Silver Melting Point. When creating jewelry it is important to know what temperature silver and silver solder melt.
SilverFine Silver: 1762° F Sterling Silver: 1640° F Coin Silver: 1615° F
Silver SolderHard (75% Sliver): 1425° F Medium (70% Sliver): 1390° F Easy Solder(65% Sliver): 1285° F - Flows at 1285° F
How to tell the difference between Fine & Sterling Silver It isn't always easy to tell the difference between fine and sterling silver. To find out if a wire is fine silver or sterling silver, heat one end to red hot. As it cools, sterling silver will change color & become dull and grayish, whereas fine silver will remain clean and lustrous.
Cutting & Cleaning Geodes (non-Calcite) When sawing geodes or agate-filled nodules, first look for the largest dome on the specimen. This dome is in the upright position when the specimen is forming. If you cut through this dome you should expose the best "picture" or surface. If the specimen is elongated or egg-shaped saw through it lengthwise in order to obtain the best exposure.
Source: South Bay Lapidary Society (Hermosa Beach, California)
After you have cut the geode it may require cleaning. Simply soak in white distilled vinegar for a few hours to remove any lose material. Then rinse and scrub with soap, water and a soft toothbrush. Important: If your geode contains calcite do not use vinegar, it will dissolve the crystal.
Note: Some people call the dome the "button."
Slabbing to Save Material Many people have problems slabbing a piece of good quality material down to the last 1/4" slab. One way to do this requires a solution called "water glass" (Sodium silicate; egg preservative). This can be purchased from any drugstore.
To cut the stone, take a block of wood that will sit in the saw vise without getting in the way of your stone. Place some water glass on the wood and secure it to your material. Let it set for 12 to 24 hours. Now put the wood block in the saw vise and cut the slab material down to the last possible slab. To release the material from the wood, soak it in hot soapy water until the slab falls off.
Note: If you leave the stone on the wood too long the water glass will turn white and your stone may fall off. Because of this, some people may use dop wax or silicone. However, water glass is very inexpensive to use.