The Precious Metal Silver
Silver is an important precious metal, and has been used by ancient civilizations throughout history as a second to Gold in importance and value. Like Gold, it has always been used as a monetary standard, and ancient silver ornaments and silverware dating back centuries have been found throughout the world.
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Silver is very malleable
, and is very easy to work with.
However, it is poorly resistant to pressure and easily bends. For this
reason, silver is alloyed
with other metals to increase its toughness
Silver jewelry, ornaments, and silverware are traditionally made from Sterling Silver
. Sterling Silver is an alloy
composed of 92.5% silver and the remainder 7.5% other metal
s, usually copper. Items made from Sterling Silver are usually engraved with the letters 925, which indicates that it is 92.5% silver.
Sterling Silver is harder and more durable than pure
Silver. Sterling Silver jewelry is sometimes plated with an extremely thin layer of pure silver to provide an extra shine. Vermeil
, which is used in jewelry, is Sterling Silver coated with a thin layer of Gold
or occasionally Platinum
. It is an inexepensive alternative to those valuable metals it is coated with.
Silver is notorious for its habit of tarnish
ing. Fresh Silver has a
bright-metallic-white color, but almost invariably turns yellowish to
blackish upon continuous exposure to air. This is caused by a chemical reaction of
the silver to sulfur compound
s present in the atmosphere. The only way
to prevent this effect is to glaze the silver with an anti-tarnish coat.
Silver should also be kept away from eggs, which are rich in sulfur.
Tarnished silver can easily be restored to its original color by using tarnish-removing chemicals that are readily available.
Silver is fashioned into rings, bracelets, earrings, necklaces and other jewelry figures. However, the bulk of silver goes towards use as ornamental utensils. Goblets, candelabras, cutlery, trays, dishes, and, of course, silverware, are just some examples of what Silver is made into. Silver has also been used in coinage since the earliest of times.
Treatments & Enhancements
Silver jewelry and ornaments are always alloyed
with other metal
s to increase durability. Sterling Silver (the most widespread form of silver used) is 92.5% silver, with the remainder 7.5% copper and/or other metals.
The Precious Metal Silver Sources
The largest Silver producers are Peru, Mexico, China, Australia, Chile, Poland, Russia, the U.S. (Colorado and Michigan), and Canada (Ontario).
can closely resembles untarnish
ed silver. However, Platinum is harder and does not tarnish. Some cheap alloy
s of iron and zinc are sometimes made to resemble silver, but can be easily distinguished.
The Precious Metal Silver in the Rough Photos
The Precious Metal Silver Jewelry Photos