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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 - considered to be one of the highest quality crystals available. Swarovski crystal, manufactured Austria, uses the basic formulae perfected by Daniel Swarovski and his sons in the early 1900's. Swarovski crystal is fired using a combination of natural minerals and quartz sand, and then cooled slowly to avoid stress and inclusions. It's high lead content makes it sparkle brilliantly and durable.

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