are often a featured part of the finished jewellery items like necklace or bracelet.
    Decorative cords include leather, imitation leather, waxed linen, rattail, elastic cord, hemp cord, silk cord, etc.

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    are perfectly cylindrical, precisely cut, tiny, Japanese glass seed beads with thin walls and large holes.
    Although delica beads are pricier than Czech seed beads, due to the higher quality they are extremely popular.

    Highly uniform in shape, size and color, delica beads are extremely useful where exact size is important, like in seed bead weaving.

    They come in smooth or six-sided variety. Over 300 colors. are available.

    "Delica" is a trade mark of the Japanese Miyuki Shoji ,Toho Corp. manufactures.

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    is another word for rhinestone.

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    Diamonds are precious, lustrous gemstones, a crystalline form of element carbon, the foundation of all life on earth.
    Diamonds are the hardest substance known, four times harder than corundum (sapphire and ruby), the next hardest stones.
    Even the word diamond comes from the Greek adamas, "impossible to tame" or "unconquerable", referring to its hardness.

    But as hard as they are, they do have one weakness. Diamonds have four direction of cleavage, meaning if a stone receives a sharp blow in one of these directions it will split.

    It takes a skilled diamond cutter and setter to ensure that the stone is shaped and set in a position where one of these weak points will be protected during normal wear.

    Diamonds come in many colors. but the one's we're most familiar with are clear crystals with incredible sparkle and "fire" inside.

    colors of diamonds range from colorless to yellow, orange, pink, brown to almost black. Rarer colors. are bright red, blue, green, and purple; Diamonds in any of these colors are called fancy diamonds, and are quite valuable.

    Diamond's value is based on the "4 C's": color, cut, clarity, and carat weight.

    1. color - diamond's color (saturation) is rated on an alphabetical scale ranging from D (white) to Y (yellow). "Z" diamonds are 'fancy' or deep-colored diamond.

    2. cut - diamond's cut is designed to maximize the stone's natural "fire"; brilliant cuts are preferred.

    3. clarity - diamond's clarity depends on the number and size of its flaws and inclusions.

    Perfect crystals are extremely rare and most will have a slight flaw somewhere inside. These flaws are generally minute traces of non-crystallized carbon or internal stress fractures.

    Clarity is rated as follows:

    for flawless diamonds with no visible inclusions at ten times magnification.
    and "VVS2" for diamonds with very, very small inclusions which are impossible to observe by the unaided eye, and which are difficult for a skilled observer to see when examining the diamond with ten times magnification.
    and "VS2" for diamonds with very small natural inclusions which are only very faintly visible looking down into the diamond with 10 times magnification.
    and "SI3", for diamonds with small natural inclusions which are impossible or very difficult to observe by the naked eye when looking down into the diamond, but which are easy to see when looking down into the diamond with ten times magnification.
    "I1", "I2"
    and "I3" for diamonds with medium to large natural inclusions which are obvious to the naked eye when looking down into the diamond under normal lighting conditions. The inclusions become larger and/or more easily detectable from grade "I1" to grade "I2" to grade "I3".
    4. carat - diamond's carat weight simple indicates how much it weighs (a carat is about 0.2 grams or about 0.007 ounces).

    The largest known gem-quality diamonds include the Cullinan (a.k.a. the Star of Africa, 530.20 carats), the Excelsior, the Great Mogul (an ancient Indian diamond which is said to have originally weighed 787.5 carats, but its location is not known and nothing about it has been authenticated), the Darya-i-Nur, the Koh-i-Nur, and the Hope diamond (named for a purchaser, Henry Thomas Hope).

    Diamond has a hardness of 10, a specific gravity of 3.5, and a refractive index of 2.417 - 2.419.

    Most diamonds are mined in central and southern Africa, although significant deposits have also been discovered in Canada, Russia, Brazil, and Australia.

