The presence of a star on the branding often confuses buyers who have never encountered such a designation before. Such items are in fact precious, but they were made quite a long time ago. At that time, jewelry, which was marked with 875 hallmark (next to the numerical symbol can be seen a star), were common, today it is a rarity. It is necessary to understand why this happened: they study the composition, the properties, and the origin.
875 proof with a star: low-grade gold or silver
To determine which group of goods (silver, gold) an item belongs to, it is necessary to study the external signs. Pay attention not to the color (it may vary depending on the composition and coating), but to the stamps, as there are several. One option is the assay, which determines the composition. Since 1927 the metric system has been used in the Soviet and post-Soviet area. It is based on determining the amount of precious metal per 1000 weight parts.
875 proof with a star is one type of alloy. And the basic metal is silver. Such a stamp does not exist in the Russian the metric system of gold. It can only be found in the list of Ag samples. The number 875 means the amount of precious metal in 1000 g of the alloy. The remainder is due to impurities - a ligature. Materials can act as this:
Over time, the first option became the most acceptable. This is due to the fact that copper, when combined with silver, forms an alloy with improved characteristics. Externally, the metal also looks attractive. For comparison, pure Ag is a metal with a grayish hue. When you add a ligature, it changes its color. They also note the acceptable cost of objects with the star, if it contains copper.
The silver content of 87.5% makes it possible to obtain precious articles. And they are not classified as low-grade, which is due to the large amount of silver. But one cannot consider such jewelry to be high-grade, either. The share of impurities is still substantial (12.5%).
For comparison, the amount of ligature in the 960 silver alloy is only 4%, while in the 999 metal it is 0.1%.
Basic gold and silver GOST tests
875 silver hallmark, as well as other types of stamps, including those that can be seen on gold, are placed on jewelry. This is the responsibility of the Assay Office. It performs state quality control over precious metals and stones that have some value. As a result, you can get a guarantee that the jewelry or silverware does contain the stated amount of Ag/Au.
|Sample||Contents of precious metal, %|
There are rare samples silver - 916, but this variant is practically never used. Alloys containing less than 80% Ag are considered low grade.
|Sample||Contents of precious metal, %|
The proportions of precious metals and ligature must comply with the standard GOST 30649-99.
Composition and characteristics of the metal 875
Once upon a time purer silver was used than today. But the properties of the metal prevented its continued use for the purpose of making jewelry, household and table items. Gradually additives were introduced into the composition. This led to the appearance of a large number of alloys. One of them is 875 silver. The frequent use of this precious metal is due to its many positive qualities. When silver and additives are mixed, the appearance of finished products improves and their service life increases.
Jewelry can be used for a long period of time. This is due to the composition, properties. The content of a large amount of ligature increases the strength of the precious metal. It is important to control the amount of impurities, so as not to reduce the value of the material in pursuit of hardness. Silver alloys (and the metal on which the hallmark 87.5% is placed) are inferior to stainless steel in terms of strength, but their properties are enough to justify the manufacturer's hopes for long-term use of jewelry and other items.
Silver is a soft metal (if it is a pure material). It is difficult to handle in the production of various items, because under the slightest load the thing loses its shape. The introduction of a ligature in the composition also improves the properties of the metal - it becomes more malleable. As a result, it becomes much easier to work with the silver alloy. Products do not lose their shape, withstand the influence of moderate loads. The main advantage of 875-silver is the ability to create jewelry and household items of different designs (including complex variations).
Thermal and electrical conductivity
Silver without additives (pure metal) has the highest thermal conductivity. With the introduction of a ligature this value becomes lower. However, if 875-grade silver is considered, in this case the percentage of Ag is quite high. Accordingly, the heat conductivity is close to the maximum (although lower than that of pure metal). If you heat such a product and remove it quickly, it will not take 15 seconds from the start of the experiment for the material to heat up.
Silver without additives is also used in industry (e.g., for coating contacts). This is due to its high electrical conductivity. But 875-grade silver is rarely used for this purpose. The reason is the presence of impurities that can negatively affect the properties of the coating.
Alloy 875 rings and earrings are lighter than pure Ag. This is explained by the fact that the density of the precious metal without additives is greater than the value of this parameter in the metals used as a ligature: copper, nickel, iron, etc. As a result, jewelry made of silver 875 samples may be heavier than the additives used separately. This allows you to identify a fake among the variety of alloys. In a store, "by eye" you can compare jewelry of about the same size. Silver will be heavier than costume jewelry.
