Silver has always taken second place to Gold, its been Gold’s poor little brother, but its all about to change, the price of silver is ready to boom and percentage wise will out do gold 5 to 1.Beware with this boom will come the silver charlatans, trying to cash in on the Sterling silver925 and fine silver 985 jewelry product lines.
Silver jewelry Manufactures can buy the raw silver to make jewelry in two grades 99.95% and 92.5 %,both grades are acceptable for silver jewelry with the 99.95 being the no one grade for reputable silver manufactures and silver jewelry wholesalers to sell.
Silver 925 is 92.5 parts silver and 7.5 parts alloy combined into the silver; this is the excepted grade for sterling silver as a finished jewelry item, but if the manufacturer starts to make his jewelry with the 92.5% raw grade silver by the time the jewelry item has been soldered together and depending on the amount of detail the solder will bring that item well below the Sterling Grade 925.
Many silver manufactures add to this problem by adding another 7.5 parts alloy to the original raw silver so now you have 15 parts alloy plus the solder impurities’ so where is the sterling silver?.Now we have 85 parts silver and 15 parts alloy plus an estimated .5 to1part alloy from the solder so the jewelry is now 84 parts silver and 16 parts alloy. This jewelry item will tarnish and spoil quickly; it will not pass an assays test,it is not sterling silver925.
Lets take the reputable silver jewelry manufacturer that starts the jewelry making process with pure silver,999.5 he then adds 1part alloy plus .5 to 1 gram solder we now have silver jewelry that is a minimum standard of 98parts silver and 2 parts alloy ,its very plain to see which is the better investment, this is fine silver 98% pure.
Silver jewelry is soldered together with silver alloy mixes ,this is done so that the silver solder will melt and join the silver jewelry setting together before the setting melts ,in general there are three grades of solder used to accomplish this and each manufacturer may alter the ratio slightly, but as a rule the solder mixes are as follows ,
Solder no1 is 6 parts silver to 1 part alloy, this is the first grade solder used in making a jewelry setting it is the hardest solder and requires the most heat to melt and join the silver setting together in its initial stages. The next grade is Solder no 2 a medium grade solder that has a lower melting temperature then grade 1 and consists of 5 parts silver to 1 part alloy ,this will melt before solder no 1 so the silver setting will not start to fall apart while the silversmith is working. Finally the silver jewelry setting is finished with Solder no 3 which has the lowest melting point and is the finishing solder for the final work on the silver setting.
By now I hope its becoming clear that there is a huge difference in silver quality ,with the no 1 grade being fine silver 98% pure silver. Over the years people have said that pure silver is too soft for jewelry making, well I can assure you that 98% fine silver is more then strong enough for jewelry making and with its superior finish and purity it will return a much better profit on your silver jewelry investment in the long run. If you’re serious about buying excellent quality silver then you have to buy from reputable silver manufactures and wholesalers.
Here are some helpful tips for buying silver jewelry.Firstly your supplier should be able to produce a copy of the silver purity certificate for the quality of the raw silver they are buying and if its 999.5 and he is a reputable dealer then your jewelry should be of a high standard and stamped 925 or 985, it will be good quality and a valuable investment.Secondly do your homework first if you intend to buy retail or wholesale silver jewelry, ask your intended manufactures about quality control, what grade raw silver they buy and if you’re doing your own buying from overseas, don’t buy from street stalls and roadside vendors, even if the quality appears good, later you will regret the discounted purchase.
People will generally source a silver district to go and buy silver from, don’t rely on a reputation of a silver district or town known for selling silver, they are not all reputable dealers, again do your research before you leave home. Check your daily silver prices it will help if you intend buying in Asian countries. You will have to barter and knowing silver prices can help evaluate if the dealer is honest or not. My final advice is remember if your buying silver in Asia you will have to barter over price and Asian people learn to barter from the time they are born, so if you walk away thinking you have bought your silver below market silver costs, then believe me you have not bought good quality silver.