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Who are they kidding?



saw more Chinese sterling silver LOL chains. Told the seller they
were not sterling.

Seller said "I buy them as sterling and will sell them as sterling."
That won’t cut it with the detectives when they arrest you I
informed her.

Wow did this con artist/moron get annoyed. So I showed her the assay
report on one of those chains.

That sure shut her up. She sells stone pendants from China and tells
people she drills a hole in them and mounts the bail. LOL They are
dyed agate and 50 cents in China bail included.

I told her where to buy the real chain $22 wholesale. Not
interested. I will get a friend to buy one and if they are told it is
sterling she can have a “chat” to a detective.

Hello newbies you cannot buy a sterling silver snake chain for $1.

I buy my chain from A and E metals, chain is made in Italy,
excellent quality.

Also I like improvements no matter how small. My last order came
with end caps with a really good fineness mark easy to read, better
than before.

Oh the Chinese chains have a disk with 925 on it. They are sh*t.

Told another seller that her chains were not sterling plated, they
were plated in fine silver 99.9%. She was happy to hear this and
thought it a good selling point.

In the end it is about attitude, some listen and learn and some are
on an ego trip.

These morons/con artists make it hard for those honest in the trade.
Unsophisticated customers love a bargain. But their day will come.

Followed a link about diamonds and in NY some selling certified
diamonds have them certified from people who do not exist. At all
levels of this trade you need to be very careful.



I was at tending an annual trade show a few years ago. Hubby spotted
a stand with Chinese folk selling “sterling” snake chains. I can’t
remember how little the price was, but suffice to say it was too
good to be true so I didn’t buy. They also had a very tacky/cheap
look so I was pretty sure they were notwhat they purported to be.



When I spot fake Chinese sterling, I notify and educate the sellers.
I warn them that they’ll be reported to the attorney general if they
don’t remove the sterling tags and sell them as silver plate Short
and sweet.

Jeff Herman



I tend to stay away from items, if they seem too cheap. always
remember!..“buyer beware”.

Think twice before handing over your hard-earned $$. Those
snake-rings were probably not even.925 or anything close! Hence the
cheap $.

Gerry Lewy


My biggest competitor during the summers (I am an artist/special
performer at the Utah Shakespeare Festival) is the college gift
shop. They sell supposed silver necklaces that to me look like crap.
They are all marked on the card they are attached to as sterling
silver. A few years back a lady who had bought one of them asked me
if I could repair one. First time I handled one off the card. It was
extremely light for the size of it. I said I would attempt it if she
was at my workshop the next day to watch what I did. Glad I had her
there. I told her my worries that it didn’t seem right, and I wanted
her to see what happened when I hit it with a torch. It just needed
the jump ring at the top reattached. It took only a about 3 seconds
after it was hit with the flame for it to melt completely into a
puddle. If it had been plated, it was thin. I didn’t have any of my
test equipment with me so I just went on my gut feel about it. Under
the thin veneer was plastic. Yet the thing was sold as solid sterling
silver. Now I have evidence, since the lady let me keep the mess.
Anytime someone comes up to me and tells me the jewelry in the shop
is much cheaper, I show them the mess heap, and smile. Yes the back
of the card reads, Made in China.

Aggie Orlando is experiencing perfect spring weather today.



Had to repair to repair a broken belt buckle. Sold as sterling in
New York to an international fashion photographer. He was working in
Australia at the time and his agency was three floors down from my
work shop.

Told him it did not look like sterling and had no fineness marks.
Got ten bucks up front for my soldering board.

Repair was free, he worked for my friend who was his agent and the
models would come up to the workshop to buy.

The catwalk models were truly stunning, but many of the photographic
models looked average. Until they were photographed then WOW!

My apprentice a teenage guy could not believe his luck. My wife also
billeted the models so when there was a party at her house wow did
the guests look good. And most of them were really nice people too.

The dark side of modelling is the portfolio. Pay close attention any
thinking of this for a job.


Agents have spotters. My friend, an agent, was sent a photo of a
girl from New Zealand. He took the next flight brought her back to
Australia and within half an hour she had a $20,000 dollar contract
for an international magazine.

The luckiest models are the hand models, they get serious money to
hold a packet of chips. No long hours, no freezing cold/sweltering
hot shoots. And they are anonymous.

One model my wife billeted told the agency that if she did not get
the billings as promised, $3000 a week in the 1980s she was going back
to the US. She got the billings alright.

But the agency boss had his revenge. My wife found her crying
hysterically and almost suicidal because the agency boss told her she
was getting fat. Life can be so hard for the exceptionally beautiful
and incredibly rich. I wish I had to suffer such pain at 21.

Anyway some heat and the buckle spewed out what looked like lead
from the silver plating.

He was going back to NY the next week it was not a good outcome for
that shop.

