In the silver jewelry business, you need to understand the different types of silver used to make jewelry. Knowing this enables you to answer customers’ questions with facts and get the right silver quality that meets your expectations.
It also helps you understand what you’re dealing with, making you ahead of the game in the market. But what are the types of silver used for making jewelry?
1. Fine Silver
Fine silver is one of the types of silver used to make jewelry. It’s the type of silver closest to pure silver and has a 999 hallmark which shows its 99.9% pure silver.
The fine silver is a bit dull and grayer than sterling silver. However, it’s softer and prone to scratch or bends, changing its shape easily.
The advantage of choosing jewelry made of fine silver is that it doesn’t tarnish quickly. You can use it to make jewelry like earrings and necklaces.
2. Sterling Silver
Another type of silver you can use as a jewelry designer (designer joaillier)material to make jewelry is sterling silver. It contains 92.5% silver, and the other 7.5% is copper or other metals like nickel.
It’s the highest quality of silver recognized in the USA and the common type of silver popular in most world markets for making silver jewelry.
The hallmarks of sterling silver are 925, 92.5, or .925. What makes sterling silver a preferred choice for making jewelry is the other metals added to it that makes it stronger and durable. It’s harder or stronger than fine silver, which allows withstanding falls.
3. Coin Silver
Coin silver is also used to make jewelry. It contains 90% silver and 10% copper. The name coin silver doesn’t mean it’s used to make coins.
Instead, it means it was made from refined scrap coins. Note that coin silver is currently not common in the market. But the jewelry made of coin silver has a hallmark of .900.
4. Nickel Silver
Nickel silver is also another type of silver used to make jewelry. However, nickel silver is not real silver as it contains copper mixed with nickel or zinc. The word silver is used to refer to its color. The advantage of using this metal to make jewelry is it’s easy to shape into different designs.
It’s also durable and inexpensive. It’s popularly used to make costume jewelry and is highly reactive to the skin.
5. Argentium Silver and Non-Tarnish Alloys
The Argentium silver and non-tarnish alloys are newer in the market. The Argentium silver alloys are made to be stronger and tarnish-resistant than sterling silver.
It also has a higher percentage of silver than sterling silver. The two grades of Argentium silver have 93.2% and 96% silver. But some of these alloys contain 92.5% silver and bear the 925 hallmarks as of sterling silver.
The non-tarnish alloys that are alloyed with this type of silver include copper and germanium, which make it harder and easy to clean and maintain.