5 points softer than genuine diamond (the hardest of all stones).

The most coveted of all precious gems, diamond is the hardest gemstone and what the hardness of all other gems is measured against. Diamonds begain their reign as the most popular choice for engagement rings in the Victorian era at the turn of the 20th century. Contrary to popular belief, diamonds are not a rare gem. Their exhorbitant prices are based purely on supply and demand, and because one company, DeBeers, produces an estimated 90% of the total worldwide diamond market; thusly controling the price of the stones. gold and diamond antique faberge hair comb
Dichroic glass Dichroic glass is created using layers of metallic oxides. The beautiful colorplay for which these beads are known occurs when light strikes the glass. Every piece of dichroic glass displays three colors: a color that is reflected, a color that is transmitted, and a reflective color that is viewable from a 45-degree angle. These properties allow the colors in this spectacular glass to change as light hits it from different angles.

Drusy A drusy is a cluster of crystals that grows on or within another gemstone, and are what give geodes their sparkling interior. Drusy lore suggests that the stone brings one happiness and creates a harmonizing environment. The gem is also said to increase the power of other crystals and gemstones with which it is worn.

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Emerald Emerald is a precious gem and is the birthstone for May. The stone occurs in shades of green from pale to deep grass green. Because the gemstone is virtually mined-out a perfectly clear emerald is worth many times its carat weight equal in diamond. Entirely clear stones are rarely found today and inclusions or small spots of carbon are to be expected even in the finer emeralds currently available. Emerald lore suggests the gemstone brings wisdom to its wearer. It has been used as an amulet for good fortune and as a love token since ancient times. The gem is also said to improve memory and bring romance.

Fancy Jasper Looking into a drawer full of fancy jasper beads is like looking at a drawer full of candy! The prettiest form of jasper, fancy jasper comes in every color of the rainbow from blue to green to taupe to peach to brown to red to turquoise.

Fiber Optic Glass Fiber optic beads, sometimes called "cat's eye beads," are made of a special glass that reflects light in a manner reminiscent of a cat's eye. The higher the grade of fiber optic glass used, the more pronounced the luminescent eye appears. This specialty glass, which is available in all the colors of the rainbow, is breathtaking in its beauty and mesmerizing to gaze upon.

Fine Silver Fine silver is at least .999 pure silver. It is softer than sterling silver, and has to be properly hardened for use in jewelry. Fine silver reflects more light than almost all other metals on earth.

Fluorite Fluorite is a breathtaking stone that naturally occurs in all shades of purple and green. Fluorite lore suggests the gemstone brings order to chaos and encourages stability and the reaching of goals.

Garnet Garnet, the January birthstone, is a sultry and beautiful gem that occurs in shades from raspberry pink to deep, dark brownish red.

Goldstone Though goldstone is actually man made, this beautiful stone that has non stop sparkle has been worn and cherished as a gemstone since the European renaissance period. Goldstone lore suggests the gem is uplifting, reduces tension, attracts positive energy, and has healing properties.

Green Serpentine Green serpentine, also known as "new jade" and "serpentine jade", is a beautiful gemstone that in its most common color is reminiscent of celadon; however, the stone occurs in a striking olivine green as well. Serpentine lore suggests the gem encourages longevity and improves memory.

Hematite Hematite is a beautiful gemstone that is dark gunmetal gray in color. Hematite lore suggests the gem encourages mental organization, as well as being grounding and calming. It is said to aid original and logical thinking, and decrease negativity.

Hemimorphite Available in a variety of colors, hemimorphite is a gorgeous gemstone. Hemimorphite lore suggests the gem helps one attain a positive self-image, assists in personal growth and helps one to evolve and transform. Hemimorphite is said to encourage joy and creativity.

Howlite Howlite, which bears a remarkable resemblance to beautiful white marble, naturally occurs in white with gray veining but is often tinted beautiful colors as well. Howlite lore suggests the gem eliminates selfishness, encourages calm, aids communication of emotions and strengthens memory retention.

