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This page will provide you with all the necessary information about SILVER Weights and Measures. Be sure to check out our other related Products: HERE!
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Click forSILVER Facts!           Click for Periodic Table and Tech Info          Click for :Properties of Silver
Click for SILVER ALLOYS     Click for Mexican Silver     Click for Coin Silver Click for Britannia Silver        
Click for Nickel or German Silver        Click for Nickel Silver tradenames       Click for What is Alpacca?
Click for What is Tutenag?                  Click for Quicksilver                           Click for Sterling Silver
Click for Fine Silver                            Click for Coin Silver                           Click for Markings
Click for Markings in the USA             Click for Other Markings:       Click for Hallmarks and Trademarks
Click for The Healing Power of Silver

SILVER and Gold is measured in many ways but for some reason this precious metal is weighed in a system of measurements called "Troy Measurements" which is used internationally.
Troy measurements are such that one pound (lb) is divided up into 12 Troy Ounces
and each Troy Ounce is divided up into 20 units called Pennyweight (dwt).

Click HERE to get All the Info on "Troy Measurements"
Get the complete breakdown and FACTS: Troy Pound, Troy Ounce, Conversion Formulas, pennyweight (dwt), Grams, Gram-Calorie (mean), Grains, Dram or Drachm, Momme, Imperial System, GO HERE to get All the Info!

One of the most useful ways to calculate your Silver's value is to use the precious metals Silver Calculator that is available on Gold Calculator web site. It calculates the value using the current price of the metal you are interested in.

The Chinese were reluctant to disturb the Earth's spirits by mining and removing precious metals but used silver and gold when they were available through trade with the West. This occurred during the Tang dynasty and continuously from about 1600. The Chinese used silver for cups, bowls and dishes.

This white metal has had an illustrious history, at times being more highly valued than gold. Long used as a medium of exchange, its name is synonymous with money. Today, silver has found many new uses including photography, batteries, auto glass defogger, magnetic strips, etc.

Its most outstanding feature is its luster. Silver will take a higher polish than any other metal. It has the singular drawback that it tarnishes. Metal smiths often use this feature to highlight certain design elements. Modern chemicals easily remove tarnish, but the fact remains that silver needs more care than the other precious metals.

Silver is more abundant and much less expensive than gold or platinum. This has a lot to do with its popularity. Some jewelry styles, like the Native American, rely strictly on silver.

Silver is more difficult to work than gold, because it conducts heat so well. Beginners often learn soldering on this less expensive metal. When they graduate to gold, they find it easier to control the heat.
  1. Periodic Table and Technical information:
    Chemical formula: Ag
    Color: Silver-white on untarnished fresh surfaces. Tarnishes dark yellow to black
    Composition: Silver, frequently mixed with gold; sometimes mercury, arsenic, and antimony
    Hardness: 2 1/2 - 3
    Specific Gravity: 9.6 - 12.0 (depending on purity - Example: 100% Pure Ag =10.5)
    Tenacity: Ductile & Malleable
    Luster: Metallic

  2. Properties of Silver:
    Silver can be found pure, but is usually mixed with small amounts of gold, arsenic, and antimony. A natural alloy of gold and silver is known as Electrum, and is usually classified as a variety of gold. Silver is a very resistant mineral. It does not dissolve in most solutions, and won't react to oxygen or water. Its weak point is its reaction to sulfur and sulfides, which cause it to tarnish. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is found in the atmosphere in small quantities, and when silver is exposed to normal air it reacts to the hydrogen sulfide, causing the tarnish. Egg yolks, which contain large quantities of sulfur dioxide (SO2), as well as sulfur ores, should be kept away from silver. Several chemical coats are available to protect it from tarnish, and certain polishes remove tarnish.

    Silver is also alloyed. Most common is “Sterling” meaning .92.5% with the rest usually copper.
    Other European alloys are 87.5%, 83% and 80% silver. Some South American silversmith’s use an 80% allow that does not tarnish. The actual alloy should be stamped on the jewelry.
    Niello is a black mixture of silver, copper, lead and sulfur. It is used to fill in designs. Is more like enamel than an alloy.

