How to Buy Sheet Silver

By Contributor

Sterling silver for art projects, jewelry making and crafts is available in wire, tube, and sheet form. Buy sheet silver to cut, solder, hammer and bend sterling silver into your designs for rings, bracelets, pendants, jewelry findings and other silver jewelry parts. Sterling silver is also called .925 silver or .925 sterling silver. The .925 comes from the fact that sterling silver is an alloy mixed with other metals; .925, or 92.5 percent, is the minimum proportion of pure silver that must be included in the blend. The alloy is created to harden natural silver to make it durable and less prone to tarnish.

Keep tabs on the precious metal markets to check the price of silver per ounce. By watching the metal markets over the course of several days or even weeks, you can catch trends when they happen. The price of silver fluctuates daily.

Place a small order for your first order, so you can be sure the sheet silver is the gauge you really want. When you buy sterling silver sheet, it is usually not returnable. Sterling silver sheet is sold in standard 6-inch widths, though some places will custom cut sheet silver for you from 1 inch up to a yard. It is also sold by the ounce and by gauge (thickness). The lower the gauge, the thicker the silver sheet. The higher gauges are quite thin and flexible.

Buy a cheap copper sheet pack or sampler pack first to determine which gauge will work for you and to practice working the metal.

Buy sheet silver online from Santa Fe Jeweler's Supply. This store is used by many professional jewelers. Also try JewelrySupply.com or SilverSupplies.com and even eBay. You can also buy sheet silver from Rio Grande, whose catalog is immense and who is also popular among art students and professional jewelry makers. You can order the catalog online; the price of the catalog is deducted from your first order. You must be a licensed professional or student to order from Rio Grande.

Tip

Practice first on cheaper sheet metal to avoid wasting precious silver. You may need to provide your business license number to the supplier of sheet silver.