I just tried to make a cuff bracelet from two spoon handles. They
were stamped "International Sterling Royal Danish". They were prepped
(thoughly cleaned, fluxed, and soldered). the solder flowed but when
cooled the joints easily broke apart. I did notice when it came out
of the pickle the silver had a porous appearance and feel. Is the
composition of flatware different than the sterling I use in my
jewelry (92.5% silver--7.5% copper)? Seems to me Sterling is
What am I missing? Where did I go astray?
Richard, in Sunny Florida
To get to the bottom of your problem, you may have to track down the
actual factory in Denmark where these were made, and find out if
they were cast, or drop stamped.
Here in the UK, flatware is invariably made from rolled annealed
sheet, blanked then drop stamped between 2 dies.
theres no faster or better way to get the detail than drop stamping.
You would never get the sort of weakness and or porosity you seem to
have in rolled amd stamped metal.
Also here in the UK, we are forbidden to remake any hall marked
sterling item into another product, without having it re marked.
which defeats the object in making bracelets from old sterling
However, Ive made many hundreds from EPNS, and never had a joint
break in this alloy, brake elsewhere, yes, in the bending round
Any chance of a picture of the joint design? In a cuff shape, ie open
"C" shape, theres little bending in the middle section where I
presume the joint is.
You will have parts of the spoons as experimental metal. anneal the
bowls, flatten, cut a couple of strips and solder together.
Then do a bend test. The joint and the strips should take being
folded back on themselves. If they break, then it is likely the metal
is not rolled and stamped, but cast.
Richard- What temp and kind of solder did you use? How long was it
in the pickle? Easy silver solder is pretty brittle. I find that if
you leave silver soldered items over night in the pickle, the seams
get very porous and fragile.
Also a butt seam in sliver solder on a cuff bangle will not be very
flexible and prone to breakage regardless of how well you solder it.
I'd recommend that you file the two halves at a sharp angle or key
them somehow so that the seam will be more stable.
Have fun and make lots of jewelry.
I recon someone has been well and truly had.
Denmark is famed for its silver and any silver from Denmark will be
standard 925. And should be stamped Sterling Denmark in an oval
Have you had the pieces assayed? Or perhaps if it is silver 925 it
must have been overheated during the soldering.
I googled ISRD the seem to be legit.
Google ISRD and scroll down to Macy's, further down Macy's page is a
'Silver appraiser' Try to ask them.
Perhaps they are plated?
David Cruickshank (Australia)
Found this on the International web site - about sterling silver
used in flat ware...
Can't see why it wouldn't solder like any other sterling. Odd!
International is a silver company manufacturing (or simply selling?)
"sterling silver flatware". Royal Danish is a pattern type. I can't
help with comments on the quality of the silver, however. Sounds
like an inferior sort, though, if there is such a thing. As you say,
I thought sterling was sterling: be interesting to hear if that isn't
the case after all. Could it be sterling plated?
I have soldered sterling flatware for about 10 years. My experience
has taught me that when soldering use the highest heat possible,
hard solder, get it hot quickly and get it done quickly. I have
never found any difference between sterling flatware and sterling
sheet as far as composition goes.
I agree with David: Methinks something is not right in the kingdom
My first thought on reading the OP's description of the failure was
that the pieces were plated. The solder bonded to the plate just
fine. Then the plate ripped off. It wouldn't even necessarily have
to be a base metal core. Some sterling hollowware is fine silver
plated to get around dealing with the fire stain.
That might tear away in the same manner. (And would still assay (and
be) sterling standard.)
Anyway, be suspicious, and take a very, very good look at an
unsoldered sample, if you've still got one.
hi thanks for your reply this is the sort of thing i want to do i can
put these tumble gemstone in the fire when i bake fimo onto them and
they are fine i just want to no how to solder a charm on them and go
around the outside thanks tina
How can I share files and pictures with the list?
Or.... send the files to the attention of firstname.lastname@example.org and
we will upload them for you....
I want to thank everyone who tried to help me with my silverware
soldering issue. I neglected to mention the spoons were also stamped
"USA".. I tried Teds' idea of flatening the cups, cutting, and
soldering to no avail. Jo suggested using hard solder getting in and
out quickly. (I always try to bring my silver up to soldering color,
"temp" within six seconds which affords me little or no firescale. By
the way, I did use Rios' hard solder. Once again I thank everyone for
their input, will continue to overcome and if I succeed will post my
Richard, in sunny Florida
Did you test to see if it actually was sterling silver?
"International Sterling" was a company, Royal Danish is a pattern. If
it does not have a sterling or 925 stamp it may not be sterling
silver. They did make plated goods but I have no idea if they made it
in this pattern.
James Binnion Metal Arts