There are many different types of silver. The number of the different kinds of silver known is by the type and the number of other metals used in the silver alloy.
Therefore, silver is mixed or alloyed with other hard metals. Furthermore, silver is used in many items around us, including popular jewelry and other varieties of antiques.
There are many different types of silver available in the market, and it is good to know the difference between some of these silver.
It is also good to know about some of these other alloys or hard metals because it will help you understand jewelry and antique value and desirability.
Furthermore, silver, when not mixed with any other alloy In its purest form, is too soft for use in jewelry, and if used, it will get damaged easily or change shape easily.
The alloy added with other metals makes it harder and more durable.
All the types of silver are the main constituent in jewelry, so knowing the difference in all these types of jewelry will make you see the value of what you wanted to purchase, making it hard for sellers to sell to you what is not a high price.
It is important to know the different types of silver, especially if you are a lover of jewelry. Know the difference between Argentium silver and Sterling alloy, the types of metals present in a sterling alloy, What a Tibetan silver contains
Here is an article discussing the different types of silver used in jewelry.
Table of Contents
- 1. Fine. 999 Silver
- 2. Sterling .925 Silver
- 2. Argentium Silver
- 3. Coin Silver
- 4. Brittania Silver
- 5. Silver Filled
- 6. Silver Plated
- 7. Nickel Silver
- 8. Tribal Silver
- 9. Bali, Thai or Mexican Silver
1. Fine. 999 Silver
Fine silver is one of the different types of silver, and this fine silver is the closest to pure silver elements.
Getting a stamp with .999 indicates that this type of silver is 99.9% pure with only a 0.1% additional element which is relatively insignificant.
Furthermore, fine silver is not standard because of its characteristics of having only a 0.1% additional element. They are generally vitreous luster than the bright polish of sterling. These types of silver also appear to be dull in color.
They are so soft and easily dents. Because of this type of silver softness, their shape can easily change. However, for this reason, it is less common in jewelry.
Furthermore, aside from all the disadvantages of being so soft, this type of silver is known to be easily formed and fuses with solder.
They are also highly resistant to tarnish, Lustrous, and white. They are also hypoallergenic.
However, fine silver is best for pendants and earrings. Lastly, the stamp for fine silver is .999 or .999Fs.
2. Sterling .925 Silver
Sterling silver is one of the different types of silver. This type of silver is the most common silver alloy, which was common for centuries.
It’s the most standard of all the silver alloys in the world. Furthermore, this silver alloy is 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper.
Other metals like Nickel can be used. The alloy is added to the silver to increase the hardness of the material so that it will be more durable.
Furthermore, sterling silver is the standard of quality jewelry in the united state. Sterling silver is Lustrous, shiny, and very reflective.
However, sterling silver tends to tarnish quickly, changes color, and darkens easily. This type of silver has this cons because of the 7.5 percent copper content in its alloy.
But, they are generally easy to clean, and the tarnish can be cleaned off in some instances.
The type of sterling is durable and wearable, and also hypoallergenic.
The mark for sterling silver is .925 or .925STG. However, some older marks are STG, OR STERLING, Or STER.
2. Argentium Silver
Argentium silver is a type of silver that is relatively new to the market. These alloys are at least 92.5 percent silver, and the rest is copper, and the Germanium element is part.
Germanium element increases the strength of the alloy, making it harder and resistant to tarnish.
Furthermore, this type of silver is a modern silver alloy. The silver alloy is essentially more durable and tarnish-resistant than sterling silver, and this type of silver is also a brand.
However, being a brand, only an authorized jeweler can use this type of silver, the Argentium stamp which features a flying unicorn.
However, a non-tarnish alloy can be tarnished under extreme conditions, and they are generally less maintained than sterling silver. The price of Argentium silver is also higher than sterling silver.
Furthermore, this Argentium silver is hard to differentiate from sterling silver because the mark of Argentium silver is .925, the same as the sterling silver mark.
However, Argentium silver is a brand type of silver, but some producers can request permission to use the Argentium Label.
3. Coin Silver
In the past, coin silver was the standard and the most common type of silver in the united state. This type of silver is now rare to find, and sterling silver has become the standard.
Coin silver contains 90 percent pure silver, with the rest of the alloy being copper. Furthermore, coin silver is technically .900 silver and 10% copper.
Coins silver is very similar to sterling silver, with the only difference being the amount of pure silver in the compound.
Furthermore, the name-giving to this type of silver is misleading because this alloy was not the ingredient used to make coins back in the day. It got its name when some metalsmith made items from melted-down scrap coin metal.
This type of silver is with a stamp that usually comes with a certificate of authenticity.
4. Brittania Silver
This type of silver is stamped at .958, meaning 95.8 percent of silver mixed with 4.2 percent copper. Brittania silver is best for jewelry and silverware.
They generally have the same quality as sterling silver, but the only difference is that they are of a high percentage of silver than sterling silver.
Furthermore, because of its high percentage of silver, they are softer than sterling silver.
5. Silver Filled
Silver filled is one of the different types of silver made from a new layered metal when there is a surge in silver prices during a recession. This type of silver is not an alloy because metal content is not the same quantity throughout the material.
Furthermore, silver filled is similar in characteristics to gold-filled metals. But in terms of value, it sits between sterling silver and silver plated. Silver-filled metals generally contained at least 5 to 10 % silver bonded onto the base metal.
After the surge in the silver-filled market during the recession, the price of silver has now come down, making it incredibly hard to find these days.
However, silver-filled jewelry is difficult to maintain as it tarnishes quickly, and on the bright side, it is less expensive than sterling silver.
6. Silver Plated
Silver-plated is a type of silver with a very thin silver plate later on the surface. This type of silver, the amount of silver used in plating it, is so tiny and almost negligible. However, it is perfect for use in inexpensive costume jewelry, but it doesn’t last long.
Furthermore, the silver played will wear over time, exposing the metal beneath the plated silver compound.
This type of silver is affordable and suitable for costume jewelry. The cons are that they are not durable, and they are with little silver and not hypoallergenic.
7. Nickel Silver
This is a type of silver that is best for costume jewelry. From the name, Nickel silver is primarily from Nickel or zinc. These types of silver are generally cheap because their metal does not contain real silver.
Furthermore, this type of silver has a lot of other names like silver or silver in Alpaca. They are very soft and perform excellent metalwork.
Generally, many people think nickel silver is a silver alloy but contains 60% copper, 20% zinc, and 20% nickel.
Nickel silver can be very bright and similar in appearance to sterling silver, and it can also be easily shaped and crafted into elaborate designs.
However, the cons are that they are not hypoallergenic, not silver, and sometimes marketed as genuine sterling silver.
8. Tribal Silver
Tribal silver is one of the different types of silver that are base metal alloys that is only silver in appearance, and this type of silver contains no silver at all.
Furthermore, the jewelry made with tribal silver should be bought with caution because some metals contain dangerous metals such as lead.
Furthermore, tribal silver is very beautiful and inexpensive. The cons are that they can contain dangerous metals as early stated, they may also not contain any silvers as stated above. Thye have low durability and are not hypoallergenic.
9. Bali, Thai or Mexican Silver
This type of silver comes from Bali, Thailand, and Mexico. Furthermore, this type of silver is with a quality stamp. There are much lower silver alloy grades from these three countries: Thailand, Bali, and Mexico.
Knowing the types of silver in jewelry when buying jewelry can sometimes be very difficult, which is why this article was written to make you understand some of the differences in silver worldwide.
In conclusion, you can test silver using x-ray testing in the laboratory or wet chemical analysis or assay. This wet chemical analysis or assay is the best way of testing the silver content of jewelry.