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  • What is silver?
    Great question! The scientific explanation... Silver is a chemical. It is collected primarily through the refinement of other ores like copper, lead, zinc... and even gold! Silver is one of four metals categorized as precious (the other three are gold, platinum and palladium).
  • Are there different kinds of silver?
    Yes, there are a number of variations. Fine Silver is 99.9% (.999) pure silver. The advantages of fine silver include it malleability, resistance to tarnish, and fusing capabilities. It is, however, quite soft making it susceptible to scratches, dents, etc. Fine silver does not wear well and for that reason is not widely used to create jewelry with some exceptions. Silver bezel wire is generally fabricated from fine silver. Sterling Silver is 92.5% (.925) pure silver. The remaining 7.25% is generally copper but occasionally another metal may be present. The durability, color and shine we most commonly identify with silver are the result of the addition of alloys to the pure silver. Sterling Silver will tarnish but, happily, that is an easy fix! (Note: In France, Sterling Silver is 95% pure silver). Argentium is also 92.5% pure silver. The other 7.25% includes copper and germanium. Argentium resists tarnishing, can be fused without tarnishing, and is quite durable. It is, however, much more expensive than sterling silver and when requires different handling during fabrications. Coin Silver once contained a high level of silver: 90%. Metalsmiths would melt it down for use in their pieces. Todays coins no longer contain precious metals. Silver-Filled is NOT the same as silver plated. As silver prices have soared in recent years, silver-filled became available as a much less expensive alternative. Silver-Filled is generally 5 or 10 percent (by weight) sterling silver that has been thermally fused to a brass core. Silver Plated indicates a very thin layer that has been applied to a base metal. It is used in the production of costume jewelry. With wear, the plating will wear off and expose the base metal. Silver is a color as well as a metal. Jewelry sold as "silver" may not actually contain any pure silver or very little. Precious metals are very expensive. If the price seems too good to be true, it most likely is not made with precious metal. Nickel Silver/Alpaca Silver/German Silver describe the color of a metal alloy. That alloy (generally copper, zinc andor nickle) contains 0% fine silver. Tibetan or Tribal Silver are base metal alloys similar to pewter. They contain little if any fine silver and in some cases may contain dangerous metals such as lead. This is not to disparage the workmanship which is often exquisite. Bali, Thai, Mexican or ? Silver can be quality silver or or an unknown silver color alloy. Placing the name of a country in front of the word silver does not guarantee quality
  • What kind of silver does The Raven's Nest Use?
    The majority of my silver work is sterling silver (.925). I use fine silver (.999) for some elements and, very rarely, argentium. All my silver is sourced from well-established and reputable suppliers in the United States.
  • Is silver expensive?
    That depends! Compared to gold and platinum, it's very affordable. The prices on all precious metals have risen dramatically over the past year, Silver had a spot price of $12 in March of 2020. May 21, 2024, that spot price had hit $27.77, an increase of 230%. That is not the price a jeweler pays, of course, as most jewelers don't buy bullion. The price a jeweler would pay is around 25% more, Some commodity experts predicts the spot price for silver will increase to $50 by the end of 2024.
  • What is Crushed Opal?
    Crushed opal is a lab-grown material that replicates the natural formation of genuine opal. Taking up to a year to create, crushed opal is widely used in jewelry as a more durable and affordable alternative to genuine opal.
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