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Silver Education & Care

Silver, like gold, has been used since ancient times for jewelry and other decorations. Silver’s chemical symbol Ag is from the Latin for silver, argentum, from the root arg, meaning "white" or "shining". Silver has long been considered the second-most precious metal after gold, and is associated with some of gold’s opposite features: silver is the moon and the night (versus gold’s sunny day and is tenderness and kindness (versus gold’s power). What silver does have in common with gold is its long connection to love: romantic, spiritual, and familial love.

Pure silver (also called “fine” silver) is 99.9% silver, but is very soft and malleable and deforms easily, so that it is not ideal for jewelry in its pure state. There are many alloys of silver that call themselves “silver”; however, in the United States, only an alloy consisting of at least 90% fine silver can be marketed as silver.

Here at Diamond Select, all silver in our jewelry is Sterling Silver, which is an alloy of 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper that is harder than pure silver. This type of high-quality silver—which is perfect for jewelry because of its beauty and durability—will bear one of the following marks:

    Silver

Sterling
Sterling Silver
Ster
9255
.925
9.25


Sterling silver jewelry is often plated with a thin coat of .999 fine silver to give the item a shiny finish. This process is called “flashing”. Silver jewelry can also be plated with rhodium (for a bright, shiny look) as with white gold. But please note that if jewelry is marked with “silver plated”, “coated”, or “coated with silver”, then you know that the item is made of cheaper metals plated with a thin film of silver.

Care

The main issue in caring for silver jewelry is its propensity to tarnish if it is not being used regularly. The best way to prevent tarnish is to wear silver jewelry often, and to keep it in anti-tarnish fabric. However, if silver does become tarnished, you can easily clean it. Diamond Select recommends using a polishing cloth intended for silver, rather than a silver polish which can leave residue. DO NOT use paper towels or anything else with a rough surface to polish your silver, as they can cause scratches.

It is wise to remove silver jewelry during rugged activities, when using chemicals, or when swimming in a chlorinated pool. Also, if your hands are to be submerged in water, watch out that rings may loosen as your fingers contract