Sterling Silver – The “Other” Precious Metal

Silver jewelry has been a staple in the lives of mankind since humans discovered the versatility of silver and the many uses it has τιμη ασημι has been used for functional and aesthetic purposes. In times of old, silver was used to create flatware and armor to protect soldiers on their way into battle. Silver jewelry was later created and used by Phoenician and Egyptian citizens desiring attractive and convenient pieces to add to their jewelry collections. Over time silver has been used to create flatware, decorative art, coins, dental fillings, jewelry and more.

Silver is produced in many different areas, though the highest concentrations of silver output come from Mexico and Peru.

One of the reasons sterling silver jewelry is so popular is its affordability and versatility. Sterling silver can be crafted into many different jewelry items including charms, rings and chains. Silver jewelry is often mistaken for other more precious metals including white gold and platinum.

Common Types of Silver

There are many different types of silver that can be used to create sterling silver jewelry. Silver is considered one of the precious metals along with its cousins gold, platinum and titanium.

Fine Silver – this is silver in its most natural state, when it is considered 99% pure. Often this type of silver is too soft to create ordinary products and is almost liquid in form. Usually silver has to be mixed with other metal alloys in order to create jewelry and household wear.

Sterling Silver – sterling is a mixture of fine silver and other metal alloys. The silver is considered about 92.5% pure. Sterling is usually combined with approximately 7.5% copper to make the jewelry more long lasting and durable. Sterling silver jewelry is usually marked on the inside with a “925”, indicative of its purity. Sterling silver jewelry made of just the right combination of silver and metal allows a jeweler to create a long lasting, durable piece that is shiny and brilliant enough to be mistaken for more expensive precious metals. Sterling silver is more likely to tarnish over time because of the presence of copper; however this relatively mild side effect can be minimized through proper care. By consistently cleaning your silver jewelry you’ll never even notice anything other than a beautiful shine and luster.

Silver Plating – plating occurs when a base metal such as nickel is covered with a layer of pure silver. This is often one of the most durable forms of silver, and is usually much less expensive than sterling silver because the percentage of pure silver in the jewelry is quite low. Most base metals need a re-coat of pure silver every few years to maintain a shiny outer coat and to prevent the base metal from peaking through the coating.

Nickel Silver – nickel silver is a combination of nickel, copper and zinc that is not actually silver, but resembles silver. It is an inexpensive and popular item that can be used to create look-alike jewelry.

Vermeil – this form of silver was popular in the eighteenth century. Silver is plated in gold, providing a polished and expensive looking custom piece of jewelry.

Caring for Silver Jewelry

Sterling silver jewelry does have a tendency to scratch more often than other metals, and may tarnish over time. Proper care can ensure however that the jewelry remains shiny and well kept. The following tips will ensure that your sterling silver lasts a long time and maintains its luster and original appearance:

  • Sterling silver jewelry should be stored in a cool dry place to reduce environmental damage.
  • Consider keeping each piece in an individual cloth pouch to prevent scratching.
  • Use a jewelry cleaner or polishing solution at least once a month to clean the surface of silver jewelry to help maintain its luster.
  • Use a soft cloth to clean silver; never use a toothbrush or other abrasive material that might result in scratching.
  • Clean silver at the first signs of tarnishing, when a yellowish tint appears on the jewelry. If you wait until the silver has turned black, you’ll have to scrub harder and may damage the shine on the jewelry.
  • Consider using chemical dipping agents which clean jewelry without scrubbing.
  • Avoid cleaners that contain ammonia which can also turn silver jewelry black, consider soapy water instead.

Sterling silver is a popular item in part because it is more reflective than many precious metals. Proper care will ensure that silver jewelry remains beautiful for years to come. If you have other items in the house made of silver, such as silver wear or other household items, always use a cleaner or dip specifically designed to clean silver metal. Never put these items in a dishwasher, because you will scratch the surface and cause irreparable damage.

Purchasing Silver

When buying silver jewelry, you should be prepared to take your time to select quality pieces, just as you would if selecting a more expensive jewelry item. Young consumers are often attracted to sterling silver jewelry because it is so affordable and beautiful. Sterling silver also comes in many contemporary and modern designs which are appealing to young consumers.

So what should you look for when shopping? First and foremost always check the interior for the 925 mark, to ensure that you are purchasing premium sterling silver rather than sterling silver plating. Keep in mind that the more pure the silver, the more soft and likely that a piece will scratch, so don’t go for anything more pure than sterling silver.

