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The reflective quality, or glossiness, of a surface. Luster is a standard mineralogical term, but is generally used to describe all types of material surfaces including metal, porcelain, glass, fur, and cloth. In mineralogy, the principal types of luster are: metallic, adamantine, vitreous, resinous, greasy and pearly. The degrees of luster are splendid, shining, glistening or dull.

Synonyms and Related Terms

lustre (Br., Fr.); metallic; adamantine; vitreous; resinous; greasy; pearly; brilho (Port.); Lüster (Deut.)

Resources and Citations

  • Ralph Mayer, A Dictionary of Art Terms and Techniques, Harper and Row Publishers, New York, 1969 (also 1945 printing)
  • Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Dictionary of Fiber & Textile Technology (older version called Man-made Fiber and Textile Dictionary, 1965), Hoechst Celanese Corporation, Charlotte NC, 1990
  • Rosalie Rosso King, Textile Identification, Conservation, and Preservation, Noyes Publications, Park Ridge, NJ, 1985
  • Paintings Specialty Group, Painting Conservation Catalog, Wendy Samet (ed.), AIC, Washington, DC, 1998
  • Van Nostrand's Scientific Encyclopedia, Douglas M. Considine (ed.), Van Nostrand Reinhold, New York, 1976
  • Random House, Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary of the English Language, Grammercy Book, New York, 1997
  • Frank A. Lent, Trade names and Descriptions of Marbles, Limestones, Sandstones, Granites and Other Building Stones Quarried in the United States Canada and other Countries., Stone Publishing Co, New York, 1925
  • The American Heritage Dictionary or Encarta, via Microsoft Bookshelf 98, Microsoft Corp., 1998

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