Today, various forms of silver are available. Keeping yourself informed about the latest information about the various silver will help you make smart buying choices. In the following detailed information, you can find information about the different silver used in the manufacture of jewelry worldwide.
First, it is essential to understand that silver forms alloys with other metals or elements during the jewelry manufacturing process. There are many reasons for producing different silver alloys, which will study below.
Second, the quality of silver can be determined by the quality marks visible on the finished product. Some companies are addicted to false markings, but this is rare. It would help if you had a magnifying glass to observe these little stamps. We should also remember it that they require stamps to be included in the jewelry only if there is sufficient space. Therefore, even if the small jewelry is of high quality, it may not be stamped.
In the following detailed information, you can collect information about various quality stamp standards related to silver jewelry.
1. Fine (.999)
This is the purest form of silver and comprises 99.9% silver. The remaining 0.1% contains traces of other elements. High-quality silver is soft. The color is gray; the dull look is well known, and its luster is more like glass than polished sterling silver objects. It is easy to scratch or dent. Therefore, since they cannot be worn correctly, they are not often used in jewelry.
However, there are several advantages to using silver. Metal can be cast easily. A fuse that need not be soldered; and will not lose its luster quickly.
Its soft texture is more famous for necklaces and earrings than bracelets and rings that are often scratched. Silver clay products are forged into high-quality silver. They have led to increased demand for silver jewelry in the United States. Also, the quality of the silver variety of the Hill tribe is 999.
2. Sterling (.925)
In the United States and other countries around the world, the pound sterling is the standard quality of jewelry. Sterling silver jewelry contains 92.5% silver. The remaining metals (such as nickel and copper) account for 7.5%.
It is essential to add other metals to the alloy to harden the metal, increase its durability, and make the jewelry shine-all of which is to attract customers.
Usually, we are familiar with the silver-tone of sterling silver. It has a shiny appearance, but it changes color quickly. To keep the jewelry in its original condition for a long time, sterling silver jewelry should be polished regularly.
When comparing the hardness of pure silver and fine silver, it is found that the former is more laborious. However, pure silver is softer than many other metals.
The stamp of sterling silver jewelry is 925.
3. Non-Tarnishable Alloys
Recently, alloy varieties that do not lose color have been introduced. Among many brands, Argentium produces these alloys. Usually, they contain 92.5% silver, but some brand products have higher silver content. The remaining composites are made of metals such as copper and germanium.
Germanium can harden alloys and make it resistant to discoloration. However, non-color changing alloys will change color under severe conditions and over time. The good news is that they don’t require as much maintenance as pure silver. Their resistance to discoloration is the major advantage of these metals.
However, it is also worth noting that the metal Argentium can be forged without welding. However, there are disadvantages associated with Argentium. Compared with pure silver, this metal is expensive and difficult to get. Similarly, this metal cannot be distinguished from sterling silver because it has a seal of 0.925. Jewelry producers must also apply for permission to stamp Argentine trademarks on their works. In addition, the stamp is large in size and cannot be used on jewelry.
Coin silver is an alloy available in the United States in the past. Today, it is rarely found because people are confused by its name.
“Silver coin” means silver with a silver content of 90%; the remaining 10% is made of copper. Coins are not made of this metal. It was produced from scrap coins in the early days.
In some countries, money coins do not contain silver, but it makes them of cheaper metal varieties. Collectibles or investment items include a large amount of silver; they bear-related marks and are accompanied by legal certificates. The stamp of 900 is printed on the coin. Most of these items are antiques.
The term full of silver refers to a new coating on jewelry when the price of silver rises throughout the recession. The non-uniformity of the metal content in the workpiece cannot be described as an alloy. However, its surface contains pure silver.
Items filled with silver contain 5–10% pure silver and are fused to a brass base. This metal is newly introduced and has not yet been standardized in the United States. Since it is layered, it cannot be projected. Compared with silver plating, the silver layer is thicker. However, its quality is not higher than many silver alloys.
Moreover, it does lose its luster. They use precision instruments and well-trained professionals for welding. It is not common in the market these days because the price of silver has fallen. No stamp quality standards have been set for these materials.
6. Silver Plating
Silver-plated jewelry contains a thin layer of silver on the top and has been used in costume jewelry. They only contain a small amount of silver. Because the price is moderate, it is favored by some people. However, they will change color in a short time. They do not carry the quality mark, only the manufacturer’s logo.
The “silver” in “nickel silver” only stands for silver, not metal. They are alloys mainly composed of copper. It also contains other metals such as zinc or nickel. Nickel silver is soft, cheap, and looks similar to pounds. These alloys can be welded, but the seams are visible.
Nickel silver is also called German silver or alpaca silver. Costume jewelry is made of these alloys. Some people think it should be defined as nickel alloy because some people suffer from nickel allergy.
Test silver quality
The silver content in the alloy can be determined by performing two tests.
Where X-ray testing is involved, it is non-destructive, requires expensive equipment, and must be performed in a laboratory. The results are only moderately accurate. Due to the metal layer and plating, actual results cannot be obtained.
Analytical testing is considered being the best test method to understand the silver content of the alloy. It is destructive and needs to melt 0.5 grams of metal to determine the proportion of the alloy. The tests performed by skilled workers in the laboratory are accurate.
Neither test is suitable for customers seeking to test at home. It is always recommended to contact a well-known distributor who honestly declares the materials used in the jewelry. High-quality seals also make it easy to understand the built-in metals and elements.