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Abalone

This glossary is growing all the time. Please feel free to suggest a term to add.

A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z  

AB  See Aurora Borealis.
Abalone  Iridescent pieces of shell from the abalone sea mollusk.
Acrylic  A glassy plastic-like material which can be molded or cast or used in paints and coatings. Acrylic is molded into plastic-like beads or is used to coat beads to give them color or luster. Acrylic beads are available in hundreds, if not thousands, of shapes and colors, and are generally less expensive than metal or glass beads and are far more durable.
Agate  A form of chalcedony (quartz) which occurs in many colors that range from transparent to opaque. Agates are found all over the world and are believed to soothe the mind and improve your memory. Some agates are geodes, which means they are hollow in the middle, often with crystals inside. More about Agate
Alabaster  A variety of gypsum (a mineral) which is translucent and milky white, and can be carved into beads or statues.
Alexandrite  This gemstone is a member of the chrysoberyl family. It is most often recognized in a pale blue/green color but can be found in many others. Alexandrite is very rare, and was originally named after Russian tsar Alexander II. Originally, alexandrite was thought to only be found in Russia, but a Brazilian deposit was discovered in the late 1980s and others soon followed. Alexandrite is believed to strengthen intuition. More about Alexandrite
Alloy  A metal made from the combination of two or more base metals. These metals must be completely molten together to be called an alloy. Brass, white gold, sterling silver and pewter are examples of alloys.
Almandine  A type of garnet.
Amazonite  Amazonite is a brilliant green variety of feldspar. Despite its name, it is not found in the Amazon, but instead in parts of Russia, USA, and Madagascar, as well as others. Amazonite is believed to improve confidence and self worth and is sometimes called the "hope stone". More about Amazonite
Amber  Fossilized sap or pitch from trees, usually golden brown and translucent. Said to promote healing and give protection from negativity. "Amber" can also refer to the color of amber.
Amethyst  A lovely purple transparent semi-precious stone. Like all quartz, amethyst is a commonly used stone in metaphysical work. Amethyst is found in many parts of the world, but only a few countries provide the dark, good quality color. More about Amethyst
Ammolite  Ammolite is a gemstone create from the shell of a fossilized sea creature that existed over 65 million years ago called an ammonite. Ammolite is found exclusively in southern Alberta Canada, and occasionally in small parts of Montana. Ammolite comes in a wide variety of colors including red, blue, green, yellow, gold, pink, and many others. Ammolite is a very unique, very soft gemstone, and is rarely successfully imitated, though improper processing can have devastating effects on the quality. More about Ammolite
Ammonite  Ammonites are prehistoric sea creatures that existed over 65 million years ago. They were a Chambered Nautilus type of creature that looked a lot like a snail with tentacles sticking out the end. They lived in the water and moved around by shifting air between the chambers in their shell. These creatures evolved quickly, and today scientists use them to date layers of soil. Ammonites are believed to have preferred shallow water and are often found along the prehistoric coast line all around the world including Madagascar and Canada. The gemstone Ammolite is made from the thin outside layer of the shell, but is very rare and requires specific mineral compositions to have preserved the gem.
Anklet  A chain or bracelet worn as decoration around the ankle. Because anklets can take a beating, it's best to use a strong threading material. When choosing a clasp, avoid barrel clasps as they tend to come undone; lobster claw clasps or spring ring clasps are more secure.
Anneal  Annealing is the process whereby a material is heated and then slowly cooled to make it stronger and more pliable. This is particularly useful for strengthening metal wire so it is softer to work with. Lampwork beads are also annealed to prevent the glass from shattering.
Apache Tears  A popular form of obsidian. These obsidian nuggets are usually round or oval and have a grey-white perlite matrix inside. Apache tears are said to protect you from being taken advantage of, promote success in business, and increase psychic powers. (photo by Eli Hodapp)
Apatite  Apatite is mineral found in many different parts of the world. It is not a well known gemstone, and actually has more uses outside the field of jewelry. Apatite is a soft stone, but can be very brittle. Apatite is most commonly green, but can sometimes be found in other colors. More about Apatite
Aquamarine  Aquamarine is a member if the beryl family. It is a brilliant, clear gemstone that is sometimes mistaken or the less expensive blue topaz. Itís color ranges from light to dark blue, and sometimes a bluish green. Aquamarine is traditionally the birthstone for March and is believed to be a universal symbol of youth, hope, and health. Aquamarine is commonly found alongside other Berylís in countries such as Russia and Brazil; but it is also found in other parts of the world including Colorado, which has named it their official state gem. Aquamarine is often heated to enhance the color, so be sure to ask when purchasing one of these stones. More about Aquamarine
Aurora Borealis  A rainbow-like iridescent finish that is reminiscent of the weather phenomenon called Aurora Borealis, or the Northern Lights. To produce this finish, glass or acrylic beads are coated with thin layers of metal to enhance color and give an extra sparkle and rainbow look to the base color. Beads with this finish are labeled AB.
Aventurine  Aventurine is a member of the Quartz family. It is most commonly found in a forest green color, but can also be found in orange, brown, yellow, blue, and gray. Aventurine is easily characterized because it often has flecks of mineral inclusions that give it a sparkly look. Aventurine is found in many parts of the world including India, Brazil, and Russia. It is called the Ďlucky talismaní and is supposed to increase libido, reduce stress, and strengthen blood and muscle tissues. Aventurine is sometimes mistaken for goldstone (and vice versa). More about Aventurine
Azurite  Azurite is a beautiful dark blue colored mineral found all over the world. It was traditionally used as a pigment or dye as well as in jewelry. Azurite is believed to help develop a persons psychic abilities and intuition. Azurite is often found growing alongside malachite, sometimes even growing together in one stone. More about Azurite

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