KAREN SILVER, STERLING SILVER, BRITANNIA SILVER
The official definition for Sterling Silver is a white and highly reflective precious metal. It is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal (thousandth) fineness of 925. Sterling refers to silver that is 92.5 percent pure, which should be stamped on the metal, sometimes accompanied by the initials of the designer or country of origin as a hallmark. Although less durable than stainless steel and other precious metals, sterling silver is often employed in watches that coordinate or look like sterling jewelry. A protective coating may be added to prevent tarnish. We use rhodium finish as a protective layer in our jewelry.
Britannia silver is an alloy of silver containing 95.84% silver, with 4% of copper. This standard was introduced in England in 1697 to replace sterling silver as the obligatory standard for items of "wrought plate". The lion hallmark denoting sterling was replaced with the figure of a woman commonly called Britannia, and the leopard's head mark was replaced with a "lion's head erased". Britannia standard silver was introduced by the British King William III in 1696, when attempts were made to limit the clipping and melting of sterling silver coinage. Sterling silver was approved again for use by silversmiths in 1720, and thereafter Britannia silver has remained an optional standard for silver and has been denoted by the millesimal fineness hallmark 958, with the symbol of Britannia being applied optionally. The silver bullion coins of the Royal Mint issued since 1998, known as "Britannias" for their reverse image, are minted in Britannia standard silver.
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