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Author Topic: Where to purchase Silver Sheet for jewelry making?  (Read 918 times)

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jalapeno333

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Where to purchase Silver Sheet for jewelry making?
« on: April 02, 2019, 06:45:03 PM »

Hello, I'm new to jewelry making, and new to lapidary work.  I've successfully created my first several cabochons, and I'm excited to begin making pendants and rings.

I ordered the following:
"6" SHEET SS 18GA (.040") DEAD SOFT - 1 Pieces of length 4 . 0 IN ."   

I am attempting to order a 6'' piece of 18 Guage Sterling Silver that is 4'' long. BUT this one piece came out to a total of $102.02!!  Is this accurate?   And if so, does anyone have any recommendation on where to source more affordable Silver and other metals for jewelry making?  Thanks!
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irockhound

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Re: Where to purchase Silver Sheet for jewelry making?
« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2019, 07:08:54 PM »

Depending on the style and the pendant and ring you are making 18ga is quite thick if you are starting out and most pendants and rings can easily be made with 28ga backing for the bezel.  People never see the thickness if you sand your bezel flush with the backing and it is more than strong enough and if you are making a piece where the backing thickness is in the design then you can use thicker sheet.  There are valid reasons for using heavier gauge silver and mostly it is return on investment make a thick quality piece and reap the rewards for high end.  I rarely use 18 gauge unless I am doing something much more substantial.  You could even use 24ga if you want and your price will still be WAY lower.  I normally buy the sheet silver in 6"x 6" and current cost for that size is $100. and that gives you more than 6 times the sheet size!
One thing you can do also is use thicker silver for your bezel and still use the 28ga and it gives the effect of a heavier silver piece while saving money.  With each gauge thicker the price quickly rises

I might need to clarify that the gauge I mentioned for rings is NOT if the sheet is the ring itself vs just being the backing for the bezel and using 1/2 rnd wire for the ring.

There is a good webpage that give ideas on silver thickness =  https://workingsilver.com/what-gauge-should-i-use/

The old books I have always loved "Indian Jewelry Making vol 1 and 2" say on backings for small stones like pendants and rings 24 to 28ga  and the backing for an Inlay braclet is 18.  They even suggest 24ga for silver boxes with a think strip of thicker silver just along the edge

The attached pic is a large ring stone using 3 1/2 rnd wire ring with 28 gauge bezel backing (not flush so you can see it's thickness) and a small 2 1/2 rnd wire ring with the bezel backing sanded flush and no one would know the backing gauge.  sry about the pic quickly taken with my phone with my daily worn rings.
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jalapeno333

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Re: Where to purchase Silver Sheet for jewelry making?
« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2019, 09:53:50 PM »

Wow, you've just blown my mind !  THANK YOU SO MUCH - you have illuminated my beginner world with great clarity!  I will definitely go with 24ga.  and I'm going to try out the "Thicker bezel" option as well. 

I'll look into "Indian Jewelry Making vol 1 and 2" - especially if you "have always loved" them.. Good stuff, thanks again!
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