A glossary of ethnic jewellery terms


Meaning Tortoise or turtle. Denotes the form of some jewellery items in North African Jewellery in particular large oval pendants and belt buckles.Continue Reading

Faturan ‘Amber’

Faturan in Middle Eastern beadwork refers to a variety of synthetic resins such as Bakelite used as a sort of imitation amber to make beads, notably in the making of komboloi and misbaha. The first Bakelite arrived mainly to Turkey was in the form of drawer and furniture knobs and handles around 1909/1911. This is…Continue Reading


A fetish is a charm, amulet, pendant or other decoration associated with magical properties; it often represents an animal or person.Continue Reading


A fibula (/ˈfɪbjʊlə/, plural fibulae /ˈfɪbjʊli/) is an type of securing pin or brooch. There are hundreds of different types of fibulae. They are usually divided into families that are based upon historical periods, geography, and/or cultures. Fibulae are also divided into classes that are based upon their general forms. A singular feature of North…Continue Reading


Fineness is the proportion of silver or gold in a metal alloy. Fineness is usually expressed in parts per thousand. For example, the fineness of sterling silver is 925.Continue Reading


A foilback (or foiled stone) is a stone that has a metallic foil backing; this thin metallic backing is frequently composed of mercury and tin. Silver-colored, gold-colored, or other-colored foil is applied to the back of a stone to make the stone more reflective. Before scintillating cuts (like the brilliant cut) were invented, even precious…Continue Reading

French Ivory

“French Ivory” is synthetic (imitation) ivory. It is molded from plastics (like celluloid) and is also called Ivoride, Ivorine, and “Genuine French Ivory.”Continue Reading

Filed Under: F

Freshwater Pearls

A freshwater pearl is a pearl that was harvested from a freshwater mussel (a mollusk). These pearls are frequently shaped like crisped rice cereal, and are less valuable than oyster pearls. Biwa pearls are very good quality freshwater pearls.Continue Reading

Furnace Glass

Furnace glass (also called furnace worked glass) is made by working (shaping) hot glass by hand (the glass was heated in a glass furnace). Long tubes of glass are drawn from molten glass, then beads are cut from the tube (and later tumbled and reheated to smooth the edges of the beads). Furnace glass beads…Continue Reading