View Full Version : where to get best deal on sterling wire?

03-20-2004, 08:06 PM
For those of you who do wire-wrapping or make your own findings -- where do you get your wire? I'm trying to find the best deal of sterling dead soft 16 gauge and 20 gauge.

TurtleBay Jewelry
03-20-2004, 08:36 PM
I buy my wire from Connie's site.

16ga. dead soft is $1.38 per foot and it comes in 10 and 20 foot coils.

20 ga. dead soft is $0.55 per foot and comes in only 10 foot coils.

I haven't found it cheaper yet.

But feel free to let me know if you do!



03-20-2004, 08:38 PM
That's where I found the best price, too! I'll order, then!

03-20-2004, 08:40 PM
I've said it before and I'll say it again, http://www.monsterslayer.com

First check the spot price of silver: http://www.goldsilverbullion.com/LiveBullionQuotes.htm. It's currently $7.42 per troy ounce.

When you get to monsterslayer, their spread sheet indicates their add-on over the spot price. It's a little more mental exercise, but it's worth it; I've found their prices to be the best on the net.

I paid $14 an ounce the first couple of times I bought silver ... way, way too much when the market spot price was less than $5.

Oh, a troy ounce looks to me to be just a hair heavier than a regular ounce.

Let me know if you have any questions.


TurtleBay Jewelry
03-20-2004, 08:44 PM
Umm, I took a look at that second site Noll, and I got a headache just staring at it trying to figure it out. LOL. I'm a wire artist, not a mathmetician!

So what's all that jabber mean? And I tried the troy ounce thing once, but I just got so confused trying to convert feet to troy oz, etc, that I gave up.

If you can make it simpler to my pea brain, I'd love you forever. :D


03-20-2004, 09:51 PM

I'm innumerate, so if I can figure it out, any one can!

Take 20 gauge sterling wire ... the spot price is 7.42, the add on is 3.85 making the price per ounce (crap, where's the calculator?) $11.27. There are 19 feet of 20 gauge wire in a troy ounce, so if you're used to buying wire by the foot, the price is $.60 per.

Of course, if you buy more than 5 ounces of silver (combine all gauges and types, including sheet), you pay a lower add-on.

If anyone is interested in a bulk buy, check Glass Swap Shop (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/glass_swap_shop/) Alex has said that she intends to coordinate a wire buy when she's finished with the leaf. That woman is a bulk buy wonderama! Also impeccably trustworthy, in my experience.

Make sense?


03-20-2004, 10:17 PM
If you've got the latest Rio Grande Catalog, Gems & Findings page 32 explains how the price of SS sheet, wire, and other raw materials is determined.

I'll try to explain it in case you don't have the catalog.

You have your "Spot Price" first of all. This changes every day. You can find the current price M-F in your newspaper in the Business section where the stock prices are listed.

The Handy & Harman silver quotation (spot price) is what most U.S. suppliers go by, but I do know that Rio Grande goes by the London Market which is a few cents more expensive each day.

After you get your hands on the spot price, per Troy Ounce, you need to find out what your supplier charges for fabrication. Fabrication charges usually include the time it takes them to cut the wire to your specifications, spool it, weigh it or measure it.

To get your price per troy ounce simply add the following

SPOT Price + FABRICATION Price = $Cost Per Ounce

Lengths Per Ounce...

Since you're paying for the silver by weight when you buy by ounce, different guages have different lenghts per ounce. For example... 22 guage dead soft sterling wire has 31 feet per ounce, but 16 guage dead soft wire has only 7.5 feet per ounce. 16 guage is thicker, therefor heavier.

Buying by the foot VS. Buying by the Ounce...

Buying silver wire by the ounce is cheaper than buying it by the foot in most cases, because most suppliers tack on a higher fabrication charge to cut it out by the foot. If you're going to be using a lot of wire, it's best to get a handle on how to buy by the ounce. Most suppliers usually offer volume discoutns if you buy 5 ounces or more.

If you're not planning on using very much, buying wire by the foot might be a better option for you.


I've looked over Monsterslayer... they have fairly decent prices per ounce. They have a 1.00 spooling charge for small quantities of wire.

Altasilver.com (altamont) is cheaper than Monsterslayer.

Rio Grande is another option. Their silver is a bit more expensive than MS and Altamont, and shipping is a bit pricey, but they have good customer service and quick delivery. The operators are very knowledgeable too :)

Hope this helps :) Any questions, feel free to ask.

03-21-2004, 12:52 PM
You may want to check out Indian Jewelers Supply. Not only are their metals prices VERY competative, but they have a wonderful selection of tools.
The very best selection of stamps, and a great variety in hand tools. They will send a catalog on cd for metals, and old fashioned paper variety for tools.

For anyone who does fabrication or wire wrapping or casting, their catalog is a must see.
Great service, and fast.

03-22-2004, 12:41 PM
Hagstoz and Thunderbird have the some of the cheapest prices if you are buying by the oz. If you are looking for smaller amounts, some of the other places are fine.

edited to add:



07-21-2015, 04:49 AM
Thanks everyone for sharing. Silver sometimes could be difficult to get the best prices unless we have some inside info from experienced folks in the industry, like you guys. That is why spending a little bit more time to research is definitely well worth it in the end.