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Nickel Silver


#1

I hope this question hasn’t been asked before - I’ve had a quick look
through the archives but so far haven’t found the info I need and I
can only stay online a few minutes longer.

Just quickly, the story behind the question:

At short notice I’ve agreed to donate an art work for an auction
that is being held by the organisation that I rent my studio from. I
really want to support this organisation because they have supported
me so much. I have a few prototypes made up in brass for new
designs - today I weighed each and did the calculations - the
cheapest will set me back $80-$100 (Aus) to make in sterling silver
(cost of material alone). Unfortunately this isn’t an expense I can
take on at the moment - repairs on my car take precedence I’m afraid.

Right now, I am looking at my options which are, as I see them a)
come up with a new design quick smart that uses less metal or b) use
a different, cheaper, metal for the design I’ve settled on.

a) isn’t really an option because I just can’t work that fast - I’m
working an office job full time and just can’t force the inspiration
out of me to design and make up a completely new design in such a
short space of time.

I’m thinking b) looks like my only chance. So, I’m thinking of using
Nickel Silver or Brass (possibly with some sterling silver links).
Brass I know plenty about and have used before but am trying to
avoid as I would prefer this design in a white coloured metal - also,
I would prefer to avoid the colour mismatch of silver solder on
brass. Nickel silver I have never used before and have only read a
little about

As I understand it (please correct me if I’m wrong) - it is a bit
harder than Sterling Silver, does not polish up as bright and solders
okay with silver solders My questions though, are as follows:

  • Does it (Nickel Silver) tarnish quickly like brass? What
    does tarnished nickel silver look like?

  • If worn against the skin does it mark the skin? (I am aware
    that some people have nickel allergies - this is not what I’m
    talking about) - Can it be tumble polished?

  • Can it be chemically oxidised like silver can be?

  • What care instructions should be given for it?

All artworks for this auction are needed by Friday of next week so I
need to put in an order for the metal I am going to use ASAP. If
anyone is able to answer any of my questions I would appreciate if
you could email me off-list so I can get your response more quickly.

Thanks,

R.R. Jackson
@Freak_Style


#2

Continue from:
https://orchid.ganoksin.com/t/nickel-silver

RR - I hope this helps

 As I understand it (please correct me if I'm wrong) - it is a bit
harder than Sterling Silver, does not polish up as bright and
solders okay with silver solders 

Yes, this is true. Nickel alloys are more grey than sterling but
they polish up to a bright silver color that does not tarnish.
Solder lines, if messy, will show.

  Does it (Nickel Silver) tarnish quickly like brass? What does
tarnished nickel silver look like? 

No, nickel alloys don’t tarnish but stay as polished.

  If worn against the skin does it mark the skin? (I am aware that
some people have nickel allergies - this is  not what I'm talking
about) 

I don’t know about marking the skin. I would think not, unless
there is an allergy.

 Can it be tumble polished? 

When I tumble nickel (in steel shot), it comes out all grey and
yucky. So, no.

 Can it be chemically oxidised like silver can be? 

Not with liver of sulfur. However, Rio has a Midas Nickel oxidizer
that they advertise as giving a black finish in recessed areas.

 What care instructions should be given for it? 

Really Nickel is pretty durable and can be polished with a polishing
cloth.

Please note that it will grey up with regular pickling. To get the
gunk off, pickle in about 1 C peroxide with several Tablespoons of
Sparex-type liquid pickle.

Hope this helps -
Debby