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A flat piece of metal, usually between 3 mm and 6 mm in thickness, made by setting an ingot on an anvil and hammering it; when the hammering causes it to become brittle, the metal must be processed by annealing and quenching. Sheet metal is used to make articles of jewelry decorated with repoussé work and related processes. Metal that is thicker is usually designated as 'plate metal'.
From: An Illustrated Dictionary of Jewelry, autor: Harold Newman, publishers: Thames and Hudson