The designs on the handles of some flatware patterns are so gorgeous that they make nice jewelry. Especially old solid sterling silver flatware. I have a ring made from a Towle sterling spoon handle. The cost to purchase these finished pieces can get prohibitive, if you can actually find a style in the pattern you like.
I fell in love with the Kirk Stieff Repousse sterling pattern from 1924. The design varies by the piece with the demitasse spoon handle being my favorite. Stieff sterling flatware is heavy and finely detailed, perfect for jewelry. I was lucky enough to find two demitasse spoons on eBay for a very reasonable price. They were both engraved on the backs of the handles and were given as souvenirs for National Accountant’s conferences in 1949 and 1951. Because of the engraving, I got these spoons for less than half of their value. For $10 a jeweler removed the engraving.
One spoon didn’t have the pretty dark patina in the crevasses that sets off the detail of the repousse. So I zapped a broken egg in the microwave and put the spoon in a sealed container with the hot egg for about an hour. Don’t let the egg touch the silver, just allow the egg and spoon to share the same air. The sulfur in the egg causes the silver to tarnish. A quick polish and rinse and the spoon was perfect.
I used tin snips to remove the handles from the bowls of the spoons, then cut the handles again to make a length of 1.25″. I smoothed the cut ends with fine metal files and finished them with my nail file and ultra fine sand paper. Very smooth edges. Then I used a fine diamond bit in my Dremel and drilled a hole for the wires. I got a bunch of sterling french earring wires on Etsy for very little cost. Used my set of jeweler’s pliers my loving husband gave me to put the handles on the wires. Voila! Lovely sterling earrings for less than $40. Try even finding these for sale anywhere.
I still have the rest of the handles to use to make something. Maybe I’ll try a bracelet next. And the bowls can be hammered flat and used in a windchime or sold as sterling scrap. The photos really don’t do these earrings justice, they are shiny and gorgeous. My new favorite earrings!