    About 130 million carats (26,000 kg) of diamonds are mined annually, with a total value of nearly $9 billion.

    In addition, nearly four times that mass is artificially produced as synthetic diamond.

    The production and distribution of diamonds is largely consolidated in the hands of a few key players, and concentrated in traditional diamond trading centres (the most important being Antwerp).

    The 'De Beers Group', based in South Africa and England, has been the largest player in the diamond industry for over one hundred years; the company and its subsidiaries own mines that produce some 40 percent of annual world diamond production, and control distribution channels handling nearly two thirds of all gem diamonds.

    Alleged metaphysical properties

    Sometimes referred to as the "King of Crystals" and the "Stone of Universal Truth", diamonds are traditional emblem of virtue and purity, symbolizing abundance and eternity.

    Diamonds are considered great conductors of energy, both physically and spiritually.

    They are said to amplify one's thoughts, strengths, and weaknesses, and whatever energy the wearer is experiencing.

    This means that anyone depressed should not wear this stone.

    Pink diamond is reputed to foster creative expression, making it an excellent choice for artists.

    On a physical level diamonds are used to balance the metabolism, detoxify the body, and strengthen ones eyesight.

    Historically, crushed diamond has been used as a cure for many ailments.

    It is difficult to determine at what point in history the hardest known substance became diamond, but early texts indicate that the story of a diamond started in India, where it was first recognized and mined since at least 400 BC.

    Diamonds are the subject of various myths and legends.

    Perhaps the earliest symbolic use of diamonds was as the eyes of Hindu devotional statues.

    It is said that old Greeks believed diamonds were tears of the gods; the Romans believed they were splinters of fallen stars.

    The presence of diamonds in Rome is established by the writings of Pliny the Elder at about 100 AD.

    Diamonds began appearing in European regalia and jewellery in the 13th and 14th centuries.

    Medieval treatises, called lapidaries, presented the qualities of different stones; their power; their efficacy as medicine, poison, or antidote. Lapidaries were written until the 18th century.

    Today, diamonds are used to symbolize eternity and love, and are often seen adorning engagement rings and wedding rings. The popularity of this modern tradition can be traced directly to the marketing campaigns of De Beers, starting in 1938.

    The LifeGem company further taps modern symbolism by offering to synthetically convert the carbonized remains of people or pets into "memorial diamonds."

    However, many people feel very uncomfortable at the thought of wearing the carbonized remains of people as jewellery

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    is a finishing method applied on metals surface. Manufacturers use lasers, or diamond wheel cutting, to score and cut tiny wedges out of the surface of an item.

    These cut surfaces are highly reflective and catch the light with even the slightest movement and give sparkle.

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    The original meaning of dichroic (from the Greek dikhroos, two-colored) refers to any optical device which can split a beam of light into two beams with differing wavelengths.
    Such devices include mirrors and filters, usually treated with optical coatings, which are designed to reflect light over a certain range of wavelengths, and transmit light which is outside that range.

    The second meaning of dichroic refers to a material in which light in different polarization states traveling through it experience a varying absorption.

    The term came about because of early observations of the effect in crystals such as tourmaline.

    In these crystals, the strength of the dichroic effect varies strongly with the wavelength of the light, making them appear to have different colors when viewed with light having differing polarizations.

    Many minerals (like rubies and axinite) are naturally dichroic.

    This effect can be artificially caused by a thin layer of a metallic oxides that is deposited on the surface of a material.

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    Dichroic glass is a specially coated glass containing multiple micro-layers of metal oxides which give the glass dichroic optical properties.
    It is valued for its ability to reflect intense light without producing glare.

    Unlike iridescent glass which gives a shine or glow to the color, dichroic coated glass results in the vibrancy of the color itself.

    It transmits some wavelengths of light and reflecting others, giving it an opal-like appearance.

