A sample of any precious metal indicates its percentage content in 1000 grams of alloy. Natural silver is characterized by high softness and therefore impurities are added to the material from which various kinds of products are made.
Silver is presented in the following samples:
999 – pure metal;
960 – the highest marking;
925 – the most common, jewelry is made from it;
875 – a sample of household silver;
830 – used for the manufacture of tableware;
800 – used for cutlery.
Silver below 800 marks is not marked and is considered a base metal.
Composition: 80% precious metal; 20% ligature. Positive qualities: high strength; excellent casting qualities. Negative qualities: rapid oxidation; yellowish tint.
Almost similar to 800, but it has a little more precious metal in its composition. These markings are not used in jewelry, but rather go to the manufacture of tableware and cutlery.
It has the following composition: 87.5% noble metal; 12.5% other metals. Advantages: relatively high content of precious metal; low cost of jewelry; high strength. Disadvantages: the inability to perform fine jewelry work (due to increased strength).
The most popular in jewelry. Advantages: pure luster, characteristic of silver; a wide artistic choice; retains its shape well. Disadvantages: softness. The marking 960 Has very similar characteristics to the 925 sample, but practically does not oxidize and does not turn black.
The most popular types of this precious metal are: sterling; gold leaf; filigree; matte; blackened; coin.
Sterling silver – sterling sterling was minted from it in the UK until the advent of the euro. It is marked 925.
Gold leaf is a very thin silver sheet, which usually has the highest sample and is easily fused with various materials. Performs the following functions: protective; anticorrosive; aesthetic. Therefore, this kind of precious material is used for the decoration of church interiors, covering furniture and stucco.
Filigree is held in high esteem by jewelers who make real masterpieces out of it, sometimes thinner than a human hair.
The alloy of such silver has high strength. Blackened – it was once considered a talisman, to which many magical characteristics were attributed. This type of metal is produced with the help of black, which includes lead and copper. They heat up on the surface of silver and give a black tint to the products.
Oxidized – covered with a thin oxide layer, sometimes with an oxide film. These coatings protect the metal from further oxidation.
Matte – covered with a layer of enamel, which gives a very beautiful look to the product. It is famous for its durability.
Coin is an alloy that is used for minting coins. To calculate the cost of silver, depending on the sample, it is necessary to know the price per gram of this precious metal in its pure form.
Each precious metal product is marked, which consists of: state assay stamp; manufacturer's stamp; label. The state stamp is a sample that is placed by the state inspection of assay supervision and can be applied to the product in the following ways: mechanical (impression); modern (laser method or electric spark). The brand changed its appearance: in 1958 they began to depict a hammer and sickle against the background of a star; since 1994 – in the form of a profile of a female head in a cocoanut.
The shape remained the same – a circle and an oblong barrel. The brand of the manufacturer The brand of the manufacturer is a nameplate, put on all precious products must be enclosed in a single contour. It has four capital letters that denote three symbols, namely: the year code (A-2001; B- 2002, and so on); the code of the territorial location of the assay inspection department (for example, L- St. Petersburg, North–Western Inspection); the unit code.
A label is an official document that has dimensions: 25 x 35 and 25 x 50 mm., and information on both sides. It is attached to the product with a seal and thread. According to the legislation, the manufacturer is responsible for all the information that is presented on the label.
The right choice of silver
When buying a precious metal, first of all you need to decide for what purpose this action is being performed, and only then you should follow several rules that will help you make the right choice: it is better to buy silver only in official jewelry stores; check the presence of a sample, an assay stamp without leaving the store; it is better to choose models with the designation "Zinc free" (without zinc), the harmful effect of which has been proven; the most optimal breakdown of the product is 925.
Imitation of silver
Forgeries of this type of precious metal are not as common as gold, but there is still a risk of acquiring a fake. Under the guise of silver, products are offered: with a very low content of this material; jewelry, covered with the thinnest silver layer. If you have doubts about the authenticity of the purchase, then you can check whether the silver is real at home: with the help of heat exposure (silver conducts heat wonderfully and heats up instantly); needle test – carry out on the product with a needle (if authentic, there will be no trace on the product); checking with iodine – getting on a silver surface should not change its color; exposure to chalk – only silver leaves traces on it. Sometimes products made of this noble material change their appearance, this is due to: improper use of jewelry; untimely cleaning;
Rules for wearing silver jewelry: remove items during physical activity and physiotherapy and cosmetic procedures; periodic cleaning of jewelry (on average once a month).
Methods of self-cleaning of products without precious stones:
Using 150 milliliters of soap solution with the addition of a couple of drops of ammonia. After twenty minutes of soaking. Rinse with running water and wipe with a soft cloth;
Rinsing in one liter of soda solution (50 g of soda); Enameled jewelry requires cleaning with a cotton swab soaked in a mixture of tooth powder and a few drops of ammonia. Care for jewelry with stones: a cotton swab is soaked in glycerin or cologne and the stone is gently wiped. Jewelry covered with enamel is wiped with cotton swabs soaked in ammonia and tooth powder.
Cutlery can be cleaned at home: it should be thoroughly washed in water with soda; boil for 15 minutes in water with the addition of foil; silver is placed in a liter of boiling water with the addition of crushed shells from two eggs and kept for twenty minutes; put in potato broth for ten minutes; boil silver in Coca-Cola for five minutes. After all these procedures, the products are washed under running water and moisture is removed with a soft cloth.