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Iolite Iolite is a breathtaking stone that changes color from deep blue, to violet purple, to almost clear when viewed from different angles.

Impression Jasper See Aqua Terra

Jade The beauty of jade, in all its many natural and dyed colors, is unsurpassed. It has been worn as jewelry for many centuries!

Jasper Jasper, which is a form of chalcedony and is found all over the world, comes in an amazing variety of beautiful, rich colors. Jasper lore suggests the gem encourages unselfishness and brings joy, happiness and love of mankind. Jasper is considered the "mother" of all gemstones and thought to be a strong healing stone.

Jet Jet, sometimes known as black amber but actually fossilized coal, is a captivating gemstone that has been used extensively through the ages, especially in Victorian mourning jewelry. Gemstone lore suggests the gem alleviates grief, wards off evil and negativity, and protects from depression.

Kingfisher Feathers The kingfisher bird, once plentiful along China's rivers and marshes, was hunted almost to extinction because of the Chinese love of their beautiful, brilliant feathers. The stunning iridescent blue feathers made them ideal for ornamentation. Kingfisher feathers have a very long history in Chinese art. During the Qing dynasty (1644-1911) the feathers were used to decorate hair combs worn by the highest-ranking women at court. The feathers were sometimes displayed in jewelry with simple spring mechanisms so the feathers would move with the wearer.

Labradorite Labradorite is a form of feldspar that is almost magical in its beauty. The gem has firey blue, gold, green and even red flames that dance within its smoky depths. Labradorite is a considered a good luck gemstone that also enhances spirituality.

Lampwork Hand crafted lampwork art glass beads are painstakingly created one at a time by bead artists using specialized glass and a high temperature propane torch. Each bead has its own character and is in itself a work of art. A true bead artist brings incredible depth to each bead, and each artist has their own signature style. Indeed the designs, and even the beads themselves, are as individual and as varied as the artists who create them.

Lapis Lazuli Lapis lazuli, colors ranging from denim blue to dark navy, is one of the most coveted of opaque semiprecious gems.

Larimar Larimar is an absolutely beautiful gemstone that occurs naturally in gorgeous swirled shades of aqua to deep turquoise blue. Larimar lore suggests the gemstone speaks to a woman's feminine ways and brings out natural intuitive and creative tendencies. The gem is also said to encourage calm and acceptance while discouraging any trend toward resentment.

Lava Rock Just as it sounds, lava rock (also known as basalt) is actually molten lava that has cooled to a pourous stone. Gemstone lore suggests the gemstone increases strength and courage, as well as improving stability. The gem is also said to diminish negativity.

Lucite Lucite was a very popular jewelry component during the 1940s and 1950s. Though still used in jewelry today, vintage Lucite beads are very collectible and are quickly becoming as sought after as vintage crystal. The most desirable forms of Lucite include transparent, opaque and especially the moonstone variety. Lucite beads are available in a vast rainbow of colors and often have treasures such as genuine flowers or rhinestones embedded within.

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Magnesite Magnesite is a beautiful gemstone that is admired for its striking web of black veining, which naturally occurs on an ivory white ground, though it is often dyed a variety of beautiful colors (and is just as often mistaken for turquoise). The gem is said to bring tranquility and calm to the wearer, and to improve one's clarity of their own persona. It is also said to encourage passion as well as genuine love.

Malachite Malachite is a breathtaking gemstone that is treasured for its banding in many hues of green and black. Malachite lore suggests the gem reduces stress and tension and is vitalizing for the body and mind while revealing subconscious blocks.

Marcasite Marcasite is a gorgeous, shimmering gemstone that has been used in jewelry for centuries. Marcasite lore suggests the gem aids in grounding energy, mental clarity, concentration, memory, sleep, confidence, willpower and helps to relieve anxiety and stress.

