Silver is an essential metal that jewellers use to make ornaments. They make use of various types of silver to fabricate jewels. Most finished jewels will have a quality stamp printed or embossed on it. However, the stamp might be visible only under magnification.
Each type of silver has precise quality standards. The ‘type’ referred here can be silver in its pure form or its alloy. Pure silver is malleable, ductile, and a good conductor of heat and electricity. The main types of silver classified as per the quality standards are:
Fine .999 Silver: This category is the purest form of silver metal used in jewellery. The 0.999 grade indicates 99% purity. Fine silver is highly resistant to tarnish. This metal is soft and can change its shape easily. As it is soft, jewellers make ornaments like earrings and necklaces using this fine silver.
Sterling Silver: It is a common category of silver used in the making of ornaments. The makers add such metals to increase durability and strength. Sterling silver jewellery includes toe rings, rings, bracelets, pendants, etc.
Coin Silver: Jewellery manufacturers use these to make coins as well as ornaments. The ornaments made out of coin silver will resemble antique jewellery pieces.
Silver-plated metals: Here, jewellers deposit a thin layer of silver on the surface of another metal. The overall content of silver is very less in these metals. The base metal used will have a lower value than silver. The plating can tarnish and eventually wear off.
Argentium Silver: Argentum silver is tarnish-resistant silver. This is similar to the composition of sterling silver.
Other popular categories (standards) of silver, used in different parts of the world are the Britannia silver, French 1st standard silver, Mexican silver, 91 zolotniks Russian silver, 84 zolotniks Russian silver, and Scandinavian silver. These metals are classified based on their purity and the alloys used.
Nickel silver and Tibetian silver also fall under the category of silver. However, these do not have any silver content. Such metal alloys appear in silver colour, and hence the title ‘silver’ is provided in their name.