Silver figurines or statues made fully of sterling silver would be very heavy, as well as very expensive, because of the huge amount of precious metal required to manufacture them.
Some pieces are made following a brilliant method of creating a large artistic piece, without the excessive cost it would naturally have if is was made as a normal statue or figurine and using exclusively silver to make the entire piece. This process is called electroforming.
Formerly only given industrial uses such as making metal pieces for machines, today this process has been transported to the artistic realm, giving us the opportunity to enjoy the possession of a beautiful and unique piece which is made of.999 silver (higher content of silver than Sterling) without having to pay prohibitive prices.
First, the artist conceives his piece and then crafts it using some material such as plasticine or clay, which is then made into a mold of resin or gypsum. This mold is taken and filled with a similar substance which, when dry, will render a model of the statue in a now solid material.
This preliminary statue is used to manufacture by a similar procedure, a silicon mold which is then injected with a fine resin specially used for this. Once the resin statue inside the silicon mold is dry and hard, it is taken out of the mold and talented artisans retouch it so that all the details are just right.
Once the piece is ready, it is submerged in an electrolysis tub where the piece will be first covered with a metallic copper layer and following that, left for 10 to 12 hours to become gradually coated with a layer of .999 quality silver. This layer is about six times as thick as normal silver plating and the piece will stay in the silver tub until the layer has achieved 15% of the piece’s weight in .999 silver.
Once that is achieved we have a silver statue. It gets taken out of the tub and chemically oxidized to acquire a black patina, then a thorough polishing process follows. Buffing is also required and done to a high luster.
To complete the process, the piece is then protected by completely covering it with a clear coat of special lacquer. This coat prevents tarnishing, which is inevitable with silver, so… no need to polish again any time soon, as this step ensures the piece’s finish will last!
You can now enjoy the beauty and prestige of fine silver statues without having to pay an arm and a leg for them, and a vast variety of them are manufactured this way. No matter what your preference is, there is most likely a statue that you will fall in love with.