The Sterling Silver Story
By Sam Serio
Silver is the most common of the Precious Metals. Its working
qualities are very similar to gold. Pure silver, which is seldom used for jewelry because
it is too soft. Silver weighs about half as much as gold and has greater flexibility.
Though silver is not as malleable as gold it can achieve a more brilliant polish. In fact,
silver shines above all other metals in this respect.
Silver has been used for many centuries, going back to ancient times,
but because it tarnishes and decomposes; it has not survived as well as gold.
Periodically, however, silver enjoys great popularity as it does currently.
As far as the price goes, silver generally lags behind gold by about
four or five times. The price of silver jewelry follows the price of gold jewelry,
however, so as gold rises, silver inevitably does too.
The words silver or sterling silver describe a product that contains
92.5% silver. Silver products sometimes may be marked 925, which means that 925 parts per
thousand are pure silver. Some jewelry may be described as silver plate: a layer of silver
is bonded to a base metal. The mark "coin silver" is used for compounds that
contain 90% silver.