Moonstone Moonstone is a simply gorgeous gemstone that virtually glows in soft white, beautiful peach, elegant grays and in the case of rainbow moonstone, even lovely hues of blues! Moonstone lore suggests the gem is an emotional balancer that helps to minimize the tendency to over-react and provides one with the ability to compromise, as well as relieving stress and promoting serenity.

Morganite Morganite is a lovely gemstone that can appear as pink, to purple, to slighly peach. Morganite lore suggests the gem can relieve stress, provide clarity and provide anyone who wears it with a feeling of Zen-like peace.

Moss Agate Moss agate is an absolutely gorgeous, translucent gemstone that bears wispy green inclusions reminiscent of moss. Gemstone lore suggests this gem helps to balance yin yang energy, and enhances creativity and strengthens the intellect. It is also thought to bring good luck and instill harmony. It is believed that agate improves courage, emotional strength and self-confidence, and encourages marital and romantic fidelity. The gem is considered to be a very protective stone for children.

Mother-of-Pearl Mother-of-pearl is breathtaking in its simple, iridescent beauty. The gemstone is actually the nacre that lines the shell of some mollusks, and is the same substance that creates pearls.

Mountain Jade Dolomite marble, commonly referred to as "mountain jade," is a lovely gemstone with a subtle internal shimmer that naturally occurs in pink, white or gray but is commonly enhanced to reflect every color of the rainbow. Mountain jade lore suggests the gem alleviates sorrow and encourages original ideas.

Pearl Cultured pearls are the most elegant of all gemstones. Though they occur naturally in several colors, they are often dyed in a wide range of beautiful hues from soft peach and pink to iridescent black.

Peridot Peridot, a breathtaking lime or olive green gemstone, is the birthstone for the month of August.

Pink Opal Pink opal is a dazzling gemstone that occurs naturally in streaks of pink, white, lavender, and cream without the fire of a typical opal. Pink opal lore auggests the stone enourages a felling of peace and non-violence, as well as enabling one to forego old practices in favor of deeper psychological insights.

Preciosa The hottest name in crystal currently is Preciosa. Preciosa is a Czech crystal that has been manufactured since 1948. This crystal is incredibly clear, the huge range of colors are rich and the faceting is done with precision, resulting in components that rival even the most treasured Austrian crystal. Best of all, Preciosa crystal is socially responsible and gives back to the community through the Preciosa Foundation.

Purpurite Purpurite is a gorgeous South African gemstone that occurs in vibrant hues of purple mixed with shades of gray. Gemstone lore suggests the gem helps one to stop self-destructive or self-limiting behavior. It is said to help one speak with confidence. It is also purported to increase spirituality and promote inner growth, as well as bring prosperity and help with finances.

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Quartz Crystal See Rock Crystal

Rainbow Moonstone Rainbow moonstone is a simply gorgeous gemstone that almost glows in lovely hues of blues! Moonstone lore suggests the gem is an emotional balancer that helps to minimize the tendency to over-react and provides flexibility in attitudes, as well as relieving stress.

Red Jasper Red jasper is a truly beautiful stone of warm reddish-brown, white and black hues. Jasper lore suggests the gem encourages unselfishness and brings joy, happiness and love of mankind. Jasper is considered the "mother" of all gemstones and thought to be a strong healing stone.

Regalite See Aqua Terra

Rhodochrosite Rhodochrosite is a beautiful rose colored gemstone with dramatic bands of black and white. The gem has been called the "stone of love" as it is said to allow the wearer to create both internal and external worlds filled with love and dreams. Rhodochrosite is also said to balance the emotions and enhance the immune system.

Rhodonite Rhodonite is a deep rose pink opaque gemstone, often with large spots of black, though it does very rarely appear in a transparent form. Rhodonite lore suggests the gem helps to decrease anxiety while increasing the ability to concentrate on the intricacies of the task at hand. It is said to increase confidence and even aid in finding your true love or to heal the brokenhearted.

