Thursday, March 11, 2010
What's Silver All About?
Silver used in fine jewelry varies in its purity and tarnish resistance. Fine silver is 99.9% silver, Thai Hill Tribe silver is 95-99% silver, and sterling silver is 92.5% silver. As the purity of the silver decreases, the problem of corrosion or tarnishing increases.
Fine silver is very bright and highly tarnish resistant compared to sterling silver. It is softer than sterling silver and, in wire form, is used for crochet work and wire wrapping. Fine silver can also be seen in items made of precious metal clay (PMC) which is shaped and heated to form a solid metal.
Sterling silver is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. Argentium silver is a variety of sterling that replaces copper with germanium for increased tarnish resistance.