When buying silverware, you need to pay attention to a number of parameters. There is a large number of versions that contain different amounts of precious metal. It is possible to determine whether or not they belong to one type or another by the hallmark. Common designation is 925 hallmark. The material is often confused: referred to silver, platinum group metals, gold, but there is only one possible option. To understand which items have this designation, it is necessary to study the composition and properties of the material.
925 hallmark, what kind of metal: silver or gold, how the original products look like, good or bad
Popular precious metals (gold, silver) without additives are not used for the production of jewelry, silverware and household items. This limitation is explained by its properties: the materials are not hard enough and change their shape easily. To make it possible to produce different items, a ligature is added.
Additives improve the properties of the materials. If you use the right combination, you can get a hard metal that is characterized by resistance to mechanical stress. Alloy 925 is just such a product. It is a precious metal that contains a significant amount of it.
Despite the composition, products of this kind resemble jewelry made of white gold. But this is only an outward resemblance. Sometimes platinum group metals are used as a ligature, which contributes to the cost of products. But gradually manufacturers switched to more affordable additives, such as copper.
Given the significant improvement in material properties, the introduction of ligatures, which reduce the precious metal content, has a good effect on the overall performance of the products.
Silver is represented by a large number of types, their composition and properties are differentiated. But not all Ag-based metals can be used in the production of jewelry, cutlery and household appliances. This can be explained by peculiarities:
- high grade (960, 999): High quality, high value, but the materials are soft, because the amount of silver is too significant, and therefore in operation more than others exhibit the properties of this metal;
- low-grade (800 or less): The materials have excellent performance characteristics - they are hard, hard-wearing, but contain too little Ag, which can mean a decrease in the value of the jewelry.
By comparing alloys, it is possible to learn more about sterling silver: bad or good, when the content of the precious metal in the material is not too high, but also not low. This is the most suitable option for the production of jewelry, household items. Some time ago, sterling silver 925 became known as sterling. It is distinguished by its composition, properties, and often also by its appearance.
History of the name and what the numbers 925 mean
Sterling silver got its name many centuries ago. It appeared around the 12th century. There are two versions of its origin:
- material began to be used in eastern Germany - Easterling Silver;
- 925 sterling silver was named after the British pound sterling, which used to be the standard weight - 240 coins were minted from one unit of money.
To control the movement of precious metals in the domestic market of the state uses a system of punching, it also formed the basis of technology for the production of goods that can be classified according to a certain attribute, such as composition.
In Russia, the current system is the metric system. According to it, jewelry is marked with a numerical marking of the content of the precious metal in the alloy.
If 925 silver is found, it may mean that the pure material is 925 grams per 1,000 weight units. The remaining amount (75 g) is a ligature. Today, products have received an expanded designation - Sterling Silver. In the catalogs of many trading sites they are listed as SL925.
GOST gold grades
To understand which group of products refers to the 925 hallmark, it is necessary to study the peculiarities of the composition of gold, and with it the silver. The amount of precious metal in the alloy differs significantly when comparing aurum and argentum. The content of gold is determined by the branding:
|Sample||Quantity Au, %|
Some varieties of alloys are not counted because they have not been used for a long time. Others are still mentioned (e.g., 583), but are gradually ceasing to be used and are rare. And 925 is not among them. This means that materials with such a designation belong to another category.
Silver Assays. What is vermeil
There are different types of metal alloys based on Ag. As in the case of gold, they differ in the content of the main component and the type of impurities. Au grades according to GOST:
|Sample||Ag content, %|
When comparing these tables, in which the stamps used today are collected, it is possible to see that 925 alloy The gold is a silver group. But even that doesn't always sound convincing, since many people see the 925 designation on gold jewelry. Only this is also Argentum, despite its deceptive yellow hue.
The base material is an Ag-based alloy. It is plated in gold. The decorative coating is too thin to be taken into account in determining the composition of the precious metal. For this reason, only the characteristics of the base material - silver - are evaluated.
Items with these characteristics are called "vermeil. This is gilded silver, which means that the jewelry belongs to the precious. But their cost is lower than that of high-grade alloys.
