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Paste in jewelry refers to heavy flint glass which is used to make imitation gemstones. Such glasses have a high lead content, resulting in a high refractive index, allowing the material to achieve a brilliancy and fire approaching that of real gemstones. Metallic oxides are added so that different colours can be reproduced, matching that of the gemstone being mimicked. The material is called paste because the components of the mixture are mixed when wet to ensure a thorough and even distribution. Paste gemstones were, in the 18th and 19th centuries, considered an art form and apparently popular and fashionable. An expert could easily detect a paste imitation. A common criminal might not, however, notice it so quickly, especially if he or she is in a hurry.[1] [2]

Use of paste as a plot device in the stories of Agatha Christie[]

References[]

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