Wire Types: #3 Sterling Silver Filled, Sterling Silver, and Fine Silver
Sterling Silver Filled, Sterling Silver, and Fine Silver Wire
Sterling Silver Filled Wire
Sterling Silver Filled Wire is created by bonding a thick layer of .925 sterling silver to a brass or copper wire core. 1/10th sterling silver filled wire is 10% sterling silver of the product weight (this is the type I use). Unlike silver plated wire, which can wear off over time, sterling silver filled wire wears like sterling silver and won’t chip off. It will tarnish and can be polished with a cloth.
Sterling Silver (925) Wire
This wire is solid sterling silver (925). Sterling Silver consists of 92.5% pure silver and the rest is some kind of alloy, typically mainly copper. It will tarnish but can be polished with a cloth. The wire will not be stamped 925. Nor will any rings/ear wires I make from the wire. I buy the wire from a well respected and trusted source, Rio Grande.
Fine Silver Wire (999)
This is pure silver. No alloys have been added. I use this mainly to make my handmade connectors, handmade ball-pins, or as the weaving wire in a pendant. Fine Silver is typically too soft to use for base wires or frames for pendants.
These wire types are a good choice for everyday wear. Polish with a cloth (I use Sunshine brand—yellow color). Do not use any cleaning solutions/paste. These could damage the stones used in the jewelry item.
While there are still some more wire types [gold, gold filled, Argentium silver (935)], I covered the ones I am currently using in my creations.