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Semi-Precious, 'Bali Silver', 'Swarovksi', Czech, And More.

Q: Ok, dumb question here. What is 'Bali Silver'? Is it Sterling, or some other composition?

A: Some is sterling, some isn't. I sell '925 Sterling Bali silver' - they're little works of art handmade by Silversmiths in Bali, Indonesia. I don't sell gold-plated because plating always wears off. 'Vermeil' is gold (usually 14KT or better) over sterling silver. The plating is a little thicker than standard "gold plate", so it will wear OK (although it will EVENTUALLY wear off). 'Vermeil' is used by a lot of the "museum shop" catalogs for the reproductions they sell. I went to a large 'Gem, Jewelry & Bead' show recently and noticed a large variance in the prices of 'Bali' silver. I found out that less expensive reproductions... sometimes called "Bali-style" are now being made in India and sold here. They were being represented as sterling, and, frankly, I had a hard time distinguishing the "real thing". Has anyone used these less expensive "Bali-style" silver beads and/or spacers... how do they hold up compared to the real 'Bali'? As Kaytee and Lori said, it's gold over sterling. The plating may be thicker than your standard gold-plate (which is usually over base metal), but it will eventually wear off. I like real silver beads that are handmade in India, just fine, but it is the same thing with 'Bali' - all handmade beads, look closely for quality. Both India and Turkey are making "Bali-style" beads, but they aren't necessarily hand-made. Yes, but some are. I have bought Indian beads from different sellers for many years that are handmade. They are just handmade in India, instead of Bali. This would be one of those tricky phrasings, I bet. "Real" 'Bali Silver' is done with a granulation technique. I imagine there are beads out there labeled "handmade" that mean someone poured molten metal BY HAND into a mold of a "bali-ish" shape (not necessarily yours, Becki, but I bet someone has done it). I don't have the knowledge to distinguish the granulation from the casting by sight - anybody have any tips? There are some real handmade beads done in India, but they differ from Bali ... not the same quality craftsmanship. The best metalworkers in India do only gold (I read that somewhere... 'Lapidary Journal' maybe?) work. I have seen examples of good (it was gold) jewlery from India that was not at all like the mass- produced stuff.