Palmer Metals

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All The Help You Need

In this section, you’ll find all of the information you need about our pricing, delivery options and returns policy as well as technical help, useful links and, listed below, the answers to our customers’ most Frequently Asked Questions. If you don’t find the answer you need below, please email us and we’ll do our best to help. 

Technical Help

Reach Statement on Nickel, Lead and Cadmium
What is Gold Fill and how does it compare with Gold Plate

Gold fill, gold filled and rolled gold are often confused with gold electroplate. We've provided the definitions below to help you to differentiate and choose the best material for your project.

Gold Electroplate or plating is a chemical based process where the article is immersed in a gold containing solution and an electric current is passed through the solution. This causes the gold in the solution to deposit in a thin layer on the article.The actual thickness of gold is controlled by the amount of current and time. In many instances the thickness of gold deposited is minimal and in this case it can be easily worn away.

Vermeil is used to refer to silver that has been gold plated.

Gold Fill is a layer of gold physically bonded by heat and pressure to another layer of metal normally brass. The layer of gold is much thicker than a normal electroplated coating. Gold fill is usually referred to by numbers ie 14/20 or 12/20. The first number is the carat of the gold layer, the second refers to the amount by weight of the gold in relation to the base layer. In these examples the gold layer is 1/20th or 5% by weight. Because of the manufacturing process of Gold Fill it limits the type of components that can be made. For instance the material cannot be cast since melting it would destroy the layers, therefore the range of findings is more limited than carat gold.

What diameter corresponds to wire gauge

There is a difference in the diameter refered to by the gauge or wire number depending on whether the origin of the reference is US based or not. The following chart enables you to make easy comparisons between the two systems.A pdf version of the chart can be found here.

Wire No Standard Wire Gauge American Wire Gauge

Diameter inches Diameter mm Diameter inches Diameter mm
10 0.128 3.251 0.1019 2.588
11 0.116 2.946 0.0907 2.304
12 0.104 2.641 0.0808 2.052
13 0.092 2.336 0.0720 1.829
14 0.080 2.032 0.0641 1.628
15 0.072 1.829 0.0571 1.450
16 0.064 1.626 0.0508 1.291
17 0.056 1.422 0.0453 1.150
18 0.048 1.219 0.0403 1.024
19 0.040 1.016 0.0359 0.912
20 0.036 0.914 0.0320 0.813
21 0.032 0.813 0.0285 0.724
22 0.028 0.711 0.0253 0.643
23 0.024 0.610 0.0226 0.574
24 0.022 0.559 0.0201 0.511
25 0.020 0.508 0.0179 0.455
26 0.018 0.457 0.0159 0.404
27 0.0164 0.417 0.0142 0.361
28 0.0148 0.376 0.0126 0.320
29 0.0136 0.345 0.0113 0.287
30 0.0124 0.315 0.0100 0.254
What saw blade should I use

A guide to the difference in saw blades and the thickness of metal that they can cut can be found here.

Soft, Half Hard, Hard wire what is the difference?

Sterling Silver wire is available in different states of hardness or temper, we've provided a description and the uses for each type of wire, to help you choose.

Hardness is a measure of the ease with which the wire will bend, soft wire bends easily hard wire is very stiff and wants to return to its original state. The wire is made by pulling or drawing the wire through a hole in a plate ( the draw plate) , this is done progressively through smaller and smaller holes to obtain the final size. Every drawing operation will increase the hardness of the wire. We sell Sterling Silver wire in soft, half-hard and hard condition, these may also be referred to as 0, 2 and 4 respectively.

Soft: May be also referred to as dead soft. This wire is the most malleable/flexible of the three types and can easily be bent to shape. It can accommodate tight radius bends without fracturing and is therefore ideal for wire wrapping. It will not hold its shape under tension so is not ideal for connecting to clasps etc. It will harden as it is worked or can be tempered by hitting with a hammer ( only recommended for flat pieces!). May show tool marks.

Half Hard: Less flexible than soft but more flexible than hard. It will hold its shape under reasonable tension and is widely used for clasps, jump rings and connectors. Will make excellent tight corners or bends.

Hard: The least flexible of the three and the most difficult to bend, you will almost certainly have to use tools to bend this wire. Will make nice sharp corners and hold its shape under most stress.

Glossary of Jewellery Trade Terms

When you first start out, the specialist terms used in the jewellery trade can be bewildering. We've listed the key terms below, and provided some additional information to help you to order the most suitable material for your project.

9 Carat: Contains 9 parts gold to 15 parts other metals. Therefore contains 37.5% gold often referred to as 375 fineness.

14 Carat: Contains 14 parts gold to 10 parts other metals.

18 Carat: Contains 18 parts gold to 6 parts other metals. Therefore contains 75% gold often referred to as 750 fineness.

22 Carat: Contains 22 parts gold to 2 parts other metals.

Alloy: A mixture of metals.

American Wire Gauge or AWG: A number which notates the diameter of wire. As the number increases the diameter of the wire decreases. Although AWG uses the same numbers as SWG they refer to different diameters of wire. A comparison table is available within technical help.

Britannia Silver: An alloy of silver which contains a minimum of 96% fine silver.

Carat: A traditional way of identifying the amount of gold in an item. Pure gold is 24 carat. Gold is commonly alloyed with other metals which changes the properties i.e. colour, hardness etc. of the metal.

Fine Gold: Pure gold with no other metals present.

Fine Silver: Pure silver with no other metals present.

Gold Filled: See Rolled Gold

Gold Plate: Or gold electroplate is a thin layer of gold applied to an item by electrochemical means. The thickness of the layer is usually measured in microns or fractions of a micron.

