Sterling Silver prices are going through the roof. Since January 2009, the price of silver has more than doubled from $9 to $22 per troy ounce and the upward trend continues.
This has stimulated recovery companies and jewelry suppliers to aggressively search for unwanted sterling silver jewelry and scrap. Companies like Rio Grande will pay about 65 cents on the dollar for recycle sterling silver. While this is better than nothing, why not reuse your scrap silver and recover all of its value?
If you wire wrap jewelry, significant amounts of scrap wire will be generated over time. The scrap wire will be all shapes from square, half round, to round and all sizes from 18 to 26 gauges. And, if you silver solder jewelry, scrap silver is generated every time soldering components are trimmed from flat sheets of silver. In addition (we don’t like to admit it) screw ups creates scrap as well.
One way to effectively recover this scrap is to melt down and reshape the wire into components for pendants, earrings, or bracelets. To make components for pendants, for example, start by randomly grouping 10 or so wires together into 3 to 4 inch long bundles. Loosly bind the bundle by wrapping a wire around it.
Place the bundle on a carbon soldering block with a 3 inch long groove carved into it for retaining and forming the molten silver. Using a soldering torch melt the bundle from one end and then the other while using the torch to shape the molten silver into interesting shaped components.
Use your imagination and these components to create jewelry like this beautiful solid sterling silver Starburst Necklace.
With silver prices shooting straight up, Silver and Stones is always looking for ways to be more cost effective. Will you share some of your ideas for reusing scrap silver? Check back later for more of our examples for recycling sterling silver and check out the links below for more of our techniques for recovering silver: