March 10, 2009

What Is Sterling Silver Exactly ?

As a journeyman by trade of goldsmith and design I would like to tell you some things about this wonderful metal called Sterling Silver and how it is made.

Sterling silver often gets mistaken for pure silver, which is also called fine silver. Fine silver or pure silver is 99.9% silver and therefore too soft for most uses especially in the jewelrymaking industry.

Sterling silver is an alloy which is the process of liquefying two or more metals together. To create sterling silver you need fine silver or pure silver, copper and either germanium or tianium granulats. The fine silver, the copper and germanium or titanium metal granulates are heated with a torch in a ceramic like bowl (with pouring outlet) until all the metals are liquefied. Once all the metals are liquefied there are poured in a hardened steel mold wich is held together by clamps. The inside can have the shape of a rod in order to make sterling silver wire out of it later on. Once the metal in poured into the mold, its needs to be removed quickly, and held under cold water to reconstruct the molecule grit.
The sterling silver is now ready to work with.
I use almost excusively sterling silver or bali silver in my Beaded Jewels Designs.

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