ABOUT STERLING SILVER, VERMEIL ETC.
x x xxxSTERLING SILVER is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other metals, usually copper. The sterling silver standard has a minimum millesimal fineness of 925. Fine silver (99.9% pure) is generally too soft for producing large functional objects; therefore, the silver is usually alloyed with copper to give it strength, while at the same time preserving the ductility and beauty of the precious metal. Other metals can replace the copper, usually with the intent to improve various properties of the basic sterling alloy such as reducing casting porosity, eliminating firescale, and increasing resistance to tarnish. These replacement metals include germanium, zinc and platinum, as well as a variety of other additives, including silicon and boron. A number of alloys have appeared in recent years, formulated to lessen firescale or to inhibit tarnish, and this has sparked heavy competition among the various manufacturers, who are rushing to make claims of having the best formulation. However, no one alloy has emerged to replace copper as the industry standard, and alloy development is a very active area. Hallmarks Over the years, most countries in the world have developed their own systems of hallmarking silver. The purpose of hallmark application is manifold:To indicate the purity of the silver alloy used in the manufacture or hand-crafting of the piece. To identify the silversmith or company that made the piece. To note the date and/or location of the manufacture.Vermeil (IPA vɛʁ'mɛj, and also vûr'məy), sometimes called silver gilt, is a combination of sterling silver, gold, and other precious metals. It is commonly used as a component in jewelry. A typical example is sterling silver coated with 14 carat (58%) gold. To be considered vermeil, the gold must also be at least 10 carat (42%) and be at least 1.5 micrometres thick. Sterling silver covered with another metal CANNOT be called vermeil.Vermeil can be produced by either fire gilding or electrolysis. The original fire-gilding process was developed in France in the mid-1700s; however, France later banned the production of vermeil because over time artisans developed blindness due to mercury involved in the process. Today, vermeil is safely produced by electrolysis. Magic Flex Herringbone:Sterling silver magic herringbone chain is a flashy style of flat jewelry chain that really does twist or wind without harming. Don't bend it though as with any jewelry you will damage it. Filigree (formerly written filigrann or filigrane; also known as telkari, the name given in Anatolia, meaning "wire work", and cift-isi, pronounced chift-ishi, meaning "tweezers work") is a jewel work of a delicate kind made with twisted threads usually of gold and silver or stitching of the same curvy motif, to suggest lace, and is most popular in French fashion decoration from 1660 to the present. Pallini means dots, or beads one of the hottest fashion trends now. In Italy pallini means glass beads. Bismark: The Bismark design consists of thin rows of small, oval, interlinking rings that run parallel to one another that can either connect to multiple identical rows, to constructs a wide bracelet or just have one linked row, Figaro is a popular gold or silver link chain design that incorporates a pattern of 2 or 3 small circular links with 1 elongated oval link. The most notable figaro chains are manufactured in Italy. They are usually worn by men and are often adorned with pendants such as crosses and medallions. Cubic zirconia (or CZ), the cubic crystalline form of zirconium dioxide (ZrO2), is a mineral that is widely synthesized for use as a diamond simulant. The synthesized material is hard, optically flawless and usually colorless, but may be made in a variety of different colors. It should not be confused with zircon, which is a zirconium silicate (ZrSiO4).Because of its low cost, durability, and close visual likeness to diamond, synthetic cubic zirconia has remained the most gemologically and economically important diamond simulant since 1976. Its main competition as a synthetic gemstone is the more recently cultivated material, synthetic moissanite. x