Jewellery Making Project Ideas Using Sterling Silver Findings

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By Adam Hunter

In jewellery making, one of the most essential and most often overlooked items that links your piece together is the humble sterling silver finding. Silver findings are the seemingly insignificant but vitally important components of every piece of jewellery. Without silver links, for example, you cannot secure a clasp to a necklace or interweave multiple strands of beads into a complete piece. Without crimp beads it is impossible to get a professional finish to a necklace. And without earring wires, there are no earrings.

So their importance in the craft is undisputed. Learning how to use sterling silver findings and perhaps even how to make them the feature of a piece is an important part of the skill of jewellery making and one worth learning properly.

If you are planning to sell your jewellery commercially and want to work only in sterling silver then to adhere to the Trade Descriptions Act your findings also have to be made of sterling silver. If, however, you are not planning to advertise your work as ‘Sterling silver’ then ordinary silver findings can be used.

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Sterling silver is quite a soft metal so you do need to take a little care when working with delicate links and findings. Make sure you have the correct equipment to hold your findings gently but firmly, particularly when soldering or bending jump rings. The surface of sterling silver does tend to scratch very easily so make sure that pliers and cutters have no rough edges that could damage the surface of the work and are specifically designed for jewellery making. A cheap pair of electrician’s wire cutters may seem like a cost saving exercise but they do not have the precision blades or specially finished surface of jeweller’s cutters and may damage your work.

Although sterling silver findings are the hidden heart of any piece of jewellery, you can use them in more imaginative ways. A popular modern design in necklaces is the ‘net’ effect, where dozens, sometime hundreds of links are combined to produce a design that looks like a fishing net or chain mail. It is fiddly and will take you some time but it’s an interesting way to use something as simple as silver jump rings to produce a dazzling and unique effect. Incorporating tiny ‘seed’ beads of semi-precious gemstones such as garnets or peridot can result in a stunning and unique piece of jewellery.

Sterling silver findings don’t necessarily have to be tiny. A broach back is a finding and can be as large or as small as you want it to be. Similarly, sterling silver ring findings come in a huge range of different designs and styles, giving you the opportunity to use the finding itself as part of the overall design. Good jewellery suppliers carry a vast stock of different findings for all applications so it’s a good idea to collect a few catalogues or bookmark some online sites that will give you the best selection of available findings. The beauty of the Internet is that you are no longer limited to your local jewellery supplier but can select unique and interesting silver findings from all over the world.

There is no reason why sterling silver findings shouldn’t play an important part in the overall design of your jewellery, rather than just ‘serving a purpose’. With a little imagination, silver findings can add a new dimension to your jewellery making.

About the Author: Adam Hunter – E-commerce Marketing Manager of Cookson Precious Metals offer a choice of

jewellery making

supplies from over 10,000 products including gold and

silver findings

, jewellery tools, precious metal clay, gemstones and gold and silver sheet. Contacts Adam Hunter E-commerce Marketing Manager Tel(DDI): +44 (0) 121 212 6491 E-mail:


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