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Silver jewelry

Feb 13, 2012 1:16:42 PM

Recently, Ebay was flooded with cheap imports of children's Tibetan silver children's charms at crazy prices.  A test was performed which has received a geat deal of publicity.  The pieces tested were found to contain as little as 1% pure silver.  Now, Tibetan silver traditionally, can contain as much as 99% pure silver, so these unscrupulous sellers have maligned the name "Tibetan Silver."  

Generally in today's market, Tibetan silver contains approx 30% pure silver, and the delightful styles and affordable prices make it a very reasonable proposition.

People often ask me, "what is Bali Silver, Mexican Silver, Miao Silver etc.?"

Bali silver is usually quite safe to buy though some ebay sellers have done a "Tibetan" on Bali silver as well.  If prices seems ridiculously low, then it's probably not Bali silver at all, which is generally good quality sterling silver.  Buy from a well known supplier, and you will get 92.5% sterling silver.

Sterling silver is, of course, 92.5% pure silver.  It is popularly used in baby jewelry and children's jewelry as well as jewelry for adults.  100% pure silver is not a viable product for jewelry, especially children's jewelry, because it is too soft.  It is easily dented, scratched and bent out of shape.  

Some years ago, I ordered some Miao Silver jewellery.  This  traditional craft of Northern China and nearby Central Asian countries contains approx 30% silver.  Designs are beautiful and prices are affordable.   

I've been receiving emails from Mexican suppliers regarding Mexican baby bracelets and children's earrings.  I have little knowledge of the content of Mexican silver, but from my recent research, it can be dubious  Mexican silver can be sterling silver, or it can contain only 30% (same as regular Tibetan silver) or it can be made from as little as 10% silver.  What to do?  

For the moment, I am avoiding Mexican silver until I know more about it, and find a reliable, well recommended supplier, though some of their designs are very desirable!

Posted in Metals used in Jewelry Making By Jennifer Gregory

Tibetan Silver Children's Jewelry

Jan 27, 2011 4:21:08 PM

Tibetan silver has a beautiful look.  It's rustic, ethnic, and hand-made-looking.  In fact, very often it is hand-made.  Tibetan silver is usually teamed with gorgeous beads or stones, as well as pearls.  The designs have a special look and with very little experience, I have come to be able to pick Tibetan silver children's jewelry from other types of silver, very easily.

Tibetan silver is approx 70% silver.  Sterling silver, in comparison, is 92.5% silver.  It's possible to get 99% silver baby jewelry, usually baby bangles and baby bracelets, but these are quite expensive and they are more soft than sterling silver or Tibetan silver.  For this reason, I wouldn't recommend 99% silver baby jewelry.  It's far too easy to dent or scratch or distort the item.  Sterling silver can be dented also, but these days it's often coated with a product that helps keep the silver shiny, and helps prevent dents and scratches.  Tibetan silver is in fact the best silver of all for Children because it's stronger than both sterling silver and 99% silver. 

Tibetan silver children's jewelry is often engraved in that recognisable ethnic design of Central Asia.  If you have a child who likes something a little different, Tibetan silver children's jewelry might be perfect as a gift for her.

Posted in Metals used in Jewelry Making By Jennifer Gregory

Metals Used in Jewelry Making

Sep 24, 2010 11:48:53 AM

What does it all mean?

Sterling Silver:

Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% by weight of silver and 7.5% by weight of other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

925 Silver:

As above.  An alloy of 92.5 percent silver with copper or another metal.

Silver Plated:

Describes something that has a thin coating of the metal silver applied to it

Gold Plated:

Gold plating is a method of depositing a thin layer of gold onto the surface of another metal, most often copper or silver (to make silver-gilt), by chemical or electrochemical means.

9K Gold, 10K Gold, 14K Gold, 18K Gold:

Jewellery is commonly made using 9k, 10k, 14k and 18k gold.

When buying an expensive diamond ring we recommend using 18k gold given that the saving you will make on the overall cost of the diamond ring by choosing 9k gold is not significant.

Conversely, when buying a small diamond or gemstone ring then the type of gold is important as its cost may be a significant proportion of the overall cost of the diamond or gemstone ring. 

The other consideration is one of appearance. Generally speaking 18k yellow gold is more yellow than 9k yellow gold. 

Posted in Metals used in Jewelry Making By Jennifer Gregory

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