Jewelry Designers Glossary, Part 3 - Ca to Ch

Part 3 of my jewelry designers glossary looks at terms beginning with the letter "C". However, there are so many of them that I have split them up, and this week we shall start with "Ca" and only go as far as "Ch"

Lapis Sterling Silver Swirl Ring
by Capitalcitycrafts
C is for ...

Cabochons are gemstones, or pieces of semi-precious stone or glass, that have been smoothly cut, without faceting, and have a domed and polished upper surface and a flat base

A tool used to measure metal sheet or wire

Natural cameos are carved stones, shells or gemstones in which the outer layers are cut away so that the design stands out against a background in a different colour. Synthetic manufactured cameos are also made using various materials, including plastic and glass

Vintage 1930s Ivory Glass Cameo Necklace
by ovgilliesdesigns
Carat (Gemstones & Pearls)
In gemstone and pearl terminology, a carat (ct) is a unit of weight equal to 200 milligrams. Gemstone weights are rounded to the nearest one hundredth of a carat, which is known as a point, therefore there are 100 points to a carat, and each point weighs 2 milligrams. Thus a 1.0 carat diamond might be referred to as a full carat or 100 point stone, while a 0.50 carat gemstone might also be referred to as a one-half carat or a 50-point stone

Carat (Precious Metals)
In purity terminology, carat (kt in the USA & Canada) is a term used in define the precious metal content of gold alloys. Pure, or fine, gold has 24 carats. In 9 carat gold, 9 of the 24 parts are fine gold, hence this alloy is referred to as 9ct, or 9/24, or 37.5% pure gold and hallmarked accordingly. Similarly in 18 carat gold, 18 of the 24 parts are fine gold so this alloy is referred to as 18ct, 18/25. or 75% pure gold and hallmarked accordingly. The carat system is increasingly being complemented by the millesimal fineness system, in which the purity of precious metals is denoted by parts per thousand of pure metal in the alloy, whereby 24ct has a millesimal fineness of 999 or higher, 18ct has a millesimal fineness of 750, 9ct has a millesimal fineness of 375, and so on

Similar to a lobster clasp, a carabiner is an alternative clasp to the bolt ring for fastening chains

Sterling Silver Calottes
from BFnT
Catches are semi-finished findings for brooches, or other items that use a pin for fastening. The catch holds the pin in place when closed

Also known as clam shells and bead tips, calottes are used to neatly cover the knot at the end of a string of beads. To make the knot even more secure, tie it around a seed bead and add a drop of glue. Close the calotte carefully with pliers, then and snip the excess beading thread or wire

This is the one of the most common minerals on earth, constituting about 4% of the Earth's crust by weight. It is usually a clear or whitish stone, but also occurs in a vast range of shapes and colours. It is often fluorescent, and if it contains a small amount of manganese it glows red under UV light. Another interesting feature of the stone is its strong double refraction, a phenomenon that occurs when a light ray enters the crystal and splits up into two separate rays, making anything observed through the crystal appear as double. Calcite is a relatively soft and easily damaged gemstone, so be very careful when cleaning it

Carnelian Bangle Bracelet
by EmeraldPixie
Carnelian is a translucent orange to red variety of Chalcedony, member of the Quartz family. Its red tints are caused by iron oxide trace elements, but most of the red stones on the market today are actually heat-treated. To distinguish the two, hold the stone against the light - the heat-treated carnelian shows its colour in stripes, while natural carnelian shows a cloudy distribution of colour. Ancient Greeks and Romans used Carnelian for signet rings and cameos, and it is thought to bring passion to the wearer and aids infertility or impotency

Tangerine Dream Cats Eye Earrings
by SatinDollCo
Cat's Eye Beads
Cat's Eye beads are so-called because they reflect a band of light that shifts position as the bead is turned, creating an effect in the bead that looks like a cat's eye. They can occur naturally as semiprecious gemstones (see Chrysoberyl) but most of the beads used in jewellery these days are manmade. Synthetic cats eye beads are also known as fibre optic beads, because they are manufactured by fusing quartz fibres together

Ceramic Beads 
A mixture of clay and other chemicals that are fired at very high temperatures using a process that dates back to ancient times. The different types and qualities of clay used give varying degrees of hardness and base colour. Ceramic beads may be hand painted or have coloured decals applied, and may be glazed to a shine. Peru, Greece and India all produce large quantities of ceramic beads

The chemical symbol for cadmium

Chain Maille
Chain Maille is jewellery woven by hand into lengths of chain or shaped units. It is made by weaving and interlocking individual metal or plastic jump rings into one of a vast range of patterns

Chain Nose Pliers 
Chain Nose pliers have tapered tips that are rounded on the outside but flat on the inside.
They have smooth jaws and are useful for gripping wire and jump rings

