I finally got hold of someone at Stuller who would talk to me (ummm,
I cheated and stole the contact # off this list, thanks, Andy the
From what I can tell, the fabrication costs (per ounce) are
APPROXIMATELY as follows:
5 oz metal price + 5.87 fabrication fee
5 oz to 10 oz metal price + 4.57 fabrication
10 oz to 20 oz metal price + 3.89 fabrication
20oz + metal price + 3.39 fabrication
There are probably other price breaks above 20 oz, but since it's
unlikely I'll ever buy that much at once, I stopped them there.
Grain is considerably cheaper than this, but at this point I'm not
quite ready to melt, roll, and draw my own wire. I'm not ruling
that out.... just not right now. The price I was quoted for casting
grain was either 1.99 fabrication or 84c per ounce, depending on
whether the pennyweight price they quoted me was based on a $6 metal
base or today's price of $7.15. That was for at least 20 ounces at a
It was kind of tough figuring this out because they usually sell by
the inch and price by the pennyweight (don't ask me, but that's how
it goes apparently). It's all computerized and the rep has to enter
the amount of wire you want IN INCHES and tell you the total cost,
they can't give you a metal + fabrication cost per ounce like Rio
Grande or Indian Jeweler's Supply. I was picky, so the friendly
helpful sales rep conference called a tech guy, who managed to find a
chart giving cost per pennyweight using the above price breaks. From
those quoted prices (for 24 gauge wire with a metal base price of $6)
I was able to come up with the info above. Other gauges of wire will
be cheaper, I imagine sheet is even cheaper yet, and grain would be
cheapest of all.
They do have a "metals club" where all the metal you buy in a month
gets added up for the total quantity discount and you get a rebate
or credit to your next order. They were very helpful, friendly and
At quantities of 10 oz, Rio Grande charges a $5.10 fabrication fee,
for 12 oz fine silver 24 g wire is 4.60. So assuming I did the math
right and none of us got our signals crossed, and my assumptions
about how to figure the fabrication fee from the pennyweight costs
are correct, it looks like the Argentium silver 24 g wire is slightly
less expensive than or at least comparably priced to similar wire in
fine silver from Rio Grande.
E.g., I can afford it.
I'm looking forward to trying some weaving and knit/crochet with
this stuff. (It won't be that much trouble to draw 24g wire down for
some of the finer knit/crochet work).
Use these figures as rough estimates only, since there were so many
places to "translate" from their pricing scheme to the style I'm
more used to using that there's likely some slop in there. But I did
try to work up a "worst case" scenario, using the most expensive (I
think) form that the material comes in.
The solder won't be an issue for me... yet...