Silver is a precious metal that has been used for centuries in a variety of ways, including jewellery, coins, and decorative objects. There are several types of silver that exist, each with its own unique properties and characteristics. Understanding the different types of silver can be important when it comes to evaluating the value and is particularly useful when selling your silver items.
This type of silver is almost 100% pure, with a silver content of 99.9% or higher. Fine silver is typically used for bullion and investment purposes because of its high purity, which makes it valuable and desirable for investors. It is often found in the form of bars, rounds, or coins, and is not usually used for jewellery or decorative objects due to its softness.
Sterling silver is an alloy composed of 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, usually copper. The addition of copper makes the silver harder and more durable, making it suitable for making objects such as jewellery, flatware, and decorative items. Sterling silver is marked with a hallmark that indicates its purity, and it is the most common type of silver used in jewellery making.
Coin silver is an alloy composed of 90% silver and 10% copper. It was commonly used to make coins in the United States until the mid-19th century and is also used for other objects such as jewellery and flatware. Coin silver is slightly less pure than sterling silver, but it is still considered to be of good quality and is often used in antique or vintage items.
Britannia silver is an alloy composed of 95.8% silver and 4.2% copper. It is used mainly in the United Kingdom for making silverware and is considered to be of a higher quality than sterling silver. Britannia silver is marked with a hallmark that indicates its purity and is often found in antique or high-end silverware pieces. The Britannia hallmark, an image of the seated Britannia figure, signifies the alloy’s distinct quality and adds a touch of historical elegance to the items crafted from it.
Mexican silver is an alloy composed of 95% silver and 5% copper. It is commonly used to make jewellery and decorative objects in Mexico. Mexican silver is often distinctive in its design and craftsmanship and is highly valued for its unique cultural and historical significance.
The different types of silver matter because they can affect the value, intended use, and durability of a particular item. For example, fine silver may be more valuable than sterling silver due to its higher purity, but it is also softer and more prone to scratching or bending. Sterling silver, on the other hand, is harder and more durable, making it better suited for objects that are subject to wear and tear, such as jewellery and flatware. Additionally, some types of silver may have cultural or historical significance in certain regions, such as Mexican silver in Mexico, which can add to their value and desirability.
Last Updated on June 25, 2023 by Lucy Clarke