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Jon Daniels

Cheap Sterling anyone?

  

104 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you buy sterling filled wire and rings? See the thread for details.

    • Yes - I would use it instead of sterling
      11
    • Yes - I would use it in addition to sterling
      24
    • Maybe - I'd try it and see how it went
      38
    • No - bad idea
      31


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The details.

Price - about 1/3 the price of sterling at the current market prices of silver.

Specs - the outside 10% of the wire is solid sterling (note that 5% is standard for gold filled).

This is not silver plate - it is a thick tube of sterling silver over the base material.

The core would be a nickel silver alloy.

I am planning 20, 19, 18 and 16G for now.

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I'd be cautiously interested. It really depends on whether the general public can be made aware of the relative value, effectively, and I need more info on that. I suppose I'd buy some and try to see what people think. I'd be interested in a budget alternative - as well as the high end stuff (am dithering between copper-alloy sterling and low-tarnish alloys).

Edited by calyx

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I would have to know more before I would consider it myself. There would have to be some properties of the combination that would convince me to pay 1/3 the price for 1/10 the silver. If the silver fill were significantly stronger I would consider that a benefit. How well it works with the resistance welder could be a factor. Can it be easily identified as to avoid mixing with sterling by mistake? Unless the traits of the new option have benefits I am likely to pass unless the cost of sterling goes drastically higher. On the other hand if you eventually have wire in the 12G and up category I can see many appealing possibilities that I would never consider with solid silver as it would be an extreme expense.

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I'll echo BMW here...1/10 the silver for 1/3 the price is not a good deal. It's got to cost more to manufacture, but still too high. I'd rather buy the real thing.

Add to that the misconceptions the most customers have about "filled" metals and it would be tough for me to sell.

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I'll echo BMW here...1/10 the silver for 1/3 the price is not a good deal. It's got to cost more to manufacture, but still too high. I'd rather buy the real thing.

Add to that the misconceptions the most customers have about "filled" metals and it would be tough for me to sell.

Good points. I didn't notice at first that it would be a third of the price, I thought it would be less. And if most customers don't understand filled metals... OTOH, some people think precious plated is pretty special, if you could point out that the "plate" will never rub off... still, returning again to the third of the price. FMG has theirs at about a third, and I was put off buying it.

Edited by calyx

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I had looked into this before as an alternative to sterling silver and it seemed pretty solid. It isn't as cheap as we would all like to see but for those who need to make multiple items on a budget it is nice to have. From what I have investigated, the filled wire can be used in the same way as sterling, meaning you can still use it in your tumbler. Just don't tumble it in shot for extended periods of time. I would defiantly be interested filled wire. I would not use it for all projects, but it would be nice to have the option open for my customers who currently purchase silver plated items from me.

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I've tried the wire from FMG, as I simply can't afford sterling right now. If my choices are this or enameled copper, I'd much rather this. And I find the fact that it won't tarnish like sterling will, for much less cost is pretty convincing for my customers.

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I think it could be of great benefit for people that want silver appearance without the massive expense. Having said that I would not personally use it due to the fact that even though the nickel is at the core there are people that would still potentially be sensitive.

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And I find the fact that it won't tarnish like sterling

It won't? Is it an argentium-type alloy?

I don't think a nickel core would be an issue, as I don't think the nickel would migrate through the silver? However, if there is some oxide on the exposed nickel, it could be washed onto people's skin - they'd have to be very very sensitive though.

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It won't? Is it an argentium-type alloy?

I don't think a nickel core would be an issue, as I don't think the nickel would migrate through the silver? However, if there is some oxide on the exposed nickel, it could be washed onto people's skin - they'd have to be very very sensitive though.

It may also be given a top coat of pure silver somehow. Who knows...

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i am not an expert in that kind of stuff , but to have work with some kind of soldering wire before (not for chain mail purpose) i am wondering if you would not get a different apearance on the end of the ring depending of the way you cut it (plyer may have a tendancy to contract the silver , but the saw may show the inside) its only interogation i have ... on an other note 10% silver for the 1/3 of the price do not take in consideration of the other metal and the % of silver in the alloy

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e ... on an other note 10% silver for the 1/3 of the price do not take in consideration of the other metal and the % of silver in the alloy

Nickel Silver contains no silver unless TRL has a different definition. It is copper, nickel, and zinc. Also referred to as German silver.

Today's silver US$ per ounce $36.00.

An ounce of Nickel Silver about 50 cents.

