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Mystery plating on silver [Danger?]


#1

Hi All,

with some surprise I read about nickel plating on silver. In
Sweden (and I think major parts of Europe) people are getting
more and more sensetive towards the use of nickel in jewellery.

Today, the official hallmarks (not the ones you apply by your
self) in Sweden are expanded with a new mark - low nickel
content. This is today becoming more and more important as people
are getting more and more afraid of metal allergy with prime
focus on nickel. The reason for low nickel content and not
nickel free is that 0% of something is impossible to prove (you
can just prove that it is not there when you sample).

I get questions about nickel in my silver jewellery everyday
when dealing with customers - both domestic and foreign visitors.
Personally, I can never (yes, I now that never is a long word)
ever imagine to nickel plate - Am I totally wrong - I hope not -
this is a clear market trend here.

What about the rest of the world? The US - isn’t it a risk that
a customer would bring you to court accusing you for causing
their nickel allergy?

[sorry for my english - not my major language.]

Best Regards Lars Dahlberg


#2

Hi Lars,

Your English is great! I wouldn’t have known you weren’t
American if you didn’t say so! I’m not a “manufacturer”, but I
don’t really see any nickel plated jewelry. Nickel plating
jewelry sounds unusual to me! What would probably be more of a
concern to American consumers with a nickel allergy would be
precious metals alloyed with nickel.

I’m assuming manufacturers in your country are plating sterling
silver in order to prevent tarnishing? If that is the case, you
may find it interesting that some consumers here are actually
coming to appreciate a nice patina on silver jewelry. In the
"art jewelry" arena, interesting textures and colors are often
preferred over the bright, shiny perfect polish.

I agree with you that I would not want to plate sterling. I’ll
repolish a piece as needed, but the only thing I’d ever consider
plating on sterling would be fine silver.

Have a great day (or evening),

Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com
http://www.sebaste.com