the terms given in this glossary indicate their use in this publication.
Several of the given definitions are paraphrased from those in one or
more of the
references listed at the end of this glossary.
features such as the growth rings on fish scales.
of the filaments, typically parallel to each other, that
project from the main shaft of a feather.
barbule: one of the small
projections that fringe the edges of the barbs of feathers.
braintan: deer skin
processed into leather using a Native American technique that
involves working a solution of brains into the raw hide. "This
type of leather is favored for quillwork because it does not break up
the fibers of the hide, as modern tanning processes do, and it will
therefore hold tiny surface stitches. (In most Native-style
quillwork, the thread does not pass all the way through the leather,
just through the surface.) " (Jessee J. Smith, personal
communication, April, 2006; see also www.braintan.com)
[plural of calculus]: generic term for concretions
formed within an animal -- e.g.,
usually are named on the basis of the part of the body
in which they occur -- e.g., gall
stones (in the bladder) and kidney or renal stones (in the kidneys) --
and/or on the basis of their composition -- e.g., uric acid stone or
layer -- either bony or chitinous -- that constitutes such things as
armadillo plates and dorsal plates of tortoises.
of mineralized -- i.e.,
hydroxyapatite --bonelike tissue that covers the dentin(e) of the necks
and roots of a teeth.
a relatively tough
transparent to translucent horny substance that is the chief component
things as the hard outer integument of insects, arachnids and
crustaceans; it is generally considered to be largely a
polysaccharide that is structurally similar
cellulose except that the repeating unit is derived from
acetylglucosamine instead of glucose.
fatlike steroid alcohol (C27H45OH)
that crystallizes as leaflets etc.
dilute alcohol and is found in for example gallstones.
collagen: the fibrous
that is the chief organic constituent of bone, cartilage etc.
substance that constitutes the organic part -- e.g., the periostracum --
conchite: name given to a
polymorph of CaCO3 that was found as a chief component of certain
shells, but later was shown to be aragonite (see. Palache, Berman and
Frondel, 1951, p.191).
cystine: a white amino
acid salt that occurs in keratin (~C6H12N2O4S2).
dentin(e): the main part of
teeth; it lies directly beneath the enamel and is
cementum-encased in the neck and root portions of teeth; it
consists chiefly of hydroxyapatite (+ some calcium and/or
magnesium carbonate and/or some fluoride) and up to about 20 per cent
chiefly collagenous organic material beneath the
enamel: the hard exposed
surface of teeth; it consists of about 90 percent
hydroxyapatite, ~ 7 percent calcium and magnesium carbonate plus some
calcium fluoride with a protein-rich organic matrix.
gallstone: a calculus
consisting of cholesterol and bile salts -- i.e.,
bile acids such as
glycocholate(q.v.) -- formed
in the gall bladder.
gastrolith: a stone-like
mass ingested into the digestive tract of a vertebrate
(especially certain reptiles and birds) that aids its digestion of
food, usually by helping grind it.
gizzard: a muscular,
second, stomach in, for example, birds in which
ingested food is ground up (i.e.,
macerated) usually after having been softened in the animal's esophagus
(gullet) and/or glandular stomach (crop).
ratio: 1/x = (√5 + 1)/2 =
1.6180339887498948482... (I learned it as "if
you break a stick, and the length of the longer piece is to the length
of the smaller as the original would have been to the longer").
Synonyms: golden mean, golden number, golden section, divine
ø (phi), ...
glycocholate: a salt, such
as sodium glycocholate, of glycocholic acid.
(hardness): resistance to scratching or
The numbers -- 1
to 10 -- used in this book, and
widely by mineralogists throughout the world, refer to the scale based
on relative hardness of common minerals that was devised by Friedrich
Mohs (1773-1839), a German crystallographer. In this scale, the
minerals are ranked in a sequence of relative hardness based on their
ability to scratch or be scratched by one another. That is to
say, minerals (etc.) scratch minerals (etc.) with lesser
hardnesses and can be scratched by materials of greater hardnesses.
Thus, for example, a mineral with a hardness of 7½ would scratch
quartz (or any softer material) but be scratched by topaz (or any
Mohs Hardness scale:
<fingernail (H. ~2½)
<copper coin (H. ~ 3½)
<jackknife and window glass (H. ~ 5½)
is directed to the remarks in the
INTRODUCTION to GEMROCKS about how hardness should be determined and
should be observed when checking hardnesses of most materials used in
jewelry and decorative pieces!
tiny longitudinal channels within bones
through which blood vessels, nerve fibers and lymphatics pass;
these small vascular canals trend longitudinally through the central
parts of bony tissue; some people refer to these as
hemage: substance that
consists of ground up fish scales (like "essence d'orient")
and oils that gives some pearl simulants, especially those produced on
the Isle of Majorca, their pearl-like appearance.
used to help identify certain materials wherey the heated point of a
needle or pin is pressed on the material's surface (if possible, a
hidden surface) to see if it is easily combustable, melts or emits a
recognizable aura. (In
recorded test should
be used on
fashioned pieces of anything!! -- It is a destructive
test, and, in any case, is not needed because other means of
identification can be used.)
keratin: name given various
insoluble sulfur-containing fibrous proteins that are the chief
component of, for example, feathers, hair,
hooves and horns.
kidney stone: an
abnormal solid, crystalline concretion of mineral salts -- typically
calcium oxalate, though cystine, phosphates and urates may also be
present -- that are formed in the kidneys; sometimes
referred to as bladder stones or cystic calculi.
the pearl-like internal layer of certain
mollusc shells; also called mother-of-pearl.
commonly carved ivory, that is suspended on a silk cord from a kimono
otolith: fish ear
nitrogen-containing polymer xxx?a
class of carbohydrates, such cellulose, that consists of a number of
monosaccharides joined by glycosidic bonds.?xxx.
calculus -- i.e., a
concretion formed within the prostate gland; usually composed
largely of calcium carbonate, calcium phosphate or a salt of uric acid.
given to any one of a rather large group of complex organic compounds
that contain nitrogen, carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and commonly sulfur and
are distributed widely in animals and plants; presumably
constructed from amino acid by polymerization.
rumen: the first one or
so-to-speak stomach compartments in ruminant animals -- e.g.,
cattle and deer.
scrimshaw: the art of
engraving or shallowly carving designs on ivory or
bones, especially those of whales.
sectile: said of
materials that can be cut or severed
smoothly by a knife but cannot be pulverized easily.
structures, most of which are composed of calcium carbonate or hydrated
silica, that support the soft tissues of certain invertebrates such as
of taurocholic acid -- e.g., sodium
thermoplastic: said of
substances that when heated to temperatures slightly above 100°
Celsius are softened and can be compressed into larger masses; in
some cases, also applied to materials the small pieces of which can be
so heated and then "welded" together to produce larger pieces.
caused by striking -- e.g.,
the spark resulting with flint is struck with steel and the "sparking"
when, for example,
rock crystal is sawed.
common constituent -- either as the "free acid" or as a
-- of kidney calculi, prostatoliths and "gouty concretions";
crystals of uric acid are apparently responsible for the iridescence
exhibited by at least some butterfly wings. (in the past
sometimes called lithic acid because of its occurence in calculi.)
CancerWEB (Published at the Centre
Education, University of Newcastle upon Tyne). 1997-2005.
<http://cancerweb.ncl.ac.uk/omd/index.html> (accessed 23
Company. 2000. The
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th
2002. The American Heritage
Stedman's Medical Dictionary.
Press, OED Online. 2005
(accessed 22 November 2005)
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Last update: 3 August 2006
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