Abstract: Silver is still very popular as a precious metal for making Jewelry and other silver ornamental objects because of its durability and malleability. For a buyer or jeweller it is important to note the hallmark of a Jewelry item and the international convention used to describe the content of silver in jewellery and decorative items.
Silver has been in use since prehistoric times. It was one of the earliest metals discovered by human beings, together with gold, copper, lead and iron.
Silver objects dated back as early as before 4000 BC in Greece and later in Anatolia in Turkey. Silver artefact have also been found in the Sumerian City of Kish as far back as 3000BC. Silver ingots were used as a medium of exchange as far back as the Han Dynasty (960 – 1279) and were a mean to hoarding wealth.
Silver is an extremely soft, ductile and malleable metal with a brilliant white metallic lustre that is capable of taking a high polish.
Hence, silver has been used in making Jewelry, coins, ornaments, objects of art, decorative items and a host of other goods for the last few thousand years.
Silver in its purest form would be too soft for making coins, jewellery or other ornamental objects and there must be an alloy in small proportions to make it hard. Jewelry as crafted from precious metals is often stamped with a hall mark to indicate the precious metal content of the object. Hence, if you are a buyer for fashionable jewellery items it will serve you well to understand the international notion for silver hall mark on the item.
One has to note the following international conventions in the marking of silver bullion, jewellery or other objects de arc made from silver.
Fine silver is composed of 999.9 of pure silver and the 0.1 in parts of each 1000, the alloy is usually copper. This is usually made into silver bullion.
Sterling Silver is composed of 92.5% of fine silver with the remaining part as other alloy. Hence, one can only call a jewellery item as Sterling Silver if it is marked as 925 as its hallmark.
The number marking represents the amount of silver content in the object. A 950 marking indicates that it has a silver content of 950 per 1000, as in Britania Silver. Or a 900 marking as in some silver manufactured coins.
Other items sold as silver without any silver mark but represented as silver indicates the silver content as otherwise.
By far, Tiffany & Co., the all American brand name in Jewelry and other silver ornamental objects, creates fine silver Jewelry. Its prime anchor outlet retail store at the 5th Avenue, New York City is one of the most prominent up-market Jewelry store in the United States of America.
A simple bracelet of Sterling Siler (0.925 silver purity) sells at a premium at Tiffany & Co., and together with its turquoise packaging box remains one of the most loved American brand.
The international price of silver trades at around US$14.50 to $19.50 for year to-date of 2019. Silver is still very much in vogue for making Jewelry items as its cost is much less than gold.
Source & Photo Credit: marksteeljewelry.com, tiffany.com, hsn.com, Wikipedia.com