The history of silver
What is alpaca, nickel silver and C925?
The majority of all silver in the world is
produced in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Canada, Australia, USA and Chile. The biggest manufacturer is Mexico,
that produces approximately 15% of the world's production. In most cases the silver is mixed with other metals
in order to make it strong and resistant. Normally 92,5% silver and 7,5% copper is used, and is referred to
as "Sterling silver". The metal becomes more corrosion-resistant to air, water and other
basic and acid materials. With a higher percentage than 92,5% of silver it gets more sensitive to damages.
The silver gets a darker and yellowish tone and in extreme cases the reaction becomes so strong that the metal gets dark. Silver often reacts with sulphur in the air and proteins that exist in the human body. It means that silver must be maintained at regular intervals in order to retain its lustre. Silver that is produced nowadays most often contains no nickel, which some people with allergies are sensitive against. The silver that comes from Mexico is free from nickel.
Silver is used in many processes in the industry, e.g. as a catalyst in developing photographs. It was detected already in the 19th century when the photo industy began. In connection with the introduction of the digital photo technology it decreased. The industry previously used about 60% of all silver, however the most part nowadays is used
within the trade of jewellery or
industrial commodity. A simpler and cheaper version of jewellery is 'silver' plated jewellery, which does
not contain any silver at all. It's made of copper, zinc and nickel. Alpaca is another silver plated alloy
that contains a lot of nickel. Both these alloys should not be used, if you have problems with nickel allergy.
When silver is converted to 925 sterling silver, it gets a whiter tone which is referred to "925 silver" or as mentioned above; Sterling silver. A new variant is 80% silver that is used in some parts of the world. The silver is the least expensive of the precious metals. Another new Chinese false product is marked "Sterling silver C925".
History of silver: The first countries that started to process silver were the areas of what today are Turkey, Greece and Crete. The largest individual mine was Laurium outside Athen, which between 1200 B.C. and 100 A.D.. Laurium dominated all production in the known world. When the Romans had defeted most countries in southern and middle Europe, they extended the mining to first of all Spain. And they did it for 1000 years. About 85% of all production and trade came from Mexico, Bolivia and Peru between 1500-1800. Even today the moutains of Mexico have the greatest production of silver. And of cource, the skilled craftsmen of Mexico make beautiful jewellery, like they have done for many hundreds of years.
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