Glossary of Jewelry Terms: H

Habillé: French for dressed up or formal. See "Cameo Habillé"

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. On we carry items with the hallmark 925 whcih means the piece is made from 92.5% sterling silver.

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 stone’s 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 disk-shaped 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 and 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.

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