How Many Types of Silver Are There?

Silver is one of the most popular metals for wire artists and wire jewelry makers to work with. There are many reasons for this, the key ones being that it provides the jeweler with a combination of an affordable material that is malleable and has pleasing visual qualities. Silver is an excellent background to beads and gemstones, helping to show off the rich color of the materials used. Many beautiful items of jewelry are made using little more than silver wire and beads,

999 (Fine silver used in bullion bars, also known as three nines fine); 980 (common standard used in Mexico ca.1930 – 1945); 958 (equivalent to Britannia silver); 950 (equivalent to “French 1st Standard”); 925 (equivalent to Sterling).

All our Jewelry are made from 999 fine silver or 925 stirling silver.

99.9% Silver
Fine silver is 99.5% silver (literally pure silver) and as such is very soft and malleable. This is great for wire workers who need to bend and work the wire without fear of it cracking through becoming ¡®work hardened¡¯. One other benefit of fine silver is that, because of the high proportion of pure silver, it doesn¡¯t tarnish ¨C again making it ideal for intricate wire-work items that can be difficult to polish.

925 Silver
925 sterling silver jewellery is actually a combination of 92.5% silver and usually 7.5% copper. Sometimes the craftsman replaces copper with another material, or even a combination of materials. Over the last decade lower copper prices and an abundance of copper due to improved refining techniques have made it the first choice of many designers and jewellery stylists.

The beneficial properties gained by adding the copper to the pure silver have made the resulting product extremely popular with a host of silver craftsmen. Earrings, rings, bracelets and all other forms of jewellery can be carefully designed with the assurance that each intricate bend and turn will remain firmly in place.

925 silver is therefore a combination of mostly pure silver and a lower percentage of infused alloy metal. The addition of copper, or occasionally a similar copper-like substitute, helps to enhance your silver jewellery and does not in any way detract from its quality.

It is important to check that your silver jewellery is high quality 925 sterling silver before making a purchase. In the UK nearly all 925 sterling silver jewellery is hallmarked. All of the silver jewellery Purdice sells complies with relevant hallmarking requirements. If you are purchasing in another country, we advise you to check with the regional or national silver jewellery hallmarking body to find out if retailers can sell inferior lower grade silver jewellery without informing you.

Remember that in many countries the 925 hallmark is an assurance to you that your silver is of the highest quality.

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