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Jewelry Glossary

Learn more about the beautiful, unique components in Classy Sassy Jewelry and you'll realize just how special these pieces are.

Cane Glass
Freshwater Pearls
Furnace Beads
Hill Tribes Silver
Swarovski Crystal

Cane Glass, also known as Furnace Beads - Italian glass blowing techniques were adapted to make beads. Cane or furnace glass uses large decorated canes built up out of smaller canes, encased in clear glass and then extruded to form the beads with liner and twisting stripe patterns. No air is blown into the glass. These beads require a large scale glass furnace and annealing kiln for manufacture.

Freshwater Pearls - Freshwater pearls come from mussels and may be natural or cultured. Natural freshwater pearls are seldom perfectly round or even nearly round. They are noted for their wide range of color, including white, silvery white, pink, salmon, red, copper, bronze, brown, lavender, purple, green, blue, cream, and yellow. Although white is the most common color, the most desirable are the pastel pinks, roses, lavenders, and purples. The different colors are a function of the mussel species, genetics, water quality, and the position of the pearl in the shell. Generally, pearls assume the color of the shell in which they form. Problems can arise in putting together matched strands because of the wide range of pastel colors.

Hill Tribes Silver - Handmade silver beads and pendants made by six distinct tribal groups in Northern Thailand using traditional tribal methods passed down from generation to generation. The Tribes are known in Thailand as the Karen (Kariang, Yang), the Hmong (Meo), the Mien (Yeo), the Akha (Kaw), the Lahu (Mussur), and the Lisu (Lisaw). All of the tribes do silver smithing. Purchasing Hill Tribes Silver provides a reliable source of income and helps to sustain skills that has been passed down for generations. Hill Tribes Silver is typically 95-99% silver, even higher than sterling silver (92.5%). Because of the high silver content the beads and pendants are softer and easier to shape into all the unique and wonderful styles. Look closely and you'll notice that no two beads or pendants are exactly alike, another attribute of these beautiful handmade pieces.

Swarovski Crystal - for over a century, Swarovski has supplied the world with superior crystals that are enjoyed and admired by millions worldwide. Founded in the mid 1890’s, Daniel Swarovski invented a glass cutting machine and started the world’s first hydroelectric glass cutting factory. With this state of the art machinery, Swarovski was able to produce their crystals using precise optical techniques that no other competitor can duplicate even today. With their unique crystal cutting techniques and their patented machinery, Swarovski dominates the full lead crystal market with approximately 70% of the market share.

Swarovski offers a wide rang of colors and special coatings to meet the needs of all occasions. Special coatings are bonded chemically to the outer surface of the beads for a more brilliant effect. Aurora Borealis, which gives off a rainbow-like effect, is one of the more popular coatings. Crystal Transmission, Volcano, Aurum, and Dorado are also popular special effect beads. The special effect and special coating of each bead is permanent. Austrian Swarovski crystal contains approximately 32% lead. Full lead crystal must contain above 30% lead oxide content in order to be considered full lead crystal.

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