Where to Buy .999 Silver for Making Jewelry

By Caroline Fritz

Silver that is .999 pure is very soft and does not become work-hardened. It is available in sheets, as wire and as precious metal clay, which can be hardened through firing. Because of its malleable nature, .999 silver sheet and wire are used along with other metals as jewelry embellishments.

Sheets

Silver sheets can be purchased at craft stores or through a metal wholesaler, although wholesalers may have a large minimum-quantity purchase requirement. Sheets also are available online from a variety of sellers. Available in thicknesses ranging from 18 to 30 gauge (the lower the number, the thicker the sheet), silver sheet sizes range from 6 inches wide to 36 inches in length. Some online sellers offer custom sizes. Because the metal is so soft, .999 silver sheets are used for embellishing pieces such as bracelets and rings rather than base construction pieces. Cut the sheet into designs with a jeweler's saw and then solder onto a base piece with a soldering gun.

Wire

Round and bezel .999 silver wire is available for purchase through metal wholesalers—check to see if there is a minimum purchase requirement—and at craft stores in smaller quantities. Silver wire is also available through online sellers. Use round wire for wrapping beads, making loops for necklaces, bracelets and earrings or wire crochet projects. Silver bezel wire is available in both serrated and scalloped varieties in 28 gauge and is used to hold a gem or bead in place on a ring, bracelet or necklace.

Metal Clay

Precious metal clay is available in craft stores and from online sellers. The clay is composed of .999 silver and binder compounds and can be molded into any shape. Sold under the names PMC or Art Clay Silver, the clay transforms into .999 silver after it is fired. You can use it to make individual pieces such as charms or as a slip to glue two pieces of silver together. At craft stores, you will have to ask a store associate for precious metal clay, as it is held behind the counter because of its high cost.

About the Author

Caroline Fritz has more than 20 years of writing and editing experience, mainly for publications in northwest Ohio. She is currently an editor for a national technical magazine focusing on the construction industry. She has a Bachelor of Science in journalism from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio.