November 28, 2020

Sterling Silver: Beautiful and at a price to suit every pocket

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Sterling silver is a material that is very popular because it is beautiful as any precious metal and can be used for a variety of purposes, fitting to use form almost any event, and comes in many different quality levels and prices range, even the most affordable. Some people even use sterling silver beads to create their own unique jewelry.

Sterling silver is commonly referred to as pure silver but in reality it is silver alloy. Pure silver, as the name denotes, is 99.9 percent pure silver and because of this it is often too soft for any type of application or use. Sterling silver on the other hand has 92.5 percent silver and the excess 7.5 percent is usually of another metal – very often in the form of copper. This gives it strength while preserving its ductility and beauty. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925.

Other metals can replace the copper, usually with the intent to improve various properties of the basic sterling alloy such as reducing casting porosity, eliminating firescale, and increasing resistance to tarnish. These replacement metals include germanium, zinc and platinum, as well as a variety of other additives, including silicon and boron. A number of alloys, such as Argentium sterling silver, have appeared in recent years, formulated to lessen firescale or to inhibit tarnish, and this has sparked heavy competition among the various manufacturers, who are rushing to make claims of having the best formulation. However, no one alloy has emerged to replace copper as the industry standard, and alloy development is a very active area. [Source: Wikipedia]

Over the years, some countries developed systems of hallmarking silver. The purpose of hallmark application is many fold:

• To indicate the purity of the silver alloy used in the manufacture or hand-crafting of the piece.

• To identify the silversmith or company that made the piece.

• To note the date and/or location of the manufacture or tradesman.

There are various things that can be done with sterling silvers, for instance in producing fine tableware like utensils, knives, silver trays, forks, spoons, coffee and tea sets. But the most remarkable application of Sterling silver is in the creation of various jewelry pieces.

The beaded silver necklace is one jewelry piece that is very popular around the world and a favorite choice of shoppers almost anywhere. The sterling silver beads enhance the beauty of the necklace so even from a distance you would be captivated by it.

How to Take Care of Your Sterling Silver:

Many people find that making your own jewelry is a creative way to get things done and save money at the same time. Many popular clothing and jewelry fashion lines started by someone who set out to make his own clothing or jewelry and because of success continued to make it as a business. Naturally there is a lot of fun making your own jewelry items and some times great pride in using them. You can make your own necklaces and bracelets out of sterling silver bead.

Sterling silver also tarnishes once it is exposed in the air. The metal part of the alloy is the one that cause the tarnishing since pure silver just like gold are resistant to oxidation. One way of testing whether a sterling silver is already tarnishing is to feel your thumb over it. If ever you see a dull stain then this implies a tarnishing sterling silver.

Sterling silvers are beautiful if they are shiny. Make use of cotton cloth to polish your sterling silvers. To maintain their shine regularly polished them. For sterling silvers that has been stored for so long you would need a polishing paste to make them shiny again.

Or you can try this simple tip. Get a tin foil and a dishpan. Cover the bottom of the dishpan with the tin foil. Pour hot water on the dishpan and add teaspoons of salt plus baking soda. Place your sterling silver pieces in the mixture that you make and be sure that your silver pieces are close to each other. Be sure also that they touching the foil. The tarnish is then transferred to the foil. Soak your sterling silver pieces for at least five minutes. Afterwards rinse and then dry.

Other uses of sterling silver:

Sterling silver has also been used for surgical and medical instruments until it was largely replaced in the late 20th century by disposable plastic items. However, silver is resistant to antiseptics, heat sterilisation and body fluids because it is naturally aseptic. Many cultures use sterling silver as a tool to cure ailments and sore muscles. It acts as a magnet for blood.

Sterling silver has also been used for making flutes and saxophones because it has a special sound characteristic.

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