Composition and properties of S925 metal
Sterling Silver is used everywhere. It is used by jewelry houses:
- Products under the Sokolov brand are manufactured with a special kind of branding - S925, where the letter has its meaning - it is the name of the manufacturer;
- S925 - PANDORA, S stands for "sterling silver", and this brand always adds Ale after the main designation (the initials of the company owner).
The appearance of the branding is constantly changing. During tsarist Russia there was a profile next to the numerical designation (head, neck, kokoshnik were visible). During the USSR, the branding changed several times:
- At first, a stamp in the form of a male profile (the head of a worker with a hammer) was used;
- were later used star test;
- After the collapse of the USSR, it was decided to return to the female profile in the kokoshnik, but a different location was chosen - today a variant of the branding with the image of the head looking to the right is used.
Sellers whose jewelry contains a substantial amount of noble metal send their products for assaying. As a result, the inscription is most often a guarantee of quality. Sterling silver 925 consists of the precious metal (Ag) - 92.5%, copper - 7.5%. The content of the main component cannot be changed, otherwise the products will pass into the category of low-grade.
But manufacturers independently regulate the amount of additives. Copper, nickel, platinum, palladium, etc. are used in the production of plain silver (not sterling). This can affect the properties of the alloy: hardness, color. That's why a 925 ring looks different from manufacturer to manufacturer.
Nickel has not been added to alloys in the European Union since 2000, due to an increase in the number of cases of allergies to this material.
When comparing gold and silver Note their attractiveness, both are characterized by a noble appearance. If you mix Au with a small amount of Ag, you get a lighter material. In comparison, silver tends to turn yellow, red and pink, as does gold when copper is added.
Of all the existing jewelry materials, the heaviest is aurum. Its density is equal to 19.3 g/cm3. In comparison, silver is almost twice as light (its density is 10.5 g/cm3). These are pure metal values. Adding impurities will change the value of this parameter, but not much, because a significant proportion is precious metal. When comparing valuables of the same size, it turns out that it is heavier to wear a ring or earrings made of gold.
As the ligature is introduced, the strength of any precious metal increases: gold, platinum or silver. When making gold jewelry, it is better to use Cu, Ag, Pd, Pt as additives. If sterling (silver hallmark 925), there is no Au in the composition, only Cu is used. To make the simple 92.5% alloy, platinum, nickel are also introduced. This difference between the metals makes it possible to increase the strength in different ways.
Argentum without additives is a fusible material. To increase the hardness, components are used that are also flowable, but retain their shape after solidification. This improves the properties of 925-proof products. In comparison, gold is more difficult to work with.
What the different types of precious metals have in common is that their properties improve after the addition of a ligature to such an extent that each becomes easy to work to a different degree. Sterling, when mixed with auxiliary components, retains its fusibility and acquires a moderate hardness. It is possible to create articles of varying degrees of complexity. Gold does not differ from sterling in this respect, but the properties of this metal can be improved by using a different technology.
Silver alloys require less aggressive processing conditions. The melting point of the pure metal is 962°C. Gold does not melt unless the environmental parameters change more. The temperature at which this material begins to change structure is higher by almost 100°C and is 1064.18°C. The value of this parameter may change slightly after the addition of impurities.
Thermal and electrical conductivity
Argentum conducts heat quickly; as soon as it is immersed in a hot environment, the metal immediately heats up. This is due to its extremely high thermal conductivity (429 W/(m*K)). Few precious metals can provide such a result. The gold alloy is not far behind. Its thermal conductivity is 318 W/(m*K). Moreover, sterling and gold are excellent conductors, so they are often used in the manufacture of radio components, covered with contact parts of mechanisms, etc.
Non-additive precious metals interact weakly with external substances. Au is susceptible to some acids and can dissolve in such an environment. If we compare precious metals to each other, it appears that Ag has the advantage of not dissolving in acid. In spite of that, the jewelry starts to look bad as it is worn.
This phenomenon can be explained by the presence of ligature in the alloys, because the jewels are made only from such materials, not from pure silver or gold.
This ligature interacts with the components that the environment contains. As a result, the beloved chain, the once attractive bracelet and earring darken.
Silver is distinguished by its antibacterial properties. Even the addition of copper does not deprive the alloy of this advantage. This feature allows to use silver products where metals of other composition will promote inflammation, itching, rash. Today, no additives are used that affect health, with each body reacting differently to impurities. Aurum resembles jewels containing Ag in this property.