The characteristics of the metal depend on the amount of impurities and the type of ligature. As a result, the color may change. Precious metals of green, blue and violet colors can be found. However, in the case of 875-grade silver, other shades are more common:
This peculiarity of the materials is explained by the presence of copper in the composition. The greater the amount of ligature, the more the color changes. For example, if the proportions of copper and silver are not correct, this can result in an increase in the brightness of the red or pink hue. Luster is a characteristic feature of Ag. Articles made of it are lustrous. And silver in its pure form differs from other materials. It is distinguished by its cold, noble luster. When simple metals are added, the characteristics change. The luster becomes more muted. This material is no longer considered precious.
Ag is a metal with bactericidal properties. They are always trying to be used (like food grade colloidal silver). However, the bactericidal properties can diminish or disappear altogether if silver is diluted with a ligature.
Alloy 875 contains a substantial proportion of extrinsic components. It is not considered to be hypoallergenic, but it is nevertheless noted to have such properties.
Correspondence to carats. Comparison of the two measurement systems
The metric system of evaluating the quality of precious metals was preceded by the karat system. It is still used today, but not everywhere, but in certain countries, such as the United States, Canada, Great Britain, etc. To control the quality of the metal, they calculate the amount of silver in the alloy, using carats. The reference value is recognized as the value corresponding to 24К (1 carat is 200 g). The proportion of additives is determined in relation to it. And it is possible to convert the obtained value to the metric system:
The silver assay with the designation of a star is a variant of the branding of jewelry, household and table items in the Soviet Union. And the symbol was constantly changing. When the power changed, this or that symbol was referred to, it could be new (carrying the modern meaning at that time) or old (the previously used hallmark was taken as a basis). Exactly the same thing happened with silver. It began to be marked with a star in the middle of the 20th century. However, this mark didn't take root. It was changed when the Soviet Union collapsed.
Silver assay 875 is not used today because the metal with such proportions (87.5% and 12.5%) is not produced. However, products with a star are still in use. They have moved into the antique category, which has increased the value of such items.
History of the stamp on the 875 sample
There are several stages in the formation of the piercing symbol, which is still in use today. Among them there is also a star:
- closer to the end of the XIX century used a female image, with the head turned to the left, the sign was changed after 10 years;
- From 1908 to 1927 the previously adopted image - a female head, but now it was turned to the right;
- the year the metric system was adopted, the assay changed once again, at which point the head of the worker holding the hammer began to be used;
- star was introduced in 1958, and once its appearance was changed: the star that towered over the surface of the piece was removed, a version that was less visible was introduced.
Sample 875 with a woman's head ceased to be used in 1994. The Soviet Union collapsed long ago, it was necessary to change the standards adopted then. And they started with the hallmark. They changed the star to the former symbol - a woman's head in a kokoshnik turned to the right.
Using 875 sterling silver
Due to its excellent properties, the metal with the designation 875 has been and still is popular. If it was freely available back then, today products that contain 87.5% silver are less common, as this alloy is no longer produced. But it is still used in different areas, not only for household purposes.
Earlier, a large number of jewels were made of the alloy containing Ag 87.5%; today, they can be found in older relatives. And this metal was used to make jewelry of different kinds: rings, bracelets, chains, etc. Its popularity is due to the fact that in Soviet times alloy 875 was considered the reference. It received such a position due to its properties: increased hardness, resistance to stresses. In addition, silver combines well with colored semi-precious stones:
- Pink, smoky quartz (another name for rock crystal), etc.
By comparison, a white stone (diamond) can also be used as an insert, but the external characteristics of such a piece are simpler. This is explained by the fact that silver is much cheaper than gemstones; this discrepancy is all too noticeable.
Spoon and fork, cup holder, knife made of silver 875 alloy (star), as well as other household items - another application of this metal. The reason for its popularity is the same: hardness. high-end alloys The silverware was never able to boast similar properties. For silverware, durability is one of the important properties, which is why such items are still highly valued today.
Silver alloy was used for the production of interior items, household appliances. It was used to make cufflinks, cigarette cases, candy holders, shot glasses, trays, cups and bowls.
Metal with a high silver content can be used in a variety of applications:
- production of batteries (one of the components is silver);
- manufacturing parts: relays, capacitors;
- Much less often alloy with a high proportion of impurities is used to cover contacts.
875 proof - what kind of metal with a star, price per gram in rubles
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the star on the branding became the symbol of a rare product. Alloy of this grade is not used to produce items, but silver jewelry and other items that remain from those times are characterized by excellent properties. This contributes to the demand for such products. Price per gram is constantly growing. And it is much higher than the cost of scrap.
|Sample 999 (Central Bank of Russia), rubles.||Market value, rubles.||Scrap, rub.||Jewelry stores, rub.|
The value of silver is constantly increasing, but there are some fluctuations. This allows you to determine the period of rise and buy the metal at the most acceptable price:
Where you can find 875 silver today
Jewelry, household items with a star of 875 proof are found most often among the things inherited from the ancestors. In addition, they can be purchased at a pawnshop. Sell such items is also not difficult. A private pawn shop or pawnshop can offer a good price (higher than for scrap).
