Back to Ganoksin | FAQ | Contact

Pewter and sterling contact issue

Hello everyone,

A short intro as a new guy in Orchid community; I’m a long time
woodcrafting enthusiast, who’s finally got a courage to try with my
years long dream - to add making jewelry on the list of -funny art-
objects I’ve been making so far, for fun and enjoyment if nothing

I’m about to start with my first all-metal and gemstone project -
man’s cuff bracelet, using a tableware grade 12ga British pewter
sheet for the band (I don’t have facility and smithing skills to use
jewelry grade casting pewter), complemented with half-round sterling
wire and turquoise stone set in a sterling bezel. I’ve figured out
how to fix sterling ornaments and bezel to pewter band, but I have
some concerns related to scarce but critical about
petwer causing damage to sterling silver when in direct contact, or
even when wearing both types of jewelry in close proximity at the
same time (contact made by prespiration and washing). I’m not exactly
sure what kind of change or damage to silver a pewter is supposed to
be causing, but I’ve been told by a local jeweler that pewter is
slowly eating up or etching silver by reacting chemically (I don’t
know which elements), when in contact or rubbing against each other.
I’ve even considered to forget about combining pewter with silver
until I have some firm confirmations with consistent TRUE or FALSE,
but I’ve just learned that my other budget conscious beginner’s
alternative - stainless steel and silver - is a subject of similar
cautions about these two metals not being very freindly with each
other. Pitty, as I was considering using Damascus stainless steel for
my plan C.

Could someone please shed some light on this issues, or better put,
unverified concerns of mine ? Thank you in advance !

Bostjan Kravcar

I think they are talking about an electric action. I know that people
who make fountains are careful about what metals are in contact with
each other. It doesn’t seem to me that there would be much reaction
in jewelry. Old pewter had lead and lead will “eat” holes in silver
if it is on silver when you are soldering. I don’t think it should be
a problem with today’s pewter.