When choosing silver jewelry, one should take into account the fact that there are different types of silver, on which its value depends.
To avoid an unsuccessful purchase and a waste of money, you should know a few important nuances about the silver market, which will be discussed in this article.
How to choose high quality silver?
First of all, you should pay attention to the type and sample of silver. These parameters are always indicated on the website or on the price tag in the store.
As with gold jewelry, aluminum, zinc, nickel, or cadmium are added to the silver alloy to increase its hardness. Their content determines the silver sample. Thanks to the combination of the properties of these elements, the jewelry becomes less abrasive, which increases its service life.
Silver samples: what are they?
To determine the sample of silver in the world, carat and metric systems are used. According to the carat system, the purest silver is designated as 24 carats.
In Europe and the CIS countries, the metric system of silver assays has long been used.
The sample determines the purity of the metal in products:
This study is carried out by the assay office. In accordance with its standards, an individual distinctive mark is placed on each product at the factory. It is a marking of all silver products, which indicates the type of metal and the additional element contained in its composition, which ensures its hardness and retains its bright luster for a long time.
The type of silver jewelry will be depends on the type of its alloy.
- Pure Silver, or pure silver, is marked with a breakdown of 999. It is used only for the production of silver bars and coins. It is characterized by a vitreous luster, poor resistance to deformation and scratching, so it is almost never used in jewelry.
- Argentium Silver 958 patented by Argentium International Limited. Products made by this British manufacturer contain between 93.5% and 96% pure silver and 4.2% copper. This alloy is mainly used for the production of tableware. The famous Britannia coins issued by the British Royal Mint in 1998 were also minted from this type of silver.
- Sample 960 typical for expensive jewelry, which are very popular in the world. The visual and physical properties of this alloy are similar to 925. However, it is more prone to mechanical damage. Its only advantage is that, due to special compounds, it practically does not oxidize and is not prone to tarnishing, even in places that often come into contact with the body.
- What means Sterling silver (Sterling Silver)? This is an inexpensive 925 alloy, consisting of 92.5% silver and 7.5% impurities (nickel, zinc or copper). The soft consistency of the metal when melted down allows you to create jewelry designs with stunningly beautiful ornaments.
- The answer to a common questionjewelry silver — what is this?” — an alloy of the 875th test, which is intended for the manufacture of economy-class jewelry for costume jewelry consumers. The cost of such products is much lower in comparison with products from alloys of other types. Due to its strength, the resulting mixture is very difficult to process, so it is not suitable for designs with complex ornaments and small details.
- 3% silver marks the 830th breakdown. It is used to produce inexpensive jewelry and cutlery.
- 800th sample characterized by high strength and high casting quality, because the proportion of silver in the alloy is 80%. The rest is impurities, mainly copper. But it has several significant drawbacks — it quickly oxidizes in the open air and has a copper-yellow color. Therefore, such silver is not used for making jewelry and is easy to distinguish from other types.
Now you know what silver samples are and what value each type has. Therefore, as an advanced client, you will be able to choose among the many silver jewelry pieces that meet the ideal price-quality ratio.