Hoover and Strong's sterling prices are higher than some other
suppliers. This has been an ongoing discussion in our studio over
the past couple weeks- Hoover is more expensive for sterling in
small quantities than Stuller or Rio Grande (by 30% on some
items, according to my studio-mates). You might also try Swest or
one of several other larger suppliers.
I buy from Hoover for several reasons- I use their 18k royal
alloy for a lot of my fabricated jewelry, their plumb gold
solders are very good, they ship fast, and I've had an open
account for years. I've been quite happy with their refining
returns as well. Great company, however, and on a wall in my home
is a 1904 Eldridge nautical chart of Martha's Vineyard that
George Hoover sent me years ago, out of the blue.
Richard D. Hamilton
Fabricated 14k, 18k, and platinum Jewelry
wax carving, modelmaking, jewelry photography