Green Gold: An alloy of gold that appears green, achieved by the addition of silver. Usually only available in 18 carat or 14 carat since the quantity of silver in 9 carat will give the alloy a white appearance.

Nickel Silver: Most importantly despite the name there is NO silver in Nickel Silver metal. The exact composition of nickel silver can vary but it always composed of copper, nickel and zinc. Used in some cutlery manufacture when it is silver electroplated and referred to as EPNS or Electro Plated Nickel Silver.

Red Gold: An alloy of gold that appears red, achieved by the introduction of higher amounts of copper than in other alloys. May also be referred to as rose gold or pink gold. Available in 9, 14 and 18 carat.

Rolled Gold: One or more layers of carat gold are physically bonded by means of pressure and heat to a base metal layer of copper or nickel alloy to give a sandwich type structure. The thickness of the gold layer in a rolled gold or gold filled item is far greater than that of an electroplated item.

Sterling Silver: Contains 92.5% Silver

Standard Wire Gauge or SWG: A number which notates the diameter of wire. As the number increases the diameter of the wire decreases. Although SWG uses the same numbers as AWG they refer to different diameters of wire. A comparison table is available within technical help.

White Gold: An alloy of gold with other white metals such as silver, nickel, or palladium. Nickel use has been restricted by EU legislation so palladium tends to be used more often in todays white golds.

Safety Data Sheets


Do I need to register to place an order?
We want to make ordering from Palmer Metals as simple as possible, so we don't ask you to register before you place an order. Once you place an order, we automatically create an account for you and send your login details by email. When you login, you'll be able to review your past orders, save time by using the reorder and edit functions, track your order status and manage your delivery addresses.
Why can't I get an accurate price when I order?
The price of gold and silver varies on a daily basis and, although we update the prices on our website regularly, the prices you see are indicative only. When you order semi-fabricated products the final price is calculated based on weight and the prevailing price at the time of despatch. Please see our pricing policy below for more details.
Prices for shown fabricated items are the price you will pay.
What kind of delivery service do you offer?
We aim to despatch orders within 3 working days of your order (if you place your order on a non working day, 3 working days from the next working day we could expect to receive order details) providing the items are in stock. Please see our delivery information for specific details about charges and delivery methods.
How can I pay for my order?
If you order online, you can make your payment by Mastercard, Visa, Maestro, and Electron cards. All prices are quoted in GB Pounds Sterling and your credit/debit card will be charged in GB Pounds Sterling.

Alternatively, you can pay for your order with a UK cheque. Cheques should be sent to us at 401 Broad Lane, Coventry, CV5 7AY.

Approved account customers can place orders online using their credit account.
Is there a minimum order?
No, you can order as much or as little as you need.
Is it safe to use my credit/debit card online?
Yes. We take every precaution to make your transaction secure. All the payments are processed by PayPoint on their secure servers.

No credit/debit card details are stored on our site. All credit card transactions are carried out on a secure sever using a minimum of SSL/128 bit encryption and credit card information is transmitted in encrypted format.

If in doubt, check for the padlock icon in your browser, some of the latest browsers will change colour in the address bar as well.

If you do not want to use your credit card details on the website you can always phone us with your order.
Can I have the goods delivered to an address that is different to the card biiling address?
Yes, providing both addresses are in the UK, however we will reserve the right to deliver to only the billing address.
We regret that we are unable to deliver to a different addresses for orders outside the UK. Unfortunately we are also unable to take payment from a card in one country and deliver to another country. Orders placed that attempt to do this will be voided and the payment card refunded

Jewellers' Resources

If you can’t find what you need on our website, either on this page or on How To, we’ve provided links below to some popular websites which should provide plenty of hints, tips, advice and food for thought.

The Birmingham Assay Office
The largest assay office in Europe. Information on hallmarking and nickel content legislation.
The Ganoksin Project
The gem and jewellery world's foremost information resource on the Internet. Open to the public and free of charge, this is a substantial library of articles, publications, reports, and technical data on gem and jewellery related topics, as well as a sizeable collection of art and jewellery galleries, for both the casual visitor and the professional.
The London Metal Exchange Ltd
The world's premier non-ferrous metals market.

Pricing Policy

Prices for metals fluctuate in accordance with world markets and, although we regularly update the prices for semi-fabricated items on our website, they are guide prices only.

Semi fabricated items include sheet metal, metal wire, chain and metal tube, all cut to your requirements.

Your invoiced price will be determined by the final weight of your item(s) and the London Metal Exchange (LME) silver or gold fix at the time of your order.

The prices shown for all other items are the prices you will be charged.

Our Returns Policy

We want you to be completely satisfied with the products and service you receive from Palmer Metals.

If you are ever less that 100% satisfied with items we have supplied please contact us for a returns code (valid for 5 days) and return them within 14 days of the date of receipt. After this time we are afraid that we are unable to accept returned goods unless faulty.

After inspection, we will credit the cost of returned items to you. Please note that we cannot credit your initial delivery charge unless your entire order is defective.

If you discover your goods to be defective, please call us so that we can provide a postage-paid reply envelope or agree in advance to refund additional postage costs.

If you are returning items for any other reason, you will be responsible for the cost of return postage.

You remain responsible for any returned goods until they have been delivered to Palmer Metals and we recommend that you insure any returns as appropriate. Please note that proof of posting will not be accepted as proof of delivery.


Metal sheet, wire, chain, tube  and Greek Leather  may only be returned for their scrap value, as these have been supplied to your specifications. Specially ordered non-stock items are non-returnable.

Delivery & Shipping

Click here for our delivery and shipping details