Materials Glossary

At 10-ton goldfish designs, we pride ourselves on using the highest quality materials we can find.

Below you can find a description of our most popular materials. Click here for care and cleaning guides.



Sterling Silver is an alloy created when copper is added to pure silver in order to make the resulting compound more durable. Sterling silver has a purity of 92.5%, the remaining 7.5% of the alloy is made of copper or another metal (usually nickel or zinc).

Argentium Silver
A brand of modern tarnish-resistant silver alloy containing 93.5% - 96% silver. Argentium alloys replace some of the copper in the traditional sterling silver alloy (92.5% silver + 7.5% copper) with the metalloid germanium.

Aluminum (Anodized) 
Aluminum is the most widely used non-ferrous metal. It has a soft, durable, lightweight, ductile and malleable metal with appearance ranging from silvery to dull gray, depending on the surface roughness and is nonmagnetic. Anodizing is an electrochemical process in which an oxide (anodic) layer is chemically built on the surface of the metal. This oxide layer acts as an insulator and can be dyed in a wide variety of colors. Anodizing provides surface corrosion protection along with an excellent substrate for decorative finishes.

Hard Enameled wire (copper, silver coated)
Copper is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. Pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Colored copper wire has a hard enamel coating that has a high shine metallic finish, The coating is engineered to resist tarnishing, chipping, and peeling and to stand up to coiling, spiral making, twisting, wrapping, and other wire working techniques.


This is often called "cultured" sea glass because it is made by humans rather than the ocean. Recycled glass is tumbled to achieve the frosted look of sea glass, but created in far less time than mother nature takes!

Unlike glass blowing, which uses a furnace as the primary heat source to melt glass into a molten state, lampworking (also known as torchworking or flameworking) uses a torch to melt glass. The molten glass is then shaped using tools and hand movements. This technique dates back to the 5th century BC.


Baroque pearls are pearls with an irregular non-spherical shape. Shapes can range from minor aberrations to distinctly ovoid, curved, pinch, or lumpy shapes. Baroque pearls can come from both freshwater and salt water. Most cultured freshwater pearls are baroque because freshwater pearls are mantle-tissue nucleated instead of bead nucleated.

Keshi pearls are the rarest type of baroque pearls. The mollusk rejects part of the seed, but the pearl continues to develop from there. A keshi pearl is 100% nacre---the beautiful iridescence that gives all pearls their sheen. They are the most appreciated baroque pearls on the jewelry market.

Cornflake pearls, also called petal pearls, are a rare and fragile type of baroque pearl. It is the fragility, the thin cornflake shape, and drilling difficulty that make petal pearls so desirable. 

Coin pearls are made by deliberately placing a nucleus, which acts as an irritant, into a mollusk. The mollusk secretes a layer of nacre around the nucleus. The process can take from several months to many years. Because of their large flat surface area, they have an amazing luster and are commonly used in jewelry.

Stick: These are also known as BIWA pearls, and they are long, flat, and narrow, like a stick.

Rice: These small pearls resemble grains of rice. They are rounded, but not perfectly round.

Egg:  With wide bottoms and narrow tops, these pearls resemble eggs.

Twin: When two pearls fuse together, they are known as twin pearls.

Potato: These are small and lumpy, like a potato.