Chalcedony is an umbrella term for quartz containing microscopically small crystals, or cryptocrystalline quartzes. It is a semitransparent or translucent stone with a solid or patterned colour and a waxy lustre, and can be pale bluish-grey, white, blue, purple, pink, yellow, orange or red in colour. 
Blue Chalcedony Cabochon Ring
by WearableByDesign
The chalcedony family includes agate, jasper, carnelian, chrysoprase, onyx, bloodstone and aventurine (orange-red chalcedony is called carnelian). The most common forms of Chalcedony are agate and jasper. Agate is usually translucent and has clearly defined bands and markings, while jasper is generally opaque, more irregular and less defined. Chalcedony is extremely porous, and is frequently dyed, but is susceptible to scratches and damage, and needs to be protected from harsh chemicals and extreme temperatures. It is thought to reduce fever, aid eyesight, stimulate creativity and stimulate calm and peace

Ruby Rose Chandelier Earrings
by CrystalImpressions
Chandelier Earrings 
Chandeliers are drop earrings or pendants with dangles, in a chandelier design to give them movement

Channel Setting 
This is a setting where stones are inlaid into grooves in the metal, and is usually used to set a number of uniformly sized stones in a row

Cyclamen Charm
by Erika Price
Charlotte Beads 
Charlottes are a type of seed bead where one side is faceted, making the bead sparkle. Originally they were only made in 13/0 and therefore charlottes in other sizes are sometimes referred to as "true cuts" or "one cuts"

Traditionally associated with luck, charms are small decorative pendants  that can be attached a bracelet or necklace, or to accessories such as handbags, purses and cell phones

Charm Bracelet
A link bracelet, popularly made of a precious metal such as gold or sterling silver, worn around the wrist. to which any number of decorative charms and pendants may be attached

Charoite and Sterling Silver Bracelet
by Shazzabeth
Charoite is an unusual and rare opaque mineral gemstone with a wild, swirling pattern of interlocking crystals ranging in colour from bright lavender, violet and lilac to dark purple, with white, grey and black veining. It is said that putting a piece of Charoite under your pillow will release any fears that surface in your dreams

Chatons are cone-shaped crystals or gemstones where the top circular edge is bevelled. The term also refers to cone-shaped beads that have been backed with foil to make them sparkle

Chaton Setting 
This is a type of jewel setting where the gemstone is held in place by metal claws

A very narrow bore tube used in the jewellery industry to make hinges, and as a decorative element in ring mounts

Cherry Quartz Earrings
by FuchsiaBloomStudio
Cherry Quartz
This is a manufactured stone that resembles strawberry quartz but is actually glass

The shortest length of necklace, a choker is worn very close to, or high on, the neck

This yellowish-green mineral is exceptionally hard, tough and durable. As the third hardest frequently encountered natural gemstone, it is ideal for everyday wear. Chrysoberyl is found in transparent and translucent forms, although generally only the transparent pale green to yellow varieties are used for gemstones. There are three main types: ordinary yellow-to-green Chrysoberyl, cat's eye or Cymophane, and Alexandrite. The yellow colour of the most common form is created by iron trace elements in the mineral. Cymophane, when cut as a cabochon, forms a light-green stone with a silky band of light extending across the surface (see Cat's Eye Beads). Alexandrite changes colour depending on the ambient light - is the rarest variety, and is typically emerald-green in natural daylight and raspberry-red in incandescent light

Chrysocolla Gemstone Necklace
by MarcieJaneDesigns
Chrysocolla is a very soft, bluish-green stone with brown, rust, black or gold-coloured inclusions. A secondary copper ore that forms in the oxidation zones of copper-rich areas, it is a very fragile mineral and can only be used for jewellery if it is fossilized in chalcedony. Chrysocolla is said to be good for creativity, female energy and communication, as well as relieving ulcers and arthritis. It is also associated with tranquillity, peace, intuition, patience and unconditional love

Chrysoprase is a green member of the quartz family, and is a variety of chalcedony. It occurs as nodules or fillings of clefts in serpentine rocks and in weathered materials of nickel ore deposits. Unlike most other green gemstones, which owe their colour to chromium or vanadium, the colour in chrysoprase comes from staining by nickel oxide. Chrysoprase is quite often opaque, but the more translucent it is, the better the quality. The highest-quality material is rich and even apple-green in colour, and has no flaws, fractures, inclusions, cavities or other imperfections. Much of the chrysoprase used for beads has a brownish matrix. It is easily worked and polishes well, but its colours can fade in sunlight, when heated or as stones dry out. To restore lost translucency and lustre to your beads, just leave them to soak for a while in clean water Registered & Protected


  1. Erika, great post and pretties from the JetTeam.

  2. lots of good definitions here! love the addition of photos too-

  3. Great information on these and really nice photos on the JetTeam pieces. Makes me hate my photos!

  4. What an impressive undertaking!
    Great info. I will return here whenever I have a question. Thanks Erika!

  5. Your posts are rocking Erika. Love the info.

  6. Very informative blog post.Thank you so much for featuring my earrings.

  7. Hmm, nose pliers on a chain? Not sure I want my jewellery made with those


  8. Great info! Beautiful jewelry and findings!

  9. What a fabulous glossary! I love the examples with the terminology!

  10. Thanks for all the great information! And for featuring my ring with all the other beautiful jewelry!

  11. Really useful information!thanks so much for including my earrings here!

  12. This is such a great way to learn more about the products we use. Also, I am honored to have my Chrysocolla necklace here. Thanks so much!

  13. Love your glossary - so much great information. Thanks for including a pic of my "Charoite"!


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