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Sterling or Plated?

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  • Sterling or Plated?

    Hi All,

    All my jewellery is made using Silver Plated findings and wire etc, mainly to keep customers ( and my own ) costs down. But should i really be making items using Sterling Silver instead of Silver Plated? I just feel that if i use Sterling on my items, the prices would go up silly amounts and no-one would buy anything. Maybe i should allow a choice of sterling or plated on commissions, as those customers should be willing to pay.

    Any ideas, help, thoughts or opinions? I'll even take two pence worths


  • #2
    Personally I would rather pay the bit extra and have sterling silver as I have found that some plated items tarnish quite quickly.

    If I really like an item enough to want to wear it a lot then I would certainly want to pay that bit more and get something I know would be longer lasting, especially if it was being hand crafted.
    Reach for the moon-if you miss-you'll still be amongst stars


    • #3
      Sterling doesn't necessarily mean expensive. For example, if you make a pair of earrings and only use sterling wires, the average cost of wires is around 50p per pair when bought in small quantities. If you're doubling the cost of your materials in your pricing formula, it will only add an extra £1 to the sale price of your earrings or an extra £1.50 if you treble your costs.

      Not really that expensive when you look at it like that.

      Just one point to note - we sell several hundred pairs of plated earrings every week and have lots of regular customers that will happily pay an extra £2.00 to have the plated wires changed to sterling. That's not a bad profit considering my sterling wires only cost me around 30p a pair cos I buy in bulk.

      Step-daughter's website selling hand dyed sock yarns

      ~ * ~ * ~ Of all the things I've ever lost, I miss my mind the most! ~ * ~ * ~


      • #4
        Hi. I only make sterling earrings. everything else is on plate or cord but I have decided to do a delux range using sterling and handmade beads, for the decerning customer. lol but these too will not be as expensive as some plate I have seen on the web.

        I think you have to bear in mind where you are selling it and if the market will pay what you want to charge. As this varies from place to place. one of my best sellers is charm bracelets yet I know Aunty Net cant sell em for luv nor money and we are not that far apart geographically speaking.

        Maybe you should try a couple of pieces first to see what reaction you get.
        Handmade jewellery, to buy gifts or just to treat yourself visit my website, commissions welcome or join me on facebook for a chat


        • #5
          Thanks everyone, i will be selling on MISI, so now im thinking about doing the majority of my items in plate and having a "Posh" section or sterling


          • #6

            I use Sterling or gold filled in all my jewellery apart from my childrens range where I used plated so that I can keep the price lower and the kids can still afford to buy it with their pocket money - though these days they can probably afford to buy the sterling stuff anyway!!

            Although Sterling is a bit more expensive than the plated, I don't see much of a effect on my budget or the price of my jewellery. I think (or hope!) my prices are reasonable and they do cover for the cost of the materials.

            I also tend to buy stuff in bulk which saves money and when I first come up with an idea I practise with plated wire/pins first to make sure I don't waste any of the Sterling stuff.

            Hope this helps!!

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            • #7
              Mimiyel is spot on I think. It's definitely worth the little extra to buy sterling and here are plenty of places where you can buy sterling findings and fixings in bulk with not a too high minimum order. it's worth just searching the net for a few hours to get the best deal.
              silver jewellery at The Silver Jewellery Workshop
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              • #8
                Occasionally I'll use silver plate, but I usually prefer sterling. I find that plate tends to tarnish quite badly, and can sometimes turn a yucky yellowish colour. Not good. Sterling on the other hand looks nicer for much longer, with the care taken to look after it.

                As a buyer, if I want a piece of handmade jewellery that I've totally fallen for, I'd rather have something that's gonna stand the test of time. Might be a bit more expensive, but sterling is always a winner for me.
                Rach x

                Dare to dream ~ never afraid to fail.

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