Understanding Silver – What is sterling silver? In its pure state, silver, it is soft and malleable. So scientists and silversmiths developed alloys that make it stronger and more durable. Sterling silver content is a mixture of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper. While other metals can be used, copper has proven to be the best additive, adding the necessary strength without affecting the cool, elegant beauty of silver.
Chris Lewis polished silver has a high polish and lustre. It shines on delivery. Overtime this effect changes with a lot of wear and an effect occurs that jewellers call Patina. Patina is the soft, warm glow that appears on the surface of well-used sterling silver. Even highly polished silver objects develop this deeper beauty over time, and it is one of the reasons that old silver is highly prized among connoisseurs and collectors. However, if a bright polish is preferred, a jeweller can restore silver to its original appearance at any time. Is it real? To be absolutely sure, look for a stamp reading “sterling silver” or the .925 mark, which indicates the percentage of pure silver in the piece. This should be accompanied by the maker’s name or registered trademark. To learn more about hallmarking and assaying click here to see our article on the Birmingham Assay Office.