Silver is 19 times more abundant than gold in the earth’s crust. Not only is it lustrous, but it’s also malleable, which makes it an excellent choice for jewellery.
For example, it’s often used to make earrings, bracelets, pendants, necklaces, and rings. Pure silver is rarely used, though; it’s almost always combined with other elements or metals.
Thinking of making your own jewellery? Interested in learning about the different types of silver? If so, you’re on the right page.
Keep reading for everything that you need to know!
1. 925 Sterling Silver
925 sterling silver is one of the most common kinds of silver used in jewelry. A metal alloy, it contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% other metals, such as copper; this makes it stronger and more durable than pure silver.
It’s also bright, shiny, and harder than fine silver. However, it’s prone to tarnish. With that said, it can easily be cleaned and buffed with a soft cloth.
Another great thing about sterling silver is that it’s hypoallergenic. Compared to other metals, it’s far less likely to cause allergic reactions, such as contact dermatitis. This makes it one of the best silver alloys for those with sensitivities.
2. 999 Silver
999 Silver is the closest thing to pure silver; it contains 99.9% silver and 0.1% trace elements. However, it’s not nearly as bright as sterling silver. If anything, its color is a bit dull.
It’s also soft, which makes it prone to scratches and dents. Not to mention that it can also change shape fairly easily. For this reason, it’s best used for earrings or necklaces, which are less prone to rough wear.
It does have one advantage, though—it tarnishes much slower than sterling silver as it doesn’t contain any copper.
3. Argentium Silver
Argentium silver is a non-tarnish alloy that’s relatively new to the market; it contains either 93.5% or 96% silver. The rest is germanium, a metalloid that has a silvery-white appearance.
Unlike other alloys, it won’t oxidize when it comes into contact with air. It’s also brighter and stronger. For these reasons, it tends to be more expensive than sterling.
However, it can be hard to distinguish from the latter, as the quality stamp is still 925 (the ‘Argentium’ mark is impractical due to its large size). When in doubt, you can read up some reviews on the jeweller—it should tell you which type of silver they use for their products.