Glossary of Beading Terms




Iridescence is the property of appearing to change color depending on the angle an object is viewed. Examples of iridescent materials used in jewelry making are opal, labradorite, dichroic glass, and shells such as abalone and mother of pearl.


A hard, smooth, white material from the tusks of elephants and sea mammals, used for beads and carved into statues. Harvesting ivory is illegal due to the near extinction of these animals. Synthetic ivory is made from celluloid, casein, and plastic.