Anneal: To soften by heating.

Bezel: A small collet, usually used to hold a stone.

Burnisher: A tool that serves to smooth and polish. Can be used to help set a stone and polish the bezel.

Cabachon (cab): A stone cut with a flat back and domed face (usually round or oval). This cut is often used for semi-precious and opaque stones.

Cloisonné wire: Fine wire used to decorate enamelling and for the Cloisonné enamelling technique (where the wires are used to separate different enamel colours).

Collet: A short tubular part.

Diagrit: A type of abrasive paper. Useful for removing excess enamel.

Finding: Small components used in jewellery making such as jump rings, chain ends, bolt rings, spacer beads, earring hooks. They can be made or purchased.

Fine silver: 99.9% silver. Fine silver has high malleability and ductility and is used principally in work where these properties are advantageous.

Firescale (firestain): A greyish layer of cupric oxide (CuO2) that can become embedded in copper bearing alloys when they are heated. There are a variety of ways of dealing with firescale, the best being prevention through good soldering technique. To remove firescale use a water of Ayr stone with water (produces a matte finish).


  1. A substance used to exclude oxygen during the soldering process (such as borax).
  2. In enamelling: a transparent enamel useful as a base (to avoid reaction between coloured enamel and the metal surface).

Jump ring: a simple wire ring – the building blocks of chains and some other findings.

Lost wax casting: A method for casting metal object. A wax model of the desired shape is made and covered with investment (a plaster-like substance). The wax is melted away and the cavity filled with molten metal. Materials other than wax may also be used (e.g., leaves and other organic material which will melt away).

Mandrel: A tapered tool which can be used for shaping various items (such as rings, bracelets and jewellery components such as bezels).

Pendant drill: Tool for drilling, sanding grinding, burnishing and polishing small pieces of work. Like a dentist’s drill?

Pickle: To clean in acid. Pickling is usually performed after soldering to remove oxidation and works better when the pickling solution is heated.

Pierce: To saw out with a fine saw. When working within a piece a hole is drilled in the compartment to be sawed and the saw blade threaded through the hole.

Rouge: A polishing compound used on a soft buffing mop. Can be used for the final polish.

Size: a varnish used to adhere gold leaf and powders.

Stamping: Stamps are steel rods used to impress a pattern or texture (by striking them with a hammer) into metal. Stamps may be decorative designs, letters, hallmarks, or serve to create a recess (e.g., for inlaying enamel).

Sterling silver (Standard silver): A silver alloy commonly used in jewelry making for it’s desirable properties of strength and ductility and high precious metal content. 92.5% silver, 7.5 other metal (usually copper).

Triblet: A small tapered tool (mandrel) which can be used to shape rings, bezels and other items.

Tripoli: A brown polishing compound used to prime a buffing mop. Tripoli is useful for removing fine scratches in preparation for final polishing using a rouge mop.

Trivet: Stainless mesh stand to hold items for enamelling.

Example of a basic toolkit: Emery sticks, Pliers (snipe-nosed, round-nosed, flat-nosed, parallel, end cutters), snips, half round file, flat handled file, needle files, set square, scribe, dividers, saw, steel rule.

Some basic soldering tools: soldering torch, solder, heatproof mat, soldering blocks, soldering probe, fine brush, flux (e.g., borax), sprung tweezers, parallel and flat-nosed pliers, snips, water, pickle, pickling tongs.

Some basic enamelling tools: fine brush (to apply wet enamel), sifting mesh (for applying dry enamels), glass fibre brush, blotting paper, distilled water, diagrit, stilts and trivets, ceramic fibreboard, mortar and pestle, firing fork and tongs, gum (to secure dry enamels, foils, cloisonné wire etc. in place before firing) + protective firing equipments.


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