About .925 Silver

Written by mallory ferland
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About .925 Silver
In order to be considered standard sterling silver, the object must contain 92.5 per cent silver. (silver sugar bowl with silver spoon image by Alex White from Fotolia.com)

.925 silver is an alternate name for sterling or standard silver. The .925 is the standard grade of silver both in the United Kingdom and United States for silver products referred to as sterling. Sterling is known both for its strength and longevity, as well as for its brilliant appearance.

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92.5 Percent

.925 silver represents the percentage of pure silver. A metal that contains 92.5 per cent silver is known as sterling silver. The remaining 7.5 per cent is composed mostly of copper or another durable alloy. The purpose behind mixing silver with another alloy is to create a more durable finished product. Pure silver is malleable enough to the point that objects comprised singularly of silver are in danger of bending even with minimal force.

Appearance

Sterling silver is known for its brilliance in lustre and almost blue-like qualities when clean. As both a highly attractive and durable substance, sterling silver has been used in a variety of ways for centuries, primarily in cutlery, plates, bowls, cups, trays and other dining room objects as well as candle holders, mirrors and jewellery.

Easterling

The name "sterling" silver comes from the English name for the Eastern Germans, "Easterlings." The silver currency used by the Easterlings was sterling silver (.925 silver), and during trade of agricultural items such as cattle, the Germans would pay the English with their currency. The German currency became known in England as "Easterling" and was eventually shortened simply to sterling. Alternate theories on the name associate the term sterling to "starling," meaning shining star.

Standard Silver

Sterling silver, or .925 silver, became "standard" in England. A silver standard means that in order for something to be labelled and sold as "silver" it must meet the .925 standard. In 1851 Charles Lewis Tiffany, the founder of Tiffany & Co., became the first American silver producer to adopt the English standard (.925). Afterward, the United States eventually followed and adopted the English standard on its own. As a pioneer in the American silver industry, Tiffany's is usually still associated with the term .925.

Other Grades of Silver

Other grades besides .925 sterling silver include .999 fine silver, .958 Britania silver, .950 Mexican silver, .900 coin silver and .800 German silver. All types of silver have their own unique purposes, however, for strength and brilliance in appearance, sterling remains at the top.

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