silver plated or sterling?

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on 23 Jan 2013 4:33 PM


I've just bought a lot of silver plated wire in various gauges and discovered that in order to make pieces that have been hammered flat, it needs to be sterling silver?

Also just noticed most projects call for sterling silver. Will pieces made with silver plated wire be just as sturdy?

(I realise the quality can't be as good, but as long as they don't fall apart).

Thanks for any advice!


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BogIron wrote
on 23 Jan 2013 4:50 PM

Silver plated wire works just great for most wire working projects and that is what it is intended to be used in not where you are required to forge the wire to a different shape. Actually it is "silver filled" wire and not plated there is a difference, it like using "gold filled" wire as opposed to gold plated. It is much higher quality than anything plated could ever be but it is just not the same as solid Sterling silver or fine silver.

As a fabricator of jewelry I would never substitute Sterling silver will silver filled wire. I'm not saying that it is an inferior product. It is just not where I am in my metal working. It is a good substitute for wire works but not for fabricators.

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on 24 Jan 2013 6:05 AM

Thanks, that's good clarification.

I'll see if I can get myself some sterling silver then.

I've also ordered copper wire, but I think that is all copper. I suppose I could try the hammered designs using that first.

Looking forward to trying it out!

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BogIron wrote
on 24 Jan 2013 3:11 PM

Working with copper is a fun way to learn the ins and outs of working with wire before moving on to the more expensive options. You can pounds of it for the price of an ounce of Sterling silver so have lots of fun with it. There is even copper wire covered with a plastic coating that comes in colors. One good thing about plain copper is that it can be hammered, annealed and hammered some more.

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Due Punti wrote
on 11 Feb 2013 7:37 AM

Silver-plated or gold-plated wire is made by fusing a microscopically thin layer of silver or gold over a base metal or copper core. Thus, it made prolonged to use.

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