  4. Mexican Silver:
    usually 95% silver and 5% copper.

  5. Coin Silver:
    90% silver, 10% copper by US standards. Is used in some countries and could be marked "900" or "800" depending on fineness.

    silver Clad: - term referring to US Half Dollars made from 1965 to 1970. Made with an outer layer of 80% silver and 20% copper bonded to an inner core of 20.9% silver and .791% copper. Overall 40% silver.

    junk silver: - silver coins of circulated quality. Often used to describe bags or common US silver coins that were pulled out of circulation when silver was disappearing. Does not mean the coins are damaged. Junk silver rolls or bags usually will not contain scarce dates, low mintages, or high quality coins.

    The smallest United States silver coin ever made is the three cent silver piece, occasionally called a trime, or fishy scale. Three cents might not sound like very much money but it would be the equal to about 50 cents in todays purchasing power. Back in the 1800s the average worker only earned about 10 cents per hour.

    Silver Certificate(s): The several series of USA papermonies, authorized in 1878, backed by and redeemable in silver by the US Treasury. The silver redemption privilege was revoked in 1968, but the notes remain, of course, legal tender.

  6. Britannia Silver:
    is at least 95.84% silver. In 1700, the Britannia standard for plate silver was introduced, in place of the sterling standard, to discourage the melting down of coins to make plate silver. This raised the purity of silver plate from 92.5% to 95.8%. One result was that silver was too soft for for elaborate decoration and more simple "Queen Anne" lines took hold.

  7. Nickel or German Silver:
    are misnomers, as they have no silver in them at all. Instead, they are various alloys of nickel, zink and other metals with a silver appearance. An alloy of copper, zinc, and nickel, usually in the ratio 5:2:2, used in cheap jewellery as a silver substitute and as a base for electroplating with silver (an article marked EPNS is electroplated nickel silver).

    The word nickel is shortened from of the German word Kupfernickel meaning niccolite ore. The word literally means copper demon, and was so called by German miners because it was often confused with genuine and valuable copper bearing ore.

    German silver, name for various alloys of copper, zinc, and nickel, sometimes also containing lead and tin. They were originally named for their silver-white color, but use of the term silver is now prohibited for alloys not containing that metal. German silver varies in composition, the percentage of the three elements ranging approximately as follows: copper, from 50% to 61.6%; zinc, from 19% to 17.2%; nickel, from 30% to 21.1%. The proportions are always specified in commercial alloys. German silver is extensively used because of its hardness, toughness, and resistance to corrosion for articles such as tableware (commonly silver plated), marine fittings, and plumbing fixtures. Because of its high electrical resistance it is used also in heating coils. It was discovered (early 19th cent.) by a German industrial chemist, E. A. Geitner.

  8. Nickel Silver tradenames:
    A partial listing of some 19th century manufacturers tradenames.

    Alpacca or A.L.P or ALPACCA PRIMA N.S Trademark of Berndorf AG., Austria
    Ascetic B. B. S. Ltd
    Austrian Silver
    Brazilian Silver D&A Trademark of Daniel and Arter, Birmingham
    Buxbridge - Trademark name of JT&Co.
    Dixon = John Dixon & Sons Logo: Bugle
    Encore TT&Co Trademark of T. Turner
    I.XL Geo. Wostenholm & Son, Sheffield-England
    Insignia Plate
    JB&S EP A1
    JD&S = John Dixon & Sons Logo: Bugle
    K & TL
    M&W Mappin and Webb
    N.S. New Silver
    Nevada Silver D&A Trademark of Daniel and Arter, Birmingham
    Norwegian Silver; Trademark of WG&S
    Pelican Silver JGNS
    Potosi Silver N&S WP
    RN&S EP Neill
    Silverite = Trademark of W P & Co
    Sonora Silver = Trademark of Walker and Hall, Sheffield
    Spur Silver = Trademark of E B & Co for Edwin Blyde & Co of Sheffield
    Stainless N. S.
    Stainless Nickel
    Stainless Nickel Silver
    Venetian Silver - Trademark of Deykin & Sons, Birmingham Logo: Gondola
    WF&SS EP

  9. What is Alpacca?:
    Alpacca is a tradename for nickel silver and for electro plated nickel silver. Originally a trademark of Berndorf AG., it is now used as a generic name for nickel silver, espcially in Germany and Scandinavian countries. Often mistakenly written Alpaca. Also called New Silver.

  10. What is Tutenag?:
    Tutenag is an obsolete name for an Indian metal alloy in the Nickel Silver family. The word was also used to describe zinc commercially supplied from India.

