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[Looking4] Sterling plating company

Hello Ganoksin,

I am requesting a few good recommendations for a companies that can
do a heavy Sterling plate. I must admit I have not searched the
archives and I’m sure there is plenty of there, but
frankly I am running out of time. I wish I could say I
procrastinated, but life in my household has been in an almost
complete state of turmoil since December. Our waking nightmare
started with me getting fired from my day job for filing a
discrimination complaint with the board of labor, then not a week
later we were hit with a city sewage back-up, which caused massive
flooding in our basement forcing me to completely renovate my
studio. Just as I got the studio to where I could at least function
& start moving back in & setting up, my husband suddenly became
violently ill, requiring emergency surgery. He is home and we are
coping but I MUST fulfill my commissions.

Anyway, I must get this Tiara started, and I am sure I will need to
allow for enough time to send it out for plating and get it back,
should my customer decide to go this route. I want to give her
options, so I am quoting her the cost differences between
fabricating it from solid sterling or making it from copper and
having it sterling plated. I am needing on reputable
companies that have a good turn-around time, as well as do a nice
job. My thinking is that with the price of silver, plating it could
possibly be a good money saving option for her. Does anyone have
anything to add or possibly some experience with this type of item
being plated? Any recommendations you make would be most helpful.

The framework is designed with a gallery wire base which supports a
small vertical “fan” shape of looped round wires on which I will
mount the great, great grandmother’s hand cut crystal pendant. The
crystals are “glue” set/mounted in a pendant that has a floral
design. I will not be upsetting the mounting, but rather keep it
intact and just mount them to the Tiara’s framework from the rear
side. The piece from Grandma is an antique necklace that has been
worn by each daughter since G-G-Granma was first married. They
appear to be made from some sort of base metal, and I think that it
may contain lead, as it is very soft metal and the silver is
beginning to flake off in the back in some spots. Other than
cleaning the old glue off of the back of a few of the crystals and
re-gluing them, I will not change the pendant pieces or try to
"restore" the entire piece, other than to gently clean it and drill
a few tiny holes through the back so that I can get it mounted on
the Tiara framework.

According to a restoration specialist I spoke with at a museum
supply house, it really has no huge intrinsic value. I did give my
client the option of completely restoring the piece, but the time it
would take to remove each of the crystals to clean and re-glue them
could be cost prohibitive. (Unless of course she wished to pay me
for that, in which case I would do it gladly, and charge her
accordingly for my time and supplies.) I also offered to actually
build and actually SET the stones, but told her that once again they
are crystal, and not genuine, (which she initially hoped they were).
Basically, this piece does mean a lot to the family, so in the end
she decided to have me fabricate a custom Tiara to pass down through
the family for the women to wear at their weddings, keeping the
tradition going.

Anyway, any other recommendations, and certainly
experience on this plating would be most helpful.

Teresa Perry

I highly recommend Metalcraft Electroplating. They’ve been in
business for more than half a century and often do unusual pieces.
Some years ago I constructed an articulated coronet in sterling and
had them plate it with 2 microns of gold. Came out beautifully.

Metalcraft Electroplating Corporation
234 West 30th Street
New York, NY 10001-4901
(212) 279-0754


I don’t know where you live Teresa just down the road from me in
Saint Petersburg is a place I have dealt with that does one off
pieces. It is J B silversmith he is great to work with.


Hi Teresa & All,

That sounds like quite a project. Here in San Francisco, there is a
company that does very good plating—Biro & Sons. They work on a lot
of tricky & antique/vintage items and they are very knowledgeable.
Their website is:

I highly recommend contacting them-you can say I recommended them
because I used to work with them for Cresalia Jewelers

here in San Francisco. Good luck and we send our prayers out to you,
your husband & family.

From Sunny SF,
Jo-Ann Maggiora Donivan

I can recommend both Red Sky Plating in AZ, and General Plating, in

Cynthia Eid