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Topic: Tibetan Silver? Anyone use it?  (Read 749 times)
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MomandDesigner
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Graphic goddess, beading for my sanity.


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« on: June 25, 2009 01:56:46 PM »

I see auction after auction of Tibetan Silver on ebay. There are a lot cute things that I would like to buy, but I am concerned of the Tibetan silver. Does anyone use these on a regular basis? How do they hold up. Do they look cheap?

Generally, I stick with sterling silver, silver plated pewter/copper and cast pewter items.  Something is telling me to steer clear Tibetan Silver because of lead content and so forth.

Opinions?
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kitschkitty
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2009 06:22:07 PM »

I like Tibetan silver as it is relatively cheap and you can get lots of nice designs, but you really do need to be careful who you but it from. I bought rather too much the other year so have been selling it on to other members of my forum, and no-one has been unhappy with the quality of the stuff I've bought/sold. But I only buy from 2 or 3 trusted sellers on ebay, as once or twice I have been tempted to try other sellers, and what should be the same beads as some I already had , turned out to have much lower quality detailing

Some of the cheap Tibetan Silver I have come across on ebay looks awful in the pics! - so badly cast you can't even tell what they are meant to be, and some are copies of other beads/charms which may well be breaking copyright, some of the words and phrases  I have seen on charms don't seem to be in any language after looking them up to check and some related to specific companies and don't make any sense out of context!!

Most importantly check that the stuff you are buying is nickel and lead free and the seller has excellent feedback.

I wrote a guide to metals on ebay. http://reviews.ebay.co.uk/Is-it-really-silver-UK-Beaders-beads-amp-findings-guides_W0QQugidZ10000000006206251

From my guide (if the link doesn't work):

Tibetan silver
This extremely popular type/style of beads and components certainly has it's place in jewellery making, but do not be under the illusion that it is actually silver. Tibetan silver generally contains no silver at all and is actually an alloy, most commonly zinc alloy. Tibetan silver alloys can vary a lot, and contain different make ups. It is worth checking the credentials of your supplier as not all Tibetan silver is nickel and lead free. Also the quality of the beads & components can vary greatly, from very intricate detail to terrible quality. Tibetan earring findings (there are some on eBay) should be avoided as they may cause allergic reactions.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2009 06:28:16 PM by kitschkitty » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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