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About silver

What exactly is silver and what is it composed of?
Silver is a precious metal which occurs in pure form in nature, deep down in the earth, in ores such as lead, zinc and copper. Areas that are rich in silver include Mexico, Canada, USA and Peru.

 

Pure silver has a beautiful white metallic lustre. It is a little harder than gold, but is still very malleable. Genuine silver has a fineness of at least 830 thousand parts silver: 83%. The remainder includes copper. 830 silver is the most common fineness in table silver.

925 Sterling silver – what we use
The fineness of the silver that is used in jewellery is almost always 925 thousand parts, i.e. 92,5% silver, the remainder includes copper, zink etc. This silver is also called Sterling silver and that is what all pieces of jewellery from M925 contain. Sterling silver is whiter and softer to work with than 830 silver, which is why it is more suitable for the manufacture of jewellery. All M925 jewellery is made of genuine Sterling silver, hence the name of the company (the M stands for Magdalena).

Uses
The best known uses of silver are the manufacture of jewellery, flatware, ornaments and coins. However, more than 60% of all available silver is used in the photography and electronics industries, in the manufacture of solder, electrical plugs and high capacity batteries. Indeed, silver has the highest electrical conductivity of any element.

History
Early civilisations associated silver with the moon and its silver-white glow, whilst gold was associated with the sun. The original name for silver was ”Luna”, which means moon in Spanish. Later, the name was replaced with the Latin ”argentum”, which means white and shiny (The chemical symbol Ag comes from here).

What is nickel silver?
Nickel silver looks like silver, but is a mixture of copper, zinc and nickel and is only plated with silver.

What is bijouterie?
Bijouterie is an umbrella term for non-precious jewellery. It usually consists of a mixture of copper and zinc. Bijouterie is sometimes plated with gold, silver and/ or nickel.

What is gold plating?
Gold plating is silver covered with a thin layer of gold. Gold plating occurs in an electrolytic bath and gradually wears away - how fast depends on how much you use your jewellery and how you take care of it. The plating on a bracelet will of course wear out faster than that on a pair of earrings.

One has to be extra careful with gold plated jewellery, as the layer of gold is thin. Avoid immersing it in a silver bath, which is of course very strong. Avoid rubbing it too hard with a polishing cloth and avoid bathing and showering with it. When the gold plating wears away, the silver underneath starts to appear. The gold plating process can be repeated as many times as desired.

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