Beading Terminology

Jewelry Jargon is the beading terminology for all the new words you will  learn in your jewelry journey. This page is a resource guide to help with the new lingo. This page, just like you will continue to grow and evolve.

In this process of learning about beaded jewelry you will come across new words, or trade jargon, that may not be familiar to you. This page is intended to help.

This quick reference is continually growing.  Refer to it often if you need a quick definition to a new word you come across.  

If you don't see it here then let's make sure it gets added for all to learn. We invite you to contact us to add any jewelry jargon that needs to be added.

We hope you find this helpful. Remember the beading terminology page stays in 'draft' form since this is a continually growing site.

Your contribution is always appreciated.

Beading Terminology


  • AB [aurora borealis] - an iridescent coating on beads to enhance colors, light and texture creating a rainbow effect.


  • Barrel Clasp- Two separate barrel threaded ends that fit inside one another and are secured by rotating each end in the opposite direction.
  • Bead - A human-made component of various materials with a drilled hole.
  • Bead Cap - A bead shaped like a dome or a cone with a hole in the center for stringing. Use the bead cap to accent the neighboring bead. It’s like a hat or cap for the bead.
  • Beading Board - A pre-shaped plastic rectangular board with grooved channels that assist laying out jewelry patterns providing small compartments to hold the additional jewelry making supplies.
  • Bead Embroidery - Bead work that incorporates sewing beads or seed beads to garments and accessories creating an enhanced embellished appearance. 
  • Bead Loom, Beading Loom - Frame tool used for the art of weaving fibers and beads to create jewelry, accessories and wall hangings.
  • Beading Mat - A soft piece of cloth used to cushion work area creating a resting place for beads and findings, preventing these components from rolling away around while project is in process.
  • Bead Stopper - A tool used to temporarily close the end of the flexible beading wire during basic stringing.
  • Bead Stringing - Jewelry making technique consisting of sliding beads with a hole onto a cord, wire or string creating a piece of jewelry or an accessory. The stringing material must be secured to hold the strung bead(s) in place using an assortment of methods.
  • Bead Weaving - Bead work that incorporates sewing, stitching and weaving beads together creating beaded patterns.
  • Beading Wire is the strand, the thread, the wire, that the beads will be strung onto for necklaces and for bracelets.
  • Beadwork - The decorative artwork made of beads.
  • Bent Nose Pliers - Jewelers tool pliers with a hooked nose. Similar to the chain nose pliers. 
  • Briolette - A teardrop-shaped bead with a stringing hole running from side to side at the beads' smallest point.

  • Bugle Beads - Long, narrow tubular-shaped slender beads ranging in length from 2 mm to 35 mm.


  • Cabochon - a stone without a hole that is used to place in settings.  Sometimes cabochons have a flat surface on one side sometimes not.
  • Chain Maille or Chain Mail or Chainmail(le) - Technique of connecting and linking small metal rings, known as jump rings, together to create a pattern that forms a mesh. 
  • Chain Nose Pliers - jewelry tool used to compress crimp beads and to work a variety of techniques involved in creating beaded jewelry.
  • Clasp - A finding, a component, a device for fastening together two or more things. 
  • Cold Connection - Method or technique of joining together varied components such as metals, leather or fabrics using rivets vs. using solder.
  • Crimp Bead - A pliable bead intended to be compressed to hold stringing material to clasp. It is made from either precious metal or metal composite.
  • Crimp Pliers - Specialized pliers intended to crimp, bend and fold crimp beads.
  • Cutters - pliers tool used to cut wire.


  • Dangle - A beginning component  for earrings, charms or pendents.
  • Diameter - measurement of a bead or stone. 


  • Earring Wire - The finding used to convert dangles or drops into a pierced or post earring.


  • Fire Polish - process of polishing glass beads with fire.
  • Findings - a variety of components and jewelry making supplies that either finishes and enhances jewelry.
  • Flat Nose Pliers - Jeweler pliers that strongly resembles the chain nose pliers. The difference is that the exterior of the nose is also flat and have a wider nose.
  • Flush Cutters - Wire cutters that provide a flush flat cut. 


  • Gauge - measurement of sculpting wire.


  • Hollow Nose Pliers - An unusual set of pliers that are used to create hoops in sculpting wire easily.



  • Jewelers Tools - Specific tools used by jewelry making or beading artist to aide in the construction of hand made jewelry.
  • Jump Rings - Metal rings used for connections in jewelry making, chain maille and other beading techniques.



  • Lapidary - The art of cutting, polishing and engraving precious stones.
  • Lapidary School - A facility that teaches of precious stones.


  • Millimeters - Measurement standard of beads


  • Nippers - Sharp cutting pliers intended to cut wire.



  • Pearl Knotting - Technique used to tie knots in the cord between strung pearls in jewelry pieces.
  • Pliers - Variety hand jewelers tools used to create and finish all handmade beaded jewelry.



  • Reamers - Jewelers tool used as files. Can be helpful to help clean out bead holes that may have been clogged during processing of coating or drilling.
  • Riveting - A durable technique using a cold connection method that is used to secure layers of varied mediums such as metals, leathers and fabrics using a special component called a rivet along with special tools.
  • Round Nose Pliers - Jewelers tool with rounded noses and used for creating loops.


  • Scrimpers -  A brand jewelers tool used for a specific technique of attaching a clasp to a necklace or bracelet.
  • Sculpting Wire - Soft, flexible wire to bend but stiff enough to hold it's shape. 
  • Side Cutters - Wire cutting pliers with a slight angle in the head of the tool. 
  • Split Ring Pliers - Pliers with a hooked nose intended to open a spring ring.
  • Spring Ring - A double coiled ring in a variety of sizes used to connect components together. Larger spring rings are commonly know as 'key rings'.


  • Toggle - A type of clasp styled with a hoop and bar. Variety of styles, colors and made of a variety of composites such as metal, glass and clay.




  • Wire Cutters - Jewelers tool used for cutting soft flexible beading wire or stiffer sculpting wire.
  • Wirework - Skilled technique in manipulating craft wire to create a variety of jewelry items from earrings to pendents to bezels that may hold cabachons.

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