Silver is a widespread metal used in making jewelry. Many assume that all silver jewelry are the same, that is however not the case. Silver itself is a soft metal and cannot be used in its purest form to make jewelry. It is mixed with various metals to prepare silver alloys and then used in jewelry making. Below are few common types of silver used in making jewelry.
- Fine or .999 Silver
This is 99.9% pure silver, and the purest form of silver that is used in jewelry-making business. However this silver is delicate and prone to getting dents and scratches. Thus .999 silver is not usually the preferred form for making jewelry.
- Sterling Silver or .925 Silver
This is the most common alloy of silver used in making jewelry. It contains 92.5% of pure silver and 7.5% is some other metal, mostly copper. Sterling silver is a hardened form of silver and is highly durable, as well as widely available. Leading wholesale sterling silver jewelry shops have their jewelry embossed with hallmarks and stamps denoting their genuineness.
- Argentium Silver
This alloy of silver too is 92.5% of pure silver, combined with either copper or germanium. In some cases, it can also be up to 96% of silver. Argentium silver is much more resistant to getting tarnished than sterling silver. However it can be hard to make out the difference between sterling and argentium silver as they both bear the .925 markings.
- Nickel Silver
Now this type of metal has only the silver appearance and no content of silver in it. It is an alloy made of copper, nickel and zinc. It is most commonly known as German silver in the market.
- Silver Plated
This form of jewelry only has a very thin layer of silver layer on top of some other metal. It is generally inexpensive costume jewelry.