What Are the Different Kinds of Silver Used in Jewellery?

Often when one thinks about precious metals, there are a fair few that come to mind. Usually, right after thinking about gold, people will think about silver and for good reason. Silver is one of the most common metals used in jewellery and it is lauded for its gorgeous, glimmery appearance. However, there are many different variations on silver used in the jewellery industry today. This is because just the same as gold, pure silver is considerably malleable and can be easily bent. Jewellers will often use silver alloys to ensure that the appearance is still the iconic silver colour but it can stand up to the wear and tear of being worn on a daily basis. Before you buy any high-quality silver jewellery, you should first know about these different types of silver and what sets them apart.

Understanding the Differences Between Silvers

One thing that you should note is that all of these metals are still predominantly silver but they are alloys of it. An alloy is considered a combination of two (or more) metallic elements designed specifically to enhance the strength and resistance to corrosion. Here are some of the different types of silver that you will see when searching for sterling silver bracelets for women or any other handmade silver jewellery:

  • Fine .999 Silver: This type of silver is considered pure silver since it is as close to being pure as possible. This type of silver is more lustrous and malleable than all other types. It will scratch, dent, and bend easily and it should not be used for jewellery purposes.
  • Sterling .925 Silver: This type of silver is often called sterling silver. The remaining 7.5% of the metal in this alloy is copper and it is added to increase the overall durability of the metal, allowing it to be used for jewellery purposes. The lustre differs slightly from pure silver and it can tarnish over time. Thankfully, it is easy to clean.
  • Argentium Silver (and other Non-Tarnish Alloys): As the name suggests, these are alloys that are quite similar to sterling silver but have different metals in them to prevent tarnishing. There is still copper in these alloys as well as germanium. Germanium is even harder to tarnish and it is more durable. On the off hand, they will be more expensive than sterling silver.

Why Is This Important to Know?

While it is important to know what kind of metal you are buying simply because you are entitled to know what you are putting your money into, it is also important to know what metals are in your jewellery for other reasons as well. Some people, particularly those with sensitive skin, might not be able to touch some of the metals in the alloys without experiencing irritation. Because of this, you should be conscious of what kind of metals go into these alloys so that you can make smart purchases when buying silver jewellery.