Rhyolite Rhyolite, also known as "rainforest jasper" is actually comprised of feldspar and quartz. This gorgeous gem displays flowing shades of sage and emerald green. Known as a gemstone of resolution, rhyolite lore suggests the gem assists in moving through difficulties and urges one toward change and resolution.

Rock Crystal Rock crystal is the mother of all quartz. Gemstone lore suggests the stone balances the emotions and stimulates brain function while activating all levels of consciousness and dispelling environmental negativy.

Rose Quartz Rose quartz is a lovely, feminine gemstone that occurs naturally in hues ranging from almost-white blush pink to soft rose.

Ruby Ruby, the birthstone for the month of July, is known as the "King of Gemstones." This precious gem occurs in many shades of red, from medium pink to deep crimson, the most popular color being a bright, rich pinkish-red... almost a deep fuchsia shade. Gemstone lore suggests the ruby provides protection to its wearer, warding off both misfortune and bad health.

Rutilated Quartz Rutilated quartz (also known as hair quartz) occurs naturally in several colors, with red rutilated quartz being one of the rarer. Rutilated quartz is a clear stone that has titanium needle-like crystal inclusions, called "rutiles." The more rutiles that occur in the gemstone, the more valuable the stone. The gemstone is also known by such romantic names as Cupid's darts, Venus hair stone and Fleches d'amour. Rutilated quartz lore suggests the gem encourages strength, originality, relaxation and the ability to communicate with others. The stone is also said to slow the aging process and promote healing.

Sapphire Sapphire, best known in its strikingly beautiful shades of blue, actually occurs in a huge array of colors from yellow to pink to black, and everything inbetween. This precious gem, which is the birthstone for the month of September, has been highly regarded in religious circles throughout history. This is especially true of the Catholic Church, which believed that the Ten Comandments were actually written on sapphire. Sapphire lore suggests the gemstone preserves innocence, as well as guarding against illness and promoting good health. The gem is believed to bring fulfillment and prosperity, while preserving inner peace and internal beauty. It is also believed to have strong healing properties.

Sardonyx Sardonyx occurs in a wide range of colors, mainly reds, blacks and browns, and often appears with a creamy contrasting band.

Sea Sediment Jasper See Aqua Terra

Seafoam Quartz Seafoam quartz is a gorgeous gemstone that often shows various shades of sea green within each bead. Seafoam quartz lore suggests the gem eases communication and increases inner vision.

Serpentine Green serpentine, also known as "new jade" and "serpentine jade", is a beautiful gemstone that in its most common color is reminiscent of celadon; however, the stone occurs in a striking olivine green as well. Serpentine lore suggests the gem encourages longevity and improves memory.

Shell Shell has been worn as jewelry since the beginning of time. Shell lore suggests that its many shimmering colors affect all the aspectcs of the human body, bringing them into balance and alignment. It is also said to help eliminate fear and sorrow.

Smoky Quartz Smoky quartz appears in luscious shades of taupe to deep, dark chocolately brown. This gemstone is considered a good luck charm!

Snakeskin Jasper See Aqua Terra

Snowflake Obsidian Snowflake obsidian, a product of volcanic fire, is a true beauty with its black background and gray to white "snowflakes.". Snowflake obsidian lore suggests the gemstone dispels anxiety, makes one more intuitive to danger, calms fears and helps to maintain balance.

Sodalite Sodalite is a beautiful gemstone that occurs in shades of blue with white veining. Sodalite lore suggests the gem encourages inner peace and harmony. It is also said to be very lucky for writers, as well as stimulating endurance athletes.

Sterling Silver Sterling silver, by law, must contain at least .925 fine silver. The alloy that makes up the remaining weight is usually copper. Sterling silver was first used as currency and then became popular as flatware and serving pieces, it wasn't until the Victorian era that sterling jewelry became popular. Contemporary sterling silver is now often finished or made with an alloy to control tarnish, thus virtually eliminating what was heretofore the only detriment to owning and wearing this beautiful precious metal.

