• 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 (we always used EcoSilver, which is recycled, wherever possible), this Guardian Article explains some of the problems of mining silver. 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. Our bead cores and inserts are made with EcoSilver (sterling) and sometimes we need to use sterling silver bezel cups on our 935 rings, depending on availability.
  • 935 Antitarnish 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 we use for our ring shanks and domed headpins is Argentium silver and our Silversmith is a recognised Argentium partner. Our cast items, such as the 10mm heart bezel cups are cast in a combination of Argentium silver scrap and another 935 “white silver” alloy. Our 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 and because we 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.

  • Silver Hallmarks, 925 Stamping and Descriptions

    • Silver Hallmarks
      In the UK, according to the Hallmarking Act 1973, individual items made of solid silver must be hallmarked if they are equal to or above 7.78g in weight. If you have a 7g pendant and a 5g chain then neither need to be hallmarked so long as they can be separated without the use of tools. None of the items available from our Silversmith at the time of writing are 7.78g in weight or higher, so are not required to be hallmarked. 
    • 925 and 935 Stamping
      Solid silver items can be stamped as a guide to the metal purity, this is not required! 
      A 925 or 935 stamp is optional and different to a hallmark. As we’ve noted above, a 925 stamp is not a guarantee that an item is solid silver! Any item that is 92.5% silver or higher can be stamped 925 as a guide to the purity of the metal. We prefer to stamp our antitarnish silver items, when possible, with a 935 stamp, as a guide to the purity, but they can equally be stamped 925.