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Topic: Urgent wire question  (Read 4264 times)
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« on: May 16, 2005 07:51:25 AM »

I need to make a pair of earrings as soon as possible using some kind of silver wire, preferably one which can be found in a regular hardware store. Is there any common metal which is silver colored, pliable but keeps its shape and doesn't turn black or anything? I called the hardware store and there was zinc... something... iron or steel wire which seems to be the right thickness. Any advice?

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« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2005 08:13:34 AM »

If you are looking for a safe silver tone, the hardware store is gonna be tricky. 

Titanium would be ideal, but tends to be dark. Steel would be the one to go with of the ones you listed.

If you are just using the wire for the decorative bits, then go for something that looks good and that isn't too brittle, like coated copper or zinc, where the coating is the color you want.

If you are planning to use the wire for EAR wires, which will go through the lobe and make serious skin contact....you're heading for an 'ouch' situation.  Keep in mind that the reason for using precious metals for ear wires is health and not tradition.  Zinc and lead are toxic and can be absorbed through the skin.  People are also more likely to have allergic reactions to base metals too.

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« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2005 09:25:56 AM »

Steel should be reasonably OK if you're making actual ear findings, but there's still a good chance of reaction.  Surgical steel is the most common metal used in ear findings, but even that is still associated with reaction, but I think most metals used for cheap craft-store findings are just plain ol' silver and gold-toned steel.  However, I would really recommend avoiding the hardware store and heading to the craft store if there is one available.

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« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2005 10:37:20 AM »

The ear "hooks" are sterling silver; I just need some other material for the dangly parts... The only craft stores in my area don't have the kind of wire I'm looking for. I have regular steel wire at home but it makes my fingertips grey just touching it... not very nice.

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« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2005 10:48:54 AM »

The ear "hooks" are sterling silver; I just need some other material for the dangly parts... The only craft stores in my area don't have the kind of wire I'm looking for. I have regular steel wire at home but it makes my fingertips grey just touching it... not very nice.

Steel comes in an enourmous variety of hardness, color, etc. based on how much carbon is in it. The hardware store might have some stainless steel wire or something else that would work for you, Anything else will rust too easily.
Steel can be galvanized, which means plated in zinc. This keeps it shiny, and prevents rust, but zinc is toxic and as someone mentioned earlier, you can't stick it in your ears. You also can't heat it up, the fumes are toxic.

Otherwise, mail ordering wire is your best bet.

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« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2005 12:00:15 PM »

ok. Thanks a lot for your replies! I think I'll have to wait a bit and mailorder then.

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