Sterling Silver Coaster


I’m in the business of getting my hands dirty…

My nails chipped and ending up with a few cuts, blisters and bruises over time… for the love of being a passionate artisan.

Since I’m mainly working with sterling silver these days, I thought I’ll share a couple of interesting facts – but first… Coffee. **By the way, did you notice my new coaster? Shiny!!!

Sterling Silver is an alloy which consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. It’s melting point is a lovely 893 °C. The small amount of copper added to silver has very little effect on the metal’s value. Instead, the price of sterling silver items is affected by the labour involved in making the item, the skill of the artisan, and the intricacy of the design.

Interesting to know that sterling silver sheet currently cost R19.55/gram. Ready to use, quick and easy, no hassle, very little fuss.

Sterling silver pellets on the other hand is only R11.90/gram. Much, much cheaper hey? Yeah, and this is where being a metal-smith comes in handy: having the skills to melt and forge metal. The joy of working with fire and hammers. Having fun with rollers and files, playing around with buff sticks and saw blades, just to mention a few… Enjoying the truly handmade experience, all that addictive creativeness. BUT you’ll need a wide range of equipment and tools to do so. At this stage, and possibly many stages into the future, yours truly not have even remotely have ALL the necessary tools. So I have to rent what they call “bench space/time” in a properly rigged metal-smith workshop. This is setting me back around R100 to R120/hour. Let’s do the math on the above-mentioned equation while we get back to coffee and my **new… HELL NO!!!… that’s not a coaster. That is actually a 10 cm x 10 cm piece of sheet sterling silver, and it’s worth R1904. I was looking for that… what a relief, now I can go and get some work done.


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