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Beading, or beadwork, is also very popular in many African and indigenous North American cultures.

Silversmiths, goldsmiths, and lapidaries methods include forging, casting, soldering or welding, cutting, carving and "cold-joining" (using adhesives, staples and rivets to assemble parts).

These may take the form of symbols (such as the ankh), stones, plants, animals, body parts (such as the Khamsa), or glyphs (such as stylised versions of the Throne Verse in Islamic art).

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Alloys of nearly every metal known have been encountered in jewellery. Modern fine jewellery usually includes gold, white gold, platinum, palladium, titanium, or silver.

Most contemporary gold jewellery is made of an alloy of gold, the purity of which is stated in karats, indicated by a number followed by the letter K.

Both are used in Canadian English, though jewelry prevails by a two to one margin.

In French and a few other European languages the equivalent term, joaillerie there, may also cover decorated metalwork in precious metal such as objets d'art and church items, not just objects worn on the person.

There are negative consequences of the diamond trade in certain areas.

Diamonds mined during the recent civil wars in Angola, Ivory Coast, Sierra Leone, and other nations have been labelled as blood diamonds when they are mined in a war zone and sold to finance an insurgency.

The silver used in jewellery is usually sterling silver, or 92.5% fine silver.

In costume jewellery, stainless steel findings are sometimes used.

The basic forms of jewellery vary between cultures but are often extremely long-lived; in European cultures the most common forms of jewellery listed above have persisted since ancient times, while other forms such as adornments for the nose or ankle, important in other cultures, are much less common.

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