The chemical symbol is Ag, derived from the Latin for silver, Argentum, meaning white or shining.

Silver was first mined and used for jewelry during the Bronze Age.

In 500BC the state of Athens discovered a large silver mine. The silver mine allowed the Athens to build a strong navy and Greece to become powerful.

Important and historical mines also existed in Southern Spain, where the Romans mined silver to fund their military conquests.

The discovery of America in 1492 started the exploration and mining of silver in Mexico, Bolivia and Peru.

In 1850 the Comstock Lode was discovered in Nevada, USA. Silver production from this period exploded in the US and worldwide.

Silver has one of the highest reflectivity of any metal, giving it unmatched brilliance, a perfect match for jewelry design.

Silver is primarily produced as a by product of electrolytic copper refining, gold, nickel, and zinc refining, and by application of the Parkes process on lead metal obtained from lead ores that contain small amounts of silver.

The largest silver producing countries are Mexico, Peru, United States, Australia and Chile.

In 2012 the amount of silver used in jewelry was 185.6 Moz (5,773MT) , or 18% of the total demand of 1,048.3 Moz.

Unlike gold, silver is not rated by karats. Instead, jewelers use the terms fine and sterling to refer to very pure silver.

As with all precious metals, silver jewelry will carry a hallmark declaring its quality and authenticity

Types of silver and silver alloys:

800 silver, silver 80%, copper 20% .German silver.

900 silver, In the US, only an alloy consisting of at least 90.0% fine silver can be marketed as silver, stamped 900. Coin silver

925 sterling silver, silver 92.5 %, cooper 7.5 % copper or other metals. Sterling silver, stamped 925, is harder than pure silver, and has a lower melting point, 893°C.

950 silver, silver 95 % silver, 5 % copper or other metals. Mexican silver.

958 silver, silver 95.8 %, 4.2 % copper. Britannia silver.

Fine silver, silver 99.9 %

Care should also be taken to prevent silver tarnish that naturally occurs when silver reacts with sulfur dioxide or hydrogen sulfide in the air. To clean silver, use polishes formulated specifically to remove tarnish.

Silver jewelry examples:

99.9% fine silver cuff bracelet

958 silver ring. Britannia silver

950 silver brooch . Mexican silver

925 silver, sterling silver bracelet

900 silver, pendant. Coin silver

800 silver ring. German silver

I will continue the explanations for each metal. Next post Platinum

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