How many types of silver are there? (The answer might surprise you)
Silver is one of the most important metals that exists, throughout history it has been used in different situations, an area in which it has stood out more over the years, is in jewelry, however, many People do not know that there are different types of silver with specific functions due to their characteristics. In this blog we will let you know the classification of silver and which is the best to use in your jewelry.
importance of silver
As we have previously analyzed in other blogs, silver is a malleable and easy-to-handle material for the creation of objects and jewelry, but beyond its characteristics, this precious metal has played an essential role in different industries over time.
Thanks to the fact that there are different types of silver, this metal has been known and desired by many, without forgetting that Mexico is the main producer of silver worldwide, in addition to being the metal that is most produced in the country, that is why at Vicari , our models have been inspired by the tradition and history of our beautiful country.
Silver is classified as a precious metal and the cost in the market is high , compared to other metals, added to the fact that it is the best conductor of electricity and heat that is known until today, however, due to its cost, it is not popular In that industry, unlike copper, silver has earned an important place in fine jewelry.
types of silver
Now that you know the importance of this beautiful metal, surely you did not know that there are different types of silver, each one has different uses and characteristics , this classification exists based on the purity of the metal, a factor that increases or decreases its price and quality. Below we explain each of the types in more detail and which is the best silver for your jewelry.
Its composition is 72% silver and the rest is made up of other metals, therefore, its hardness is greater, as we remember that in itself, pure silver is very malleable, but when creating alloys with other metals, silver hardens.
This type of silver is not very common , finding it today is difficult; however, it was popular during the first decades of the 20th century, since its main use was destined to make the coins that were in circulation at that time, since it was a perfect alloy due to its hardness for the commercial use that it fulfilled. Today you can still find those coins as a historical or antique item.
This type of silver is made up of 80% pure silver and the remaining 20% is other metals, commonly it is copper, clearly it is of lower quality due to the type of alloy that it is made of, however, its difference in price with silver Sterling or .925 silver is not much, which is why it is not popular today, as jewelers prefer to use purer alloys.
This type of silver was common in Europe for cultural reasons , especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, such as Germany, the United Kingdom and even the United States, because within the Protestant culture and its new church format, they had a much more austere vision than the church. Catholic, so for them the jewels with purer alloys such as .925 silver were worth the same as this type of silver that in its composition has a higher percentage of non-precious metals.
Second law silver 900 or silver .900
This classification of silver is known as this, because the types of silver in the world of jewelry are classified as first grade , if they are purer in their composition and those of less purity are named as second grade silver. , hence its name. This type of silver is composed of 90% pure silver.
Due to the type of alloy, one of its uses is in ornamental pieces that require hardness or resistance, but at the same time shine, it is also common to see it present in poor quality jewelry, because over time silver tends to turn black with ease.
In the same way, its use in ancient coins was usual , since they were minted with this classification of silver, since in this way they did not lose the engravings of the coin, with the passage of time.
Also known as 925 sterling silver, sterling silver .925 or in English sterling silver, this is the most used silver numbering in the world of jewelry thanks to its alloy, since it is made up of 92.5% pure silver and the rest of silver. a copper alloy. This classification of silver is what we use in all our pieces of Vicari jewelry and we also give them a rhodium finish that further maintains the shine and quality of each piece.
Its main use is in jewelry, since its resistance and alloy allow silver to be preserved over time and the metal to resist, as it has a high level of purity in its composition and thus maintains an elegant white color. and shiny that is similar to .99 silver, making it the perfect type of silver for jewelry.
Argentium Silver or Plated Silver
Another type of silver is silver plated, its composition ranges from 93.5% to 96% pure silver, which is why it is similar to .925 silver, but its main difference is in the use of metals in the alloy to harden the piece, because instead of copper, they use germanium.
The results of the alloy of this type of silver are similar to 925 sterling silver; however, the difference in the use of germanium is that they give the piece a red to violet color, rather than a bright white. However, it is not common to see it present in any piece or jewelry, as it is patented by a British company that discovered this alternative.
950 sterling silver or .950 silver
It is also known as britannia silvers and it is the mixture of 95% silver and 5% copper, it is a purer alloy, because in percentage it is more silver; however, it is softer and that is why its use is not common , since silver by itself tends to undergo changes in its shape easily due to its malleability, that is why this classification of silver is the highest that you will see in elements of use. such as decorations and jewelry and that at the same time is regulated.
Its use is not common due to the nature of the alloy , which is why it is not very popular, but you can see it present in certain jewelry with very elaborate and detailed designs and in some musical instruments.
Britannia silver or .958 silver
Also known as Britannia Silver , it is made up of 95.8% pure silver, mixed with different metals, to increase its rigidity, since due to its high degree of purity it tends to be more malleable.
Due to its composition, it is a type of silver that was used long ago in the manufacture of crockery and kitchen utensils, as it was a status symbol and being fine and purer silver, it retained its color due to the nature of its composition. , despite its daily use with food and our bodies.
This classification of silver is almost the purest state of the metal , since it is composed of 99% pure silver, it is a relatively new alloy and its main use is in the manufacture of coins, because although coins were not made a while ago made of such pure silver, this composition has been the most demanded in recent years for this purpose.
When we talk about the manufacture of coins, in this case we are not referring to those that are in free circulation to pay for products or services, but we are referring to bullion coins, also known as investment coins, these coins are minted only with precious metals, such as gold and silver, since their function is to store the value of the metals that compose them or as a means of tangible investment, some examples are:
- United States American Eagle
- Canadian Maple Leaf
- The Sovereign of England
- The Vienna Philharmonic
This is the purest type of silver that exists, since it comes directly from nature, it is made up of 100% silver, it is not mixed with any other metal, it is mostly forged into ingots.
One of the main characteristics of pure silver is that it is stainless , it may turn black over time, but when cleaned it returns to its shiny state. We can see this type of silver used in ancient times in pocket watches and kitchen items such as old trays or cutlery, as they did not go through hardening processes as is done today.
What is the best silver for jewelry?
Now that you know the different types of silver and the uses that are given to them or have been given to them throughout history , surely you still have the question: What is the best silver? Well, the answer is easy, each type of silver was created with different functions, so you should be guided in the use that is given to it and why the alloy was created to choose the most accurate silver classification.
In the case of jewelry, the best silver is undoubtedly .925 silver, thanks to the fact that the alloy created is stronger, as is the case with all our exclusive pieces. If you choose this type of silver when buying jewelry, these will be its advantages:
- Pieces with greater consistency and durability.
- The jewel will not lose its shine in a short time.
- Its oxidation will take longer.
At Vicari our pieces were made with the highest quality type of silver, ideal for your jewelry to last a long time, be resistant and retain its shine, thanks to our rhodium finish, which allows the pieces to be hypoallergenic . If you want to find the best type of silver in unique and high-end jewelry, Vicari is ideal for you. Meet our online store!