Knowing Your Silver at Silver Buyers in Chicago

One of the main points of confusion for many people who visit silver buyers in Chicago area is the value of their silver. Every silver is not equal, yet there is a widespread misconception that any silver metal is roughly as valuable as the next silver metal. In fact, only one type of silver truly reigns supreme when it comes to the sale of silver: .999 percent pure silver. This type of silver, which is normally marked with a “.999” mark or with a “fine silver” mark, is as close as it gets to pure silver. In rare cases, the silver may be marked as “.999 FS.” The 0.1 percent of the metal that is not silver is composed of minor trace elements that do not impact the silver’s appearance or durability. Pure silver has a deep grayish color with a rich shine and is usually easy to identify and separate from other types of silver like sterling silver.

The next type of silver that silver buyers in the Chicago area will purchase is sterling silver. This kind of silver is by far the most common kind of silver used in jewelry today, and it is also often used in coins and in other decorative objects. Sterling silver is made from 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. In rare cases, the 7.5 percent is made from other metals such as nickel. The reason that these other metals are added to the silver is to give it a special luster. Sterling silver is especially shiny, and the alloy metal also makes it particularly durable. It is more durable and less easily scratched than .999 fine silver. However, sterling silver is worth less money than fine silver. The quality stamp on a sterling silver piece will typically read “.925.”

While some other metals are marked in a way that would seem to indicate silver, this can be deceptive. For example, some jewelry may be crafted from brass, and then overlaid with sterling silver. If the sterling silver layer is stamped with “.925,” people often incorrectly assume that the metal is genuine all the way through. Silver Buyers can do a magnet test or a scratch test to determine whether the metal is genuine or not.

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