Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Unexpected Treasures

I love it when I find unexpected surprises, like my dining room chandelier, during my thrift store searches for jewelry-making materials. I go to one particular store where I usually find metal trays with embossed patterns that I then cut into discs. During one visit, I found a small plastic bag filled with what appeared to be sterling silver discs. I thought it was worth the $1.25 to bring them home and investigate further.

Oh joy, to realize that these were indeed sterling and that there were 21 of them (with the current sterling pricing, the value of that many discs is over $125.00)! The discs were 24 gauge, 1 1/2" in diameter and had already been milled with various textures by the previous owner.
The scale of a 1 1/2" disc did not appeal to me, so I cut out smaller discs which were then punched and domed in my dapping block. I also did a liver of sulfur treatment followed by light sanding to better reveal the textured patterns.

Each original disc yielded 4 smaller discs which I have been turning into earrings and necklace/bracelet links. This pair of earrings features faceted carnelian beads wrapped with balled sterling wire.

This pair features freshwater pearls also wrapped with balled sterling wire and silver plated fleur de lis.

I think I did all right with my $1.25 investment.

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