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Daily Wire Tip Apr. 15: Sterling Silver & Salt
Daily Wire Jewelry Making Tip for
April 15, 2011
I have some salt crystals I would like to wrap with sterling silver. How will sterling silver react with the sea salt?
-Alan in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
As summer is quickly approaching this part of the world, I’d like to address the whole subject of Sterling & Salt–thanks Alan!
Salt will corrode most jewelry metals, especially sterling silver. This reaction will be seen by the silver becoming dull and eventually developing pits (both of which could be attractive features, depending on both the artist and the customer). The type of salt doesn’t matter, it could be from swimming in salt water, the salt from human sweat, salt in foods that are handled wearing silver rings, anywhere!
Some folks I know send their sterling settings off to have them rhodium-plated before adding stones. However, if the specific presence of sterling is important to the overall piece, then having it plated would negate that aspect.
While we’re talking about summer and sterling, folks, please remember not to wear your sterling in a chlorine pool or hot tub, either. Chlorine will turn your sterling silver black in a heartbeat! Yes, it can be rinsed when you shower, but if the piece contains stones, salt and chemicals can crystallize in the tiny setting spaces, causing challenges later.
Personally, I think the idea of wrapping natural, sea salt crystals is awesome! As you can see from the photos in the article The Spiral Jetty, natural salt crystals form in some really unique shapes! Enjoy the summer!
Answer contributed by Dale “Cougar” Armstrong
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