Silver

Silver has of all metals of the brightest shade!

It is easy to forge and has therefore been processed like gold for many thousands of years.

Now I have to clear up some myths: nickel, allergies and tarnishing!
Because although silver has been used for such a long time, some myths are very persistent!


1. Tarnishing
Again and again I hear sentences like: "But that's Sterling silver, it shouldn't tarnish!"....
Hm... yes, it does!

Well, the fact is: silver is tarnishing!

Always. Sometime. Under certain circumstances.

In the last 7 thousand years we goldsmiths haven't managed a big coup to prevent that. And believe me: we also have to clean!
The question is, how bad is that?! After all, I have to take a coat to the dry-cleaner?!

What happens when it tarnishes?
The silver reacts with sulphur in the air or in skin sweat.
Silver jewellery that is worn usually does not tarnish so fast, because there is always a slight abrasion.
With some wearers, it can be that silver jewellery discolours very strongly when worn. This is due to the sulphur content of the skin sweat. This can be increased by certain foods, medicines or the like.

Tips for cleaning, care, storing, there are in the article about jewellery care!


2. Nickel and Silver:
Silver and nickel cannot be alloyed! I.e. it is never nickel IN a Silver alloy included!
Unfortunately, in the past (and some black sheep in industry still do), silver pieces were coated with nickel to protect them from tarnishing.
This process is rather unusual today. So you can also wear silver jewellery with a nickel allergy without hesitation if it has not been coated with a nickel layer.


3. Silver Allergies
A "real" silver allergy is very, very rare!
Silver is even frequently used in medicine because it has antibacterial properties as silver ions.
If you have a reaction of the skin when wearing silver jewellery, this is often due either to an artificial tarnish-protection on the jewellery, or to your skin chemistry (see above).

Sometimes it can also be due to the additional metals.
Normally silver should only be alloyed with copper.
However, this can be problematic for people with a copper allergy.
In industrial cheap goods, savings are often made in the wrong place: instead of copper, tin is sometimes used. Tin can react very aggressively on the skin.

Wow!
That all sounds pretty much like problems at first, doesn't it?
But now I have to put in a good word for the silver!

Silver is a wonderful precious metal, it is good to work with and it has a unique colour (even if it has tarnished, this "antique look" can be very attractive!).
Another advantage is of course the attractive price! Silver is the most affordable of the precious metals and also allows a little more material expenditure.

There are the following silver alloys:

925/- Silver (sterling silver) is today the standard alloy for silver jewellery. It has just as much copper as necessary to achieve a certain increase in hardness.
It has the typical warm white colour of silver. By the way, silver is the whitest of all jewellery metals!
Hardness according to Vickers: approx. 75- 140

835/- Silver is an "old" jewellery alloy.
It originates from times when the price of silver was still much higher than today and it was worth "reducing" the fineness a little bit.
The 835/- silver is often used in traditional costume jewellery, but due to the higher copper content it has a slightly darker colour and tends to tarnish.

800/- Silver is also an "old" alloy.
Even today it is still used, for example, in cutlery, teapots and other "utensils".
The colour of the 800/ alloy is already significantly darker than that of a 925/- alloy and it tends to tarnish.
Therefore the 800/- alloy is also the lowest alloy. If even more copper were added, a dirty grey colour would result.

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