New Option To Solid Sterling Silver!

Spot Price $28.56…

There has been lots of news in the jewelry making community lately surrounding the near unaffordable price of sterling silver these days.  You may have read Lori Anderson’s timely and informative post about this.  The High Cost of Silver. The subject has been on my mind recently too because I placed an order a few weeks ago with one of my favorite silver findings and bead designers –  Nina Designs. I also was shocked at how little sterling you get these days for your money.  This was over $100 wholesale of sterling.

I’m glad I stocked up when I did because today, the 14th of January, at 5pm Nina’s  prices increase another 22%! Most commodity experts seem to agree that the price of silver is not going to stop it’s rise anytime soon.  So what are we to do?

How big business is dealing with silver prices…

All you have to do is go shopping or open a catalog to see that fashion jewelry design houses are dealing with this by using creative alternatives and just less sterling along with plated options.  I saw one large jewelry designer using the term “silver dipped” for their beads.  “Dipped” is a smart and playful way of marketing “plated” – which has a much less desirable connotation.

How I am dealing with the prices…

I have definitely learned to be more creative in my jewelry making.  It has caused me to explore many different types of stringing materials like waxed linen, cotton cording, silk fairy ribbons,  leather and sterling plated silver chain.  It has turned me on to all the fantastic art beads out there as well as alternative metals like copper and bronze.  I think twice before I put solid sterling silver beads, chain or findings in my designs these days.

If you Sell Your Jewelry With Sterling – Maybe You Need a Marketing Shift?

From a sales perspective,  it is now more important than ever to market pieces you are selling with sterling silver as “special, collectible & heirloom” pieces to help educate your buyers about how valuable a piece is when it contains sterling.  In many cases, big designers with teams of business and marketing folks behind the, are switching over their pieces with lots of sterling to the category of “Fine Jewelry” – simply because the price of materials has demanded this.

Have You Hoarded Silver?

If so – good for you!  You can and should profit from it or hang on to it and let it appreciate more.  I’m glad I am still hoarding some silver from back when it cost in the $11 range – but I would never just give it away or under price jewelry containing it just because I paid so much less for it.   It is truly a valuable commodity these days sure to get even more valuable and it should be treated that way.


Finally about my headline…

Fire Mountain Gems announced Wednesday they have been working hard with their metal fabricators for over two years and are now offering a .925 SILVER FILLED – not plated line of wire and findings.  The good news is that silver filled has a higher perceived value than plated – just like gold filled vs. plated. Their selections seems a bit limited at the moment but I am sure there is more coming soon.  Fire Mountain has tested it and says it handles like sterling.  You can hammer it, solder it, polish it and use liver of sulfer to give it a patina.  Sounds pretty promising.  I am headed over to buy some now to test it out for myself!

Fire Mountain Gems Silver Filled

Well that was a little bit from the business, sales and marketing part of me and my background.  I still love to read business books (a little geeky – I know) and I will try to share (sparingly as to not bore you) some of that as it applies to jewelry making every now and then.

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3 responses to “New Option To Solid Sterling Silver!

  1. I am just starting a jewelry line and have become very discourage by the rising prices of silver. I would really appreciate any information on the new line of Sterling Silver.

    Thanking you in advance, Nanette Dean of Nanettes’ Designs

    • Hi Nanette. You can read about it at the Fire Mountain Gems site. I ordered some of their sterling filled wire in a few gauges and I am happy with it. However, they don’t have an extensive list of silver filled items. Just wire, earring hooks and jump rings. Silver filled can be worked and patinized just like solid sterling. The silver will not wear off as in a plated silver piece. One thing I would suggest is being creative and mixing non sterling elements in with your jewelry – explore other metals, fibers, mixed media objects to give your pieces interest and bring the cost down. These mixed media pieces are so popular now because every designer (even the large corporate ones) have the same dilemma. Good luck.

  2. Hi Tracy! I found this blog while reading another blog; very informative, and i too was wondering what to do about the rising cost of sterling! It seems as though people just aren’t spending alot on jewelry right now, so charging appropriately for sterling (high) is just not going to work for ALL the pieces. There will have to be options to keep the price of the individual items in an affordable range. Thank you for giving us more ideas. I have mostly avoided sterling and have been using other metals and more beads rather than chain in an effort to continue selling SOMEthing. I look forward to your emails and will mark this blog as one I will read in future.

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