Human beings have been adorning themselves with jewels for thousands of years. Jewelry is one of the eldest archeological artifacts. Ancient Egypt is where it all began thousands of years ago. Since then, so much has changed, but some practices remain the same.
Jewelry makes a statement, highlights status, and indicates personal style. Silver, for instance, is used in making these pieces. It is highly malleable and reflective as well, which makes it an ideal raw material for making designer silver jewelry. This includes rings, anklets, bracelets, earrings, and plenty more besides.
Jewelry can be mass-produced in a plant, but it can also be forged from the comfort of your home. Below, we will look at the various kinds of silver that are used in the manufacture of jewelry pieces.
Types of Silver Used in Jewelry Making
Fine .999 Silver
Fine .999 Silver is the nearest metal to the unadulterated silver element. It is described as .999, representing 99.9% purity. Fine silver appears duller in comparison to the bright polish of sterling silver.
Fine silver is lax and will scratch, dent and bend shape reasonably easy. This is why fine silver jewelry is not as common as sterling silver jewelry since the pieces are not durable. The advantage of fine silver is that it is easy to forge, and it is highly impervious to tarnish.
Sterling .925 Silver
Sterling silver is the quality standard of jewelry in most world markets, making it the most known of the kinds of Silver used in jewelry. Sterling silver is an alloy consisting of 92.5% pure silver. The residual 7.5% usually is copper, though other elements such as nickel are at times used as well.
The other elements add strength, durability, and shine to the silver. Sterling silver is shiny but very prone to tarnish. Although sterling silver is tougher than fine silver, it is still reasonably lax compared to many other metals.
With regard to this type, silver defines the color of the metal and not the content. Nickel silver is a base metal alloy entailing of mostly copper coupled with nickel and/or zinc.
It is a cheap base metal that is comparable in appearance to sterling silver. Nickel silver is used in clothing jewelry but should be evidently marked and labeled as a nickel alloy since many individuals are allergic to nickel.
Tibetan silver is also known as Tribal Silver, is a base metal alloy that has a silver appearance. The insides of this alloy tremendously vary and may lack silver entirely.
Some of these come from mysterious lands and can contain hazardous metals such as lead, so be careful when purchasing. However, the pieces can be attractive, so buy for the design and not for the quality of the metal.
Argentium silver comprises much cleaner than sterling and is available in two grades: 93.2% or 96% purity. This is coupled with copper and germanium, which makes the metal more robust, more resistant to discolor, easier to clean and maintain.
Because this is a brand, only sanctioned jewelers can use the Argentium stamp, which features a flying unicorn. Argentium silver is nickel-free and hypoallergenic, but it also costs more than most other silver alloys.
Silver-filled is parallel in features to gold-filled metals. In terms of worth, it sits somewhere between sterling and Silver coated.
Silver-filled is not an alloy but rather a kind of coating that contains a denser layer of silver. Silver-filled jewelry is difficult to preserve as it discolors quickly. However, on the bright side, it’s cheaper than sterling silver.
To sum it all up, silver jewelry can be forged from various types of silver. The wearer is the one who decides the kind of silver they want on their jewelry, depending on their price point and the type of shine they wish for their pieces.