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Sapphire is one of the four precious stones. Blue is considered the normal color for sapphire, it is found in the full range of spectral colors as well as brown, colorless, gray and black (fancy color sapphire). Fully saturated red is known as ruby.


Sard is a semi-precious stone related to carnelian.


Sardonyx is a semi-precious stone that is formed by two layers, a red-brown layer of sard and a gray, white, black or brown layer of onyx. Sardonyx is a type of quartz.

Satin Finish

A matte finish achieved by sandblasting, brushing with a stiff wire brush, or chemically altering a high shine surface. Satin finish has a soft, pearl-like luster instead of a bright polish.

Satin Glass

Bead decorative process, when many longitudinal bubbles making the glass look satiny.


A measure of the intensity of color inherent in a gemstone. Stones that are well saturated with color are more valuable.


Sautoir is a long necklace (longer than opera-length), usually made of pearls or beads and often ending in a tassel. Also known as a rope.

Scatter Pin

A small pin usually a bird, insect, or flower worn in groups.

Screw Back

A type of earring attachment for non-pierced ears where the earring is tightened against the earlobe by means of a screw with a flat padded end.


Any of a number of shells of marine creatures such as mollusks or gastropods which can be used as jewelry: cowrie shell, olivelia shell, abalone, ammolite, etc.

Seed Bead

Tiny type of bead most often used in weaving and embroidery. Seed beads are made of segments of drawn tubes of glass of various thicknesses, typically slightly oval in shape due to tumbling and polishing, the shorter dimension being through the hole. Smaller than pony bead.


Seftonite is a translucent, moss green type of chalcedony.


Selenite is a soft, colorless-to-slightly-colored, transparent mineral.

Semiprecious Stones

Natural stones that generally have a lower value than precious stones. Formed when minerals were caught in cooling rock and created veins, they are extracted from the rock by mining. Semiprecious stones have been assigned to birth months, used as amulets and traded as currency, and being used as adornment in jewelry for centuries.


Serpentine is said to owe its name either to its serpent-like colors and patterns or from an old belief that the stones were effective protection from snake bites.
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Sequin is a disk shaped bead used for decorative purposes.


A setting is a method of securing a stone (or other ornament) in a piece of jewelry (or other object).

Sillimanite (Bucholzite)

Sillimanite is one of three polymorphs, the other two being andalusite and kyanite.


Silver is a fine, silver-white precious metal.

Silver Filled

A mechanical bonding with a silver alloy of at least 92.5 percent fineness. The bonding must be equal to at least one-twentieth of the metal in the article. This can also be called silver overlay, but never silver plate.

Silver Lined

A transparent colored or clear outer layer which allows the silver lining on the inside to glisten through, giving added reflection. Silver-lined beads are made with a transparent or opal glass and have a mirror-like reflective lining in their holes.

Silver Plate

Silver plate is a fine silver film deposited on a base metal by electrolysis, in the same kind of electrically-charged bath used to make gold electroplate. The film can be as thin as seven millionths of an inch. A silver plate item cannot be called Sterling or marked as silver.


An ornament with a tube on the back. A cord or necklace can then be threaded through the tube allowing the ornament to slide along the length of the cord or necklace.

Smoky Quartz

Smoky quartz is a brown or gray variety of quartz.
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Snake Beads

Glass beads made in a mold to look like snake vertebra.


Soapstone is a soft, easily-carved, fine-grained metamorphic rock that can be green, brown, or gray. Also called steatite.


Sodalite is a dark blue mineral with streaks of white, gray, pink, or green.


A spacer is generally something used to create a space between two objects, often to properly position them.

Spacer Bar

Jewelry finding used to hold multiple strands of beads in alignment and prevent tangling, are inserted at intervals while stringing the beads.


Spectrolite is a hard and rare variety of labradorite feldspar. The variety is noted for iridescence of spectrum colors from blue to red.
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Spinel is a very hard semi-precious stone and ranges in color from red to black to yellow, frequently resembling rubies.

Split Ring

A tightly-coiled ring used as an jewelry finding; it can attach charms to a charm bracelet or a clasp to a necklace or bracelet.

Spring (Bolt) Ring

A spring ring is a hollow circular metal fastening ring with a spring opening. A tiny spring keeps the arm of this clasp closed. It is used to attach two other rings or links of a necklace or bracelet.

Square Hole

Square (also triangular, hexagonal) perforation sections.


A pendant that is the focus of a design.

Sterling Silver (SS)

Sterling silver items are made of 92-1/2% pure silver and 7-1/2% copper or other alloy proportions fixed by law. In time Sterling color will take on an "antique" look. Fine silver = .999 or 100% pure silver.

Stick Pin

A straight pin worn vertically on a scarf or tie, which has some kind of ornamentation on the top.


In embroidery and sewing: a method of securing thread into textiles. There are many types of stitches, including:
  • Brick Stitch
  • Chain Stitch
  • Cross-stitch
  • Circular Stitch
  • Embroidery Stitch
  • Herringbone Stitch
  • Ladder Stitch
  • Lock Stitch
  • Peyote Stitch
  • Square Stitch
  • Tubular Stitch


Strass is highly reflective glass that is made to imitate gemstones.

Striated Bead

Striated beads have an opaque, translucent, or transparent body with threads and swirls of other tones or colors on the surface or throughout.

Stud (Button Earring)

A simple style of earring for pierced ears that has a single stone or metal ball on a straight post with no dangling parts. (See also Button earring).

Sugar Bead

Sugar beads are beads that look as though they were rolled in granulated sugar; the fine grains on the surface of the beads are in fact tiny grains of glass (or plastic).


Sugilite is a semi-precious gemstone. It can range from a medium to dark purple, and from pink to brown to black. It is usually opaque with a waxy luster, but can be translucent. Sugilite often has brown, pink and white inclusions, looking like a purple version of turquoise.


Sunstone is a gemstone exhibiting in certain directions a brilliant spangled appearance, which has led to its use as an ornamental stone, it is of yellow to pink to lilac color.

Swarovski Crystal

Swarovski Crystal is named for the man who developed a machine to cut glass, which was formerly cut by hand. Swarovski was born in 1862 in Bohemia. Swarovski-cut, Austrian crystals are considered the world's best.
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