Sterling Silver Composition

March 20 2012

History
Experts believe that silver alloy, used today as sterling silver, originated in continental Europe in the 12th century. Pure silver was found to be a soft and easily damageable material. When combined with other metals, most commonly cooper; it produced a tougher material that could be heavily relied on. Throughout the next few centuries, sterling silver was used as currency and household items. It was often used as silverware and became the material used in a proper table setting between 1840 and 1940 throughout the United States and Europe. Because of this popularity, silver companies began to grown. During this craze, companies began to experiment using sterling silver compositions in jewelry as it was a material that was easy to mold into intricate designs and gave a luxurious look with its metallic finish. Today, sterling silver is widely used in all kinds of jewelry styles and shines as beautifully as other precious metals, with the benefit of affordable pricing.

Sterling Silver Composition
While pure silver can be combined with many different types of metals, sterling silver is created when combining pure silver with copper. Sterling silver jewelry can be composed with different amounts of copper but is most often seen with the .925 stamp, meaning that the composition is of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. This has been found to be a good combination for maintaining the silverâ€â„¢s durability without harming its sparkle.

Caring For Your Sterling Silver Jewelry
Silver should not come into contact with harsh household chemicals such as bleach, ammonia, or chlorine. To avoid scratches, store silver in a lined jewelry box or pouch, as it is prone to tarnish as it naturally reacts with sulfur or hydrogen sulfide in the air. Cleaning and wearing silver jewelry regularly will prevent this and help maintain its shine. Immediately upon noticing any discoloration, use a gentle polish made specifically for removing tarnish.

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