It's Thursday and time for this week's edition of Mrs. Matlock's Alphbe-Thursday's letter "F". After deciding not to choose the f-words, "fiddle" or "friend" or "frozen" or "full" or even "fictitious"; words that would be interesting to explore, I have chosen a word with its specific meaning and usage within jewellery-making.
Within jewellery-making FINDINGS are all of the parts of a piece of jewellery, mostly metal parts, that hold it together, hold all of the decorative and colourful non-metal parts, such as glass beads, crystals, pearls or stones in place and make them function as an adornment for someone to wear.
I had never heard the use of this word "findings" until I started making jewellery and needed to order supplies from wholesale companies that cater to the needs of professional jewellers. According to Fire Mountain Gems and Beads' website page, EncycloBEADdia:
Manufactured components used to create jewelry. Generally, findings provide the structure for the jewelry design; the ornamentation is provided by both the design of the finding as well as the gems, beads or other decoration that is added. Findings include jumprings, clasps, bails, headpins, earwires, and charms, to name a few.
So findings are metal parts that connect and support the decorative parts of a piece of jewellery; the framework, the working parts, the functional parts. Findings are said to be manufactured; but you could also make them yourself if you are skilled enough. If you don't have the time or equipment, findings can be purchased ready-made. And most of us beaders, jewellery-makers and even professional jewellers and goldsmiths, buy ready-made findings for some of their product-lines.
Findings can be made of different types and grades of metals, from precious metals such as gold and silver to brass, coppar, steel, pewter and alloys of several metals, as well as plated metals. The choice of findings is also a design-decision, because even the metal finish has a colour and texture that is an important part of the design as a whole.