With the popularity in Silver Jewelry growing everyday, I see a need to help Ebayers understand the details of Silver Jewelry.
Pure Silver is almost perfectly white in color. It is the best conductor of electricity. It tarnishes due to the sulphur and its compounds. Pure ( fine ) Silver for most jewelry it too soft and will not hold its shape and will wear away quickly. To make it harder and better to work with copper is added. Pure silver is mainly used in enameling and electro-plating.
STERLING SILVER :: An alloy of 92.5 % (.925) silver and 7.5% (.075) copper 925/1000 (92 1/2%) fine silver and 75/1000 (7 1/2%) copper. This proportion is fixed by law
COIN SILVER :: Formerly ( before 1966) U. S. silver coins contained 90% Silver and 10% copper 900/1000
MEXICAN SILVER:: This is the name given to the silver used by many Mexican and American Indians Craftsmen. Its silver content is generally above 90%
FINE SILVER :: Commercially pure silver contains no alloy .999% fine Silver
NICKEL SILVER:: A composition of nickel, copper, and zinc ( it contains NO Silver) It is sometimes called GERMAN SILVER, ALPACA, NEW SILVER, OR PAKTONG depending of the metal composition used and the country that used it. It usually contains 65% copper, 18% nickel and 17% zinc
ALPACA :: A word used widely in Northern Europe for nickel silver after it was used as a trademark brand by the manufacturer Berndorf.
PAKTONG:: A word used in China that literally meaning white copper and was actually Nickel Silver and was used to imitate Sterling Silver
SILVER PLATED :: Made by electroplating fine silver on base metal alloy-usually nickel silver or Britannia metal, sometimes brass or copper. This was perfected for industrial purposes in the mid 1800's. Electroplating is the process of using electrical current to coat an electrically conductive object with a relatively thin layer of metal.
SHEFFIELD PLATE:: Originally was made by bonding sheet silver to copper, the rolling and manufacturing into hollow-ware. The orginal process was abandoned in the mid 1800's due to the introduction of electroplating. Imitations are made by electroplating silver on copper and are sometime erroneously advertised as sheffield plate