Sterling SilverWhen buying wholesale Silver Jewelry, and paying by the gram weight, find out the gram weight of the items so you can determine your price per piece. And when comparing gram prices, it is important to also consider other factors such as item weight, design, finish and craftsmanship.
Purity of Silver. Pure silver, like gold, is too soft for jewelry use. Sterling Silver is 92.5% pure silver, the remaining 7.5% is metal alloys used to strengthen the silver. For metal to be identified as Sterling Silver, it is stamped with the 925 mark. When buying silver represented as Sterling Silver, make sure it is marked with 925.
Silver Market. The gram price of silver jewelry often fluctuates with the silver market price. Traded as a commodity, the price fluctuates daily. Some companies may have varying price levels to coincide with ranges of silver prices, while other companies may follow the market prices more closely and charge a set amount over whatever the market price is on the day purchased.
Solid or Hollow. When viewing two chains or two charms that look similar, it is important to consider the weight, not just the visual size similarities. One might be hollow, hile the other is solid. When you are paying by the weight, similar looks may have widely differing prices. Hollow items will be lighter weight and easier to damage. Solid pieces will be heavier and more durable. Light weight earrings can be a benefit for comfortable wearing, while a solid charm or chain will provide better durability. Depending on your needs, you may prefer solid or hollow, just take into account the difference when comparing prices.
Size. When buying chain for necklaces and bracelets, consider the diameter of the link as well as the thickness of the link. For example, a charm bracelet with a 1/4" diameter round link will be heavier with a thicker gauge of material than with a thinner gauge of material. Or as another example, when comparing box chains, a 1 millimeter chain will weigh less than a 1.5 millimeter chain. The visual size may look similar, but the weight difference is substantial. When comparing prices, compare gram weight as well.
Rhodium finish. A rhodium finish is plated to silver to reduce the natural tarnishing of silver, often referred to as anti-tarnish silver. A rhodium finish will tend to be a darker silvery look rather than the brighter whiter finish of silver. A rhodium finish will add durability to the silver, create a more upscale look, and reduce tarnishing, but rhodium finished silver cannot be soldered. Rhodium finished Sterling Silver will be more expensive than silver without the rhodium finish, but for many items the added cost is worth the benefit of reduced tarnishing.
Craftsmanship. The quality of Sterling Silver is the same, whether it is an inexpensive item or a high-end expensive item. There is no such thing as a higher quality Sterling Silver. Between comparable items, the biggest price difference is in the quality of the craftsmanship and the quality of the finish. Most silver jewelry is made by machines, but the finishing and polishing is often done by hand, which is laborious and expensive. Silver has the highest reflectiveproperties of all the precious metals, so it can be polished to a high sheen with a mirror-like finish. The better the finish, the more you can expect to pay.