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Is there really silver filled metal?


#1

Hi group,

Seems like I’ve been kinda chatty lately. Thanks for all the
responses and great advice you guy and gals keep coming up with.

Today, I heard the term “Silver Filled” for the first time. I may be
out of the loop but gosh that seems strange.

Is there really something such as this?? What would the secondary
metal be??? Any ideas? Any experience with it?

Hope it’s not an underhanded way to sell silver plate for something
richer.

Please enlighten me oh great ones.
Karen


#2

Hello Karen,

Yep It’s Silver Filled- many vendors are adding it to their lines.
Just like gold filled its - in most cases 20% sterling ( not fine
silver) over a core of base metal (usually brass/bronze). Like gold
filled you want to ask each vendor whether or not it’s " double
clad", meaning both sides of the core have silver covering it. It is
wholly suited for only cold connections with any degree of
consistency on your results. I wouldn’t recommend soldering it unless
it’s a hit and run job- quite quick and a small area. It’s main
advantage it’s - like gold filled that it’s cheaper than the soilid
sterling- there is absolutely no other advantage I am aware of! It
will wear like GF, so the usual disclaimers regarding abrasives, etc.
Personally I would rather spend the extra 50% and buy fine silver or
sterling when necessary. I am used to buying Fine silver exclusively
(unless it’s a heavy walled seamless tubing that I need in a hurry!)
and alloying what I need for a design in sterling, I save money in
the long run buying .999 casting grain as I use it in karat golds,
and other mill products and feel that it’s a great way for my
students to learn basic alloying and quality control of their
materials and mill products. Which remionds me, in buying
pre-fabricated sterling mill products you may receive scratched
materials. Since they are solid you can generally accept lightly
damaged materials, but with silver filled stock I would send it back
immediately- some vendors allow product to go out in less than
perfect condition, with anything filled they need to get the message
that customers won’t accept anything less than perfectly handled
mill products… anyway stick with “real” solid metals!.. rer.


#3
Today, I heard the term "Silver Filled" for the first time. I may
be out of the loop but gosh that seems strange. 

It’s my understanding that Sheffield plate is that. Actually, as I
wrotethat I searched to be sure and found this:

Sheffield plate

Don’t know about modern practice, but yes, it’s been done…


#4

Maybe they meant vermeil. It is sterling with a thick gold plating
over it.

Val


#5

I got a Fire Mountain Gems catalog in the mail recently and they are
now selling silver filled wire. I believe it said it has a copper
core, which would lead me to believe that it would be soft wire…


#6
Today, I heard the term "Silver Filled" for the first time. I may
be out of the loop but gosh that seems strange. 

Thomas Bolsover devised the product back in 1742. It is/was called
Sheffield Plate. It allowed the common folk to have goods that
appeared to be solid silver just like the rich folk. Funny how
everything goes in cycles. Silver is once again getting too expensive
for the common person so it is not surprising that silver filled or
sheffield plate is coming back.

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#7

At the MJSA show in NYC last week, I saw a vendor offering SIlver
Filled jewelry. I cannot remember if he told us that it was silver
over copper or brass, though I am inclined to think it was brass.


#8
consistency on your results. I wouldn't recommend soldering it
unless it's a hit and run job- quite quick and a small area. It's
main 

If gold-filled can be soldered I can’t see why silver-filled can’t
be soldered. Just as with solid sterling, you need to bring the piece
up to temp before bringing the solder to flow. I imagine, as with
gold-filled soldering, you need to be a little more careful, use a
medium solder and pay attention.

Personally I would rather spend the extra 50% and buy fine silver
or sterling when necessary. I am used to buying Fine silver
exclusively 

The price differentiation is more like 400%!! Silver-filled is about
$.80 a foot, sterling about $3.35. Fine silver is 450% higher.

That being said, it’s as reasonable an alternative as gold-filled.
Don’t you think?

Michele


#9
I wouldn't recommend soldering it unless it's a hit and run job-
quite quick and a small area 

Actually I didn’t say it could not be soldered - however, just as
with gold filled material and students or novice metasmiths still
learning to control heat and flow points, I intended the comment to
read - pay particularly close attention to the size of the join and
flux flow point. I have seen students working with gold filled mill
products encounter sepearation, the Au ( and Ag for that matter)
layer bubble up and away from the core and silver melt into the base
metal when overheating a piece among other out-of-the-ordinary and
unexpected occurances. With single clad GF material using a flux
like handi flux brand paste gives people less experienced more of an
indication of the metal temperature important in controlling the
results one expects when soldering. My students buy the stuff ( any
filed mill products) purely for economic reasons- against my best
advice! I would far rather they become familiar with the properties
of standard precious metals, along with studio and business issues
that follow (i. e- cross contamination of equipmentincluding buffs,
grindings, and crucibles from ferrous metals that may be in the
filled materal’s core, perceived value and marketing filled over
"solid"metals, etc.). It is true I am most definitely not a fan of
filled materials regardless of the savings, whatever the actual
percentage may work out to be ( as that would vary with an order
based on an individual’s purchsed quantity , wholesale or not, any
quantity discounts, the vendor, etc.) Oh, and while some may think
it ‘reasonable’ to use an alternative - at all-I am decidedly not in
that group !..rer


#10

On Fire Mountain Gems site they say the silver filled metal can be
soldered.

Val


#11

Great stuff from Fire Mt.! Go to their Web & read all about
it…I’ve had some for about a month & it works great w/o the
"shiny-ness" of silver plate. $ is right…