Metals You Can Use For
Glass Fashion Jewelry
Glass beaded jewelry makers’ use a range of metals. There are a large variety of items available to include in your glass fashion jewelry.
I have set out hereunder the main materials you can use in your jewelry making:
Gold Filled Wire - Is composed of a solid layer of karat gold that is bonded with extreme heat and pressure to an inner core of base material. It is not the same as inferior plate. To be defined as filled wire it must be at least 1/20th precious metal = 5% by weight.
The filled wire is tarnish and wear resistant and does not cause allergic reactions the way plated jewelry does.
Gold-Finished and Silver-Finished - A base of brass or steel is electroplated with a non-standardized thickness of gold, silver or nickel.
Gold-plated, Silver-plated and Nickel-plated – Items have an industry standard of .15 to .25 mils thickness of gold, silver or nickel which is plated to the surface of the base material.
Karat (KT) – This is the measure of fineness of gold. Pure gold is 24K, 14KT gold is 14 parts pure gold. The balance is alloy. For most jewelry in the USA 14KT is the standard fineness used.
Nickel Silver – Jewelry and findings items are made of an alloy, mostly containing nickel. Resembling sterling silver in color nickel silver has a slightly grayer tone.
Frequently used in glass fashion jewelry in a large range of jewelry findings.
Niobium - Is made from a hypoallergenic material that is usually suitable for people with metal sensitivities. It is used for earwires, headpins, eyepins and jump rings.
It is available in a range of brilliant colors. Care needs to be taken working with niobium as pliers can easily mark the wire.
Pewter – Modern pewter is no longer allowed to contain lead and mainly contains tin along with small amounts of other materials.
Asian pewter has a higher amount of tin and is slightly softer.
Pure Silver – Known as .999 silver, it is soft and is not ideally suited for everyday use, hence the introduction of sterling silver.
Pure silver used in glass beaded jewelry as beads, spacers, toggles and other items is made by world renowned silversmiths in Thailand and readily available.
Sterling Silver –Made of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other alloy, proportions fixed by law.It may or may not be stamped .925 depending on its country of origin.
Many jewelry findings are unstamped due to their small size.
Craftsmen in Bali, Indonesia produce genuine sterling silver beads, spacers, clasps, earwires and many other components.
Vermeil – Items are made of sterling silver, heavily electroplated with a standard coat of 22KT yellow gold. Many vermeil jewelry findings come from Bali.
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