Jewelry Designers Glossary, Part 4 - Ci to Cz

In this latest part of my jewelry designers glossary, we look take a look at a wide range of jewellery terms from "Ci" to "Cz". Some of the terms are familiar, others will be less so. As usual, I've been browsing Etsy to find some really stunning pieces of handmade jewelry, from a range of talented designers, to illustrate this week's edition

C is for ... 

Red Cinnabar Earrings
by fuchsiabloomstudio
Often intricately carved, genuine cinnabar is a soft stone that is bright or brick red in colour. It is made up of mercury sulphide, and often formed into beads. However, most of the cinnabar beads available today are actually either red-dyed lacquered wood, or a heavy moulded polymer made to resemble cinnabar

Citrine is the traditional birthstone for November and is a beautiful yellow member of the quartz family. It is sometimes mistaken for the more expensive yellow topaz but is more durable, slightly softer and has less brilliance. Good quality citrine is clear, while lower grade beads are more opaque. Much of the citrine on the market today is actually heat-treated amethyst. Natural citrine is not common and occurs in paler hues than the heat-treated material. Heat-treated forms can often be distinguished from natural citrine by their red tint, which is a quality of all heat-treated gemstones. Citrine is easily scratched, and permanently changes colour if it is left in the sunlight for several hours, so store citrine beads away from strong heat or light

Claddaugh Symbol
An Irish Celtic design featuring a crown atop a heart clasped by two hands. The crown stands for loyalty, the heart for love and the two hands for friendship. Claddagh rings are often worn as symbols of friendship and have been used as wedding bands for centuries

Gold Wrapped Citrine Briolette
by Erika Price

Clam shells
See Calottes, Part 3

Clasps come in all types, shapes and sizes and are used to attach the two ends of a piece of jewellery. Examples include lobster, toggle, barrel and fish hook clasps

Clearness of appearance

Claw Setting
Also known as a setting or collet, a claw setting is used in stone set rings to hold the stone in place

Clip-on Earrings
Earrings designed for non-pierced ears. The clip-back works like a hinge to secure the earring to the earlobe

Blackbird Cloisonne Necklace
by Dashery
This is an ancient art of decorative enamelling, whereby a pattern of thin strips of metal wire is fixed onto a metal base, and enamel applied in the gaps. When the piece is fired, the enamel melts into the shapes contained by the wires. It is then polished smooth to enhance the design and colours

A setting in which several stones are grouped together

Cobalt is a lustrous, magnetic, silvery-white metal with a blue tint that is rarely used in jewellery making. However, the term cobalt is commonly used to describe the deep, lustrous blue colour of beads made from other materials

Cocktail Ring
Large ring set with precious or semi precious stones or crystals. Popular in the 1940s and 50s, the classic cocktail ring design features an oval or marquise cut centrepiece stone, surrounded by a frame of contrasting stones

Coil findings
A metal coil used to attach clasps to leather cord by crimping the last coil around the leather

Coin Pearls
Freshwater pearls that are flat like a coin in appearance

A band style of necklace, worn close to the neck

See Claw Setting

Comet Tail
A surface defect in metal, that only becomes evident during polishing, caused by an inclusion or porosity in the metal

Continental Ear Wires
Also known as European Ear Wires, these are curved wire earrings that pass through the pierced ear and close with a clasp

Coral & Turquoise Bracelet
by jemsbyjbandcompany
Coral is a calcium carbonate built up by the skeletal remains of marine animals. Black, red and pink coral is considered the most valuable. Imitation coral is made from a variety of materials including is plastic, glass, porcelain and stained bone, while natural coral has a distinctive wood-grain texture that can help identify it as the real thing: sponge coral has visible pores like a sponge, while bamboo coral grows in segmented branches that resemble bamboo stalks, with brown sections partially covering a black under layer.

Coral is much softer than other natural stones and should be stored carefully to avoid scratching. A point worth noting is that some of the more vibrantly dyed coloured beads might bleed, so you should always test for colourfastness before wearing. If necessary, wash the beads in warm soapy water and blot dry with paper towels, repeating this process until no dye transfers to the paper towels

Beading cord is usually thicker than thread, and may be woven from various materials including leather, suede, hemp, flax, silk and nylon

Moon Crater Ruby & Sapphire Ring
by laurastamperdesigns
Corundum is a gem mineral made up of crystallised aluminium oxide and traces of iron, titanium and chromium. It is a naturally colourless and transparent gemstone, but when impurities are present they appear in different colours: red forms are known as Ruby and all other colours are called Sapphire. It is also an extremely hard substance that is capable of scratching almost every other known mineral, so it is commonly used as an abrasive

Costume Jewellery
Traditionally, costume jewellery was large imitation jewelry worn by actresses, and designed to be seen from the stage by the audience. Today, the term usually refers to jewellery made of faux gemstones and less expensive base metals than pieces made with real gemstones and precious metals

Court Wire
Oval section wire, its main application is in the manufacture of ring blanks

Also known as crimping beads, crimps are small metal beads used to finish off beaded jewellery. They may be corrugated or smooth, and are squashed into position with pliers to hold beads in position and secure two or more pieces of wire. To finish a beaded necklace or bracelet, loop the wire through a clasp and then back through the crimp, then fix the crimp in position using flat-ended or crimping pliers

Crimping Pliers
Specialist pliers used for crimping beads. See Bead Crimper, Part 2

Melting Gold in a Crucible
Crow Beads
Similar in shape to seed beads but much larger and with large holes, crow beads are cut from tubes of glass or plastic and have a smooth rounded, slightly oval finish.

