Sterling Silver Jewelry Findings

by Debbie

Sterling Silver Findings

Sterling Silver Findings

Discover the truth about sterling silver jewelry findings...Do they tarnish or not? Find out in this answer to a visitor question about jewelry findings and in what metals to buy them.

Jewelry Making Findings

Debbie asked...

What metal should I use for my jewelry findings?

She went on to say...

I do not want to spend a bunch of money only to find out that the silver I bought is going to end up brown.

I am making my first anklet with wire and I am not sure of what kind of metal to use for the crimp beads and lobster claw clasp.

I am hearing contradictory information regarding sterling silver vs. just any silver colored jewelry making findings at the craft store or Walmart.

I love silver colored jewelry but I do not like it when it later turns brown.


Use stainless steel jewelry findings, or those labeled as white metal...If you do not want the metal to end up brown, or tarnished.

This is an excellent question, but maybe not the answer that you wanted. So, let me explain.

All metal findings that have copper in them will eventually tarnish.

How much tarnish will depend upon the copper content. Of course, that is difficult to tell just by looking at the metal.

Jewelry Findings Metals

Here, are a few facts:

Any jewelry finding sold as plated will tarnish faster than non-plated jewelry making findings. The plating is very thin.

Purer metal findings like sterling silver and gold (gold-filled too) will tarnish as well, but not as quickly. These metal alloys (a metal made up of more than one metal) contain various amounts of copper.

Brass, copper and bronze will tarnish too over time.
However, a lot of jewelry makers like the look, which is called a patina.

Pure metals like fine silver, platinum and rhodium do not tarnish though it is hard, if not impossible, to find jewelry findings made of these metals.

However, some jewelry findings may be plated with rhodium to prevent them from tarnishing. These are hard to find as well.

For mystery metals, meaning the packaging does not tell you what kind of metal the finding is made of, assume that it will eventually tarnish.

Jewelry Making Finding Solutions

So what's a jewelry maker to do? It all depends upon your taste and wallet.

You can buy sterling silver jewelry findings and clean them and your jewelry with a jeweler's polishing cloth (see photo above).

It is a soft cloth that is made up of two cloths. The one on the inside contains a polish that removes tarnish from jewelry.

Plated findings, which are less expensive, can be gently cleaned with a jeweler's cloth too, but the plating will wear off sooner.

Jewelry making findings where the metal is described as white or yellow will usually not tarnish for a long time, if at all.

Best No Tarnish Jewelry Finding Solution

The best solution if you want no tarnished jewelry making findings down the road, buy stainless steel findings.

How to Keep Jewelry Findings from Tarnishing

1. Store jewelry making findings in plastic bags or containers.

2. Store jewelry in plastic bags or a jewelry box or jewelry armoire that has an anti-tarnish lining.

A lot of us love sterling silver jewelry findings, even if they do eventually tarnish. So, with these suggestions and solutions, I hope you don't shy away from buying them. They make beautiful jewelry!

Happy beading!


Comments for Sterling Silver Jewelry Findings

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Thank you!
by: Debbie

Thank you so much for your answer!

I have since made my first anklet. I used sterling silver findings and love it! I am proud to wear it and tell people I made it. :)

Your answer was very informative. Thank you for taking the time to help me.

Jewelry Making with Sterling Silver Jewelry Findings
by: Wanda


Glad to be of help! And even happier that you used the information to help you decide in which metal to buy your jewelry findings.

And thanks for leaving a comment letting other visitors know that the information helped you!

Happy beading!


A quick thanks!
by: Melody

Thank you for this post! It was very helpful!


Argentium Silver
by: AJDA

Have you looked into Argentium Silver? It is virtually tarnish free and has some other great properties - eg: whiter and brighter than all other precious metals; if finished correctly, harder and more durable than standard sterling or pure silver; better for people with sensitive skin or allergies; purer than standard sterling at 935 or 960 parts per thousand; ethically sourced and environmentally friendly.

I think it is perfect for findings - I make all my own out of the finest grade Argentium 960.

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