Q. What are the differences between Fine Silver and Sterling Silver?
A. Fine Silver is pure Silver and Hallmarked as 999, whereas Sterling Silver is an alloy of Silver with other metals (primarily Copper) to harden it. It is Hallmarked as 925. Many people who find that they have an adverse skin reaction to Sterling will find that they can happily wear Fine Silver. It is used in wound dressings and water purification, as it has anti-microbial properties.
Fine Silver is, however, softer than Sterling and is unsuitable for fine chains and thin or very delicate forms. Earwires & posts need to be 0.8mm as opposed to 0.7mm thickness for Sterling.
Q. What exactly is 'Silver Clay'?
A. Silver Clay, whichever brand is used, consists of very small Silver particles, mixed with an organic binder and water. This forms a clay body which can be rolled, textured, moulded and formed like an earth clay. It handles in a very similar way to Porcelain clay; drying out very quickly and needs careful handling. Once dried and after firing in a kiln, the binder has burned out and the tiny Silver particles are sintered together, forming a solid piece.
Most Silver clays are Fine Silver (999) but there are a few that are Sterling Silver (925). Both can be Hallmarked.
Q. Why do you not include Silver chains, with your Pendants?
A. I like to make as many of the elements of the jewellery that I sell. I can make chunky chains, but cannot produce the fine chains that are factory made. Many customers have quite a few chains in their collection already. Keeping a stock of chains, in varying styles and lengths is really the province of the High Street Jeweller.