Silver & Sterling Silver
By Rubina Posh November 08,2017
In short, Silver is a soft greyish metal with 99.9% purity, whereas Sterling Silver is a mixture of 92.5% Pure Silver with 7.5% of another metal.
Silver is on the precious metal spot price list together with gold, platinum, palladium & rhodium.
Silver (Ag) is a light grey precious metal and is 99.99% pure. The remaining 0.01% is a mineral/metal that has been picked up while forming in the ground. In its original state it is soft. This makes it difficult to work with. To make silver harder and more stretchable and bendable, it is usually mixed with other metals.
Pure silver is mixed with gold to produce a white gold material.
Sterling silver is the result of mixing pure silver with another metal.
This mixture includes one or more of the following metals: copper, steel, iron & germanium, but can also include other metals.
The surface of the Sterling Silver item discolours over time. To prevent this, Rhodium is used as a plating, however, the item will need to be replated overtime.
Generally, 92.5% of pure silver is used with the remaining 7.5% being another metal. In some cases, the quantities can vary depending on the purpose and function of the item.
925 is the most common mark we come across, but other marks are also used.
Below is a list of the markings:
835 – 83.5% pure silver with 16.5% another metal
900 – 90% pure silver with 10% another metal – used in the US
925 – 92.5% pure silver with 7.5% another metal – used in jewellery & silverware
935 – 93.5% pure silver with 6.5% another metal – Argentium Silver
960 – 95.8% pure silver with 4.2% another metal – Britannia Silver – mainly used in
silver tableware & wrought plate (handmade silver plates hammered into shape)
Apart from jewellery and household utensils & tableware, silver is used in the industrial field, automotive & medical fields & as an investment, amongst other things.