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Thread: Metals safe (and unsafe) for Mer-Jewelry

  1. #21
    Senior Member Pod of the Southwest Vrindavana Starfish's Avatar
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    Why isn't this a sticky? This was GREAT information! Thanks!

  2. #22
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    This Post was incredibly helpful!!

    I'm working to put together a new mermaid / fairy chain crown, however, the stainless steel chains (ALL of them) of the first one I designed developed a layer of rust in just one use when submerged in saltwater. Is it possible all stainless is not created equal? I was using men stainless steel neck chains that I was told were guaranteed stainless, and wouldn't rust in salt or chlorine, so you can imagine how discouraged I am.

    Here's one of the headpiece designs : https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?f...type=3&theater

    I know this thread is a little dated, but any insight would be extremely appreciated! Thanks in advance!!

  3. #23
    Hi Ambur_Rose, I've been gone a long time and only now noticed your post! I'm so sorry I didn't see it sooner!

    SO to answer your question, yes there are different kinds of stainless steel. I asked my husband, who knows more about steel than me, since he is interested in knife making and blades etc. He says that all stainless steels are indeed different. The surgical stainless steel (called 316L in technical terms) is very rust resistant. There is another series of stainless steel called 440 series, which he says is more likely to rust. I think I'm going to need to change the initial info in this thread, so I'm glad you brought this to my attention.

    I know much more about the silver and gold since those are what I actually work with and their properties are more familiar.

    I hope you have been having better luck with accessories making! Let me know if you were able to find different chains that worked.
    I am the color of the setting sun upon the ocean.
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    My sisters are the foam upon the sea.
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  4. #24
    I am hoping to do some tests soon with Argentium Silver. This is different than Sterling, as it is not alloyed with copper, but germanium. There's a possibility it might not react as badly with chlorine.
    I am the color of the setting sun upon the ocean.
    I am the sound of the breaking wave and the waterfall.
    My sisters are the foam upon the sea.
    - Mermaid Mardöll

  5. #25
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    Thanks bunches Mardoll_Star!!

    I'm still plugging away making headpieces, but haven't had any luck developing a 'mermaid certified' one (good in saltwater as well as chlorine) . I will look into 316L! And maybe even check out possible silver -- thanks for the incentive and advice <3

    Really looking forward to see how Argentium Silver works out!! Please keep me posted!!!
    Last edited by Ambur_Rose; 05-08-2017 at 05:16 PM. Reason: addition

  6. #26
    Thank you for the info I would hate to get my jewelry ruined.

  7. #27
    Ambur_Rose, yes keep me posted about the steel findings as well! A lot of the steel stuff is made in China, and it can be difficult to find info on exactly what it's made of, as the quality can vary a lot.
    I am helping a friend of mine develop a line of mermaid jewelry and accessories, and will be helping her set up an Etsy shop. I already have two (One for Viking and Fantasy jewelry, one for pet jewelry) so I am just helping her get hers started and will be consulting. I will definitely be posting about her new shop as soon as we get all the details figured out and open it!

    Khaleesi, mostly just be careful with the gold and silver jewelry! That's the expensive stuff that would be the most difficult to replace or repair, and the damage could be more irreversible. Just remember, the longer the exposure the worse the damage, so if you jump in the pool and just forget for a few minutes, it will still be ok. Good luck!
    I am the color of the setting sun upon the ocean.
    I am the sound of the breaking wave and the waterfall.
    My sisters are the foam upon the sea.
    - Mermaid Mardöll

  8. #28
    Senior Member Pod of Cali Merman Storm's Avatar
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    One way to test if a part is steel vs stainless steel: Stainless steel is non-magnetic. If your clasp is attracted by a magnet, there is some regular steel in it. Get a good, neodymium magnet, as there might not be much steel, and a weak magnet might not generate sufficient attraction for you to see it.

    Also, 304 stainless steel has low nickel, and tends to not shed it very much.
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  9. #29
    Thanks for the info Mardoll_Star! I'll definitely look for stainless steel wire when making my mer stuff, though I may have to get some sterling silver just because if it does end up turning black that would be fun. I was thinking as I read that 'cool! Not sure how useful it would be to others but I would like it.' I'd only do that if it wouldn't weaken the metal, though. Would it weaken the metal when submerged many times to the point of blackening? Thanks again!

  10. #30
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    Can anyone recommend a place to buy stainless steel wire and clasps that are known to work well in salt water and chlorine?


  11. #31
    The Ring Lord. Stainless wire is extremely hard to work, especially the bigger it gets, but even smaller gauges are a pain in the butt. Sorry if you already know that. I almost always make my own rings, but I won't wind stainless anymore. You CAN just buy the rings. It honestly will save your hands, and maybe other things too. When stainless wire snaps back, it is so NOT pretty. On the clasps, just look for stainless. Or make hooks out of wire.

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