A glossary of ethnic jewellery terms


The Banjara are a class of usually described as nomadic people from the Indian state of Rajasthan, North-West Gujarat, and Western Madhya Pradesh and Eastern Sindh province of Pakistan. They claim to belong to the clan of Agnivanshi Rajputs, and are also known as Lakha Banjara means ‘Lakhapati’, Banjari, Pindari, Bangala, Banjori, Banjuri, Brinjari, Lamani,…Continue Reading


A locket is a pendant that can open up. Lockets can hold photos, hair, a charm, or other small, precious object.Continue Reading


Metallic leaf is paper-thin sheets of metals. For example, gold, silver, platinum, and copper are rolled or pounded into metallic leaf which can be applied to surfaces.Continue Reading


Many accessable materials are utilised in the adornment processes. In areas where metals are unavailable Leather, shells, and natural plant / animal materials are utilised to adorn. The pendant shown is made from shell pieces and leather. It is from the Sahara.          Continue Reading


Lampworked glass (also called torchwork) is formed from glass canes and tubes that are shaped by hand over a flame (oil lamps and bellows were originally used, hence the name lampworking). Lampworked glass beads are made in a wide variety of colors, shapes, and designs, including millefiori, rose-like overlay beads (pictured above), aventurine glass, and…Continue Reading

Lapiz Lazuli

Lapis lazuli is a rich blue opaque, semi-precious stone that has been used in jewelry since ancient times. Ground-up lapis lazuli was once used as a pigment for oil paintings. Lapis lazuli is often dyed to deepen and improve its color. Lapis has a hardness of 5.5; it chips and scratches easily. It has a…Continue Reading


Lucite is a clear (transparent), strong plastic (a thermoset acrylic resin) that was patented by the DuPont company in 1941. Lucite has a specific gravity of 1.19. Although it is clear, it can be colored.Continue Reading

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Lost wax casting

Lost-wax casting (also called “investment casting”, “precision casting”, or cire perdue in French) is the process by which a duplicate metal sculpture (often silver, gold, brass or bronze) is cast from an original sculpture. Dependent on the sculptor’s skills, intricate works can be achieved by this method. The oldest known examples of this technique are…Continue Reading


A stone’s luster is its sparkle or sheen – the way it relects light. The luster depends on the nature of the stone’s surface reflectivity. Some types of luster include: adamantine (also called brilliant or diamondlike, like a faceted diamond), earthy (with little reflectivity- also called dull, like shale or clay), greasy (like nepheline or…Continue Reading