Glossary of Beading Terms

P

Patina

Patina

Refers specifically to oxidation or corrosion on metal surfaces like copper, but also generally to a sheen on any surface that makes it look old and used (the “antique” look). You can create patinas on metal jewelry with chemical solutions and corrosive materials like ammonia or vinegar. Be sure to understand the safety concerns before trying this, both in terms of ventilation and not damaging your jewelry. photo credit

Pendant

Pendant

A large hanging object that forms the centerpiece of a necklace.

Platinum

Platinum

A heavy, malleable, corrosion resistant, grey-white precious metal. Platinum is more precious than gold. Though platinum beads can be purchased through specialty dealers, platinum is rarely used in typical beading applications and is found mostly in fine jewelry. For example, the frame of the Crown of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, is made of platinum. But like all metal names, it is sometimes used in color descriptions rather than literally. photo credit

Polymer Clay

Polymer Clay

A sculpting material which can be formed into shapes and then baked to harden. Polymer clay is available in most craft stores in a wide range of colors, and can be used to make beads and pendants.

Porcelain

Porcelain

A ceramic material made from firing clay at very high temperatures (~1300 Celcius) so the silicate present in clay turns to glass, giving porcelain its characteristic strength and translucence. photo credit

Prayer Box

Prayer Box

A small metal compartment or box worn around the neck as a pendant. Also called a “wish box”. Similar to a locket, but made to hold a piece of paper securely rather than to show a photo. Prayer boxes usually open either through a latch or through unscrewing the top.