This guy did not mince words. He was a legend. Once on a tropical
island shoot the model told him how to take the shot. He said "Next.“
She said next what?” He said “Next model you are fired!”

Just read Cyndi Lauper’s autobiography. She told Steven Spielberg he
was not creative. Did wonders for her career LOL.

Good point from Jeffrey, will do that myself from now on. Because
unless totally brain dead these people know they cannot be sterling.



Hello Helen,

I have to agree with Gerry.

I am always getting jewelry to repair or resize, made in China,
marked .925.

I just finished resizing a really nice looking ring with two small
czs and a 4.5 mm Blue Topaz. When I cut the band, there was copper
and the plating was chrome. I tested the other metals and found
sterling silver.

So, I used old gold testing liquid to strip the plated chrome and
copper off, and when I soldered the band, I found out the Blue Topaz
was clear, even though I put a blanket and took other measures to
protect the stones. I wound up removing the stones and recleaning
under the stone area and replaced the Blue (White) Topaz with another
Blue Topaz that I knew was real. The lady was buying the ring from
the same shop that I sell my other jewelry and I didn’t have the
nerve to tell her all the problems especially since the ring was for
her Daughter’s Birthday. I will not purchase anything from China
unless that is my last option for a replacement stone but certainly
not any Sterling Silver. The last time I purchased some snake chains,
I did a destruct test and found the chains were plated. So I took
the.925 markings off and cut them up and I can still use the chain
for costume jewelry. But I would rather not purchase something and
sell it and then find out it is plated and “mis-marked”.

Veva Bailey

Under the thin veneer was plastic. Yet the thing was sold as solid
sterling silver. 

Sounds like a version of electroform, rather than just thin plating.
The kicker is that with the core being non-metal, they could be right
that the metal content meets the standards for sterling. Did the tag
say “solid”? I doubt it, and non-metal portions of an item (stones
would fit this too.) don’t need to be considered in the quality
marking unless there is something in the marketing that specifies an
actual metal weight. Tricky.



Hi these chains are great for plated.

I think I will buy some. You can have the plated for $2 or the real
thing for $50.

Bet I will sell a lot of chains for $2.



I use the plated chains, but I sell them as plated and don’t pretend
they’re sterling. Nothing wrong with it as long as you’re not
fooling anybody.

Janet Kofoed


The only marking was on the card it had been attached too. It was
described as solid sterling silver. On the back of the card it was
printed, made in China. I know the girl who runs the shop. The
college buys all of the bits and pieces they sell through a handful
of wholesale vendors. They are not worried about quality, they want
something cheap so it will be an impulse buy. The necklace was priced
at $15. With the shop getting a 50% mark up at least, that left $7.50
for the sale price the wholesaler sold it at. They marked up
tremendously as well. Just the price if you take it back did not
justify the price of silver that summer.

It had hit nearly $50 an ounce in May of that year.

I find myself paying more to know the company making an item does so
with quality in mind. Mostly I stick with USA makers I know
personally. Sad I feel that way. Equipment I buy, I want to last
longer than to make a piece or two.

Back the same summer I melted the necklace, I also needed a
replacement chasing hammer. After 17 years the head fell off and I
didn’t have the stuff to fix it. So for the stage show I do, I
ordered a new on from one of the big tool suppliers and paid dearly
to have it shipped next day air.

I do my shows every other day. So I was very glad it showed up at
4pm with me on stage at 5 pm. The first whack I did on a sheet of
metal, the head came flying off and nearly hit a little girl in the
face. Loos real good when you end up duct taping the hammer together.
Next morning I called the supplier and told them what happened. The
handle had been tapers and the inside of the hammer head had been
tapered in the opposite direction. They had just stuck the head on,
not even gluing it to fake setting it on properly. No shim, nothing
but the handle jammed in. The supplier told me you get what you pay
for, end of story. It hadn’t been their cheapest hammer either, but
the mid range price one. I took it to a machine shop in town, and
wanted them to fix it and secure it by drilling through the head
sideways and riveting it. When they tried to drill it, it cracked in

The machine shop heard a nice Danish language lesson, while I made
my feelings known. I went back to my apartment, called Rio Grande and
had a Fretz hammer sent next day air. I love that Fretz hammer. Even
though it is made I think in Viet Nam, it has been done so with
quality control. Now unless I can’t find a tool I need someplace
else, I refuse to use the original tool supplier. These are my
opinions for what they are worth.

I tend to stay away from items, if they seem too cheap. always
remember!.."buyer beware". 
Think twice before handing over your hard-earned $$. Those
snake-rings were probably not even .925 or anything close! Hence
the cheap $. 

That’s why I posted. I smelled a rat. I did say that I didn’t (as in
did NOT) buy. My common sense came into play I guess. I’m happier to
buy from one of the UK’s biggest suppliers to the jewellery industry,
Cookson’s. If you can’t trust them, who can you trust?