There are various additional symbols, letters next to the designation 925: S, UVDS, etc. This is a noun, next to it may be a cipher consisting of the year of manufacture and the region of the country. It often appears that such letters are put on the items of the bijouterie category. It is often found on costume jewellery.
In China, the production of some silver items is not as strictly controlled. This allows fraudsters to pass off cheap items as sterling by removing the last word from the silver plated designation. As a result, the jewelry appears to be completely silver.
Types, shades and wide application of 925
If the properties of 925 proof, gold or silver are considered - you can determine what material the product is made of by its external characteristics. For example, Au is a yellow precious metal. Jewelry in different shades of yellow and red is more common. There is green, blue, black gold and other kinds of gold. Silver, on the other hand, is of a grayish color. After the introduction of additives, it becomes white. Less often, a yellowish, pink, red or red hue appears. Such a variety of colors as Au-containing jewelry does not exist among silver products.
Directions of application of the precious metal stamped with sterling silver 925:
- household items, interiors, and decor;
- products of cults;
- coating of contact parts of mechanisms, radio components, using a technical alloy, the Ag content in it can be different, including the use of the ratio, as in the alloy 92.5%.
Despite its high value, sterling is not used in bullion production. Only refined 999 argentum is suitable for this purpose. This does not make the 925 alloy good or bad. It simply does not meet the requirements for bankable precious metals.
The use of silver in different categories
The metal alloy containing Ag is used for a variety of purposes. It is used both in the production of simple objects and for the purpose of making high-end jewelry. The division of silver products takes into account their characteristics:
- Category 1: things have no defects, high value (this group includes rings, earrings, bracelets and other jewelry with precious natural stones, including diamonds, rubies, etc.), the stones have a multiple of 0.08 or 0.1 per 1 gram of metal;
- Category 2: various types of jewelry without defects, a multiple of 0.04 or 0.05 per 1 gram of precious alloy;
- Category 3: this includes objects, jewelry that cannot be classified in the first two categories, they often have damage, do not always contain stamps, are used as religious objects or have undergone ennoblement.
Cost per gram of 925 proof
The price of 1g of silver varies, which is influenced by a large number of factors, including: quotations on the London Stock Exchange, operations of the Central Bank, the composition of the alloy, design, etc. The graph of change in the price of Ag in recent weeks:
A precious metal with different exterior characteristics costs differently. The determining factor is the exchange rate of the Central Bank, but the price is also affected by the store markup and the condition of the item:
|Price of 1g of the 999th precious metal (set by the Central Bank of Russia), rubles.||Cost of Ag on the market, rub./1 gram||Scrap price, rubles.||Cost in jewelry stores, rubles.|
The ruble can rise and fall, just like the price of precious metals. You can make your own calculations so you don't depend on quotes. The price of 1g of sterling silver with a stamp indicating an Ag content of 92.5%:
price of 999 precious metals *0.925 = price of sterling alloy
Where can I buy sterling silver
925 is a silver with a high content of precious metal, the most popular variety. To buy it, consider the options:
- jewelry retailers;
- online stores;
More guarantees of quality are presented in large jewelry stores. They are available in every city:
|Yaroslavl||"The Big Jeweler."||+7(485)272-60-16|
|Kirov||"Gold of the Russians."||+7(833)243-54-01|
Where and how to sell 925 jewelry
Jewels with content precious metal 92.5% is received everywhere. Available options:
- pawn shop;
- buying up;
- private ads in the newspaper, on special Internet sites (Avito, etc.): before you sell, you must first make a photo from different angles.
The amount for such items is always different, there is no fixed price, because they differ in weight, size, and design. If there is an insert (stone), the cost increases, and it depends on its properties (precious, semi-precious): fianite, diamond, etc.
Antique rings from the times of the tsarist Russia, items made of quality material from World War II can be sold for double or triple the price. While pawnshops buy up jewelry for general consumption in bulk (from 2-3 pieces), rare items are appraised at a different value, bought back for one, and sold for tens or hundreds of times more.
What do you coat silver with?
