925 sterling silver: pure precious metal or alloy?
This question is the most relevant for those who want to learn how to understand expensive jewelry. First of all, this knowledge is needed in order to accurately understand when purchasing a bracelet, ring or necklace whether the quality of the products corresponds to their value. Secondly, information about the main precious metals and their alloys allows you to avoid buying counterfeit goods.
The purity of silver, as well as the cost of products made from it, is determined by the ratio of the precious metal to the impurities contained in the alloy. The highest breakdown is 999, but this silver is practically not used to create jewelry. It is too soft and plastic and, therefore, products made from it will quickly lose their sophisticated look.
Attempts to find the ideal ratio of the precious metal and impurities of various origins led to the emergence of 925 sterling silver. The specified figure says that a kilogram of an alloy for the production of jewelry contains 925 grams of a noble metal. The remaining 75 grams is copper, which increases performance and retains the decorative value of the alloy.
Pound sterling or more than half a kilo of silver
In an age before international standards were set, there were many technologies to make silver rings, brooches and coins more durable. To do this, zinc, platinum and other elements were added to the alloy, which were supposed to preserve the beauty and brilliance of the noble metal.
In 1215 King Henry of England II turned to the German family of jewelers with the surname Easterling with a request to make silver coins for his country. The high quality of the work was duly appreciated by the monarch, and the money itself was called sterling. A pound sterling is 0.45359237 kg of 925 silver, which is currently the highest quality standard.
What is silver jewelry?
There are a lot of types of silver processing, which allows you to give each product a unique and magnificent look. Accordingly, a gram of 925 silver is not the only indicator that determines the final cost of jewelry.
One of the most expensive technologies in jewelry art is the coating of silver surfaces with a thin layer of rhodium. This metal allows you to protect any silver products from corrosion and give them a bright white color.
Lovers of «aged» silver especially appreciate the patina, which over time forms during the oxidation of the metal. Jewelers have long appreciated the aesthetic advantages of such jewelry and are using the technology of artificial blackening of silver with might and main.
The filigree work of a jeweler consists in working with small elements and thin wire made of precious metals. Usually for the manufacture of original light, almost airy jewelry, gold and 925 silver are used, the price of which determines the initial cost of production. However, later the cost of such rings and pendants can increase significantly, since you will have to pay extra for the individual painstaking work of the master.