Silver. 92.5. sterling silver.
All are the same.
Sterling silver is the purest form of silver that can be used for making manufacturing products/jewellery. In it 92.5% is the silver and the rest 7.5, are various alloys that are required for strengthening it.
Silver as I use it, in jewellery, is available in form of sheets,wires, balls, bars, billets, etc.
Jewellery out of it is made via 2 methods: casting (for mass production) and hand fashioning (for limited number of pieces).
Benchwork is the kind of work employed in hand made jewels, the kind Coyote silver is.
After the bench work texturing happens, then buffing, surface finishing and then plating follows. If the design includes gem stones, they are set just before the process of plating/ final polish.
Gem stones.... a large topic. They are sexy minerals! In many kinds, in many colors.
They are usually available in rock form. Further cut shaped and polished as per the requirement. In short, I say, there are three tiers of stones: precious, semi precious and ordinary. Types, kinds, colors one can find online. For any kind of purchasing... contact me!
Stones can be set in silver in various settings.....
Prong, semi prong, bezel, half bezel, grain, channel, invisble, drill and strung, drill and stuck... are the mainly used ones.
Stones are available in two kinds - cabochon (blunt/ rounded off) and faceted (cut/ with many facets)) and they are made into shapes such as:
tumbles, beads, balls, drops, round, princess, triangle, rose, baguette, oval, brilliant, emerald, cushion, trillion, heart, radiant, marquise, pear, octagon and zillion new ones happen every day!
Properties of silver:
Chemical formula - Ag, is brilliant white, has metallic luster, is malleable, harder and lighter than gold, stable in air, oxidizes when exposed to humidity/water, has the highest electrical and heat conductivity of all metals, can be deposited on glass or metals, melting point is 962 °C, boiling point is 2212 °C, employed in electrical industry, dentistry and photography, has reflecting properties, and is used in topical gels and bandages too (just found out this one)!
The best uses I know are:
Balls in stored water for its healing and anti-disease properties, wine and vinegar in silver bottles to prevent spoiling and bits of silver in clothes for prolonging their life as the moisture gets controlled. And... for adornment of course!
It Is priced per gram or as per the design and workmanship involved.
When I started working with it, the price was INR 16/- per gram and as I type this its about INR 28/- gram. Highest was almost INR 30/- per gram. It Is cheap compared to gold, so thankfully there is room for going crazy and experimenting.
We as Indian designers have the liberty of employing craftsmen/ silversmiths who do all the labour and charge. this does not happen everywhere. Designers all over the globe usually do all the bench work themselves! Even though I am equipped with most of the technical and production knowledge, I feel blessed! Thanks to all my craftsmen...
This is how I work:
I get an idea, sketch, make a detailed instruction/ specification sheet, select the stones, weigh them, give it all to the craftsmen and wait for them to do their magic.
Once the pieces arrive, I do the quality check. Some go back for correction and some stay. Those that stay, get weighed, priced, clicked for my records and tagged.
Ready to buy and wear!
I love silver!
...for all its flamboyance and flexibility.
P.S - I wrote this write up on my FB group in on 11th April 2010.
And every now and then I keep writing the current silver prices (per gram). Shall do the same here:
- Almost touching INR 50/gm - 25.Feb.11
- Reached 75/gm in between and back on 53/gm today - 25.5.11
- 57/gm - 3.6.11
- 52.3/gm aaj - 28.6.11
- 58.7/gm on 31.7.11
- 56.3/gm on 6.12.11
- 61.2/gm on 15.12.12
- 58.1/gm on 30.1.13
- 54.3/gm today - 21.3.13