What Are the Different Types of Silver?

Silver has been used for trade, as currency, and even in tool making for thousands of years.

It’s well-established on the market, and it’s a trustworthy investment for investors and banks alike. What are the different types of silver you can buy, though? What do they look like, and is the value dependent on the type?

We’re here to help you answer those questions and more. Read on to learn everything you need to know.

Silver Alloys

The first thing you’ll need to understand is that most silver used for jewelry or coins is an alloy. This means it’s a mixture of two elements so in this case silver and some other metal. The reason that silver is alloyed with other metals varies depending on their use.

Sterling Silver

Sterling silver is the jewelry quality standard in the US and most other world markets. It’s an alloy of 92.5 percent silver, and the remaining 7.5 percent is usually copper or nickel. The added metals increase the material’s hardness so it’s more durable, and they can also add to the metal’s color.

Tarnish on jewelry is easy to remove with polishing products, so it’s easy to keep the quality high.

Fine Silver

Fine silver is the closest it comes to pure silver. It’s marked with .999, referring to 99.9 percent purity. The remaining 0.1 percent consists of trace elements of an insignificant quantity.

This silver has more luster than sterling and appears grayer and slightly dull. It’s quite soft and easy to scratch, dent, or shape fairly easily. That’s why this type of silver is less common for jewelry since it doesn’t wear well over time.

Coin Silver

Coin silver was once used to create coins in the United States. Now, it’s fairly rare and the name can even confuse. It’s made of 90 percent silver and 10 percent copper and earned its name from the fact that it was common for metalsmiths to melt it down and create different items.

Nowadays, monetary coins don’t contain silver. Instead, real coins are made from less expensive, more durable base metals. Some collectible coins or coin investment tools do have a higher silver content, though.

A lot of antique jewelry is made with this metal, so in some markets, it has a higher value. This is also used to make collectible coins that you can invest in and sell later. If you’re interested, you can buy silver coins online fairly easily through reputable suppliers.

Ready to Invest in Different Types of Silver?

Now that you know a bit more about the different types of silver, are you ready to start investing? Whether you’re new to this world or you’re simply looking to diversify your portfolio, silver is a great place to start. It’s also easy to find and acquire for yourself, so you’ll have easy access no matter where you’re at.

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