how much silver does it contains?
Fine Silver is defined as 99.9% pure silver, with no other metals. Fine silver is very soft, but because it has less copper or other metal content, it doesnt tarnish as quickly as sterling silver. Jewellery pieces made from Art Clay Silver or PMC (precious metal clay) when fired or kilned produces fine silver that is 99.9% pure silver and can be stamped 999 silver.
Britannia Silver is pure silver content to 95.85% and not more then 4.16% copper. It was put in place by William III in 1697 as a way to limit the number of sterling silver coins that were being melted down and re-cast into other pieces by silversmiths.
Mexican Silver must have more then 90% pure silver to be Mexican silver. Most silver jewellery from Mexico today is sterling silver.
Sterling Silver is the most commonly used alloy by silversmiths because the proportions are perfect for design and strength. Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and usually mixed with 7.5% copper. Sterling silver can be stamped 925. It is far superior to silver plate and will not rub off, or cause skin rashes or reactions and generally if well looked after, your sterling silver pieces will last a very long time. Sterling silver does need to be looked after as silver tarnishes over time, but the good news is the shine can be restored with a silver cleaner or polish.
Silver Plate occurs when a base metal such as nickel is covered with just a layer of pure silver. This is why silver plate or SP costs a lot less then sterling silver because the actual percentage of pure silver in the jewellery is quite low, often as little as 5% of a piece will be silver. Over time the coating of silver will wear away and the base metal will start to show through and the only way for this to be restored is to pay to have the pieces re-plated, which can prove to be costly.
Vermeil is simply gold plate on sterling silver.
Nickel Silver / German Silver / Alpaca is a combination of nickel, copper and zinc but does not actually contain any silver at all, but resembles silver. It can sometimes be used as a basis for silver plated items because of its appearance.
Bali Silver genuine Bali silver is made entirely by hand, including the weighing, melting and mixing of the 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. Balinese silver should have a minimum of 92.5% silver which makes it equal to sterling silver. However as these beads are not hallmarked it is very much a case of caveat emptor - let the buyer beware.
Karen Hill Tribe Silver genuine Karen Hill tribe silver is between 99.5% and 99.9% pure silver, and like Bali silver is completely handmade by the Karen tribe in Thailand, it has a higher silver content then sterling silver. Its usually just the solder used to fuse together the silver components together that make up the last fractions of a percent.
Tibetan Silver used to have a higher silver content a decade or two ago, as much as sterling silver quality, these days cheaper reproductions from far eastern factories have gradually diluted it down and now only small quantities or no quantity of silver are found.
Silvertone is just silver coloured metal which will not contain any silver at all.
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