Sterling silver is composed of 92.5% silver alloyed with
copper to strengthen it.
Silver has one
of the highest reflectivities of any metal, giving it unmatched brilliance, making
it perfect for jewelry designs. Silver
also has extremely
high electrical conductivity and thermal conductivity. Despite all these wonderful
properties silver is relatively abundant and easy to extract from ore, so it is,
at the same time, relatively affordable making it ideal for jewelry that will appeal
to a wide audience.
At various time
in history silver
was even more
valued than gold and had a mystical allure to it, often being associated with the
sea, moon and lunar goddesses. Hallmarking of silver places
a stamped mark on the silver to identify its origin and purity
and is often an important part of determining the value of a collectible piece.
There are other
alloys of silver
with a higher
content of silver
than sterling. Mexican and Brittania silver each
have about 95% silver.
Coin silver on the other hand typically has only 90%
of sterling silver
can be a burdensome
task, which is why much of the
manufactured today has various types of anti-tarnish finishes ranging from a flash
overlay of pure silver, waxes, proprietary coatings
and the currently very popluar rhodium plating. Rhodium in fact is a much more expensive
raw material, but does not have quite the high brilliance of silver, however its superior anti-tarnish property outweigh
its lower reflectivity value.
and Cleaning of Silver Jewelry
Some silver jewelry is treated to resist tarnishing.
jewelry is supposed
to tarnish (patina) to give it an antique look. But, if
jewelry is not
tarnish proof, you may want to wrap it in tissue paper with anti-tarnish strips.
Cleaning silver jewelry may be done with a polishing cloth
and cream that may be purchased in any jewelry store, jewelry department and in most
drug stores. A cleaning dip may be used on jewelry that does not contain stones,
CZ's, glass, leather, etc.
Try to limit
jewelry to exposure
to salt water (ocean), body fragrances, soap and household cleaners or chemicals.
Do not wear in hot tubs or pools. Some people have a skin chemistry that can turn silver black. This is particularly difficult
Web Site © 2001-2015