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Sterling and silver metal are the same with a different composition where the method to produce the two is different and the techniques, lifespan and price also vary. The silver metal has always been used as a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
The recent turmoils in the geo-political situations have created opportunities for the precious metal buyers to invest in safe havens where the white metal continues to show gains and its spot price gained 2.96 percent to $17.94 in the mid-weeks of September after the Saudi Arabia incident of drone attacks on world’s largest oil processing unit.
The attack was claimed by the Yemen Houthi rebels and it is expected to affect the production of crude by 5% of daily world’s output.
It has a chemical symbol Ag and when it is 99.9 per cent pure, it is soft and difficult to mould as it breaks and is very delicate and can be bent or damaged.
It also tarnishes very fast and leads to discolouration and fading that makes it look dirty. It will be marked for 99.9 per cent fine and 0.01 per cent of other trace elements.
The shiny silver bullion made from it requires several processes of manufacturing to depict the vivid shapes. The alloy can sustain heat, pressure and other types of manipulation but the fine ones can become brittle and fall apart.
It requires hours of working carefully to craft the products to get the shapes and it is highly laborious and specialist work. Hence, such designs can be expensive due to the higher labour price, whereas, sterling is 92.5% pure and the 7.5% alloy that can contain zinc or copper.
Alloy is cheaper and its fake copies can be widely found in the market. It is advised not to buy it from unidentified and unreliable sources as the percentage of alloys used in it can be more in items bought from such sources.
Some jewellers also provide silver metal coated items and some sell fake jewellery.
The cost of items made from alloy is less than the actual price. The looks are bright like the fine ones but such items provide the satisfaction and affordability to hold some timeless products.
It can be more durable due to the presence of other elements and this makes it avoid tarnishing, and it can look best possible for a longer time.
For investors, the fine ones can be bought as a commodity in the form of coins or silver bullion and it can also be used in manufacturing wires, grains and bars, while, sterling can be made into cufflinks, chains, and designer ornaments and tableware.
To identify the real sterling look for the hallmark of 925.Items made from fine element is not magnetic but the alloy may show magnetic properties and may get drawn to magnets.
If nitric acid is poured on it and if it turns green then it is not the pure as nitric acid discolours items made from other low priced elements. In comparison to fine, sterling does not tarnish fast. So it can be identified by keeping in air and water for sometimes.
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