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Canyonville, Oregon
(541) 839-6688

Tues-Sat 10:30-5:30
Bead Mecca's Wirework and Metals Tips
Not sure what gauge or temper means or the difference between gold-filled
and gold-plate? Find the answers here!

Metals Q & A
Over time we?ve received many questions about metal beads and findings so here is a few of our most common questions.

Q.   What is Sterling Silver?
A.   Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver metal. Silver clasps are often marked with ?.925? to indicate they are sterling. Since pure silver is such a soft metal findings and beads are made with 92.5% sterling (vs. 100% sterling) and mixed with a stronger metal to achieve the desired stability and hardness. The majority of our sterling is made in Bali, India, and Turkey.
Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver metal. Silver clasps are often marked with ?.925? to indicate they are sterling. Since pure silver is such a soft metal findings and beads are made with 92.5% sterling (vs. 100% sterling) and mixed with a stronger metal to achieve the desired stability and hardness. The majority of our sterling is made in Bali, India, and Turkey.

Q.   Are gold beads and findings made of real gold?
A.   There are a few different types of gold beads and findings:
24k Gold: 100% pure gold, which is relatively soft and very expensive.

14k Gold: 58.3% gold mixed with other metals to influence hardness, color, and cost.

Gold Filled: Actually the opposite. Layers are bonded together, gold on the outside and a base metal on the inside. Our gold filled beads art 14k gold on the outside. Durable, looks like real gold, but without the price.

Vermeil: Pronounced ?ver-may? is 14k gold plated over sterling silver. Looks like 24k gold but not as durable as gold filled.

Gold Plated
: Gold color metal plating over a base metal such as pewter or brass. Inexpensive but the plating can wear over time.

Q.   What are the different metal finishes?
A.   There are a variety of metal finishes to create a variety of looks:

Bright: Shiny, glossy, polished, looks new.

Stardust: Rough texture which creates a shimmer.

Antique: Metal dipped into a solution which leaves behind black accents that make a piece look old or tarnished.

Brushed: Textured to make the metal look dull or matte with some lustre.


 
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