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Beader’s dictionary


ACRYLIC ROLL (See products)

Transparent acrylic roller that can flatten polymer clay. It is used to make uniform plates. It also allows for a smooth surface, which in turn eases the fashioning of the clay.

AGATE (See products)

Agate is gemstone of the quartz family. It is a kind of ribboned calcedony with concentric layers. The agate is a very shiny stone when polished and is available in a number of colors and patterns: yellow agate, moss agate, etc. Up to the XIXth century, it was widely used for cameos. Agates can be found in South America, in the United States, Australia, India, China and Africa. A little bit of history: it is believed that the stone got its name out of the Achates river, where many of them were found in Ancient Rome. It is also believed that its name could derive from an Arabic word that refers to a new-born’s hair.

ALUMINUM (See products)

Aluminum is a highly malleable metal. Its main advantage is to be extremely light, even in larger diameters. It is a non-precious, non-ferrous metal of a silvery-grey color. It is a hypoallergenic metal and is very durable. Aluminum is a metal that can be recycled several times. When in contact with air, this metal produces aluminum oxide. This oxide forms a thin protective layer on the metal, which protects it from corrosion. Some methods allow to modify the appearance of aluminum. Anodizing increases the oxide layer's thickness and enables dye retention. The layer of dyed oxide is very bright, but still very fragile. in order to bleach and dull aluminum, the metal undergoes etching, in other words, is treated with nitric acid diluted in water. Aluminum can be found in the form of wires, rings, chains and "wire lace" (tubular metallic lace). The aluminum wire can be worked easily with fingers, thanks to its malleability. Hammer it and it will retain the desired shape.
Gauge Suggestions
1 mm Bead wrapping, ring form, sculped decoration, earring hook, bead cage, clasp
1.5 mm Sculped decoration, ring, bracelet, earring, pendant and necklace form, bead cage, ring
2 mm Sculped decoration, ring, bracelet, earring, pendant and necklace form, ring, clasp
2.5 mm Sculped decoration, bracelet, pendant and necklace form, hammered bookmark
3 mm Sculped decoration, bracelet, pendant and necklace form, hammered bookmark

AMAZONITE (See products)

Amazonite is a stone that is part of the feldspars family. Its color can vary from green to bluish green, and it is often opaque. It is named after the Amazon. It can be found in the United States, Brazil, India, Africa, Austria, Canada and Russia. A little bit of history: The ancient Egyptians sought this stone to decorate their ornaments. It could be seen then in the form of pearls and scarabs. In Westerner jewelry, amazonite has been used since Renaissance.

AMBER (See products)

Amber is a fossilized plant resin. Its color, ranging from bright yellow to brown, has always been a subject of inspiration. Occasionally, plant debris or insects are trapped and preserved in resin, adding to the fascination that surrounds amber. Today, amber is almost always issued from the Baltic Sea (one of the best known deposits), but also from the Dominican Republic, Sicily, Romania, Burma, Canada, China, the United States, Japan and Mexico. A little bit of history: Amber has been decorating ornaments and crafts pieces since prehistoric times. The Baltic amber, also known as the "Gold of the North", was the first precious material known to man. The Roman Emperor Nero burned amber from the Baltic Sea as a perfume during the circus games.

AMETHYST (See products)

Amethyst is a purple to light crimson gemstone of the quartz family. Its name derives from the Greek amethystos meaning "not drunk." Indeed, it was regarded as a talisman against intoxication during Antiquity. The coloring of the amethyst is due to the presence of iron and high irradiation. Amethyst darkens slightly and gradually in the presence of artificial light, and some can fade in the daylight. The main countries where amethyst is found are Brazil, Madagascar, Mexico, Canada, the United States, Sri Lanka, Zambia, Myanmar, Uruguay, India, Namibia and Russia. A little bit of history: In Classical (Greco-Roman) mythology, Amethyst was a young nymph who was transformed into a crystal by the goddess Diane, in order to protect her from Bacchus, the god of wine. Furious, the god is said to have poured his cup of wine on the crystal, giving it its color. The notion that amethyst prevents drunkenness comes from this legend.


The analogue colors are the colors that are adjacent in the chromatic circle (for example, violet, purple and magenta) these colors can harmonize rather than clash with others. The combinations of analogues colors are generally very rich in their aspect. Feel free to deepen or lighten the color’s intensity to create depth, however, do not use too many different shades as this may impede on the piece’s fluidity.


