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Silvertone and other platings

Hi gang

I have a ring that is listed as silvertone .(silver plated I
suppose). If I wanted to downsize it, could I cut and then
solder with silver without ruining the finish? What is the most
likely base metal that was plated? Ruining it would be a small
loss but I am just curious.


Bob B

     I have a ring that is listed as silvertone .(silver
plated I suppose). 

Bob B, I always thought “silvertone” was the word they used when
they coated a base metal with some silver colored stuff.
Otherwise they would have said it was silver plated. Anyway,
that’s how I’ve always treated it.

kathi parker (MoonScape)

Hi Bob, If your ring is silver plated, the plating will burn
away long before the shank is soldered. I think Silvertone is
probably a makers mark rather than a quality hallmark. Costume
jewelry is not generally marked for materials. If it is brass or
something similar, you can silver solder and then silver plate
it. If it is white metal or even lead [or pewter] you might
leave it alone. Tom Arnold

Hey Bob,

About your silver plated ring you want to cut and solder. My
advice is a big bottle of aspirin. But, if you must…

Plating generally burns off in a typical soldering operation.
One way you can do it is with Tix (brandname) solder. However,
it isn’t as strong as traditional solder (4300 psi), so remove
your band material from a place where there will be the least
amount of stress. This is usually on the side, not the bottom.

The base metal is most probably brass.

Katherine Palochak

Hi Bob, I’m not sure about what you have with the silvertone, but
we have started selling some silver items that have a real nice
high polish fininsh on them. I’m guesing it’s a heavy nickle
plating. The minute I started getting it hot it actually started
to bubble. After the sizing I had to sand off all the damaged
area which left a duller natural finish of the silver. If
anybody out there knows what type of plating this is I would
love to know.

Michael B

It is most probably rhodium plating. I had the same experience
once…wouldn’t touch another piece of it. J. in Kodiak

Dear Michael, It would be a guess but a lot of silver jewelry is
rhodium plated to prevent tarnish and when cut and sized we have
a mess…I always look hard at the ring ( or chain ) first to see
if it has been plated. I’ve screwed up a dozen times over the
years…If you have a mess and it was a cherished heirloom (hmmm)
you can try to strip it and them high polish the silver
underneath ( we hope its silver ) with zam or fabulustre . And
yes it could very well be nickel plating. Probably less
expensive to just replace the ring for the customer if you can.
There is a lot of very inexpensive “silver” jewelry out there .
train your staff or look before you leap.

From one who leaped before.

Terry Parresol