    "Dichroic Glass" is somewhat of a misnomer, since the dielectric coating that produces all the interesting colors is not glass at all, but a multiple ultra-thin layers of different metal oxides (gold, silver, titanium, chromium, aluminium, zirconium, magnesium, silicon) that are vaporised by an electron beam in a vacuum chamber.

    The vapour then condenses on the surface of the glass in the form of a crystal structure. This is sometimes followed by a protective layer of quartz crystal.

    The finished glass can have as many as 30 to 50 layers of these materials yet the thickness of the total coating is approximately 30 to 35 millionths of an inch.

    The coating that is created produces an "interference filter" creating the varied and unique colors very similar to a gemstone.

    By careful control of thickness, different colours are obtained.

    Since the filter is so thin, it has very little mechanical integrity of its own, and must be supported on a mechanically stable substrate. Glass is the ideal candidate for this substrate.

    Transparent, rigid and stable, it withstands high temperatures, and is not affected by moisture, solvents or most acids. The filter materials are actually more chemically stable than most glasses used as the substrate.

    Thus, what we commonly call "Dichroic Glass", is actually a piece of dielectric interference filter attached to the surface of a piece of glass.

    Dichroic glass was originally developed by NASA and its contractors for use in satellite optics and spacesuit visors. It has been around for years, used widely in medical and photographic applications, but discovered by bead makers just in the early 1990s.
    Glass artist James Alloway describes the process of making dichroic glass as follows: "After extensive cleaning, glass is placed in a heated vacuum chamber.
    In the chamber the surface of the glass is blasted with an electron beam gun, which coats the glass with different metallic oxides and rare metals to create different patterns and color effects. Two different types of base glass are used in the process.
    When used in the first or transparent state, both reflected and transmitted light frequencies are emitted. In the second phase a dichroic coating on a black background makes the surface color reflect.
    Unique colors are reflected and transmitted like teal or champagne, and the thin coatings of metals simulate precious metal qualities like those of copper, gold, platinum or silver on the dichroic surface."

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    Is glass formed as a sheet by the process of drawing the molten glass directly from the furnace. The thickness of the glass is determined by the drawing rate.

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    are smooth, round glass beads.

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    (different spellings used include - drusy, druse, drusies)
    is a mineral habit whereby the tiny clear quartz crystals are formatted in a densely clustered form (having pointy terminations) on the surface of previously deposited minerals.

    This is called a druzy.

    Some minerals found in this form are chrysocolla, malachite, hematite, psilomelane, uvarovite, pyrite, carnelian and cobalto-calcite.

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  • dZi BEADS

    a.k.a. DZi, Gzi, zi

    (pronounced zee) are very costly and sought after antique, agate beads from Tibet and the Himalayan regions.
    dZi beads can appear in different colors, shapes and sizes, although most often the color is brown or black with the etched pattern usually in white.

    Making of dZi beads involves some closely guarded techniques.

    First some areas of a bead are stained brown or black , while some areas are blocked off with a resistant agent, such as grease. Later these areas are whitened by the so called "etching" process.

    That results in various patterns such as zig zags, diamonds, circles, squares, waves, and stripes.

    The most valued of all dZi is the Nine-Eyed dZi.

    Today, quality new Dzi beads are being designed in much the same way as the ancient once, in Tibet, Japan, China and Taiwan.

    A 'new' dZi bead that has been made by a highly skilled artisan will be almost impossible to tell apart from an antique dZi.

    They are affordable alternative, still highly valued by Tibetans, Buddhist practitioners and bead collectors.

    Dzi made from glass, bone, wood or any other material then agate is not considered a true dZi.

    It is not known where and when exactly these beads were made.

    Some rare dZi beads are thought to be thousands of years old.

    They are also highly valued talismans, thought to bring good luck, longevity, fortune and wealth, to ward off evil, and protect the wearer from physical harm.

    In the practice of Tibetan Medicine powdered dZi stone is mixed with ground gold, silver and pearl to produce medicinal pills with potent healing properties.

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