Fine Silver

Fine silver is another way of saying pure silver. Fine Silver is .999 or 99.9% pure silver, occurring naturally in the earth. Fine silver is a relatively soft metal, so it is used for fine jewelry components that will not be subjected to great wear and tear, or is often alloyed with other metals, such as copper, to increase its hardness and strength.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper, to increase its hardness and strength. Unlike fine silver, sterling silver is prone to tarnishing due to it's copper content.

Argentium silver

Argentium (originally patented in 1998) is a brand of modern tarnish-resistant silver alloys, containing either 93.5% or 96% silver. Argentium alloys replace some of the copper in the traditional sterling silver alloy with the metalloid germanium. Argentium's patents refer to percentages of zinc and boron present in Argentium silver. 


Enameling is basically fusing colored glass powder to the surface of metals to create a permanent bond. Powdered Vitreous Enamels are essentially made from colored glass, crushed and ground, and come in a wide range of transparencies, from Opaque to Semi-transparent to Transparent. Transparent enamels often give an illusion of depth. True Opalescents are prized for their milky effect with reflecting colors, reminiscent of opals.


Die-Struck Jewelry

Die striking is a centuries-old technique of making jewelry. Highly demanding in terms of jeweler’s skill and expertise, this technique is not favorable for mass production, which has brought it on the verge of extinction. Die striking is a jewelry making process that utilizes an enormous amount of pressure to form metal into a working die made of steel. These dies may be made by the artist or reproduced from hubs or master dies that were originally made at the end of 19th and the beginning of 20th century. Precious metal sheet or ingots are annealed and then struck into the working die repeatedly using a 20 ton press to form a three-dimensional impression. After this, the piece may be further processed using bending, sawing, piercing, chasing, carving and/or soldering. The results are wearable objects of art which could never be obtained through mass production. Die striking imparts to the metal exclusive properties, which make die-struck rings and jewelry in many respects superior to cast jewelry. Die-struck jewelry has a higher density and a tighter grain structure than cast pieces, which are prone to porosity. The intrinsic nature of die-struck jewelry makes it more resistant to friction, abrasion and corrosion. Die-struck jewelry, for the same reason, polishes more quickly and retains its polish longer. 

Hand-made or Hand-crafted

Hand-made or hand-crafted jewelry is fashioned or made by hand or a hand process, as opposed to being fabricated or mass produced by machine. Hand-made items are by their very nature subject to small variations in their design, and it is this unique aspect of the items that makes each piece one-of-a-kind.


This is a very popular type of hand-made jewelry today. Designs are created by hammering a metal stamp impression onto a metal blank with a heavy hammer. 


An enamel jewelry technique in which portions of the piece are raised, and portions recessed. Then enamel is layered into the recessed areas and fired.  Recessed areas may be created through etching, engraving, and layered fabrication techniques.


An enamel technique in which a design is created on the base metal using thin ribbons of wire, or cloisons. The areas between the cloisons are then wet packed with enamels and kiln-fired at high temperatures. It may take many layers of enamel to achieve subtle shading and gradations of colors. The finished pieces are then polished to a smooth glossy surface. Cloisonné is sometimes combined with Champlevé.


An enamel technique in which transparent enamels are applied within a metal framework  without a metal backing, resulting in an effect similar to stained glass. The framework can be constructed from soldered wire or pierced metal. Plique-a-jour can be especially pretty where light can shine through, such as in earrings. 



Art Nouveau

An ornamental style of art that flourished between about 1890 and 1910 throughout Europe and the United States. Art Nouveau is characterized by its use of a long, sinuous, organic line and was employed most often in architecture, interior design, jewelry and glass design, posters, and illustration. Art Nouveau was aimed at modernizing design, seeking to escape the eclectic historical styles that had previously been popular. Artists drew inspiration from both organic and geometric forms, evolving elegant designs that united flowing, natural forms resembling the stems and blossoms of plants.

Art Deco 

A movement in decorative arts and architecture in Europe and the United States during the 1920s and ’30s. Its distinguishing features include simple, clean shapes, often with a streamlined look; ornament that is geometric or stylized from representational forms; and unusually varied materials. Art Deco, similar to Art Nouveau, is a modern art style that attempts to infuse functional objects with artistic touches.