Jewelry Designers Glossary, Part 2 - B

Here is the second part of my regular jewelry designers glossary. Today we look at jewelry making terms beginning with the letter "B"

B is for... 

Badger Balm
An olive oil based salve used to prevent Precious Metal Clay and Art Clay from sticking to your hands and work surfaces

A rectangular, faceted stone

A folded metal loop used to connect a pendant or watch to a necklace, chain or cord

Bali Sterling Silver Earrings
by Erika Price
Bali Beads 
Sterling silver beads that are made individually by hand in Bali, Indonesia

A stiff type of bracelet consisting of a closed ring, usually made of metal or plastic, that slips over the hand or is clasped on

An irregularly shaped pearl bead

Barrel Clasp 
A type of clasp, best suited for fastening necklaces

Barrel Polisher
A machine designed for polishing stones or metal. Also referred to as a tumbler

Emerald Isle Barrette 
by EmotionalOasis
A piece of jewelry used to tie hair back

Base Metal 
A collective term for all non-precious metals or alloys with a low intrinsic value. They are relatively inexpensive compared with precious metals, and oxidize relatively easily and are liable to corrosion or discoloration if exposed to substances such as hair spray, perfume and alcohol. Examples include tin, zinc, nickel, iron, lead, aluminium, copper, brass, bronze and aluminium

An ornate jewellery setting with a filigree appearance

Bead Cap 
Usually made of metal, a bead cap is a bell, cap or cup-shaped component that partly covers or frames the bead next to it. Used both for decoration and to hold beads in place on either side

Bead Cone 
Used in multi-strand jewellery, the bead cone covers the ends of the wire strands, which are tied together in a knot inside the cone

Crimping Pliers
from Palmer Metals

Bead Crimper 
Also called crimping pliers, this tool is used to close and secure bead crimps. The lower jaw crimps the beads, while the grooves in the upper jaw folds and tightens the crimp. The flattening action secures the crimp bead to the beading wire

Bead Frames 
Bead frames are components used to frame or accentuate a bead. Holes on each side of the frame enable beading wire to pass from one side of the frame to the other with the bead secured, or framed, in the centre

Beading Wire
Flexible wire used for stringing jewellery such as necklaces and bracelets

Bead Tips 
Also known as calottes and clamshells, bead tips are used to conceal knots and attach clasps or jump rings to necklaces and bracelets

Bearer Wire
Rectangular sectioned wire used for setting large stones

Beggar Beads 
Large, irregular or baroque semi-precious beads, often of agate or quartz

A style of chain in which the links are made from D-sectioned wire

Bell Cap 
A vertical drop setting, resembling the shape of a bell

Morganite Beryl Necklace
by nikhajewelry
Pure Beryl is colourless, but it is found in a variety of colours as the gemstones Emerald, Aquamarine, and Morganite. With the exception of emerald, Beryl is usually quite durable

An angled surface

A type of setting with a collar of metal that encircles and raises the centre stone, such as between a ring shank and a setting

Bib Necklace 
This style of necklace mimics a baby's bib, with a thick section at the centre and a thinner fastening around the back of the neck

Swarovski Crystal Bicones
from Palmer Metals
Bicones are beads that taper to a cone at each end, most commonly made from Swarovski crystal and Czech glass

Biwa Pearls
Biwa pearls, originally from Lake Biwa near Kyoto in western Japan, are cultured or cultivated in freshwater mussels. They are smoother and of a higher quality than other freshwater pearls, and therefore more expensive

Black Moonstone
Dark labradorite stone with a bluish colour

An ink-colored gemstone that closely resembles but is less shiny than black onyx

Blister Pearl & Garnet Necklace
by CapitalCityCrafts
Blister Pearls 
Found both naturally and as cultured pearls, blister pearls grow onto the inside surface of a mollusc’s shell in irregular shapes, and are caused by a parasite penetrating through the outer shell