  11. Quicksilver:
    is an ancient term for mercury. “Quick” meaning alive, as in the quick and the dead.

  12. Sterling Silver:
    Silver has many of the properties of gold. It is malleable and an exceptional conductor. Since silver is also very soft, it is usually alloyed with copper. In fact, that is what sterling silver is, 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.

  13. Fine Silver:
    99.9% silver is called "Fine Silver." Sterling components and jewelry made in the USA are often stamped "Sterling." Goods made for international trade are often marked "925" indicating the 92.5% fineness.

  14. Coin Silver:
    is used in some countries and could be marked "900" or "800" depending on fineness.
In many countries, precious metal must be stamped with a quality mark such as "925" for sterling. Some countries require jewelry of precious metal be submitted to a governmental assay office for destructive testing before being marked and sold.

In the USA:
The National Gold and Silver Marketing Act does NOT require precious metals to be marked with quality. However, if a quality mark is used, the mark must be accompanied by a manufacturer's hallmark that is a registered trademark. If there is ever a question about the precious content of a piece of jewelry the manufacturer can be traced using the registered hallmark stamped on the piece. This accountability is particularly important in gold jewelry. A devious manufacturer could mark a piece 18Kt when, in fact, it was 10Kt and worth 1/3 less on gold content alone.

Other Markings:
Other Markings may be seen that are less clear. "Mexican Silver", "German Silver," "Indian Silver," "Montana Silver," or simply "silver" do not guarantee any silver content. "German Silver" is another name for the alloy of Copper, Nickel and Zinc usually called Nickel Silver. Despite the name, Nickel Silver contains no silver.

Hallmarks and Trademarks:
For many reasons, not all silver jewelry is marked. Registering a trademark costs over $1000. The maker may not spend the money to have a legal hallmark. Small time artists and Native American silversmiths rarely trademark their work. The sizes or designs of some pieces do not lend themselves to quality marking. Findings and components are often not quality stamped leaving the assembler the choice of attaching a mark, perhaps on a chain tab, to the finished piece.
Many individual artists will stamp a quality mark along with their name or initials. While this satisfies the accountability at the heart of the US stamping act, it is not considered legal.
US Law does not require precious metal to be marked with a quality stamp. 2) Some European countries DO require marking. Many tourists in the US will question goods sold without quality markings. 3) US law requires a maker's mark in the form of a hallmark or registered trademark in addition to the quality mark if the goods are quality marked.

The most important hall marks are:
Anchor Birmingham
Britannia London from1716 to 1719
Castle over a lion (passant) Norwich
Crown Sheffield
Crown upside down Sheffield between 1815 and 1819
Crowned harp Dublin
Half leopard's head, half fleur-de-lys York from 1562 to 1631
Half rose crowned, half fleur-de-lys York from 1632 to 1698
Cross with five lions York from 1700
Leopard's head crowned: London from 1558 to 1706 and 1719 to 1836
Leopard's head uncrowned London from 1836 to present
Three separate castle towers Newcastle
Three-towered castle Edinburgh or Exeter from the 18th century
Three wheatsheaves and a sword Chester
Tree fish and bell Glasgow
X (sometimes crowned) Exeter before the 18th century
Au Gold, Ag Silver, Cu Copper, Zn Zinc, Ni Nickel, Ti Titanium, Pd Palladium, Fe Iron, Si Silicon, B Boron and Co Cobalt
In general, Silver is believed to benefit circulation, help lungs and throat, and detoxify the blood, to aid in the treatment of degenerative brain diseases, balancing of hormones and chemicals and improvement of nerve impulse transmission. They also use it for treating hepatitis and detoxifying the body.

New Age healers have taken Silver’s conductive abilities and translated that into the belief that it can conduct the body’s energy. They believe it can remove negative energy from the body and channel the positive energy of other minerals into the patient. The minerals they use with Silver include Turquoise, Agate, Jet, Moonstone and Lodestone or cooler-colored gems. Lodestone set in silver is said to aid in eyesight.

Mental Healing:
Healers recommend Silver for hormonal and/or chemical imbalances and improving the transmission of nerve impulses, all of which can affect the patient’s mental state. They also ascribe powers for improving communications, reducing conflicts and increasing popularity, transforming energies and negativity and cleansing/balancing emotions.

Chakras: Third-Eye or Brow Chakra.
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