Anodizing means that a surface has undergone a treatment process that protects or decorates aluminum or titanium. The purpose of this method is to replace the oxidized layer that would naturally form on the surface of the metal, by a thicker, more resistant layer. It provides materials with a better resistance to wear, corrosion and heat. The anodizing process involves immersing the metal piece in successive baths followed by rinsing cycles.


Absorbing paper tabs used to protect gold or silver pieces from tarnishing. It is a non toxic paper and it does not leave residues. Store it with untarnished gold or silver pieces in a hermetical container.


Tool used when forging, hammering and shaping metals. This tool consists of a flat face and tips to its edges. One of the tips is conical while the other has a right angle. Use the tip and the hollow part next to the base to make curves and right angles. Its smooth surfaces are perfect to hammer metal wires made of aluminum, copper, brass or precious metals.


Aquamarine is a gemstone of the beryl family. Its name comes from the latin equivalent of sea water, "aqua marina". Its color comes from its iron concentration and includes numerous shades of blue (from pale blue to deep blue and sometimes turquoise). The deep blue aquamarine is the most sought. It is a fragile and shock sensitive gemstone. It is mainly imported from Brazil, Australia, Africa, the United-States, Russia and China. Aquamarine is traditionally associated to the month of October.

ARTICULATION (See products)

The articulation of the pliers is what joins the two handles, but also allows them to move. There are several types of joints, such as the nested articulation, juxtaposed articulation and riveted articulation.

Box joint construction (See products)

At the time of forging, one handle is formed around the other creating a joint referred to as a box. This construction is more expensive to produce, but maintains very good alignment, and longer life precision. The loosening from use is less noticeable in Box Joint Pliers.

Lap joint construction (See products)

Handles are formed independently and joined after forging. This method of construction is generally less expensive and produces more economical tools. Good alignment and precision. Some loosening from use can be expected.

Rivet joint construction (See products)

The handles of the pliers are manufactured independently, then secured together by a rivet.


As its name suggests, the artisanal clip is handmade. It is a clasp made from metal wires such as copper, aluminum, brass, stainless steel or sterling silver. The artisanal clip’s clasp is generally also handmade in order to match the jewel, using the same wires and colors.

AVENTURINE (See products)

The aventurine, or aventurine quartz, is a stone of the quartz family. It can be found in several shades of colors, ranging from green (due to the presence of fuschite) to brownish-red (due to the presence of hematite). Significant deposits are found in Brazil, India, Russia and Tanzania.


An awl is a tool used to pierce leather, made of a handle and a tapered metal rod. It is commonly used to locate nodes when fixing traditional freshwater pearls, but this tool remains less efficient than the knotting tool. It is also very useful to undo knots, to clear a clogged bead hole, to apply a drop of glue, to pierce tape and for anything that requires the use of a sharp tool.

AZURITE (See products)

Azurite is a blue translucent stone that is not very hard. It is a copper carbonate and is named after its color, which can vary from azure-blue (sky blue) to Prussian blue. It is sometimes confused with lapis lazuli or sodalite. Countries where large deposits of azurite can be found are Australia, Chile, the United States, Mexico, Namibia and Russia. A little bit of history: It was used in the Middle Ages in the manufacture of azure paint color. However, its color changed over time, making its pigment less popular than ultramarine blue (made from lapis lazuli).

BAILS (See products)

Bails are findings used for hanging pendants to a support (chain, cable, etc.). Often triangular in shape, it is in its gap that a string or cord will pass. Bails equipped with two small rods that will fit in the hole of the pendant if it is pierced can also be found. Bails to be glued are also available on the market for pendants that have no holes.

BALI SILVER (See products)

Bali is an Indonesian island. Some communities on this island specialize in silver work. This art is passed down from generation to generation, making it an ancient art with unique methods. Indeed, local artisans use simple tools that may seem primitive, but that are wielded with a mastery that make the Indonesians experts in their art. Bali artisans use fine silver mixed with a small amount of copper, which results in an alloy that is between sterling silver and fine silver (pure silver). The Bali silver is known for its filigree pieces and exceptional granulation.


Round plastic headed pins. Ideally used to pin an ongoing project to a support.

BAMBOO (See products)

Bamboo is a plant of the grass family with woody hollow cylindrical stems. It has prominent nodes and a very fast growth. From these stems, beads are made which are used for the creation of jewelry, often in the form of light and narrow tubes, short or not.