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New Orleans Silversmiths Logo Silver has been mined for over 5,000 years and was one of the beginning five elements discovered along with Gold, Copper, Lead and Iron. Although it much plays second fiddle to Gold, Silver is a very valuable and versatile precious metallic with applications from medicine to solar cells, and lots in between .
Silver is exceptionally glazed and is the most reflective of all the elements reflecting 95 % of visible light. This unique timbre has made Silver critical to all sorts of virtual applications ( think mirrors and telescopes ), but it has besides given Silver a universal and enduring solicitation .
Most of the world ’ second silver medal is now found in Mexico and Peru, although the US, Canada, Russia and Australia besides have big quantities of Silver .

What are all
the different types of Silver I hear about?

FINE SILVER – Fine Silver, also known as “Pure Silver”, is 99.9% pure and is normally labeled “ .999 ” or “ .999 very well ” ( .999 indicating 999 of 1000 parts, or 99.9 % ). At this grade of purity, Silver is besides delicate for general use, so you will merely find it in the context of silver bullion ( bars, ingots, etc. ) which is used domestically and internationally for storing or trade argent as a commodity.

Morgan Design 1-oz Silver Bar
Silver is 92.5% pure silver combined with 7.5% of another metal, typically
copper. The small amount copper (or other metal) adds enough strength so we can
use Sterling Silver for the things we love – jewelry, flatware, tableware –
without sacrificing the
brilliant shine that Silver is known for .
If you are curious whether you have Sterling Silver, look for “ 925 ” stamped on the penetrate or your firearm, or if jewelry it may be on or near the buckle. The “ 925 ” stamp is the Sterling mark representing 925 of 1000 parts or 92.5 %. Your objet d’art might besides be stamped “ Sterling ” outright. Be careful of the bell ringer “ SS ” – it typically means Stainless Steel not Sterling Silver.
Sterling Silver was established
in the 12th century in Europe and remains the international
standard, BUT there are still
many other types of Silver in use and circulation . Keep reading!

ENGLISH STERLING – English Sterling is Sterling Silver that is also marked (“hallmarked”) as a series of three to five small, square-shaped impressions. The standing lion with his correct front paw raised ( the leo passant ) is the most normally seen greatest quality notice. The other marks indicate the city of beginning, the godhead, and the year of manufacture. Some of the marks will include the confront of the reigning monarch. If you have english Sterling, typically you will see the marks below alternatively of “ 925 ” or “ sterling ” .

Image result for sterling stamp mark
SILVER PLATE – Silver Plate
a thin layer of Silver electroplated on to a thickly piece of basal metal, typically brass, copper or nickel. The method was perfected in the mid 1800 ’ south as a less expensive alternative to solid Sterling Silver and remains popular to this day .
Although Silver Plate is much more low-cost than Sterling Silver, it has the exact same polish & luster that we covet, and with care it should last up to 20 years or more. Further, there are many national providers for Silver re-plating and sol a limited patch can be re-plated to return it to its initial pristine condition .
To check if a possession is Silver Plate ( most likely table merchandise ), look for the follow marks : “ EP ” ( electroplated ) or “ EPNS ” ( electroplated nickel eloquent ) or flush “ Silver on Copper ”. If you have any questions about the marks on your pieces, please precisely email us, we are happy to help !

VERMEIL – Vermeil
continues to be
popular for jewelry. It is a method of ‘gold plating’
, but it is more than that. Vermeil is solid Sterling
Silver over-plated with gol
d of minimum 10 karat and typically 14 karat or more. Any
color of gold can be used, so you can find Vermeil in yellow gold, rose gold,
and white gold.
strikes a
balance between quality and value.

Phew, that was a lot. Are there other types of Silver? Yes.

Silver is a standard developed at the turn of the 18th century and
defined as 95.84% pure silver combined with 4.16% other metals, typically
copper. Britannia Silver is more rare, more expensive and less robust than
Sterling Silver
. Look
for 958 mark (958 of 1000 parts, or 95.8%).

silver is 90% pure silver and was the American standard (typically for coins) until
approximately 1865. It also describes American silver flatware and tableware before
1870 that is NOT Sterling Silver.

Mexican Silver typically refers only to ore originally mined there. It does not
indicate a purity level of Silver. That said,
Mexican silver content is typically above 90%. Consistent
with other marks, Mexican purity level of silver will be marked 90 (for 90%) or
900 (for 900 parts of 1000).

800 SILVER – 800
Silver is just that: 800 parts of pure 1000, or 80% pure.

CONTINENTAL SILVER – Continental Silver refers to silver
ware produced on the European continent as distinguished from England and
America. The purity of Continental Silver is typically one of 800, 825, 830 or
850 indicating 80%, 82.5%, 83% and
85.0 % argent content respectively .
Silver refers to an amalgam of copper 60%, zinc 20% and nickel 20%. Although it
has no Silver content, it presumably gained its name from its high shine akin
to Silver and often forms the base metal for silver-plated cutlery and other

And a final Fun Fact …

The first huge silver strike in the United States was Nevada ’ s Comstock Lode in 1859, named for Henry Comstock who was part-owner of the property. In its peak three production years, the Comstock Lode yielded $ 36 million of ash grey annually .

Do you have
other questions about Silver or perhaps something else?

Please email us or contact us
through our website. We are always happy to hear from you!

– Claire Merrill

New Orleans Silversmiths

600 Chartres St, New Orleans, LA 70130

Tel : ( 800 ) 219-8333
electronic mail : electronic mail @
world wide web :

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