Silver - Sterling Silver
Long valued as a precious metal, silver has been used as currency, jewelry, ornamentation, and highly valued tableware for hundreds of years. A soft, malleable metal, silver is slightly harder than gold and has the highest electrical and thermal conductivity of any metal. One of the most popular forms of silver for jewelry and silverware is sterling silver. This is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. Another common form of silver is the hallmark-quality standard of Britannia silver, which is 95.8% silver and commonly found in silver tableware. Silver jewelry is often plated with a fine layer of .999 fine silver to give it a bright, lustrous finish. Rhodium plating is also commonly used to brighten the look of silver jewelry. Silver tends to tarnish and requires regular maintenance to maintain an optimum look.