Silver

A large variety of precious metals are used in the jewellery trade, but silver will always remain a classic addition to any jewellery collection. It is the most reflective metal, so can be polished into a higher sheen than other white metals.

 

Pure silver, aka Fine Silver is 999.99/1000 pure and will melt at 1761 degrees F (961 degrees C), while sterling melts at 1434 degrees F (779 degrees C) and the flow point is 1655 degrees F (902 degrees C). That kind of purity makes it too soft for molding into everyday products. In order for silver to be hard enough and suitable for arts and crafts, alloying with other metallic components is a must. On the other hand for all creation that needs a certain flexibility like Italian Fashion's weaving technique, Fine Silver is easier to work with. 
 The majority of silver used today is  Sterling Silver, which is made up of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metal. Although any metal can make up the 7.5 percent non-silver portion of sterling, centuries of experimentation have shown copper to be its best companion, improving the metal's hardness and durability without affecting its beautiful colour. The small amount of copper added to sterling has very little effect on the metal's value. Instead, the price of the silver item is affected by the labour involved in making the item, the skill of the craftsperson, and the intricacy of the design. A marking of "925" can be visibly noted engraved onto either the backside or the inside of each piece.

Coin silver melts at a slightly lower temperature than sterling because it has more copper alloy in it; usually any where for 10 to 20 percent of it is an alloy.

 

Silver also makes the ideal gift for any occasion, from holidays to birthdays. You can have a piece engraved with the recipient’s name, or even have a special design made for a more personal touch. Although items of jewellery made purely from silver look stunning, you can also experiment with items inset with precious stones.

 

Caring For Silver Jewellery

With proper care, your fine quality silver will last a lifetime. To minimize scratches and other damage, store your silver jewellery either in a cloth pouch or in a separate compartment in your jewellery box. 

 

Avoid exposing your silver to household chemicals when cleaning with bleach or ammonia, or when swimming in chlorinated water, as these chemicals can damage silver.

 

Although wearing your silver jewellery often is the best way to prevent tarnish from building up, regular cleanings of all your silver items will prevent tarnish and keep your silver bright and sparkling. Silver reacts to sulphides in the air. And while tarnish on some items helps to enhance it and give it a more distinguished look, silver can easily be cleaned, restoring its shine. To keep your jewellery in stunning condition, use a silver dip or polish on a regular basis and buff it with a soft cloth.