The fineness of any metal is the amount of its base metal (silver) in proportion to any other metal, alloy, or impurity. Alloys are added to elevate the durability and hardness of silver. Doing so changes the colour and reduces costs.
Silver Markings -Most Common Way
The most common way through which one can figure the purity of silver bullion, coin, jewellery, or even silverware is to look for the silver marking or hallmark left by the manufacturer. A Hallmark shows the level of purity (also known as the assayer’s mark or millesimal fineness mark) of the silver object and a couple of other information like the manufacturer’s name and the date of production. Two of the most common hallmarks are the 925-silver mark (sterling silver) which depicts 92.5% of purity or a coin and a 975 mark represents 97.5% of purity. These markings can sometimes come in very small fonts, hence at times, a magnifying glass will have to be used to read them. However, there are a variety of hallmarks left by manufacturers on different silver products, one will have to smart enough to recognize it on each product. Silver fineness prices differ depending on the purity, hence why it’s a good idea to learn what your silvers purity actually is.
MELLESIMAL FINENESS MARK:
When we talk about silver standards, we allude to millesimal fineness which is a system developed to denote the purity of the silver or any other metal. Generally, nations have silver standards based on parts per 1000 of pure metal. If an ordinary person can learn to decipher these marks and understand how this system works, he/ she can figure out the level of purity of each silver item they possess, ultimately saving them from the hassle of going out and seeking professional advice.
Following are a few types of silver with different silver markings that depict their level of purity:
Fine silver is also known as pure silver. It is 99.9% purely silver with the remaining part being impurities. This means that fine silver has a silver marking of 999. Fine silver is used in for the production of silver bullion bars and it’s an ideal option for investors.
This silver has a silver marking of 959 which means that its 95.84% silver and the remaining part is either copper or another alloy.
Sterling Silver is 92.5% pure silver and the remaining 7.5% of it consists of alloys, which indicates a silver marking of 925.
This silver was made down after melting silver coins hence the name. It has a silver marking of 900 which means that it is 90% pure silver and 10% copper.
Certain nations have their particular way of expressing silver purity:
- Russia denotes it with “zolotnik”. This silver has a silver marking of 947. Another type of Russian silver is the 84 zolotnik Russian which has a silver marking of 875.
- The Austrian and German side of the world represent it by “loth” ad Finland uses “luoti” etc.
The marks used to guarantee the degree of silver purity are the relating number, a number, and at least one letter, an image, or a blend of image/number/letter. You can visit the Gold News website for full information on silver fineness purity information and other silver related investment topics.