OVERSTOCK JEWELER GLOSSARY OF JEWELRY TERMS
Habill: See "Cameo Habill"
Hallmark: A mark stamped on jewelry throughout much of the world to attest to the purity of the metal after assay. European hallmarks are legally required, and date back to the Early Middle Ages, an early form of consumer protection against fraud. Marks are not officially required in the US but are carried by custom and practice. Marks may indicate the purity of the metal, the maker, the country of manufacture, and/or the date that the piece was assayed or had its design registered.
Hardness: The resistance of a substance to being scratched. Diamond is 10
in Mohs Scale of Hardness (see table below). Tests prove that diamond
is approximately five to 150 times as hard as corundum, the next hardest mineral.
The variation stems not only from the differences obtained from different hardness-testing
methods, but also from the fact that various directions on a given stones
surface show a considerable variation in resistance to abrasion. The hardest
direction in diamond is parallel to the faces of the octahedron.
1.Talc 6. Orthoclase feldspar
2. Gypsum 7. Quartz
3. Calcite 8. Topaz
4. Fluorite 9. Corundum
5. Apatite 10. Diamond
Hardstone: The term used for any opaque stones used in making cameos, intaglios, or mosaics, such as agate, carnelian, onyx, etc.
Heishi (pronounced hee-shee): The oldest form of jewelry in the Americas, pre-dating the introduction of metals. The literal meaning of heishi is "shell" and specifically refers to pieces of shell which have been drilled and ground into beads and then strung into necklaces. Centuries ago, the shells used by the Pueblo Indians to make beads were obtained in trade from the Gulf of California. The most commonly used are seashells of all kinds--dark and light olive shells, spiny oysters, mother of pearl, and melon shell. Coral and stones such as lapis, turquoise, onyx, pipestone and serpentine are also used to create exquisite contemporary heishi necklaces. A string of good heishi will have a uniform consistency. If you gently pull it through your hand, it should feel like a single serpent-like piece
Hematite: Iron ore consisting of ferric oxide in crystalline form, hematite is silvery, shiny opaque stone that becomes a red powder when ground down. It manifests in splendent rhombohedral crystals that are very heavy and cold to the touch.