If you are looking to buy many different pieces, you might consider buying wholesale silver jewelry online. By doing so you’ll be able to buy in bulk, and acquire large amounts of silver jewelry at inexpensive prices. Many jewelers and home business owners get into the habit of buying wholesale silver jewelry online because they can re-sell the merchandise at a higher price. There are hundreds of pieces to choose from, and you might even find a collection with a certain theme that appeals to you or the people you might be selling to.

Whey buying for yourself you should ensure you know what size jewelry you need if buying a ring. You might consider buying complete sets that include ring, bracelet and charm. Sets are very popular options for consumers purchasing sterling silver jewelry.

Silver is an exceptional choice for consumers looking for fine jewelry that is precious, attractive and inexpensive. From the dawn of time, mankind has invested in silver for practical and aesthetic purposes. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend investing in a little silver.

Colloidal silver is a colloid made of high purity (.999) silver nanoparticles which measure between 5 nm and 100 nm and are suspended in water. The silver nanoparticles remain suspended diffracting light so that the whole solution will take on a certain color and stay that way. The color it acquires varies from light amber to cherry like under room lighting to an intense orange when the light is shined directly behind it. The nanoparticles of silver measure between 5 nm and 20 nm, ensuring their safety and preventing Argyria and silver toxicity, known side effects of silver, even when large quantities are used.

SILVER PARTICLE SIZE

The size is also very important. Colloidal particles in size are safe for humans, animals and other multicellular organisms. The size for colloidal particles of silver ranges between 5 nm to 100 nm. If the particles are smaller than 5 nm then the solution behaves like a molecular suspension and it is considered toxic. On the other hand, if the majority of the particles are larger than 100nm, they can be deposited as a heavy metal in the body, causing a condition known as argyria (a condition where silver is deposited as a heavy metal and can cause a permanent discoloration). In either case, too small or too large, the results are undesirable.

WHAT ABOUT NANO OR IONIC SILVER?

The particles of silver measure between 5 nm and 100 nm. Colloidal particles are nano in size, nm stands for nanometer. If unsure one can always use the Tyndall Effect Test to determine how colloidal any silver solution is by comparing the intensity of the Tyndall effect and the ppm of the solutions.

Silver ions are formed as nanoparticles of silver become charged. An ion is defined as follows: An atom or group of atoms that has either lost one or more electrons, making it positively charged (a cation), or gained one or more electrons, making it negatively charged (an anion). In other words, a nanoparticle is a group of atoms, and it the nanoparticle is charged then it is an ion. Colloidal silver nanoparticles have an electrical charge otherwise they would not remain suspended, therefore colloidal silver is an ionic solution.

HOW DOES COLLOIDAL SILVER WORK?

Colloidal silver shows highly potent antibacterial activity toward both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria. This condition may be due to its accumulation in the bacterial membrane. A membrane with such morphology exhibits a significant increase in permeability, resulting in death of the cell.

Bacteria:

Silver ions interact with both Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria in 4 different ways:

  • The silver ions interact with sulfhydryl (-SH) groups of proteins which inhibit bacterial respiration.
  • The silver ions interact with bases of DNA. This interactions leads to the inhibition of DNA unwinding.
  • The silver ions act inhibiting cell division and cause damage to bacterial cell envelopes.
  • The silver ions interact with hydrogen bonding processes in the bacteria.

Virus:

In viruses silver is size dependent. It has been noted silver ions rendering dysfunctional certain actuator molecules. An example that is fairly easy to explain is the following: When silver ions catalyze a phosphate ‘b’ actuator molecule, (an organic actuator molecule that normally opens and closes a virus’ orifice through which it injects an RNA strand into a host organism, causing the host to produce a new generation of viruses) the actuator becomes dysfunctional and will not open the orifice, making it impossible for the virus to inject the RNA strand into the host. The reproductive cycle of the virus is broken because it cannot induce the host to produce new offspring.

Modern Research Confirms What Old Researchers Already Knew

Before 1939 nano colloidal silver particles were known as colloidal silver. Colloidal silver was researched and found to have over 95 uses NOT 650. Today nano particles of silver are being widely researched for diverse purposes.

So here you have it. Colloidal silver manufacturers out there do not make colloidal silver if it does not fit the description. The reason why there is such a misunderstanding about whether colloidal silver is good or not is because there are too many manufacturers each making something which does not fit the colloidal description of colloidal silver.

If you find a colorless solution called colloidal silver, use the Tyndall Effect. If it is a weak Tyndall Effect then it is mostly an atomic solution with molecular properties. If it has a strong Tyndall Effect on the other hand, check the color, it should be light amber or yellow when it has a concentration of about 15 ppm and the color should intensify as it increases in ppm to a cherry red if the particles are closer to the 5 nm limit. If the nanoparticles get closer to the 100 nm limit then the color will be more like a greenish grayish.

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