Need advice on recreating a bracelet from a metal that won't tarnish

  1. Need some advice from my crafty jewelry friends!

    I made a custom bracelet for a customer back in april. She loved my stuff and asked if i could make her something in all silver, which is something i normally don't do but i'm willing to make anything if i can. The metals I use in my jewelry are not great metals, they're just silver plated (if using silver) and I think anyone could assume that by my prices. I charged her $15 for this bracelet. I went out and bought all of the silver beads (all from hobby lobby). and the bracelet turned out really great.

    Fast forward to now... she messaged me and said all of the beads have already tarnished what we could about it. I asked for a photo and she send me one.. basically all of the silver has worn off and now the beads are orange. that was bizarre to me. I've had cheap jewelry before but nothing that turned orange and in a matter of a couple months.

    So i offered her money back or I said i could look into option of trying to recreate it in sterling. but i told her I would have to charge her more money if we went with sterling because it was so expensive and that's why i normally didn't make jewelry with it. she said she would like to see what i find in sterling.

    well i'm having a terrible time even finding beads that are similar... i'm still going to look... but i'm wondering if there are any other metals out there that i should look for?? just seems like stuff is slim pickings if you don't want the silver plated stuff.
  2. Bed, Bath & Beyond sells a great silver cleaning fluid. You just soak the jewelry in the solution for several seconds and then rinse off.

    I don't think you will be able to find a silver that does not tarnish except pewter, which is heavy and a very different look. I would just suggest the cleaner.
  3. you think it would work on a silver that turned orange though??

    i'm still on the hunt for sterling... it's more difficult than i thought it would be. everything that i find that i think will work is SO expensive.

    i know sterling will tarnish but at least then i also know that she can clean it.
  4. i found some pewter beads that match the style i had used in the original bracelet. and they weren't super expensive so i'm happy with that AND i got them at a locally owned bead store that is pretty reputable so crossing my fingers. still need to buy a few things online so i hope those end up being ok.
  5. Several sellers on evilBay sell silver jewelry wire. I can PM you the seller’s ID I bought from if you are interested. I caged a stone with a soft wire over a year ago and it is still silver.
    Could it be a chemical reaction between the metal and the beads? Metal do oxidize (hence the change of color) but usually in predictable color. Orange seems rather strange.
  6. i don't need any silver wire, but thanks for offering!

    i agree, seeing that it turned orange was strange. the only thing i could figure was that the base metal was a copper color or sorts. i can't image it was actually copper since they were cheap beads. but very odd.
  7. I forgot to tell you a little trick - you can seal a metal with a coat of colorless nail polish. I used to that to costume jewelry so it will not mark my skin and clothes. A friend has a nickel allergy and she does that to pretty much everything and seems to be working even after washing let’s say a pair of jeans.
  8. i did actually think of that too but thought it would just be more hassle than it's worth. nail polishing a bunch of small beads might drive me batty lol and i'd rather give a customer something that's fairly good quality
  9. argentium is an alternative to silver, it is tarnish resistant but costs slightly more than silver (I think)
  10. Looks like there will be no way to repair these beads as the plate has completely worn off. If you spend a little more, you can get a better silver plate which is a little thicker. IMO, the buyer is clearly giving the bracelet a lot of hard wear (wearing it in the shower/swimming etc) so I would go for sterling if possible. Pewter is a great alternative too but does give a different shade. I've also seen some nice aluminium beads but they're hard to find.
  11. I ended up going with pewter. I think she's had it for a week or two so fingers crossed!
  12. How very nice you are, trying to recreate the tarnished bracelet in silver! :smile:

    I don't have any advice to offer about finding beads, just wanted to say that I recently took some broken sterling earrings to a bead-and-jewelry shop that has a large custom and repair department. They had difficulty locating replacement sterling findings. In fact for one finding, a stone mounting, they couldn't even give me a price in advance because they said the prices of such things have been ricocheting around so much lately with the price of silver. All they could say was that the finding's price might range anywhere from $4 to $26. They wouldn't know until they placed an order with their wholesaler. It's been several weeks and I still haven't heard back from them. It wouldn't be hard to assume that sterling beads and findings are getting harder to locate because of tumultuous metal prices.
  13. I really have no clue about these things but I also think it's really sweet of you to recreate the bracelet :smile: