A glossary of ethnic jewellery terms


Ivory is made from the tusks and teeth of elephants, whales and other animals. It is highly valuable, in part because it is now illegal to procure ivory from some sources, such as elephants  Continue Reading


Iron is a metal rarely used in jewelry since it is so brittle and lacks luster (except in its mineral forms, pyrite or marcasite). Iron jewelry was popular in Germany in the early 1800’s during the war with Napoleon.Continue Reading


Intaglio is a method of decoration in which a design is cut into the surface. Signet rings are frequently decorated with intaglio, as are seals.Continue Reading


An inlay is a piece of material (often stone or glass) that is partially embedded in another material (usually metal) such that the two materials make a level surface. Image by durangosilver.Continue Reading


An inclusion is a particle of foreign matter contained within a mineral. Inclusions can be solid, liquid, or gaseous. Many inclusions decrease the value of a stone, but some, like rutile forming asterisms in star sapphires and needles in rutilated quartz and tourmalinated quartz, are prized.Continue Reading