The coating does not affect the type of branding. If you find jewels with an unusual embossing: 923, 928, 929, it does not mean that they are coated with something. Such numbers on silver items denote the presence of Ag non-standard content. Types of coatings:
- niello (use silver sulfide, copper, sulfur);
- oxidation - silver oxide film.
How to choose the right silver. How to spot a fake
Due to the presence of additives in the composition of the silver alloy, it is possible to find out whether the item contains argentum and how much of it is in its composition. The reagents are used to check the properties of the precious metal.
Pharmacy preparations: chamois ointment and iodine
Peculiarities of interaction of silver things with different means:
- Iodine: apply 1-2 drops of the substance from the back of the object, argentum will darken, aurum will not; if spots on the ring with 92.5% precious metal content still remain, this will allow you to make sure that there is no 925 gold;
- Sulfur ointment: it is also applied to a silver object, the appearance of a dark streak will tell you that this is the real Ag.
The more valuable the metal, the less the thing will be attracted to the magnetic field source. A bracelet containing 92.5% argentum will remain stationary if the magnet is weak. The stronger it is, the greater the risk of moving the item, as it contains additives that can react to external factors.
Sterling is susceptible to vinegar. Leave the precious metal in a glass with acid (2 tablespoons per 200 ml of water). If after a while, the liquid clouds and its color changes to gray, it means that the item is made of argentum.
Question and answer section:
What kind of proof are "Save and Protect" rings made of?
All items of 925 are coated with precious metal: rhodium, gold?
What does a foreign mark on silver look like?
How can I tell the difference between 925 silver and white gold?
What is the quality of Turkish metal?
925 proof - can it be white gold or is it silver?
929th assay - what does it mean?
Is there any 925 gold?
Is it 925 platinum, or is it silver?
Is pink 925 silver a fake?
Branding on 925 silver - letters, what are they for?
923 - good or bad?
Chinese fake jewelry: than bad or good?
Top 5 ways to clean silver at home: tips for caring for the metal
Even the most popular products (sterling) require proper care because they can darken due to the impurities they contain:
- Professional products (Aladdin, Millenium): solutions and pastes are designed specifically for gentle care of demanding items, they are applied to soiled areas or completely immersed in a solution (depending on the preparation), then carefully polished;
- soda and foil: prepare a solution based on 1 liter of water and 100 grams of soda, boil, put foil on the bottom, top - the soiled thing, after 1 minute remove it, wash;
- Toothpaste: prepare a gel children's variety, as it is less damaging to silver objects, you need to rub the areas where the spots appeared, using a lint-free rag;
- Ammonia solutions: prepare an aqueous solution (1:1), put the soiled object in the container, cover, shake until it is clean, but care must be taken because sterling does not tolerate ammonia, as a result the jewel may lose its luster (though it was originally weak), tarnish will be evident;
- Soap solution: the mildest method, considered quite effective, first dissolve the detergent in water, then soak the thing or rub a rag with a soap solution on the object, which is blackened.
Video: 925 proof, gold or silver
Silver 92.5%, what quality: reviews
Recently sold old jewelry. Took some pictures, created 1 ad with all the nuances and my phone number. Almost immediately they started calling, and in the evening they came and took everything. Before that, I tried to pass the jewelry to a pawnshop: I chose more favorable terms, read the reviews. I even found out the rate of silver in the Sberbank. But they offered such a price that I almost fainted - very cheap. I won't even try to deposit my jewelry there again, it's just a pity to give it away for nothing.
Of all kinds of silver alloys, I prefer sterling. It looks noble, has very little shine, but the color is cold, metallic. If properly cared for, the jewelry will stay that way. Mine are already in their seventh year, are still new (in appearance). I do not advise to use aggressive agents, it is better to remove stains more often, but more gently. Once I forgot a ring in ammonia overnight. In the morning it was matt. I don't know why, but it reacted. Maybe the alloy was not very good, got a deplorable result.
Sterling contains copper, so I like it better than other 92.5% silver (they have nickel, etc.). I'll explain: the more substantial the amount of ligature, the worse the piece will wear. Already tried more than once, all deteriorated, with time lost color, luster.
The presence of plating increases the cost of jewelry, but you do not have to spend a lot of money on professional cleaning of 925-silver items because the jewelers clean the silver better and more gently. In addition, constant polishing promotes abrasion of the surface layer.