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I was thinking about the purpose of this pole. It seems that this poll is designed to help TRL with the decision whether or not to add rolled silver to the inventory. I wonder if respondents who do not use silver and probably never will could skew the results of this poll. I would think that responses from customers who might buy silver is more relevant that customers who would not. One would hope that people who are not going to buy the silver would not respond but that does not always happen.

On a semi-related note. Do you think it would be possible for TRL to stock tarnish resistant paper? I know I can buy from places like Fire Mointain but I would rather not have to make an order for just one item.

Movak

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Not sure how I feel about this...

Hell, I thought Sterling was pricey back before it crossed the $20/oz mark...

That being said, I'm not sure I see the customer base of Silver-Fill pieces... People that want cheap and shiny will buy Stainless or Bright Aluminium...

People that want silver, will fork over the money for silver.

Really, as has been said before in this thread, the only markey I see for this, is people padding their own pockets... Charging "Silver" prices for "Silver Fill" product, and the customer leaving none-the-wiser.

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I bet if a reputable maker had the solid sterling version and the silver filled version for significantly less I bet a customer would buy the less expensive one twice as often. The maker just has to be honest enough to explain the difference. The scam can be done with rolled gold as well but TRL still sells it.

Movak

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I was thinking about the purpose of this pole. It seems that this poll is designed to help TRL with the decision whether or not to add rolled silver to the inventory. I wonder if respondents who do not use silver and probably never will could skew the results of this poll. I would think that responses from customers who might buy silver is more relevant that customers who would not. One would hope that people who are not going to buy the silver would not respond but that does not always happen.

Movak

You also forget those that might not use silver but might be interested in another alternative that's still cheaper.

And more importantly, you forget that 90% of any poll where people are ask if they would by something and they say yes, don't in fact buy said thing.

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I would certainly order at least a couple of sizes. I wouldn't use it for commission pieces, but going off to college this fall means I have to think carefully about how much I spend on pieces for myself, and I would certainly like a bracelet or two and maybe a necklace to (aesthetically, at least) match a silver ring that I often wear.

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as a bead shop owner, i have decided NOT to carry silver-filled findings or wire. we carry sterling and sterling plated, and that seems to offer our customers the price points they seek.

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I do agree that some may pass it off as full sterling. Yet this is a step stool for someone like me who can't buy much perecious metals.In my last order, I got a few ounces of sterling and goldfilled. Now those bracelets are sitting on my table because no one wants to spend that much. While when I got the rings, I told my self "these have to pay for themselfs, and the next batch"!

I have many people asking for silver, but when they see how much it cost, they ask for silver plated. As many maillers know about silver plated, I have to tell them that I just dont work with it. As its not worth the time to use it!

So I would totally buy sterling filled if the chance comes. I plan to get some full sterling, along with many ounces of filled! Many have said 1/3rd for 1/10th is not a good price. But the labor into makeing this has to be counted into that price.

~Colt

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I would definitely buy it. I hate the silver colored enameled copper and silver plate is to cheap looking. Sterling is starting to break that bank for me and to make any money I have to mark up the jewelry to the point few will buy it. I would of course still by sterling but filled would be a great option to have.

Spitfire

I do agree that some may pass it off as full sterling. Yet this is a step stool for someone like me who can't buy much perecious metals.In my last order, I got a few ounces of sterling and goldfilled. Now those bracelets are sitting on my table because no one wants to spend that much. While when I got the rings, I told my self "these have to pay for themselfs, and the next batch"!

I have many people asking for silver, but when they see how much it cost, they ask for silver plated. As many maillers know about silver plated, I have to tell them that I just dont work with it. As its not worth the time to use it!

So I would totally buy sterling filled if the chance comes. I plan to get some full sterling, along with many ounces of filled! Many have said 1/3rd for 1/10th is not a good price. But the labor into makeing this has to be counted into that price.

~Colt

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The thing with sterling is it tarnishes, and polishing removes the tarnished layer of metal, so given enough time there is still the potential for the core metal to be exposed. Gold filled works because this is a non-issue, since gold doesn't tarnish, and because the price of gold is soooo high it just isn't feasible for many people. Silver, while the current prices shocked me when I discovered them, is still relatively affordable. Not that I buy a bunch of silver as it is, but I'd be much less likely to buy silver filled. And I would certainly not sell it to someone with nickel allergies, if the core has nickel in it, no matter how small the risk of them being exposed to the nickel.

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As a few others have mentioned, I am also curious as to the strength of the filled sterling. Using a standard such as galvy, could you specify the gauge size, either SWG or AWG, which may be comparable in strength to the filled sterling (mentioning, of course, its own gauge as well)?

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