Historical value of the products
Items marked with a star at 875 are unlikely to ever drop in value much. Rather, on the contrary, their value will increase. Every year the age of the jewelry and cutlery increases. They can be considered antiques, which means that such items will be priced accordingly. Sometimes even higher than for new items with similar composition (916). This is due to the fact that things 875 p.star shirts have their own history.
How to check the authenticity
First of all, we must remember that there is no such thing as 875-gold (with a star). Only silver objects (according to the metric system of assaying) are marked in this way. Even if the jewelry is yellowish, this may indicate the need for cleaning or the presence of plating. The main thing is metal - Ag.
The price of jewelry and other items 875 with a star is higher than that of similar items with a similar composition, which are also offered in pawn shops. A lower price may indicate a non-conformity of the alloy to the standard, bad condition of the item. It is necessary to find out beforehand cost of silver items with a star on the branding. This will reduce the risk of buying low-quality jewelry.
The period in which items with a stamp with a star on them were made is limited by the time period: 1954-1994. There are two types of marks: protruding above the metal surface and almost flush with it (with a barely raised border). These variants correspond to the standard.
Fasteners and clasp
Sometimes only the clasp or bindings are made of silver - the part where the hallmark is placed. It is possible to substitute a chain, a bracelet (for this purpose, the soldering method is used). It is necessary to pay attention to the characteristics of the whole item, not just the part where the star branding.
Silver is tested by applying different reagents. Iodine can be used for this purpose. It is necessary to apply just 1 drop to see if the jewelry is genuine - a dark spot should remain.
Products with a small amount of ligature are less magnetic than those containing more 20% impurities. However, it is possible to determine the authenticity of a product with a magnet if it is powerful.
Documents for metal
The 875 items with a star on the branding has long been out of production, you can no longer find them in stores. You can find such things in pawnshops, pawnbrokers. However, to ask for a certificate of quality makes no sense, no one will give it, because the product is actually an antique. You can do a spectroscopy, the results are a document on the properties, the composition of the precious metal.
Causes of fakes
Swindlers try to pass off jewelry marked 875 (on the assay star) as more expensive gold. Few people understand the peculiarities of the metric assay system, believing that this hallmark indicates the presence of Au. This is a misconception, yet many are mistaken, as jewelry with a star on the stamp is very similar to gold - the color is often pinkish, yellow. This is a sign of an old piece containing copper (and other ligatures in a total of 12.5%, according to the standard).
Assay 873 - what kind of metal is it, gold or silver?
Sometimes you may come across non-standard items with a hallmark that is not part of the metric system. For example, the variant 873 is also found on jewelry, and the star may be absent, suggesting that it was made in another country or to a custom order.
Care and cleaning of old silver
Antiques require more careful handling, because the products are made quite a long time, have been in use for some time, and therefore there is a little wear and tear. To improve the appearance, it is necessary to adhere to the recommendations:
- Clean with a soft cloth, do not use abrasives;
- periodically soak in a solution of vinegar (2 tablespoons per 1 liter of water) or use a special liquid cleaner for silver;
- Not to be worn all the time;
- Store in a case or casket separately from other things made of metal;
- Do not wear during cleaning, washing dishes, showering.
Video: overview of different silver samples
I inherited a ring from my grandmother with a red ruby-like stone. The hallmark on it is interesting, 873, but I did not see a star nearby. I wore it for appraisal, but the jewelers did not determine the type of stone. Some kind of special analysis is needed. Very mysterious ring, but beautiful. It shows that the metal is silver.
We have a whole collection at home from my grandmother. Her grandfather often gave her silver jewelry. They were highly prized. Even today, I still wear some of them and they look solid. One of the pieces we sold was for the same price as a new piece but with a simpler composition. I am pleasantly surprised. The rest of the stuff I will keep for my kids. Although they say it is better to invest money in investment coins and bullion, but the jewelry piece 875 with a star will also be valued as well.
Once I saw a very beautiful thing - a silver cupholder with a star. I am a collector of unusual things of that time. I bought it right away, I didn't even bother to check if it was precious. It was expensive, but looked very good. I didn't even feel sorry for the investment.
It's not a bad way to save and grow money, but it's still inferior to investment coins, pure silver. I would advise checking the quality of the item before buying it. For example, 875 proof star items with platinum in them are much more valuable. Copper makes jewelry cheaper.