Types of Silver

Types of Silver

  • Silver Plated
    You will notice that the pieces look beautiful at first but the silver will eventually start to wear away or flake off. Silver is applied in a very thin layer on top of a cheaper metal, such as bronze or copper, and when it wears off you’re left with the base metal which will usually discolour a customer’s skin and look like it’s rusting or going pink. These pieces are certainly more affordable and some of you may not mind receiving them, so long as you are aware and I am clearly honest about the metal type. Please be sure to read ALL of the product descriptions.
  • 925 Sterling Silver
    Probably the world’s most common “solid silver” is sterling silver. It’s compromised of 92.5% pure silver, the other 7.5% is usually copper. The copper is added to pure silver to strengthen it (silver is quite a soft metal). It is less expensive than some other kinds of silver but is easy to work with, readily available, and strong. The drawbacks include ethical concerns about the way the silver was gathered.
    Sterling silver is notorious for being prone to firescale (a discolouration that occurs during brazing or soldering) and tarnishing/going black or green on a customer’s skin. The bead cores and inserts we are using are made with EcoSilver (sterling) and sometimes we need to use sterling silver bezel cups on our 935 rings, depending on availability. 
  • 935 Anti-tarnish Silver (Argentium or White Silver)
    Silver with a purity of at least 93.5% silver mixed with other white metals (not nickel) and some copper is known as 935 silver. The silver for our ring shanks and domed headpins is Argentium silver and our supplier is a recognised Argentium partner. The cast items, such as the 10mm heart bezel cups are cast in a combination of their own Argentium silver scrap and another 935 “white silver” alloy.

    The solid silver items are therefore generally more tarnish resistant than sterling silver, but they do still contain copper and can occasionally tarnish depending on the way they are worn (see below) and because they use sterling silver bezel cups and solder paste.

    We like to use this 935 silver because it’s ethical, brighter and shinier than sterling silver, less prone to tarnish and easier to work with.

  • A word of warning – many cheap findings from China will be “925 stamped”, but that doesn’t guarantee they are actually 925 silver! If in doubt, scratch a bit off in an inconspicuous area and leave it in water to see how it reacts.

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