Sterling silver findings are different from real silver, because they are an alloy. They must be 92.5 per cent pure silver, with the rest being made up with an inert metal like nickel or copper.
These alloys make the sterling silver findings more durable and stronger, while maintaining the beauty of silver, and are therefore ideal for making jewelry.
Benefits of Sterling Silver Findings
Because sterling silver findings are an alloy and are therefore solid, they will not be compromised when worn down like silver-plated metals. A scratch on their surface will not expose any different color or metal, because their make-up is uniform and solid.
Scratches on plated metal reveals a different color, or a surface that will tarnish at a different rate, and over time these differences will become more noticeable.
Fine silver is not normally used for jewelry making, as it is far too soft and malleable to be remain in shape.
Earring hooks and necklaces catches are especially vulnerable to weakness. If the metal is too soft, then they will not hold the jewelry securely around the neck or in the ears and cannot be relied upon.
Sterling silver findings, however, are stronger and can be trusted to hold their drops securely.
Sterling silver findings will tarnish in time. Signs of tarnish include a black layer coating the metal that is evidence of oxidation. Because of the high silver content, sterling silver findings are slow to tarnish.
All the sterling silver findings in your jewelry will tarnish at the same rate, and will therefore not take away from their appearance.
Tarnish can be removed from sterling silver findings with cleaners that are available from most jewelry stores. It is easiest to remove when visible, and is quickly restored to its former glory.
A lot of people with sensitive ears can only wear real gold pierced earrings without an allergic reaction, but many find they can also wear sterling silver findings.
Any time the metal touches the skin, people who have metal allergies need to be careful. In most cases sterling silver findings are perfectly unreactive.
This is because silver is not a very reactive metal, and only people with allergies to the alloy metal within it will usually have a problem.
Sterling silver findings are mostly able to be worn by everyone, but if in doubt opt for solid gold or surgical steel.
More expensive than cheap base metal findings, sterling silver findings are still extremely affordable and much cheaper than solid gold.
Sterling silver findings are commonly available in jewelry stores, and their popularity means that you'll be able to find everything you need for your next project.
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