Sterling silver beads are a favored classic for many higher-end jewelry makers all over the world. Silver is a softer metal, so you may want to take some extra care when working with them, as they are easily malformed. To qualify for sterling status, silver must be ninety-two point two five percent pure, making them shine brilliantly under certain types of light. Silver can tarnish, so if you are working with these beads often, you may want to keep silver polish handy. There are many kinds of these beads you will want to consider. |
Like most other types, silver beads come in many different gauge sizes. The smallest generally available is the two millimeter bead, which is generally used for when strung together for necklaces. The largest commonly used is twelve millimeter, and is generally found as a centerpiece to jewelry. These beads run the gamut between these sizes depending on what you intend to use them for, and what looks best for your project.
Sterling silver beads come in varied styles and shapes. Just a few common styles include the following:
* Fluted beads, which are rigged finely around the outside to provide a fancy “edged” look.
* Rombo beads, which have flat, sloped edges, ending in a blade-like design.
* Twisted beads, are similar to fluted beads, except they are more rigged, and appear like corkscrews.
* Rondelles beads, which are similar to the ring style, with a flat top and rounded outside edge.
* Spacer beads, which are larger gauged to allow other beads to sit next to other beads comfortable and natural way.
* Round seamless beads are the most common, and do not have visible closing points like some other beads.
Many other style exist, but these are the most prolific and commonly used.
While sterling silver beads are primarily made of the precious metal, the other seven point seven five percent of the composition varies in certain beads. Here are some of the other metals you can find in these beads.
* Bali silver is mixed with a pewter composite, to provide the bead with a richer grey coloration.
* Base metal silvers are mixed with commonly found metals, such as copper, zinc or steel. These are often referred to as “pot metal” beads.
* Standard sterling silver beads in the Americas are most commonly mixed with copper.
* Gold/silver composites are generally sterling silver with a gold core.
* Liquid silver beads are small sterling silver beads strung together so finely that they appear as a liquid.
* Vermeil beads are the opposite of a gold core bead, the core being sterling silver, and the coating made from gold.
In bead-working, gauge is used to measure the size of the wire the bead can fit. Like most other types of beads, the gauge that a silver bead can be used with is varied to the bead you purchase. If you are using silver wire, you may want to find a gauge that is finer, or smaller, as silver wire tends to be thin.
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