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BeadsandBaubles

"Tibetan Silver" misleading?

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BeadsandBaubles    10
BeadsandBaubles

Hi

 

I have just found this on Wiki, after noticing a few listings as "Tibetan Silver":

Tibetan silver is used primarily in jewellery components, and is similar to pewter - an alloy of copper, and sometimes tin or nickel, with a small percentage of pure silver. Its overall appearance is of aged silver, but it can be polished to provide highlights on complex castings. The nickel content is nowadays reduced or absent, due to common allergies to this metal.

Tibet silver used to have a higher silver content a decade or two ago, up to 30% or higher, but cheaper reproductions from Far Eastern factories have diluted the term. The genuine article can only really be got from the metal and silversmiths in situ, some of whom still manage to produce work from their long tradition of gold and silversmithing in this country. The related term 'Nepalese silver', however, seems to have held on to the higher silver content and association with quality metalsmithing.

Currently, jewellery, beads and castings described as 'Tibetan Silver' tends to be a base iron 'cheese metal' casting, overlaid with this pewter and silver plating. Dependent on source, these can be either thick and robust, or attractive but easily broken due to a loose, fragile inner casting. The latter productions are therefore only suitable for small castings up to around 12mm, or transient 'fashion' jewellery with a short lifespan

 

I did quite a comprehensive search on the internet, and it is not only Wiki that mentions the misuse of the term "Tibetan Silver" Just my thought on this - I think in general this description tends to mislead uninformed buyers who think that they are buying somewhat more of a better quality item. Why I noticed this in the first place is because some (majority) of the images of "Tibetan Silver" advertised are exactly the same as the cheaper metal items I stock and sell as well which I know for a fact have nil to low percentage silver.

 

Use of the word "silver", in my opinion, misleads a buyer into thinking he is buying the metal (as oppossed) to the colour of the item. I much prefer to use the term "silvertone" and I think that buyers should be made aware of the difference and a standard set on bidorbuy as far as the use of the word "silver" is used.

 

This is just my opinion, and please correct me if I am wrong or misinformed.

 

Regards

Sandy

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RISadler    10
RISadler

Thanks, I was wondering what it was but never bothered to search for it. I think we can safely say that nowadays any metal with a name in front is just a term to describe a look-alike to that metal, like "fool's gold" and now it seems "Tibetan silver".

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Lukeness    10
Lukeness

I would agree that some form of proper disclosure should be made in the listing, like the actual silver content, if any, in the piece.

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Kathmandu    10
Kathmandu

I import from Nepal and wholesalers sometimes call it "white metal"..but I agree with you, it is not silver.

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daisyjewel    10
daisyjewel

What I find frustrating is I sell genuine SOLID sterling silver and it is expensive to buy and import. Sometime people do not realise the difference between sterling silver and other versions of silver. The sterling silver has a lot more value than the "tibetian" silver. What ends up happening is I make make a loss when I try to sell the genuine sterling silver on the R1 auctions as I can not compete with all the other sellers who do not sell the real thing (which they are able to sell for a lot less and still make a profit)

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Asha Craft Jewellery    10
Asha Craft Jewellery

Exactly daisyjewel! I'm sick and tired of trying to compete with "tibetan silver" when it is infact silverplated costume jewellery. I've reverted to using terms like "Authentic Solid Silver" because some buyers think the word "sterling" is a synonym for plated silver. Selling unique sterling silver jewellery for average R50 a piece, is a HUGE loss. Whereas selling "tibetan silver" jewellery for average R50, you are actually making a profit!! Every week I feel like listing less and less on the R1 auctions, because I'm losing on every single sale.

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daisyjewel    10
daisyjewel

Hey Asha -- seems we are in the same boat... :rolleyes: I only do the R1 auctions if I am desparate to get rid of stuff -- and yes most times I do make a loss on the sterling silver :(

 

Just a note to buyers -- be careful when buying jewellery -- always check with the seller what exactly the item is made of... if they can not give a direct answer it is probably not the real thing.

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BeadsandBaubles    10
BeadsandBaubles

Hi all.

I agree with you all - I have the same problem with the Thai Silver - which is genuine 97+% silver content and bought from the actual Karen Hill Tribes in Chiang Mai.

 

There are now so many products like these that are being "reproduced" cheaply that it is difficult to sell the genuine original. Thai silver (like Tibetan), the genuine product is all hand made, meaning from the mining and smelting to the design. It is not made in a factory, but produced in little huts on stilts in the middle of the mountain jungles, even the youngest of children play a part in the making, even just by stoking the furnace. All that effort and dedication now being wasted, centuries old craftmanship being lost to greedy mine tycoons and factory owners bent on beating out replicas made from metal alloys and coatings.

