Terms and Definitions

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Thrumming - using a cotton string charged with sanding or polishing grit to clean or polish a place on a metal piece of jewelry.   Normally it is used in a difficult place to reach by standard polishing techniques.

Reticulation - The controlled heating of a silver sheet or coin until wrinkling or roughness occurs.  Heating and cooling is repeated many times until a silver layer is created at the surface with different properties underneath.

Charged with abrasive - To drag a string through an abrasive until it’s surface is loaded with the grit of the particular abrasive or polish.

Silicified - cells filled with silicon dioxide (sometimes referred to as an opalized cell).

Pallion - A very small snippet of solder.


Index Silversmithing

Planishing (from the Latin planus, "flat") is a metalworking technique that involves finishing the surface by finely shaping and smoothing sheet metal.


Bromoform a chemical for separating topaz and quartz.

Only small quantities of bromoform are currently produced industrially in the United States. In the past, it was used as a solvent, sedative and flame retardant, but now it is mainly used as a laboratory reagent, for example as an extraction solvent.

Bromoform's high density makes it useful for separation of minerals by density. When two samples are mixed with bromoform and then allowed to settle, the top layer will contain minerals lighter than bromoform, and the bottom layer will contains heavier minerals. Slightly less dense minerals can be separated in the same way by mixing the bromoform with a small amount of a less dense and fully miscible solvent.




“Hand Made” Solder pick - The handle is cut from a wooden dowel and smoothed on the ends.  A hole is drilled in the end of the handle the size of a bicycle spoke.  The spoke is inserted into the deep hole and then the end of the spoke is sharpened and the tool becomes a solder pusher or use it for lifting beads of solder to a silver joint.



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More Terms