What is Silver?

What is Silver?

Silver has a rich history spanning more than 5000 years, and like gold, it occupies a hallowed place in our collective history. It has been treasured by countless civilizations for its exceptionally-high metallic luster, which, combined with its malleability and ductility, made it perfect for personal adornment. Associated with power, prestige, and a myriad of mythical powers over the centuries, it was crafted into objet d'art, religious artifacts, ceremonial weapons, silverware, tableware, and much, much more. Its use in currency can be traced back as far as the 7th century BC. So great was the allure and desire for silver that it was both the beginning and end of many kingdoms.

Silver is perfect for jewelry manufacture since it is soft, malleable, and takes an extremely high polish. In fact, silver is the most highly reflective of all metals. Its beauty, availability, and affordability make it the mainstay of fashion and design throughout the world. 
Silver, like gold, can be found in more than one form, and as such, has standards to define its purity.


Silver purity

Generally, a small amount of alloy is added to silver to help lessen tarnish and provide increased durability. Copper is the mainstay of silver alloys, but considerably smaller percentages of other metals are often present. Silver purity, like that of platinum, is expressed with a decimal number that indicates the amount of pure silver in parts per thousand. Silver standards vary around the world, but there are four that should be of interest to consumers:

Fine Silver .999 99.9% Pure Silver
Britannia Silver .958 95.8% Pure Silver
Sterling Silver .925 92.5% Pure Silver
 Coin Silver .900 90.0% Pure Silver

Silver Pricing

The small amount of copper added to sterling silver has little effect on the value. Instead, the price of silver items is affected by the labour and craftsmanship involved in finishing an item.
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