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Why is .999 Fine Silver so important when working with Metal Clay?

The relationship between .999 fine silver and Metal Clay is more important than most metal clay artisans realize.  Due mostly to a lack of availability, most metal clay artisans will use sterling silver or SV980 silver findings and components with their metal clay creations. While Metal Clay is .999 pure silver, this presents a twofold problem.

The first problem is compatibility. Anyone who has embedded sterling silver parts into silver metal clay are already aware of the problems of fire scale and oxidation. After firing your metal clay, you find that the embedded sterling silver parts will emerge blackened with fire scale (as shown on the left side of the image to the right) and oxidation needing subsequent cleaning operations.  This would usually involve toxic chemicals or delicate wire brushing.

When using .999 fine silver components you eliminate the fire scale and oxidation problems.  The embedded .999 parts emerge just as bright silver as the surrounding metal clay (as shown on the right side of the image above). There is no need for deoxidizing whatsoever.

The second problem using sub-.999 components with silver metal clay is the reduction of the silver rating of your entire creation.  For instance, you create a fine hand-crafted metal clay charm for an earring drop and then hang it from a sterling silver ear wire. You now have to legally declare your creation as a ".999 fine silver earrings with sterling silver ear wires". 

By using .999 silver findings and components you can maintain a true fine silver rating throughout your entire work piece. There is a substantial advantage to marketing your creations as .999 fine silver jewelry. First, it clearly separates your product from anything that your customers will find in the marketplace. Second, a complete .999 fine silver product will command a higher selling price than conventional mixed metal or sterling silver jewelry.   

As a Metal Clay Artisan, you create products that have a distinct edge over department store jewelry and artwork due to its unique look, higher quality and individual style.  By hallmarking that same product .999 fine silver you further define that exclusivity in the marketplace.

Metal Clay Findings is committed to providing the Metal Clay Artisan with the findings and components needed to maintain this unique and individual share of the marketplace.  We would like to hear from you. Contact us toll free at 1-888-999-6404 or email us at info@metalclayfindings.com to discuss your individual needs.


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