Silver is one of the oldest metals used in jewelry and today, it still ranks among the most popular forms of jewelry in the high-end market. The brightness, brilliant color and extreme softness of silver made it an obvious choice for artisans to work with in making decorative materials going back to the Egyptian civilization. Silver jewelry dating back to 3,000BCwas found in ruins from the ancient Sumerian city of Ur which is now in modern-day Turkey.
Over time, jewelers have worked with different forms of this beautiful metal to make magnificent jewelry. If you have an interest in buying silver jewelry today, this article highlights some of the main forms of silver metal you will find in the market. Keep reading.
Why the Different Forms of Silver Metal?
Now, silver is a brilliant metal but it has one flaw and that’s its softness. Over the years, silver users have discovered that the metal despite its beauty and glamour cannot make durable jewelry. For this reason, jewelers use a mixture of natural silver and another metal to strengthen it.
Silver alloys do not compromise on the beauty of the original metal but instead, add to its strength and durability. If you want to buy silver jewelry, you have to learn about these alloys to guarantee you make an informed choice. Most importantly, make sure any silver jewelry you buy comes with a hallmark or a stamp which proves it is not a fake.
1. Sterling Silver Jewelry
The most common form of silver jewelry in the market is Sterling Silver Jewelry also called Sterling .925 Silver. This is a silver composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% other another stronger metals in most cases copper. The copper metal adds to the strength of original silver and makes it one of the most durable forms of jewelry in the market. It is a versatile material and you can now find trendy jewelry in the market to suit your style. You can now buy sterling silver jewelry wholesale to upgrade your collection and make significant savings.
2. Argentium Silver and Non-Tarnish Alloys
Natural silver also has a problem of tarnishing but you can now avoid this by buying non-tarnish silver. It Non-Tarnish Alloys consists of 93.5% silver and a combination of copper and metalloid germanium. The material germanium is popular in jewelry making as it makes the silver alloy harder and tarnish-resistant.
3. Coin Silver Jewelry
A popular form of silver jewelry created from refined scrap coins. It is made up of 90% silver and 10% copper. Silver coins are now collectibles and jewelry makers get the silver from these coins to make beautiful jewelry.
4. Silver Filled Jewelry
A form of jewelry made up of either 5% or 10% sterling silver by weight. While it is an alloy, it is more of layered metal and does not come with an approval stamp.
5. Fine .999 Silver
If you are in the market for pure silver jewelry, the closest you will come is Fine .999 Silver. In the market, it is possible to find jewelry that has 99.9% silver. The rest of the content contains trace elements and not another metal mixture. This metal is brittle and thus best used for earrings and necklaces which are not prone to scratches and dents.
6. Silver Plated Jewelry
In this type of jewelry, you have a base metal product which then has an extremely thin plating layer of silver applied to the surface. This type of jewelry is affordable but easy to tarnish and wear out. It has no hallmark and standardization.
7. Nickel Silver/ German Silver
In this type of silver jewelry, you do not have any silver content. Instead, you have a base metal alloy of copper with nickel andor zinc which in appearance looks like silver hence the term. It is a cheap alternative to sterling silver jewelry and must have a mark for the nickel content because this metal causes allergic reactions in some people.
8. Tibetan or Tribal Silver
This type of jewelry doesn’t contain silver but contains base metal alloys that give it an appearance of real silver jewelry. While Tibetan jewelry pieces are beautiful, you have to be cautious when buying because they might contain dangerous metals such as lead.
9. Bali, Thai or Mexican Silver Jewelry
Bali, Thailand and Mexico remain a major source of silver and in the market; jewelry made from this type of silver is marked as Bali, Thailand and Mexico silver jewelry.
There is so much to learn about brilliant silver jewelry but armed with this information, you can now go on and buy any beautiful piece you love.