In its pure form silver is almost as soft as gold, and therefore is usually alloyed with copper for strength.
Karatage is not marked because, legally, anything called "silver" or "sterling silver" is 92.5% pure. Sometimes
silver from south of the border is designated "Mexican silver," which runs anywhere from 90% to 99% pure.
Fine Silver in its natural state, 999/1000 pure, is too soft an element for practical jewelry. To make it workable,
an alloy such as copper is added.
Following is a list of the main silver alloys:
- Sterling Silver: A mixture of 92.5 % pure silver (925 parts) and 7.5 % metal alloy
- Silver Plating: Also known as silver plated or silver coated. A base metal, usually nickel silver or brass, is coated with a layer of pure silver by a process called electroplating
- Vermeil: Sterling silver electroplated with at least 100 millionths of an inch of karat gold
- German Silver or Nickel Silver: A silver-white alloy consisting of copper, zinc and nickel
- Coin Silver: 90% (900 parts) pure silver and 10% (100 parts) metal alloy. A process of melting down coins done in the 19th century, and mostly discarded today
We Buy Silver
To get an estimate of how much we will pay for a specific item go to our Gold Calculator page where you can calculate the value of your silver items.
*Note we only buy .925 sterling silver. We do not buy silver plated or filled items.