Also known as heliotrope, Bloodstone is a green variety of chalcedony with inclusions of bright red jasper resembling drops of blood. In ancient times bloodstone was attributed with the power to stop haemorrhages at the merest touch, and it was greatly prized in the Middle Ages when the spots were thought to be the blood of Jesus Christ. Believed to relieve stomach and bowel pain, strengthen blood-purifying organs and improve blood circulation, Bloodstone is the original birthstone for March
A bolo is a necktie made from any flexible material, that fastens with decorative tips or an ornamental clasp. The two ends of the tie are threaded through the clasp and held in parallel, and the clasp can be placed higher or lower in position according to wearer preference

Bolt Ring
by Palmer Metals
Bolt Ring 
A circular catch used for fastening chains. Also known as a spring ring clasp

Borax is a cone-shaped flux which is ground in a ceramic borax dish and used in the soldering process

Box and Tongue Clasp
A type of clasp with a V-shaped wire or tongue that slots into a metal tube and locks into place

Box Chain
A type of chain with square, box-like links

Lampwork Glass Bracelet
by Erika Price
An item of jewellery worn on the wrist

Strands of material folded over one another to make thicker cord

A very malleable metal alloy of copper and zinc that is easy to mold and to work cold

Brilliant Cut
A type of cut with 58 facets, which produces the greatest brilliance
An oval teardrop or pear-shaped gemstone or glass bead, and usually has a pointed end rather than being flat at one end. Briolettes may be smooth, or cut on all sides with triangular or rectangular facets

Britannia Silver
A silver alloy with a minimum fine silver content of 95.8%, that is resistant to firestain and is more easily worked, and work hardens less quickly than, sterling silver

Seek Peace Brooch
by peacesofindigo 
An ornamental piece of jewellery with a clasp to pin it to clothing

Bronzite is a medium hard hypersthene (part of the pyroxene group) ranging from greenish-black to brown in colour. It occurs when specific moisture and temperature conditions within the rock trigger a chemical weathering process that transforms hypersthene into a new, opaque stone with a submetallic lustre. Bronzite takes its names from the inclusion of highly reflective minerals like hematite and goethite, which give it a bronze-like effect when polished

Buckle Ring
A design of signet ring that resembles a belt buckle

Bugle Beads 
Thin tubular shaped glass beads manufactured in lengths from 2mm to 35mm and a width of 1-2 mm. Necklaces consisting purely of silver bugle beads are sometimes called liquid silver

Also known as French Wire or Gimp, bullion is a very finely coiled wire that forms a flexible tube used for finishing the ends of strung jewelry pieces. It is threaded over the beading wire or cord to cover it and protect it from fraying

Silver Byzantine Bracelet
by Erika Price
A tool used to polish metal by hand

Also known as scrolls, these are components that attach to the back of earposts to hold the earring in position on the ear lobe

Button Earrings
Also known as studs, buttons are flat earrings that sit on the earlobe

Byzantine Chain
A tubular or flat style of chain with close fitting links Registered & Protected


  1. Wow this is such a comprehensive list! As a non-jeweller I'm amazed at all the terms I've never even heard of - I always thought a baguette was just a french loaf lol!

  2. Fun article! I had no idea how many Bs there are!

  3. This is a neat series you're doing- cool info!

  4. I love this series, so interesting! I'm especially fascinated learning about all the stones and minerals. Love your photographed examples too. Your work is lovely.

  5. Erika this is a great idea. Thanks for all the wonderful info!

  6. Only a true data freak like you, Erika, would take on something like this. When it is done, it needs to be published as an actual book. NOT KIDDING!
    Plus, if you would like a proofreader who also knows her terminology as well as the stones, please know that I am available.
    Auntie Ribasus Elizabeth Anaria: Born Meddler

  7. A great job and I have to believe you have a love for cataloging intel...bring in on!

  8. Only 24 more letters to go--keep it coming! :)


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