The composition of sterling silver
Sterling silver is an alloy of pure silver and another metal, usually copper. The ratio of silver and other component - 92.5% and 7.5%, respectively. Pure silver is too soft a metal, and articles thereof impractical. And the alloy with copper gives it elasticity and stiffness, but there are the usual silver color products.
The word "sterling" comes from England, where in the 12th century the coins of 925 sterling silver that were paid to the merchants from Northern Germany, was called the "Easterling Silver". Later, the phrase was shortened to "sterling silver" - sterling silver.
Copper, meanwhile, is sensitive to corrosion and oxidation, so this alloy will tarnish faster than the silver purity of 99.9%. In the manufacture of sterling silver are other metals: zinc, platinum and germanium. The alloy can also be added silicon and boron, to improve the properties of the metal. And while these metals and additional substances do increase the resistance of silver to external influences, yet copper is the most commonly used.
Products of sterling silver have special markings. It includes identification of the content of pure silver in the product, that is, the sample is 925 means that the alloy with 92.5% pure silver. Near the breakdown according to the law obliged is the trademark of the plant. Depending on the country of manufacturer on the product may be marked the word "sterling" or "ster".
Silver, alloyed with germanium, will never turn black, but the cost increases significantly.
The care of sterling silver
As this alloy is different from pure silver with durability and resistance to external influences, it is made not only jewelry, but also Cutlery, Church supplies, pins, clips, cufflinks etc. With proper care, products from sterling silver will last a lifetime. To avoid scratches keep your jewelry in a cloth pouch or jewelry box. Avoid contact with household chemicals on jewelry, especially chlorine and ammonia, so it is not necessary to do cleaning at home in rings and bracelets from sterling silver. The care of silver involves the protection of products from darkening. In most large shopping malls or jewelry shops you will find special chemicals for polishing and cleaning of articles of sterling silver. Patina on silver is easier to clean when you first see it. Avoid re-darkening. The best way is to wear jewelry, because in constant contact with the skin and clothing sterling silver longer retains its lunar glow.