While sterling silver jewellery is delicate, exquisite and incredibly beautiful, the precious metal wasn’t always so refined. Silver is a mined substance, meaning that before it is crafted into luxury jewellery, it is dug out of the ground in the form of native deposits or combined with substances such as sulphur, antimony and arsenic. Very rarely is it found in pure nuggets, which means that pure silver is often extracted through an amalgamation or electrolysis process.
The metal is found in countries across the globe, from South America and the USA to Australia and New Zealand. Most silver is found in ore and is extracted using large scale mining machines.
Once the pure silver has been harvested, it is combined with other metals to create the sterling silver alloy. This is because in its pure form, silver is incredibly soft and unsuitable for jewellery. When combined with other metals, the pure silver is given the strength to be crafted into far more intricate designs.
Alloy metals include copper, platinum, zinc and germanium. The most common alloy is .925 sterling silver with a copper alloy. This means that the metal is made up of 92.5% pure mined silver and 7.5% copper. The copper gives the silver added strength and durability without affecting its glorious silver sheen. The actual value of the precious metal is barely affected by the addition of an alloy component. Rather, value is determined by the skills of the craftsman and the time spent shaping the sterling silver into it final design.
After the alloy has been created, the sterling silver can then be crafted into gorgeous jewellery. This is done all over the world, with every country adopting its own unique techniques and traditions. Italy in particular is renowned for its premium quality sterling silver jewellery that boasts exceptional workmanship. With sterling silver traditions dating back to 1870, the country has a rich history of producing beautiful jewellery.
The final stage is to mark the jewellery with a universal sterling silver hallmark. This is to indicate quality and purity of the item. Hallmarks vary from country to country and can be used to determine purity and original place of manufacturing.
For exquisite examples of premium quality sterling silver jewellery, check out the amazing range of pieces on sale from Think Positive. Hand crafted in Italy, every piece boasts exceptional craftsmanship and is embedded with the infectious positive energy of company founder, Antonio Marsocci.
Leave a comment
Comments will be approved before showing up.