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Gemspedia >> Jewellery >> Metal Glossary

Metal Glossary

Acid Etching

This process involves engrossing the metal in an acid solution while protecting certain parts with a substance like wax or rosin, which is known as resist, in order to create a pattern on the metal’s surface.

Acid Test

Acid test determines the purity of gold through the use of nitric acid and aqua regia.

Actual Gold Content

Actual gold content describes the amount of gold that exists in a metal object after subtracting all the alloys.

Ag

The chemical symbol for silver.

Alloy

An alloy is a mixture of two or more metals usually mixed to enhance the strength and/or appearance of a particular metal. Copper, silver, nickel, zinc etc are frequently used as alloy metals and usually are mixed with all precious metals for some specific purpose.

Alpaca

It is a mixture of alloys, which is a substitute of silver, consisting of 55% copper, 20% nickel, 20% zinc, and 5% tin.

Aluminum

It is an inexpensive, lightweight and malleable silver-white ore with a bluish tinge. Aluminum is remarkably resisted to oxidation and used in many alloys.

Annealing

It is a process of providing multi-phased heat and stress treatment that alters the microstructure of a metal adding strength, pliability and hardness.

Anodizing

Anodizing is a process used to dye and/or modify the surface of a metal using electrolysis. The dye enters the pores in the etched oxide surface of the metal. Usually metals like aluminum, magnesium, titanium and tantalum are often anodized.

Assay

An analysis of a metal to determine its purity by scraping a bit of metal from the metal piece.

Au

The chemical symbol for gold. Au is derived from Latin word ‘aurum’ for gold.

Base Metal

Base metal is a term used to refer any non-precious metal. Generally it is used as a base for gold-filled or gold plated coverings.

Blending

Blending is a process of smoothing rough areas of a metal piece to provide same plane or roundness and/or same surface finish. 

Bloomed Gold

This term is used for gold jewelry that has been engrossed in an acid bath to give slightly matte texture.

Brass

An alloy, made up of roughly half copper and half zinc, which has a nice yellow color.


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