We hope this finds you well and actively beading.
We were recently at a small craft show in Silver Spring, Maryland. There were some really beautiful pieces of jewelry, but I noticed that a lot of them had one thing in common... the quality of the findings (clasps, ear wires, ear posts and metal beads) used with the beads was not very high.
I know this is something that jewelry makers must grow into, but if you're selling the jewelry you make, you already think it's worth something. Using high grade findings and metal beads only adds to the value of your items. There was a really beautiful bracelet I wanted to buy, but the findings were inexpensive and wouldn't stay nice looking very long. Since they were built into the bracelet and not removable, there was no just simply swapping findings. The thing was, with high grade findings, I would have been willing to pay a lot more for the bracelet!
So, we encourage you to go to arts and crafts gathering, find a jewelry maker with high grade findings on their jewelry that are not ridiculously priced and watch their customers and their purchases. It's definitely worth your time to do so!
Findings that are silver plated are not all equal. Plating can be different thicknesses and the purity of the silver can vary. Find a good supplier and stick with them! Sterling silver findings, except for the round beads, have the ".925" stamped right into them. Gold plated, again, are not all equal. High quality gold findings are noted by the 14K, 24K, etc.
Nickel findings should be avoided at all costs unless they are plated with some other metal. Also, people can have drastic reactions to nickel, so you need to let your customers know that the pieces contain nickel, albeit plated.
I hope this article is helpful and if you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at (717) 805-2078, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm.
Have a great day!
Photograph from Deland Craft Show, Deland, Florida