- Silver has been used by man in jewelry nearly as long as gold.
- Like Gold, pure Silver is very soft and easily damaged, so it's commonly mixed with other metals to improve durability for use in jewelry.
- Silver is normally mixed with Copper and there are several levels of purity that indicate the quantity of pure Silver contained in the metal.
- Fine silver has a .999 level of purity, so it's also known as pure silver. While particularly lustrous, Fine Silver is normally not appropriate for jewelry that's worn regularly, because it's not durable and bends easily.
- Sterling Silver jewelry is an alloy that contains a mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% of another metal, usually Copper. In order to be called Sterling Silver, the metal must possess at least 92.5% pure silver, but the other components can vary. When mixed with copper, Sterling Silver will tarnish and may firescale. Regardless, Sterling is considered a standard among silver grades and provides strength to ensure that pieces like silver bracelets, rings and necklaces can withstand regular use.
- Gold plated jewelry employs a base metal which is then electroplated with gold. Usually a steel or brass item dipped into a bath of electroplating solution that deposits a thin layer of gold on the jewelry. The gold layer is less than gold filled, quite thin and will wear off faster than gold-filled.
- ilver Plate is a thin layer of fine silver placed over a base metal. Also known as silver tone, silver plate is often considered the most cost effective alternative to the more expensive forms of solid silver jewelry. That said, this form of silver is very thin, wears off easily and degrades in appearance quickly.
- Electroplating is when silver atoms in a solution are permanently bonded to a piece of jewelry made from base metal using electricity. As the current passes through the jewelry, the silver is attracted to it and forms a sheath of precious metal over the object.