 

I sit with an authentic, genuine handcrafted item that cannot sell because now "it" is so freely available on the web - hell yeah, with it's added metals that harden it, brighten it, make it blinky and bright and smooth and streamlined. A search will show you just what I mean - there is a big difference in the look and quality of the genuine article bought directly from the original source to that bought from the big suppliers. The worst of it all is that the Karen Hill Tribe youngsters are moving to the cities as their source of income is diminishing and the venerable and ancient art of silversmithing is giving way to mass production.

 

Sad really, maybe we should just all join the masses and use these descriptions to sell our goods. My sales on the cheaper versions are better in any case, just think how much more I can sell if I make use of the deceptive descriptions too. :P

 

PS can someone please show me how to use the quote function.

 

Happy Crafting

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Gems n Silver    10
Gems n Silver

just to agree with beads & baubles on the tibetan silver, I sent to a supplier for a couple of items, I did know it wasn't real silver as I also looked it up google, but the desighns are nice, anyway, said items arrived, but I just couldnt bring myself to list one of them in particular as although it had a stunning design, it just felt like tin.

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BeadsandBaubles    10
BeadsandBaubles

Nice to meet you ScottishLass

 

but I just couldnt bring myself to list one of them in particular as although it had a stunning design, it just felt like tin.

 

I have decided that if I do make use of this wording I will just add that wiki quote to each listing to warn buyers that it is basically just a name used these day to describe the "look" of the item as opposed to the "content' - better to keep them informed.

 

Hope you did not pay too much for that "Tibetan Silver"

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

How to use the "quote" system

 

Hi all.

 

 

PS can someone please show me how to use the quote function.

 

Happy Crafting

 

Instead of hitting the "Reply" button on the righthand side of the message you wish to reply to, just hit the "Quote" button. Very easy as it's one away from the "Reply" button! :P

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BeadsandBaubles    10
BeadsandBaubles

k, thanks. I can be so dumb!

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MsPlod    10
MsPlod

Karen Hill Thai Silver is STUNNING!

 

Hi all.

I agree with you all - I have the same problem with the Thai Silver - which is genuine 97+% silver content and bought from the actual Karen Hill Tribes in Chiang Mai.

 

There are now so many products like these that are being "reproduced" cheaply that it is difficult to sell the genuine original. Thai silver (like Tibetan), the genuine product is all hand made, meaning from the mining and smelting to the design. It is not made in a factory, but produced in little huts on stilts in the middle of the mountain jungles, even the youngest of children play a part in the making, even just by stoking the furnace. All that effort and dedication now being wasted, centuries old craftmanship being lost to greedy mine tycoons and factory owners bent on beating out replicas made from metal alloys and coatings.

 

I sit with an authentic, genuine handcrafted item that cannot sell because now "it" is so freely available on the web - hell yeah, with it's added metals that harden it, brighten it, make it blinky and bright and smooth and streamlined. A search will show you just what I mean - there is a big difference in the look and quality of the genuine article bought directly from the original source to that bought from the big suppliers. The worst of it all is that the Karen Hill Tribe youngsters are moving to the cities as their source of income is diminishing and the venerable and ancient art of silversmithing is giving way to mass production.

 

Sad really, maybe we should just all join the masses and use these descriptions to sell our goods. My sales on the cheaper versions are better in any case, just think how much more I can sell if I make use of the deceptive descriptions too. :P

 

Happy Crafting

 

B&B - the Thai silver is quite breathtaking! Really gorgeous and the cultural aspects add so much to the value and sense of beauty. Really appreciate the care that you and some of the other craft sellers (most of them are regulars on the forum) take in describing the actual metal content, etc. of your wares. Have been thrilled with the quality overall and am loving working with the beads that I have been buying on BoB.

 

Am really sad that the average buyer is satisfied with paying higher (even exorbitant) prices for the cheap stuff when they could get the real quality stuff if they were prepared to be a bit more discerning.:rolleyes:

 

As for so many of the categories which I regularly visit to browse (gems, coins, etc.) advertising is the greatest culprit IMO. Lower quality coins, for example, are being sold for double and triple the price of higher value coins (exactly the same coin mind you) just because some of the sellers are advertising the lower grade coins as being "rare" or "scarce" or other ridiculous terms. Some buyers are just sooooooo gullible and fall for the advertising every time. As a crafter, I love quality - there is a satisfaction for me in holding, handling and working with handmade beads of solid wood, glass, silver, etc. Some of the cheaper stuff is fun for quick "mass" making of necklaces, bracelets and so on but my greatest pleasure comes from combining materials which are each beautiful as they are.

Thank you craft sellers who are careful to describe accurately what you sell!!! This buyer is truly appreciative.:D

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