by Staci Louise Smith
I began my jewelry making journey using silver.
It's my first love in jewelry.
Back when I made pieces like this, silver was around $8-$12 an oz. You know I go big with my pieces, so I used A LOT of silver in them. A few years ago it started climb, reaching $50 at times. It's come down again, but in order to maintain a certain price point, $28-30 an oz. is still a bit high for me. (and things like chain and metal clay are much higher then just the current rate per oz)
Then I heard about silver filled wire, sheet and chain.
Silver filled is sterling silver over brass, and it is 100x thicker then silver plated. It patina's and antiques the same as sterling, and it says that it can be soldered.
I purchased some silver filled wire, and chain, and clasps, because I want to make ankle bracelets for my sea glass festival. I got this great rolo chain in silver filled.
for less then $5 per foot.
The same chain in sterling silver is $33.75 per foot. HUGE savings. So an ankle bracelet with sterling would retail for about $80. I think its a win win. The one I made below will retail for only $45.
So far I have worn it for almost a week, in the ocean, walking the boardwalk, at night, everywhere and all the time. I plan to keep it on until my sea glass festival. The chain is tough (good for anklets), and I made it adjustable in length.
I can't find where I read it, but one of the suppliers claimed the silver will never wear off.
I haven't tried to solder the wire, but I did try to ball it in a torch and it was a disaster. The silver and brass ball at different temps and its a melty mess.
I think its important to offer the best prices AND quality to my customers. I agonize over pricing, and make it as fair to everyone as possible. So I am really happy to find silver filled and hope it does last a lifetime.
So what have you guys found? Did you try this out yet? Any advice or thoughts on silver filled?