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Daily Wire Tip April 23: What Kind of Metal Can I Use Besides Gold and Silver?
By gavin on April 23, 2010
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip
April 23, 2010
I have seen that gold prices are going up a lot and people are switching to silver (around Quartzsite, AZ).
Is there any other sq wire and 1/2 round material you would recommend besides silver?
Thomas, I think copper would work well in the southwest region of the U.S. as it goes well with the native stones (a lot of which come from copper, and AZ is a ‘copper’ state) and mixes beautifully with silver. Wire-Sculpture has copper wire in a wide variety of gauges and shapes. Check them out here: Copper Jewelry Wire
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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April 23, 2010 at 8:02 am
The rising prices of precious metals have all of us rethinking our designs due to cost. Copper is a great alternative just as Dale has said. And, the public is willing to accept copper in todays market where it wouldn’t have in the past as easily. Plus, by using it, you are suddenly thinking more creatively in regards to the mixing of stone colors or beads that accent and compliment the metal.
April 23, 2010 at 1:14 pm
I agree copper is an excellent choice for many stones. However I have fallen in love with BRONZE which is a copper/tin alloy. It has a lovely golden color that ages into a ‘gingerbread’ patina. Bronze looks fabulous with copper and silver in a three metal wrap or twist. Available in square. So far I have only seen this in Half Hard and commercial bronze wire in HR is available.
April 24, 2010 at 9:18 pm
Wire-Sculpture has a nice selection of Bronze wire. Find it here: http://www.wire-sculpture.com/bronze-wire-1.html
April 23, 2010 at 2:00 pm
Hi, Thomas —
I totally agree with Dale! Copper is a beautiful metal, and whether you use it brightly polished, with liver of sulfur, its color blends beautifully woth so many of our native gemstones, along with several from other countries! As a matter of fact, I have a wonderful round Unakite Cabochon, and I’m planning on wrapping it with a couple different guages and shapes of copper wire. I’m quite confident that it will be a beautiful piece.
Something else to consider would be to mix copper with sterling. I think (and so do others) that this is a beautiful combination. Also, brightly colored brass is an excellent choice, and it actually more closely resembles gold in color. I believe that you can purchase the bright yellow color brass wire right here on WIRE-SCULPTURE.COM.
Also, since the gold prices are not going down, and silver is continuing to rise as well, Mary is right in saying that your customers will be happy that you’re using copper, as it is more affordable for them, as well. One other good thing about copper is that it has long been claimed to help with the pain of arthritis. This is great for me, since working with my hands does exacurbate my own condition.
No matter how you cut it, copper is an excellent alternative to silver or gold!
Enjoy your new discovery, and best wishes!
April 25, 2010 at 7:08 pm
I would suggest using the gold but wrapping smaller, more desireable gem stones …. now is the time to have gold when others are switching!! However the copper and bronze are wonderful choices also…