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Sterling silver v silver plated

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  • Sterling silver v silver plated

    Hi I use silver plated for all of my jewellery mainly as sterling silver is more expensive for me to pay for up front but also because until I am more experienced the silver plated is fairly inexpensive when I am experimenting.

    What I would like to know is whether despite the cost of sterling you find these items are more popular than silver plated.

    I did my first craft fair recently which was very quite and I didn't sell much so didn't get the chance to get much feedback on my jewellery as I was hoping to find out what people are looking for and are willing to pay etc.

    A couple of comments I have had is that my jewellery is aimed for younger people and they wouldn't have the money to pay for my items. I didn't really see it that way as all of sales and commissions so far have been for older ladies who are looking for special occasions. If anyone could give me any feedback I would really appreciate it as I am still trying to find my feet and hope that my next craft fair is more succesful.

    Sorry for the long thread.

  • #2
    silver v plated

    tish, tosh..what rubbish your jewellery is for everyone!! I like you "clean" look and my personal opinion is that i love sterling silver rather than silver plated. I know that sterling is dearer but given the choice maybe you could do sterling AND plated for customers? If they like it in plated then say something like " ...I also do this in Sterling for that special occasion/person, etc..." Its worth a try I think.

    Hope this helps.


    • #3
      I agree with Maiden - make a selection of both plate and sterling so that you can try to catch both ends of the market. If someone admires a piece in sterling but its too expensive for them then offer to make it in plate and vice versa. However I have to say that most of my customers (and me personally) will buy something if they like it regardless of the cost.

      And don't be put off by those comments - as I always say "one man's poison is another man's pleasure".

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      • #4
        I can totally relate to your post, as I would love to only work with Sterling Silver, but just can't afford it until I start selling more.

        But then if I worked with better quality findings, I might sell more. Bit of a catch-22, isn't it?

        Good advice from Auntynet & Maidensilver to do a bit of both. I might also make a little sign that says all silver plated items could be done in Sterling if preferred and to ask for a quote.


        • #5
          I'm sorry I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to Gemstone beads. I belive they deserve nothing but sterling silver or gold ( yeah right wish I could aford to work in that ) Glass beads I can live with being on Plate. Not Lampwork beads though they too deserve more.

          I expect to pay more for gemstones because of what they are. I think a lot of people do. sorry just my opinion I get a bit passionate about crystal and Gems Auntynet can tell ya about that.

          I'll go hide in a corner now.

          P.S. Stering last longer made a necklace out of plate it has all worn off now looks like it was made of copper.
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          • #6
            I have had prospective customers walk away without buying because earring wires or posts were plate. Lots of people have nickel allergies, and although you can tell them that EU regulations mean jewellery findings are all supposed to be without nickel, many only really trust silver. I have also had it happen with pendant chains, though not as many. I bit the bullet a while ago, and now use sterling findings for practically all my jewellery - except when it's really obvious it's supposed to be cheap and fun.
            Hope that helps


            • #7
              I never use anything but sterling for chains and earrings because they're the most reactive and people are far more picky about it.
              It just so happens that the silver plated bails for pendants I use are a heavy plate otherwise I wouldn't use them either. I offer an upgrade to sterling but the uptake on them is only about 1 in every 500.
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              • #8
                i dont get this at all. you can get 10m of .8mm silver wire for about £26 + delivery. but that works out at under 3p for the silver to make a pair of hoops for drop earings. that not expensive!

                plus, people are constanly being told how expencive silver is to people will be more willing to pay for you're work. dont undersell youself but using shody materials.


                • #9
                  I use mainly sterling findings as it seems to sell better and at a better profit margin.
                  One way I get around the cost and still make decent necklaces is to use silver glass beads as spacers rather than sterling silver and then just use sterling for the crimps and clasps on beaded necklaces.
                  I also make my own earwires, I use .8mm wire from Palmers metals which works out to £25 including P&P.
                  I have also found that the coloured craft wires do not loose their plating as quickly as silver plated wire (if at all) . I have made some nice wrapped loop necklaces, matching the wire with the colour of the beads.



                  • #10
                    hay thanks for that! it seems palmer metals are a bit cheaper than cooksons on some things. both do good bulk discount, thats always going to the key to cheaper metals

                    thanks again!



                    • #11
                      I agree that your jewellery is for everyone. I love your don't be put off.

                      When I set up first I was using silver plate but changed to Sterling silver because that's what customers wanted. I do find however, that I'll get a much higher price for necklaces and earrings if I use sterling silver. It really doesn't cost the earth if you shop around. I am dealing with a lovely girl for french earring hooks in the UK (I'm from Ireland) and they work out at only £3 for 20 sterling silver french hooks. She's on ebay or email at [email protected] I get my Sterling silver and gold plated clasps at and the quality is excellent, more expensive than ebay but then I know what I'm buying and have confidence is selling the items.

                      Good luck with future craft fairs, I LOVE you work


                      • #12
                        When i first started I only used plated, especially as I was just starting out. I now work only in Sterling for adults stuff, but plated for the kids range so they can afford to buy it with their pocket money.

                        I don't find that Sterling is particularly expensive comparatively. If you hunt around, you can get some good prices. I got 71feet of 26 gauge wire from USA and got customs slapped on and it still only works out at £16 (that's 0.0073 per cm) including the customs charge! I find gold filled findings to be the killer. Soooooo expensive! So if anyone has any ideas where I can get that a bit cheaper...

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                        • #13
                          i was wondering if sterling silver plated jewelry would change color if you wear it a lot? i know sterling silver usually doesn't but does sterling silver plated?


                          • #14
                            Silver plated stuff will usually tarnish in the same way as sterling, but it is harder to clean as sometimes the tarnish will go through to the base metal. The main problem I have found with SP findings on necklaces and bracelets is that the silver will actually wear off and leave the higher bits a copper or brass colour.
                            The black or 'antique silver' plating seems to last a lot longer. I use tibetian silver ( which is base metal and not silver) toggle clasps and spacer beads on my cheaper stuff as it doesn't tarnish at all.



                            • #15
                              Would prefer sterling, but absolutely can't afford it at the mo!
                              The silver plated isn't tarnishing yet... however im not keen on the weight of some silver plated eyepins ive bought, v flimsy, nicer effect cutting your own from thicker wire and probably works out the same price.
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