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Topic: Questions about Quality of Findings  (Read 302 times)
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faerieangelchild
« on: January 29, 2009 07:17:18 PM »

I have a few questions about what type of findings I should use. The findings go towards pieces I make to sell. However, I'm relatively new to the world of jewelry making and am not quite sure on what to use.

1. What is the difference between silver and gold-plated wires (and earrings,) and sterling silver and gold-filled wires (and earrings.) I was working with some gold headpins and tried to make a loop when I scraped all the gold off it. Would that have been a gold-plated headpin?

2. What does the coil and ball do in an ear wire hook. I was looking at a few flat ear wires with just a ball and think they look much cuter than the conventional coil and ball one but didn't know if it meant "lower quality." Any explanations?

3. What are the differences between half-hard wires and dead-soft wire? I know dead-soft wire is extremely malleable and easy to bend and half-hard would probably be less so. However, how would you use each in a project?

I would appreciate any answer for any one of these questions. As a someone just starting out, I need all the help I can get. I'm looking for better quality but price is also in play, as most of you can probably emphasize. Thank you so much for reading and answering!
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pixidance
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2009 08:36:00 PM »

I use dead soft wire for wrapping projects that don't need to hold weight.  I use half hard wire to make my jump rings.  I've found that they're very sturdy, but I can still get them open.  I can hardly bend hard wire Tongue

Fine silver is solid silver.  It has a slightly different color than sterling silver and is generally softer. 

Sterling Silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal (usually copper)  The other metal helps to harden the silver and make items from it last longer (like silverware and other items used on a daily basis).  It is solid all the way through while plated has a coating of silver over a base metal.  Plated objects have to have a standard thickness of the coating to be called plated.

Gold filled items have a thicker layer than gold plated items do, therefore the gold generally lasts longer

Often, quality is associated with whether an item is plated or solid.  Most people don't charge the same price for plated items as they would for solid items (especially gold vs gold plated).

Here's a VERY useful guide about metals and jewelry.
http://www.rings-things.com/METALS.HTM#14
« Last Edit: January 30, 2009 08:36:51 PM by pixidance » THIS ROCKS   Logged

faerieangelchild
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009 07:52:46 AM »

Pixidance,

Thank you much for your answer! I'm pretty much clueless about the intricacies of jewelry findings, but you definitely cleared a few things up for me. I love that half-hard wire can be made into jump rings. It's one of the things I need the most.
THIS ROCKS   Logged

Re-Vintaged Jewelry

www.BirdcageBohemia.com

Don't get caged in, fly free...
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