What is Sterling Silver?

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Often people think that sterling silver is very pure silver, this comes about from the term “sterling” being associated with a quality item. However Sterling silver is not bullion grade (99.9% pure) it is only 92.5%. The other 7.5% is nomally copper but can also have germanium, zinc and platinum. These metals are added to give strength & durability to the items made, while pure silver is soft but found in bars / coins for investment. Bullion grade is 99.9% pure, this way it is practical as a form of money as the value is always the same by weight.

Sterling Silver can often be identified by the lion symbol below there are others but this is the most common symbol:


And here are some other examples note the lion symbol in all but one:

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