They are popular for hair braiding and are often seen in Native American styles of jewellery

The crown is the topmost part of a cut stone

A container used to melt and pour metal

Swarovski Crystal Necklace
by ErikaPrice
A top-quality colourless, transparent glass resembling natural or rock crystal, made using a process that involves lead oxide To be called crystal, the beads must contain a minimum of 10% lead. Adding lead to glass makes it sparkle more and also adds weight, which is one way to tell the difference between genuine crystals and cheaper glass imitations. Austrian crystal is widely regarded as the best, and Swarovski produce very high quality manmade crystal beads in a vast range of designs

Chemical symbol for Copper

Cubic Zirconia and Pearl Earrings
by BrookeJewelry
Cubic Zirconia
Cubic Zirconias are synthetic, manmade diamonds. They have been manufactured commercially since 1976, and are now the most affordable and common diamond substitute. Also known as CZ, Diamonique and Fianit, they are similar in appearance to diamonds but are slightly heavier and not quite as hard. Like diamonds, they have a very high refractive index and sparkle. Different oxides are added to create coloured cubic zirconias. They are very durable and can withstand high temperatures, and have a very high melting point so they can be fired in kilns with metal clay - a process that would ruin most other gemstones

Sterling Geometric Cuff Bracelet
by Metalicious
A bangle type bracelet or earring in the form of a wide band

Cuff Link
A decorative fastener similar to a button, used to close a French cuff (a cuff without buttons) on a shirt

Cultured Pearl
Cultured pearls are created by artificially implanting a piece of mantle from one mollusc into another host mollusc, thus mimicking the natural pearl process. Cultured pearls are real, not imitation pearls.  To test if your pearls are real or glass, run them over your teeth - real pearls have a gritty feel while glass pearls are smooth

A style of chain with oval links, twisted so they lie flat

A square style of signet ring with rounded corners

Cushion Cut
A square style of gemstone cut with rounded corners

Describes the way a gemstone is faceted

Czech Glass Bead Bracelet
by BeadsMe
See Chrysoberyl, Part 3

Czech Glass
The Czech Republic was previously known as Czechoslovakia and before that as Bohemia, and has been famous for making glass beads since the 11th Century. Pressed glass beads are mass-produced in a huge vivid colours that do not fade. They are also less expensive and softer in appearance than Austrian crystal Registered & Protected


  1. what a great dictionary - I learned alot from this - thanks for including my cinnabar earrings!

  2. fantastic, creative idea! Thanks for including my cuff bracelet Erika!

  3. Erika, great information and beautiful examples.

  4. great info, & I always learn something from your blog : )

  5. These posts are such a great idea, and contain so much information!
    Thanks for including my cubic zirconia earrings.

  6. I'd actually been wondering for quite some time what a cocktail ring was!

  7. Erika, your letter posts are great. Thanks for featuring my bracelet.

  8. This post is great. I can't get over this project you are doing! I am going to link it to my blog. It is fantastic.

  9. These glossary post you are doing are so neat! So fabulous! Thanks for making my necklace the pic of cloisonne!

  10. I just love reading this glossary. Not only am I learning a lot,but I get to see all the lovely jewelry too. Thanks Erika for including our coral bracelet.

  11. Very informative list and gorgeous pics too!

  12. I love your blog! It's chock full of goodies and all things informative and tonnes of eye candy!

  13. This is impressive, Erika! Informative for those who love to look at beautiful jewelry as well as those that make it!

  14. Hi Erika! Wonderful blog post.. I don't think my comment made it through so here's another try: This is an impressive glossary, for those of us who enjoy looking at beautiful jewelry as well as for those that create it.

  15. Well done, these glossaries will make a great reference source.

  16. Lot of very useful information! I love Cloisonne and have some necklaces to list...beautiful pictures too :)

  17. Very interesting! I own an amazing cinnabar bangle, really interesting to know the detail of what it's made of.

  18. Great info and you have some lovely jewelry pics to accompany it!

  19. i save these all pictures in folder.I will transfer these pic's to mobile then make them wallpapers of mobile screen.


Post a Comment

Someone once said that comments are like chocolates - you can never eat just one. As a chocoholic, I love to dip into your replies, and always respond to as many comments as I can!
Erika x