You’ve decided to try making hand-stamped jewelry, but are totally lost when it comes to choosing which metal to stamp on? Don’t fret, with a little knowledge you can begin choosing your stamping blanks with ease.
First, will you be stamping on sterling silver or gold-filled? Sterling silver is 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper, making it soft enough to stamp on but not too soft that it will not hold its shape. Sterling silver is a great choice for many beginners; it is somewhat inexpensive and very plentiful coming in a multitude of sizes and shapes.
Gold-filled is actually comprised of a brass core, with 12k or 14k gold layered on top. It looks and feels just like gold for a fraction of the price. The gold layer will not wear off, as it sometimes does with cheaper imitations. Since the core is a base metal, it is more rigid and more resistant to stamping. But that just means you need to hit the hammer harder!
If you choose the sterling silver, there is a plethora of choices available. Many shapes include circles (discs), ovals, triangles, rectangle, dog tag style, donuts, washers and various shapes such as butterflies, hearts, stars, and even children’s profiles.
Gold-filled has much less to choose from. Some of the mainstream shapes includes circles (discs), ovals, rectangles and hearts.
Next you will want to decide how thick you want your stamping blank to be. I would recommend a thickness of 20-22 gauge. This allows the blank to be rigid enough to not bend easily, but also not too heavy for the person wearing the jewelry item. To save money, you can try a thinner gauge such as 24 gauge until you get the hang of stamping, then move onto a thicker gauge.
Other metals such as nickel silver, copper, and brass also make excellent stamping blanks. Be sure to experiment with those as well.
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