.925 Sterling Silver
The definition of Sterling Siver is metals is based on the British Sterling Standard. To qualify as Sterling, metal must contain a minimum of 92.5% pure silver. The remaining 7.5% is usually Copper. Copper adds strength to the metal. Our sterling is processed in the United States and maintains the highest standards in earth friendly production.
.930 Argentium Silver
Argentium silver qualifies as Sterling Silver as it contains 93% pure silver. Copper is substituted with Germanium. Germanium is a white metal that is much less reactive with oxygen. Argentium is very popular with silver workers in that it is tarnish/firescale/oxidation resistant. When oxygen and copper mix during the brazing process (soldering) firescale and oxidation occur. By replacing copper with a less reactive metal (germanium) you can work Argentium silver in the flame without the need to pickle.
.999 Fine Silver
Fine Silver is pure silver. Silver in its purest state does not react with oxygen and is very tarnish resistant. You can put it Fine Silver directly in the flame without oxidation or blackening. Fine Silver is perfect choice for making your own headpins. Fine Silver is much softer than Sterling Silver making it a great match for wire knitting.
14kt Gold Filled
14kt Gold Fill wire is NOT gold plate. It is considered a lifetime finish that will not flake, peel, polish or wear off. The wire is constructed by electrochemically bonding a sheet of 14kt gold onto a sheet of base metal. Gold Fill wire and findings are made from this product and it is nearly impossible to tell the difference between solid 14kt gold and 14kt gold fill.
To make a metal fill, the mill house mechanically bonds a sheet of .925 Sterling Silver to a sheet of Brass. The combined metal is run thru a mill to create a round wire with a thick coat of silver on the outside. Our silver-filled wire and jump rings offer a layer hundreds of times thicker than silver plating. Silver-Filled offers the shine, beauty, and durability of solid Sterling Silver at less than half the cost. 10% Silver Filled. Our Pure Silver-Filled jump rings are 10% silver by weight. That thickness means that you will never wear or polish off the layer of silver to reveal the base. The cost savings is significant, especially on large projects and silver-fill is becoming the new standard in affordable, durable jewelry.
Our plated wire is of the highest quality. It is resistant to peeling, flaking or revealing its base metal. It is coated with anti-tarnish agent, so chemical blackening agents, like Liver of Sulfur, is not recommended.
We use CDA #110 99.9% pure copper in our jump rings and solid core round wire. If you think all copper is made the same, it is not. Next time you purchase copper wire at a craft store, look at it under a loop. It is generally scaled and pitted and will not polish well. This product will accept artificial patina solutions such as Liver of Sulphur.
We use CDA #521 (92% copper / 8% Tin). The most beautiful reddish gold color that polishes bright and develops a warm patina over time. This product will accept artificial patina solutions such as Liver of Sulphur.
We use CDA #230 alloy (85% copper/15% zinc); also known as Red Brass, Jeweler’s Bronze or Merlin’s Gold.This product will accept artificial patina solutions such as Liver of Sulfur.
Quick•Fire jump rings is .999 Fine Silver over a solder-filled core. They make for easy soldering as there is no solder, flux or pickling necessary. Because the outside is .999 Silver, there is very little firescale or clean-up necessary. Just close the jump ring properly, set it on a soldering block or charcoal block and heat the joint with a torch. The joint will fuse closed. The increased silver purity combined with the solder alloys balances this product out at .925 sterling.
Dead Soft / Half Hard / Spring Hard
Wire and Metal products are measured in thickness (gauge) and their ability to spring back when bent or temper. There are 7 tempers or degrees of hardness. Dead Soft represents the softest temper, Half Hard will bend and stay bent and can be straightened, and spring hard which will stay in the shape it is made and very difficult to straighten (think spring or pin back). Metal has a crystalline matrix, when it is 'dead soft' the matrix is perfectly aligned and organized. Each time you bend the metal, you fracture the matrix and the wire becomes stiffer. The proper way to bring metal to its 'dead soft' state is by heating the metal in a kiln to a specific temperature. We always suggest dead soft, because it is easy to condition your wire to make it harder, but making hard wire soft requires specialized equipment.