Posted by Jackie on 9/26/2011 to Jewelry 101
Bali silver (aka Bali Beads) are beads made in Bali, in Indonesia with traditional patterns and design. Each bead and findings are handmade by a highly skilled silversmith. The material used are 925 sterling silver (mixing of the 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper to form sterling silver).
Beads are made from the sheets of silver, cut to a particular size, then hammered into semi-circular indentations. Smooth the edge by sanding away excess silver, then jointed the 2 halves by soldering to form a round bead.
Using sterling silver wire, snip into tiny pieces, then torch fire it, as silver heat up, it forms into tiny little balls.
The design on the bead is formed by applying the tiny silver balls (or granulation) to the bead with a natural glue. The the bead is heated with the torch carefully. The design is bonded with the bead permenatly, then it is cleaned with a solution and ready for oxidation.
The last step is polishing. Polishing will cleaned away some of the oxidation on the rised design, giving them a bright and shinny finished look with the dark black oxidized base.
The making of the bali beads is very unique and requires lots skill and patience.