Why is silver used to make jewelry

Jewelry: silver [?]

In addition to gold, silver is the most common metal used to make jewelry. Due to its properties, silver is not suitable for everyone, but for many pieces of jewelry.

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Silver has long been considered a precious metal, used as an investment and used in the manufacture of jewelry, high quality tableware, silver ware and currency coins. Today the metal silver is also used as electrical contacts and conductors and in the catalysis of chemical reactions. Its composition is used for photographic films, and diluted silver nitrate solutions and other silver compounds are used as disinfectants and microbicides (oligodynamic effect). While many medical antimicrobial uses of silver have been supplanted by antibiotics, its clinical potential is still being explored.


Precious metal silver

Silver is a metallic, chemical element with the chemical symbol Ag (Greek: άργυρος árguros, Latin: argentum, both of Indo-European origin * arg- for "gray" or "shine") and the atomic number 47. It is a soft, white one , shiny transition metal that has the highest electrical conductivity of all elements and the highest thermal conductivity of all metals. The metal occurs naturally in its pure, free form (native silver), as an alloy with gold and other metals, and in minerals such as argentite and chlorogyrite. Most silver is made as a by-product of copper, gold, lead, and zinc purification.



Silver is a very ductile, malleable (slightly harder than gold), monovalent coin metal that has a brilliant white metallic sheen that can be polished. It has the highest electrical conductivity of any metal, even higher than copper, but its higher cost has prevented its use in electronics instead of copper. An exception is in high frequency technology, especially VHF and higher frequencies, where silver plating of parts for better electrical conductivity, including wires, is widely used. During World War II in the United States, 13,540 tons were used in electromagnets to enrich uranium, largely due to wartime copper shortages.[1][2][3]

Of the metals, pure silver has the highest thermal conductivity (the non-metallic carbon in the form of diamond and superfluid helium II are higher) and one of the highest optical reflectivities.[4] (Aluminum slightly outperforms silver in parts of the visible spectrum, and silver is a poor ultraviolet reflector). Silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity of any metal in the periodic table. Silver also has the lowest contact resistance. Silver halides are photosensitive and notable for their ability to form a latent image which can later be chemically developed. Silver is stable in pure air and water, but tarnishes when exposed to air or water that contains ozone or hydrogen sulfide. The latter forms a black silver sulfide layer that can be cleaned with dilute hydrochloric acid. The most common oxidation state of silver is +1 (for example silver nitrate); the less common +2 connects (e.g. silver (II) fluoride).


Jewelry and silverware

Jewelry and silverware are usually made of sterling silver (standard silver), which is an alloy of 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper. In the USA, only an alloy that contains at least 90.0% fine silver can be marketed as “silver” (often stamped 900). Sterling silver (stamped 925) is harder than pure silver, and has a lower melting point (893 ° C) than pure silver or pure copper.[5] Britannia silver is an alternative, trademark quality standard with 95.8% silver, and is often used to make silver tableware and wrought iron plates. With the addition of germanium, the patented, modified alloy argentium sterling silver is formed, with better properties, including resistance to scaling.

Sterling silver jewelry is often coated with a thin layer of 0.999 fine silver to give the object a shiny surface. This process is known as "flashing". Silver jewelry can also be coated with rhodium (for a bright, shiny look) or gold (to produce gold-plated silver).

Silver is a component of almost all colored carat gold alloys and carat gold solders, so that the alloys are given a paler color and stronger hardness. White 9 carat gold contains 62.5% silver and 37.5% gold, while 22 carat gold contains up to 91.7% gold and 8.4% silver or copper or a mixture of both.[6]


Historically, the training and guild organization of goldsmiths also included silversmiths and the two trades are still related. Silversmiths do not shape the metal while it is red-hot like the blacksmith, but work it at room temperature with gentle and carefully placed hammer blows. The principle of silversmithing is to take a flat piece of metal and turn it into a useful object, using various hammers, bits and other simple tools.[7]

While silversmiths specialize in silver and mainly work with silver, they also work with other metals such as gold, copper, steel and brass. They make jewelry, silverware, armor, vases and other artistic items. Because silver is such a soft metal, silversmiths have a variety of ways to work it and they can choose their preferred method. Historically, silversmiths were usually referred to as goldsmiths because they were usually the same guild. There are no guilds in the western Canadian silversmith tradition; but peer mentoring is a method of professional learning within a community of artisans. [8]

Traditionally, silversmiths mostly made "silverware" (cutlery, dishes, bowls, candlesticks and so on). Only recently has silversmithing been used primarily for jewelry making, as much less silverware is handcrafted these days.


Personalization of silver jewelry

Silver jewelry can be personalized to a certain extent. For example, you can engrave your own wedding ring and have the pendant set with precious stones. A completely different form of personalization is to let the jewelry melt down and reconnect with another metal and create a new piece of jewelry out of it. Here you can also incorporate your own design or even your own materials.



[1] Nichols, Kenneth D. (1987). The Road to Trinity. Morrow, New York: Morrow. p. 42. ISBN 0-688-06910-X
[2] "Eastman at Oak Ridge - Dr. Howard Young ". Retrieved 2009-06-06.
[3] Oman, H. (1992). "Not invented here? Check your history ". Aerospace and Electronic Systems Magazine7 (1): 51-53. doi: 10.1109 / 62.127132
[4] Edwards, H.W .; Petersen, R.P .; Petersen (1936). "Reflectivity of evaporated silver films". Phys. Rev.9 (9): 871. Bibcode: 1936PhRv… 50..871E. doi: 10.1103 / PhysRev.50.871
[5] Hammond, C. R. (2000). The Elements, in Handbook of Chemistry and Physics 81st edition. CRC press. ISBN 0-8493-0481-4
[6] "Gold Jewelery Alloys> Use Gold. Scientific, industrial and medical applications, products, suppliers from the World Gold Council ". Utilisegold.com. 2000-01-20. Retrieved 2009-04-05.
[7] "Chambers Search Chambers". Retrieved 2009-06-06 [8] McRae, Kelly. "Trade Secrets". Western Horseman Magazine