Monday 12 September 2011

What is Silver Filled Jewellery?

The simplest way of explaining the definition of Silver Filled Jewellery is to first explain the definition of Gold Filled.

Gold Filled (alternatively known as 'Rolled Gold') is basically a base metal with a solid layer of Gold bonded to its surface.  The gold content in the component is 1/20th by weight of 12 karat gold. Gold fill items do not tarnish and offer a much cheaper option to 9ct.Gold.

Gold Filled items have a 50,000 to 100,000 times thicker layer of Gold than normal Gold Plated items giving most Gold Filled Jewellery the same look and feel as 14 Karat Gold jewellery.

Gold Filled was mainly created to reduce the costs for Jewellery without sacrificing the perceived value or beauty and to still retain the durability and long term wear.

So, as with Gold - the necessity for a cheaper alternative with the same perceived qualities arose for Sterling Silver due to its ever increasing price.

Silver Filled was created to bridge the gap between Sterling Silver and Silver Plated. It is created in the same way as Gold Filled - A solid layer of Sterling Silver bonded to the surface of a base metal. This layer, as with the Gold Filled is hundreds of times thicker then Silver Plating.

Silver Filled jewellery is mainly found in two qualities, one will have at least 1/20 (5%) Sterling Silver by weight and the other will have 1/10 (10%) Sterling Silver by weight of the item. International Craft carry the thicker coating 1/10 Silver Filled components.  The thicker coating of .925 silver better serves making quality jewellery. Silver Filled wire has almost the same properties as Sterling Silver and is as easy to manipulate and does not flake or chip as with Silver Plated

As mentioned earlier, Sterling Silver prices have risen to record highs, so for most jewellery designers this has caused enormous problems with the value of their designs and are now opting for Silver Fillled Findings because they looks just like Sterling Silver Findings and are a fraction of the cost ( 25 - 50% cheaper ) giving their designs a higher perceived value.

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