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Sterling Silver

Like 9K gold and 18K gold, the British Assay  Office have a certain standard which must be  reached in order for Sterling Silver to be named  as  such:  more  than  92.5%  of  the  metal  must  be pure silver. In America, Sterling Silver only  needs to be 92.1% pure to achieve its status. The  reason Sterling Silver is made into an alloy is  that, on its own, silver is a fairly soft metal and  therefore copper is normally added to the blend  to make it stronger. 

The term “Sterling Silver,” emerged in the 13th  century and it is no coincidence that the British  currency is also called Sterling. Interestingly, in  French, the word “argent” also means both silver  and money. Another silver standard is Britannia.  This  is  purer  than  Sterling  and  to  achieve  its  official  hallmark  at  least  95.84%  of  the  alloy  needs to be silver. However, as it is softer than  Sterling Silver it is not used as often in jewellery. 

In the UK it is a legal requirement for retailers  to  ensure  that  all  silver  items  that  weigh  in  excess of 7.78 grams have an official hallmark.  Be careful though, as most manufacturers will  stamp 925 on the silver jewellery they produce and  this  should  not  to  be  confused  with  the official hallmark applied by the Assay Office.More recently the Assay Office have added  a new hallmark standard for silver known  as 800 or “Continental Silver”. To receive  this hallmark the silver content must be in  excess of 80% of the alloy.  This exciting  development means that by adding a higher  percentage of other metals to the mix, just  like gold, we can now create slightly different  colours of silver. This new standard is also  more tarnish resistant than Sterling Silver.

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Our Tookalon pieces are set in Sterling Silver.