Sterling silver Hardness:
19 ga. Form:
.036" (0.91mm) Length per weight:
11.1 ft./ozt. Weight per length:
0.090 ozt./ft. Metal color:
White Country of origin:
The term "conflict diamonds" refers to the diamond rough used to fund violent criminal insurgencies in several African countries.
The Kimberley Accord is a compact that regulates the sale and transfer of diamond rough to prevent the human destruction that conflict
diamonds cause. Rio Grande has long asked our suppliers to provide documentation proving the safe origin of the diamonds we buy.
You can be assured every diamond you buy from Rio Grande is certified “conflict-free” by both our strict standards and the Kimberley Accord.
Our Rio Graduate Gemologists are ready to help you match stones or select a specific quality. Please let them know how they can help you.
This sterling silver wire is tempered for wrapping; anneal to soften for spiral twist. This wire is packaged in coils and can be cut to any length that satisfies the system minimum.
Orders must weigh at least 0.01 ozt.; if you click 'Add to Cart' for a quantity less than this, the cart will offer a prompt to let you know what the minimum for this item is.
please note: We strive to measure quantities ordered as closely as possible; however, due to manufacturing tolerances at the mill, please allow for a ±10% variance when ordering.
How To Heat-Harden Sterling Silver
Here's how to heat-harden sterling silver to increase the strength of the metal and reduce its ductility. To harden the metal, you will be applying heat to the metal; whenever you apply heat to sterling, surround it with nitrogen, argon or forming gas or cover it with flux to prevent the metal from oxidizing. IMPORTANT: Fine silver cannot be heat-hardened. This tip is offered here courtesy of Jörg Fischer-Bühner and is reprinted from Santa Fe Symposium® Proceedings, 2003
Check the sterling for any solder joints that may already be present.
Heat the sterling to 1292°F–1346°F (700°C–730°C) for 30–60 minutes; adjusting temperatures if solder is present (if low-temperature solder is present, heat the piece only to 1000°F–1200°F). Quench in water.
Heat the sterling again, this time to 572°F (300°C), holding at that temperature for 30–60 minutes. After cooling, Vickers hardness will range between 120–140dph; if lower temperatures are used, the sterling will not achieve this level.
Annealing Sterling Silver
Learn how to anneal sterling silver, recovering metal that has become work-hardened and leaving the metal more workable.
Anneal the sterling silver between 1000°F and 1200°F (537°C and 648°C).
Heat the sterling at temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to achieve a Vickers hardness of 66–76dph.
Please Note: During annealing, protect the metal against exposure to oxygen by surrounding it with nitrogen, argon or forming gas. If this isn’t possible, protect the metal by covering it with flux contained in a stainless steel pan.
How To Understand Metal Hardness
Here's how to understand the difference between hard and soft wire hardness. Knowing how to choose the hardness best suited to your jewelry technique and design goes a long way toward achieving the professional result you want.
DEAD SOFT: Metal that is dead soft is in a relaxed state at the molecular level, so it is easy to bend, shape and hammer. The act of bending and shaping will gradually work-harden the metal--right up to the breaking point. Dead soft metal will not hold its shape if put under stress in structures such as hinges or clasps.
1/2-HARD: Metal that is half-hard has been worked a bit, tightening the grain at the molecular level. This metal is harder to bend and hammer, but it is still possible in some cases to shape the metal--it just takes more force. While still malleable, it will also hold its shape under a certain amount of stress; it is ideal for wire wrapped structures that will support other components. If you are fabricating an item that needs both strength and a thinner gauge, you would probably choose half-hard.
FULL-HARD: Metal that is tempered (or significantly work-hardened) will be difficult to bend but will hold whatever bend you put into it pretty stubbornly. This hardness is ideal for clasps or hinges.
SPRING-HARD: Metal thoroughly hardened will lose pretty much all of its malleability and will actually spring back into its original shape when bent by hand. This hardness is ideal for ear wires, jump rings and head pins.
The main thing to remember, too, is that metal hardness is changeable. If you start with dead soft and work it or stress it, you will harden it. If you start with hard metal and heat it (either by soldering on it or by deliberately annealing it) you will soften the metal--all the way back to dead soft, if that's what you want.
Brown & Sharpe Gauge Thicknesses
Use this handy guide to quickly, easily and accurately convert gauge sizes into inches or millimeters—or vice versa.
Heat-Hardening Sterling Silver
To harden sterling silver, heat it to 600°F (316°C) for 30–50 minutes in a kiln or furnace. Air-cool the sterling silver before pickling. The hardness will be equal to the hardness achieved by cold-working it to a 50% reduction (or ¾-hard). If you want to make your sterling silver harder than ¾-hard, you must physically reduce the cross-sectional area using the chart below.
Reduction in Cross-Sectional Area
Example: If you start with a dead-soft wire and reduce the cross-sectional area by drawing it down 50%, your material will become ¾-hard.
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