Swarovski® Crystal An exercise in technical perfection, Swarovski crystal has been manufactured in the Austrian Alps since the late 19th century. The building in which it is manufactured is heavily guarded to protect the company's trade secrets. Clear as spring water and entirely free of internal flaws, Swarovski is considered the finest crystal in the world and is characterized by razor-sharp facets, outstanding clarity, rich saturated colors and spectacular prismatic brilliance. Swarovski crystal has been incorporated into the creations of the the world's most notable fashion designers including Chanel, Schiaparelli, Armani, Versace and Lacroix. Indeed, Swarovski crystals adorned Dorothy's ruby slippers, Holly Golightly's neck in Breakfast at Tiffany's, and were the "diamonds" that were Marilyn's best friend in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.

Terracotta See Ceramic

Tiaria Crystal Tiaria is yet another crystal manufacturer poised to give Swarovski Crystal a run for their money. Not only do they beautifully duplicate and sometimes put their own spin on the traditional Swarovski colors and shapes, they also are known for creating innovative and breathtakingly gorgeous new shapes and faceting, often with extremely dramatic results!

Tigereye The beauty of tigereye is mesmerizing with its hypnotizing swirls of satiny browns and golds, and sometimes even reds and blues!

Topaz is a beautiful, serene gemstone and can be found in colors ranging from white to yellow to deep London blue. Topaz lore suggests the gem can heal both physical and mental disorders, as well as prevent death. It is also believed to be a powerful amulet to protect one from injury. Blue Topaz and Crocheted Gold Pendant
Tourmaline Tourmaline is a popular gemstone that occurs in a huge variety of colors from deep greens to rosy pink hues.

Tourmalated Quartz Tourmalated quartz is an absolutely gorgeous gemstone with beautifully contrasted black tourmaline inclusions that seem to float within. Tourmalated quartz lore suggests this elegant gem is an excellent protective stone that encourages inspiration, understanding and self-confidence.

Turquoise Turquoise, which comes in colors that range from yellow to green to aqua blue. Sleeping Beauty turquoise, mined only from the Sleeping Beauty mine in Arizona, is some of the most beautiful and treasured turquoise in the world.

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Unakite Unakite, with its mesmerizing swirls of green, coral and peach, is a stunningly beautiful gemstone! Unakite lore suggests the stone enhances foresight and visions, and brings balance to the emotions.

Uvaorvite Uvaorvite, more commonly known as tourmalated green quartz, is an absolutely gorgeous stone that almost glows from within. Beautifully contrasted black tourmaline inclusions seem to float inside this beatufiul gem. Tourmalated green quartz lore suggests the gem is an excellent protective stone that encourages inspiration, understanding and self-confidence.

Variscite See Aqua Terra

Vermeil Pronounced "ver-may," vermeil is .925 sterling silver layered in genuine gold, usually 14kt., 22kt. or 24kt.

Venetian glass Venetian glass beads are hand made by master glassblowers in Venice, Italy on the Island of Murano, and are considered to be the finest art glass beads in all the world. The beads seen today can be traced all the way back to the 11th century, when the beadmakers were executed if they attempted to leave the island with their precious beadmaking secrets!

West German West German glass artists have been making spectacular crystal and glass beads since the end of the 13th century and almost all glass beads found in jewelry made from the early 18th century until the first half of the 20th century were made in West Germany. Glass beads were smuggled out of West Germany in the mid 20th century, when the country was divided between east and west, with the help of border guards who would mark West German shipments "East Germany" to ensure their safe passage. Today vintage West German beads are eagerly sought after and coveted among collectors.

Yellow Quartz Yellow quartz is a beautiful gemstone that may fall anywhere inbetween a pale transparent yellow to the color of rich, sweet honey. Yellow quartz lore suggests the gem is a symbol of hope, youth, health and fidelity.

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