A little aluminum vs. sterling experiment

Screenshot at 2018-08-07 10:22:40


I did a little experiment a couple of days ago in my own facebook   https://www.facebook.com/NiciArt/  and a metalsmithing group I belong to that is also in facebook .

My posting there asked the question ” which is which ? ”  What guitar pick is made of sterling and what is the aluminum . Just by looking at a picture . When I did the math about 76% percent picked the wrong metal – by the way the left guitar pick is aluminum the right is sterling .

Now why do this experiment at all and what did I want to gather with it ? My point was that when you buy online not everything you see that is silver is in fact sterling silver . If the price is too good to be true it most likely is . I have seen websites offer sterling silver rings and other jewelry for the fraction of what it would cost someone to buy from me or any other metalsmith .

When you shop online you cannot feel and smell the metal – aluminum feels very different from sterling as does steel or some other silver looking metals .

Even looking at the little stamp 925 ( mostly inside the jewelry or on the back ) does not guarantee that what you get is in fact the real deal .

So when buying online be careful out there . Again – if the price is too good to be true – it might very well be …. 🙂





Nici’s Picks

Having taken Etsy by storm in late 2011 with our guitar picks, we decided it was time to create a website dedicated to just our metal guitar picks. Trying to work this project in during the height our busiest season is proving to be quite a challenge, but we are making progress. Etsy helped to temporarily quell my frustrations on this Black Friday by delivering a barrage of almost non-stop holiday orders.

It is ironic how we wait all year for this moment and then once the holiday madness arrives, we can’t wait for it to end.  Anyway, our new site as been launched and is currently in the beta phase. We have about 300 more listings to edit, add some policies, and an “about” section before roll out next week. Our hope is by next Friday, Nici’s Picks will be fully live and ready.

While the same picks are listed on our Etsy shop and on our own site Niciart we have yet to really make headway into Wanelo and Pinterest in terms of offering products that can be purchased through the “but it now” option. Having already listed 60 guitar picks today, I must admit, I really miss those picks. Not only were they fun to produce, but some of those classics like Wanna Pluck or Motherplucker made for a good laugh.




Thinking back at this journey that started in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Scottsdale, AZ with a jewelry saw, some scrap metal, and an old printer is a reminder of just how far we have come while tugging at the heart with a wee bit of nostalgia, I will have to admit. In the beginning of starting our own business, everything felt so magical, fun, and without a thought of the consequences, we could just work on whim and somehow every would come together in the end. I think moving forward into 2016 and taking steps to become more independent of Etsy to fully establish our own brand will bring back some of that initial excitement and creativity. Nici and I are feeling quite optimistic about the opportunities that will come in 2016.

Anyway, I guess at this point we really don’t have many followers on our blog, but if you are out there, check out Nici’s Picks.

Flaming guitar pick

Rock and Roll Baby ………….

sterling guitar pick pendant with brass flames

the reason – just because I wanted to and I can

I cut out some equal sized guitar picks

one in 20 gauge sterling and one in 20 gauge brass ( copper or bronze will work too ) I filed the edges round with a number 2 file ( pretty fine )

draw your flames onto the brass pick and start cutting with a jewelry saw and 1/0 saw blades

flux your brass flames and add solder – heat with torch until solder melts

solder both sterling and brass together

after quenching and cleaning start filing with a number 2, 3 or 4 file

see the gap ? gap no good , better start filing

file until the solder seam is smooth

start polishing

I just left the metal raw and satin looking and did not add patina drill a hole

add a jump ring and a chain and start rocking

thanks for looking 🙂