Sterling Silver Information

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Silver Standards

Sterling, at 92.5 percent silver, is just one of the silver standards in us today.  Common standards include the following:

  • Coin Silver.  This is a U.S. standard and is an alloy of 90% silver and 10% copper. 

  • Sterling Silver.  This describes any allow that contains at least 92.5% silver. 

  • Mexican Silver.  This standard from our friends to the south is an allow of 95% silver and 5% other metal(s) -- usually copper.  (Most silver jewelry from Mexico is using the sterling standard these days.)

  • Britannia Silver.  Even more pure than Mexican silver, Britannia silver has no less than 958.4 parts per 1000 silver, and no more than 41.6 parts per 1000 of copper.  Operationally, silver of this quality is marked in the U.K. and Ireland as "958 silver."

  • Fine Silver.  Most of us would rather have a sterling reputation than a fine one, but in the world of silver, "fine silver" is almost as good as it gets.  Fine silver is 999 parts per 1000 of silver.  This level of purity is found in bullion bars bought for the underlying value of the silver, but fine silver is usually too soft to be used in most applications.

The figure below shows graphically the differences among these five standards.  You may click on the image to see a larger version of it.



Index Of Articles

"Silver 101"
"Sources of Silver"

"Sterling Silver Defined'"
"Silver Standards"

"Silver Marks and Hallmarks"

"Silver Testing Kits"

"The Silversmith"
"Silver Coins"

Plating & Treatments

"Silver Plated Jewelry"
"Gold Vermeil Jewelry"
"Rhodium Plated Sterling"
"Antiqued Silver"

Fake Silver Jewelry

"Alpaca Silver Jewelry"
"German Silver Jewelry"

Silver Jewelry Styles

"Bali Silver"
"Indian Silver"
"Thai Hill Tribe Silver"
"Tibetan Silver"
"Turkish Silver"

Silver Allergies

"Silver/Nickel Sensitivities"
"Hypoallergenic Jewelry"

Recent Developments

"Argentium® Sterling Silver"

"Silver PMC®"

"The Origins of Tarnish"

"Tarnish Removal"

"Firescale (Firestain)"

"Proper Silver Storage"

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