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  1. #1

    Default Question regarding the metals in findings

    I am learning beading and stringing. The metals in some findings concerns me. Can anyone tell me the more dangerous metals to look out for? Which is worse regarding toxicity - nickel or zinc? When they say silver alloy, what does that mean? If something says silver plated, do I have to be concerned about the bad metals coming through?

    Also, for jump rings, do you prefer Snapeez to regular jump rings?

    Thanks!

  2. #2
    First-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member
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    Blubyrd, I'm no expert, but you should avoid findings containing nickel. Sterling silver contains copper as the alloy. Argentium silver contains germanium which makes it less prone to tarnishing. Silver plating will eventually wear off with use exposing the base metal (which could be nickel). I use sterling, argentium, vermeil, or gold-filled findings usually which are all safe and generally don't cause anynallergic reactions. They are also inexpensive. I only use gold for very special pieces.

  3. #3

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    Thank you so very much, PL!!

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebyrd View Post
    I am learning beading and stringing. The metals in some findings concerns me. Can anyone tell me the more dangerous metals to look out for? Which is worse regarding toxicity - nickel or zinc? When they say silver alloy, what does that mean? If something says silver plated, do I have to be concerned about the bad metals coming through?

    Also, for jump rings, do you prefer Snapeez to regular jump rings?

    Thanks!
    Plated metals have thin coatings usually gold or silver over brass, but sometimes over copper or other metals. Due to thin coating ,It is not good for wear areas like necklace chain or clasp. Gold plate, or silver plated is required to be at least .5 microns thick (a very small measuring unit). Vermeil to earn it's title must be 5 times amount of plating at 2.5 microns , and be plated over sterling Silver Requirements s are FTC requirements.

    Gold filled has much more gold than plated. If stated as 14/20 gold filled 1/20 or 5% the stated gold (in this case 14k) by weight 10/20 &12/20 is available. 14/20 is most prevalent. Some experts say gold filled should last 30 years. Gold filled is bonded, or melted together with base metal (usually brass). It is then not electroplated.

    Argentium silver is Sterling Silver that does not tarnish in a black tarnish, and can be polished with ease (sunshine cloth) back to high luster.

    Lloyd
    Gemologist GIA Certified
    Last edited by LLoydsJewelry; 03-14-2019 at 05:41 AM. Reason: grammer

  5. #5
    Pearl Enthusiast Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert Pearl Dreams's Avatar
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    My understanding is that 14/20 gold filled is 1/20th gold by weight, or 5%.

  6. #6
    Pearl Scholar Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert pattye's Avatar
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    Also, for jump rings, do you prefer Snapeez to regular jump rings
    ?

    Yes, I do like them lots. They are really stiff and close well and hold.
    Pattye


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  7. #7

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    Thanks for correcting me Pearl dreams You are right & I have updated the post.

    Lloyd
    Last edited by LLoydsJewelry; 03-14-2019 at 05:42 AM. Reason: added info

  8. #8
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bluebyrd View Post
    I am learning beading and stringing. The metals in some findings concerns me. Can anyone tell me the more dangerous metals to look out for? Which is worse regarding toxicity - nickel or zinc? When they say silver alloy, what does that mean? If something says silver plated, do I have to be concerned about the bad metals coming through?

    Also, for jump rings, do you prefer Snapeez to regular jump rings?

    Thanks!
    Bluebyrd, about metals toxicity, zinc is one of the less toxic metals, but not valuable to make classic jewels. In contrast, nickel is very dangerous, especially because it is strongly allergenic. Nickel was used to protect the surface of old buttons' steel, watches, other usual things and also in stainless steel alloys' composition. Now it's known that only 316L stainless steel grade doesn't release enough nickel to injure skin, and then, is wearable as jewel.

  9. #9
    First-graft Pearl Senior Member
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    I frequently see lead warnings on items from China. I think it's prudent to work with reputable vendors.
    "Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience." ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

  10. #10
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert
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    Metals sold in the EU need to be Nickel free . I'd be wary of buying inexpensive metal findings from China. Far better to use someone like Rio Grande etc.

    Gold filled as explained earlier is a long wearing inexpensive Gold 'look' and much more sturdy than plate. Some plate is so thin it can wear off in a few weeks. GF will last for years of wear... but again... buy from a good source.

    On the subject of metals... a friend of mine was asked to repair an 'Italian' gold chain where the end ring had broken off. When she went to solder on a little ring connection..the whole end of the chain collapsed and a plastic like goo oozed out. Turned out the 'solid' gold chain was actually hollow links filled with some sort of plastic. This chain apparently was purchased as a 'solid gold' chain from a reputable jeweller.

    Goes to show.. you never know.

  11. #11
    Second-graft Pearl Senior Guide Member ericw's Avatar
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    You are right, Katbran, this time is the one to have bad surprises!
    Recently I bought sunglasses. At the time I get out of the shop and open glasses to wear them... clac! one hinge breaks.
    Then, I see the hinges were made with Zamac, a cheap zinc alloy, not strong at all. The worst to be used in this place.
    That to answer to this question : how this world is working to win always much more money, before and against all, and first a decent way of life?
    Last edited by ericw; 04-19-2019 at 09:50 AM.

  12. #12
    Museum Pearl Senior Pearl-Guide.com Pearl Expert JerseyPearl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Katbran View Post
    Metals sold in the EU need to be Nickel free . I'd be wary of buying inexpensive metal findings from China. Far better to use someone like Rio Grande etc.

    Gold filled as explained earlier is a long wearing inexpensive Gold 'look' and much more sturdy than plate. Some plate is so thin it can wear off in a few weeks. GF will last for years of wear... but again... buy from a good source.

    On the subject of metals... a friend of mine was asked to repair an 'Italian' gold chain where the end ring had broken off. When she went to solder on a little ring connection..the whole end of the chain collapsed and a plastic like goo oozed out. Turned out the 'solid' gold chain was actually hollow links filled with some sort of plastic. This chain apparently was purchased as a 'solid gold' chain from a reputable jeweller.

    Goes to show.. you never know.
    Kathleen, that would be a silicone filled electro form. It's something that began happening when the price of gold began rising. These types of chains are all over TV shopping channels, sold as "real gold" because they are made of 14k, but usually very very thin.
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