Jewelry has always held a special place in the hearts of women. The quest for newness in jewelry has been going on for centuries as craftsmen strive to create innovations in design, material, and styles to satisfy women’s embellishment needs and to decorate their beauty.
Originally, precious metals and rare gems were used to create jewelry. These quality-made people want to own such rare and one-of-a-kind masterpieces. The value of the jewelry was determined by the metal used, the stones used, and the craftsmanship. Because of these factors, jewelry became an unattainable aspiration for many people and a luxury that only the wealthy could afford. There has been a paradigm shift in recent years. The use of sterling silver has made jewelry a reality for those who have only gazed through the windows of jewelry stores. Silver has long been used as a metal for jewelry, but silver as a metal is too soft, and pure silver is rarely used for jewelry making. Sterling silver, on the other hand, is a harder alloy that lends itself to exquisite craftsmanship.
Sterling silver is 92.5 percent silver and the remainder is a copper-based alloy. Sterling silver has the right material properties, such as malleability and flexural strength, and can be crafted into intricate designs. Another significant advantage of sterling silver is that it can be gold-plated or rhodium-plated to look like platinum, giving it the appearance of one of the most expensive metals at the price of silver. Another outstanding feature of sterling silver is that it can be given an antique finish to add a touch of nostalgia and a classic appearance to jewelry.
Sterling silver jewelry has now taken over the market, and there is an endless supply of beautifully crafted rings, earrings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants, and jewelry sets to choose from. Cubic zirconia studded sterling silver jewelry is one of the most popular options. Cubic Zirconia, or CZ as it is more commonly known, is so similar to diamond that only a trained eye can tell the difference. The combination of platinum-like sterling silver finished jewelry studded with flawless diamond CZ is truly regal.
Though sterling silver was introduced as a low-cost alternative to expensive jewelry, it has resulted in the rich, elite, and celebrities amassing vast and diverse collections of sterling silver jewelry, which would not have been possible otherwise. Today’s sterling silver jewelry designs are inspired by celebrities and designers. There is no intricate craftsmanship that cannot be imitated with this wonderful metal. Sterling silver jewelry can now be purchased with the click of a mouse from the comfort of one’s own home. There are numerous jewelry websites that offer a diverse selection of one-of-a-kind jewelry at reasonable prices.
Sterling Silver Jewelry Maintenance
Since 3000 B.C., man has been aware of the metal silver and has used it. Pure silver is a malleable and ductile metallic element with a gleaming white metallic luster. To some extent, it is also a scarce and expensive metal, though not as much as gold and platinum. Among all metals, pure silver is the best conductor of heat and electricity.
The symbol Ag comes from the Latin word Argentum, which means “silver.” The name silver is derived from the Old English Anglo-Saxon word’seolfor,’ which means “silver.”
Silver is a transition metal with an atomic number of 47, period 5, group 11, and block d in the periodic table.
Silver ore occurs naturally, and the metal can also be found in copper, copper-nickel, gold, lead, and lead-zinc ores. It can be found in Canada, Mexico, Peru, Australia, and the United States.
Pure silver does not react with air or water, but rather with hydrogen sulfide, ozone, and sulfur-containing air, causing it to tarnish. The classic example is when a boiled egg is served in a silver dish. Boiling an egg produces hydrogen sulfide gas, which tarnishes the dish.
Photography, printed circuits, dental compounds, brazing, electrical contacts, batteries, and superior mirror production all benefit from silver compounds. Silver fulminate is a type of explosive.
Pure silver, also known as fine silver, is very soft, and jewelry and other items made of pure silver would lose their shape. To overcome this difficulty, a trace amount of another metal is mixed with pure silver to give the alloy the desired hardness. Though many other metals can be used to make up the remaining non-silver portion, long-term experience has shown that copper is the best choice for improving the alloy’s hardness and durability without affecting its color or luster. The resulting alloy is known as sterling silver.
Sterling silver is highly prized for use in the manufacture of jewelry and tableware. It is also widely used in coinage and has many other ornamental uses.
A copper-silver alloy containing 72% silver and 28% copper that is known for its thermal conductivity finds industrial applications in electronics.
Sterling silver has a unique property in terms of sound resonance. As a result, some brasswind instrument manufacturers make musical instruments out of this metal. Leading saxophone manufacturers such as Selmer, P.Mauriat, and Yanagisawa have created sterling silver saxophones, believing that the instruments will become more resonant in sound performance.
The US Federal Trade Commission has stipulated that jewelry in the United States can bear silver markings or be described as silver, solid silver, sterling silver, sterling, or with the abbreviation Steronly if it contains at least 92.5 percent pure silver.
The minimum silver content can also be declared as 925 parts per thousand of pure silver, so the numbers 925 or 92.5 may be used to specify silver content.
The marking must be accompanied by a maker’s mark or a registered trademark under federal law.
Sterling silver is a popular jewelry-making medium, and it can be used to make everything from earrings to bracelets to rings, necklaces, and pendants. Its popularity may be attributed to the fact that the elegance of sterling silver jewelry is comparable to that of other precious metals while remaining reasonably priced.
When new, sterling silver appears flawlessly shiny and white. However, over time, it may lose some of its lusters and become dirtier and darker. Although pure silver is resistant to tarnish and does not react with air or moisture, it may tarnish when exposed to hydrogen sulfide or sulfur in the air. Furthermore, the copper content readily reacts with air, resulting in a layer of tarnish on the surface.
- Store your sterling silver jewelry in tarnish prevention cloths or bags to avoid scratches and other damage. The treated cloth slows the tarnishing process and prevents the jewelry from rubbing against harder jewelry, which could scratch it. Store your sterling silver jewelry in a cool, dry location.
- Do not expose your silver to household chemicals such as bleaching agents or ammonia. Silver can be harmed by the chlorine in your swimming pool’s chlorinated water.
- It is critical to clean sterling silver jewelry with a clean polishing cloth after wearing it. This will remove the dust, dirt, and sweat from the jewelry’s nooks and crannies.
- Cleaning your sterling silver jewelry with polishing cloths is a good idea. To avoid leaving marks on your sterling silver jewelry, avoid using toothpaste to clean it. Toothpaste is abrasive and can leave marks on your jewelry.
- With regular wearing and frequent cleaning, care should be taken to prevent the accumulation of tarnish over time. To clean your silver, use polishes designed to remove tarnish. When tarnish first becomes visible, it is easiest to remove.
- Sterling silver jewelry frequently develops a beautiful patina, a kind of glow mixed with darkened areas, with consistent long-term use. If you like the way it looks, you can keep it. Alternatively, you can use a polishing cloth to restore the jewelry to its original state.
With proper care and precautions, your silver will last a lifetime.
Related post: Know More About Sterling Silver And Learn How To Choose Them?
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