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Glossary H : 1 - 50

Herkimer Diamond

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Herkimer diamonds are clear, lustrous, doubly terminated crystals of quartz - they are not true diamonds. These brilliant stones are also called "Middleville Diamonds" or "Little Falls Diamonds." Herkimer diamonds have a hardness of 7. This stone is found in Middleville and Little Falls, Herkimer County, New York, USA.

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Hyacinth

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Hyacinth is a semi-precious stone that is also known as jacinth. it is a lustrous orange-yellow, orange-red, or yellow-brown type of zircon. Hyacinth has a hardness of 7.5 and a specific gravity of 4.65. Sometimes, topaz and grossular garnet of this color are also referred to as hyacinth (this can be very confusing). Hyacinth is mined in Sri Lanka. Even more confusing is the origin of the name, which comes from the Greek hyakinthos, which refers to blue gemstone.

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Howlite

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Howlite is a soft, white to gray mineral that takes dye very easily, and can be dyed to imitate turquoise very well (and is sometimes unscrupulously sold as turquoise). Howlite was named for its discoverer, Henry How, a Nova Scotia geologist.

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Hook And Eye Clasp

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A hook and eye clasp is a simple and ancient jewelry fastener that is composed of a hook and a circular piece that the hook can latch onto. It is used to attach the two ends of a necklace or bracelet.

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Heliotrope

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Heliotrope (commonly known as bloodstone) is an inexpensive type of chalcedony that is green with red highlights (caused by iron oxide).  Heliotrope is porous and relatively soft.

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Helenite

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Helenite is a manmade (not natural) green glass that is made from "rock dust" (not volcanic ash) taken from the vicinity of the Mt. St. Helens volcano in Washington state.  The dust is fired to 2700 degrees F, forming glass, which is later faceted and used as a gemstone.  This glass is sometimes called emerald obsidianite or Mount St.  Helens obsidian (but it is not obsidian, which is a natural glass).  Helenite is sold as a souvenir of the eruption of Mt. St.  Helens on May 18, 1980.

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Heat Treatment

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Heat treatment is the heating of stones to a high temperature in order to enhance the color or clarity.  For example, blue-green aquamarine becomes blue with heat treatment and brown zircon becomes blue or clear.

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Hawk's Eye

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Hawk's eye is a green, grey or blue variety of quartz that has parallel, fibrous inclusions of crocidolite that give it a greenish cat's eye effect (chatoyancy).  This mineral has a silky luster.  It looks a lot like Tiger's Eye, and often occurs with it in the same rock, but the internal structure is different.

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Hardness

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A substance's hardness is how resistant it is to being scratched.  Hardness is measured using the Mohs Scale of Hardness.  In the Mohs scale, one substance is harder than another if it can scratch it.  For example, a diamond will scratch garnet, but not the other way around, so a diamond in harder than garnet.

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Hallmark

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A hallmark is an official mark (or a series of marks) made in metal that indicates the fineness of the metal and the manufacturer's mark.  For example, a hallmark of 925 indicates 925 parts of silver per 1000 weight.  Other hallmarks indicate the maker of the piece and sometimes the year of manufacture.  In many countries (like Britain) it is illegal to hallmark metal incorrectly; some countries are notoriously lax in their enforcement of hallmark honesty.

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Hair Jewelry

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Hair jewelry is jewelry containing or composed of locks of hair.  This type of jewelry was popular in the mid-1800's as a remembrance of deceased loved ones.

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Heishi

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Heishi (pronounced he-she) is jewelry made from disk-shaped beads of shell (or turquoise, lapis lazuli, and other stones).  Each bead begins as a tiny flat piece of shell (or stone).  A tiny stringing hole is drilled though the fragment.  Many of these jagged pieces are strung together tightly on a wire and are then sanded into evenness using a fine-grained sandstone and then sandpaper.  The result is a very smooth strand of disk-shaped beads.  This is an ancient form of bead-making developed by the Pueblos of North America.

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Hessonite

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Hessonite (also called "cinnamon stone") is a cinnamon-brown to orange gemstone variety of grossular garnet. Hessonite's formula is Ca3Al2Si3O12; manganese that gives it its characteristic brown color. This transparent stone has a hardness of 6.5 - 7 and a specific gravity of 3.6. Hessonite is found in Sri Lanka, Brazil, Madagascar, Canada, and California, USA. This stone is not enhanced.

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Hyacinth Opal

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Hyacinth opal (also known as girasol) is a yellow or orange type of precious opal. In this opal, the play of colors seems to come from within the stone, like a floating light, and seems to follow the light source.

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Hagler, Stanley

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Stanley Hagler was a jewelry designer whose pieces were opulent, complex, hand-wired, and usually colorful. Hagler produced pieces from 1953 until 1996. He produced pieces for Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, and Saks Fifth Avenue. After Stanley Hagler's death in 1996, jewelry continued to be produced under the name Stanley Hagler & Company. Hagler's ex-employee, Ian St Gielar, produces pieces using the Stanley Hagler name.

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Hinging Ring Shank

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A Hinging Ring Shank hinges open at the bottom so that it can easily slip over the knuckle. Theses types of shanks are especially helpful for those whose knuckles are considerably larger than the base of the finger where their ring resides.

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Hidden Bail

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With a Hidden Bail design element, either the bail is affixed behind the body of the pendant—rendering it out of sight—instead of being attached to the top, or the chain is going through the designed piece invisibly. Either way the pendant appears to float on the chain, adding modernity and mystery to the piece. See Omega Necklace for picture of hidden bail on a necklace.

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Head

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A Head is a three to six pronged gemstone setting. Heads are cast separately from the main body design of the jewelry piece. Later, depending on the gemstone that will be set, the selected head is soldered onto the main body of the piece. This is done so different shapes and sizes of gems can be set onto a piece of jewelry per the wishes of the customer.

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Hammered Finish

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A Hammered Finish is accomplished by making small dents or indentations with a rounded hammer in the surface of the jewelry. Hammered finishes often add a rustic and organic character to a piece.

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