Terminology and definition
The word comes from
torquis (or torques), from
torqueo, "to twist", because of the twisted shape many of the rings have. Typically, neck-rings that open at the front when worn are called "torcs" and those that open at the back "collars". Smaller
armlets worn around the wrist or on the upper arm sometimes share very similar forms. Torcs were made from single or multiple intertwined
metal rods, or "ropes" of twisted wire. Most of those that have been found are made from gold or bronze, less often silver, iron or other metals (gold, bronze and silver survive better than other metals when buried for long periods). Elaborate examples, sometimes hollow, used a variety of techniques but complex decoration was usually begun by
casting and then worked by further techniques. The
Ipswich Hoard includes unfinished torcs that give clear evidence of the stages of work.
 Flat-ended terminals are called "buffers", and in types like the "fused-buffer" shape, where what resemble two terminals are actually a single piece, the element is called a "muff".