Understanding different types of Silver - From Oxidized to Hallmarked Silver

Understanding different types of Silver - From Oxidized to Hallmarked Silver

Silver is a popular metal used in Indian jewelry for centuries. It is well-loved for its affordability, versatility, and malleability. There are different types of silver used in Indian jewelry and art, and each type has its unique characteristics and uses. In this article, we will be discussing the most common types of silver used in Indian jewelry.

  1. Sterling Silver : Sterling silver is the most popular type of silver used in Indian jewelry. It is an alloy of 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% copper or other metals. The addition of other metals like copper makes sterling silver strong and durable, making it resistant to damage. It is also hypoallergenic, making it a great option for people with sensitive skin. Sterling Silver is mostly used in International markets to understand the purity and they are mostly light weight. Shop our Sterling Silver collection here -

  2. Hallmarked 92.5 Silver : Hallmarked 92.5 silver is similar to sterling silver but has a stamp that certifies it meets certain quality standards. The hallmark indicates that the silver has been tested and verified to be 92.5% pure. Hallmarked 92.5 silver is used for high-end jewelry pieces and is commonly used in bridal jewelry sets.

    The Indian government has set up a system to ensure that silver jewelry sold in the market is pure and of good quality. This system is called hallmarking, and it is done by a government agency called the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

    To get a hallmark for silver jewelry, the jewelry maker or seller has to apply for a license from the BIS. The BIS then checks the manufacturing unit to make sure that it meets the required standards and has the right equipment for hallmarking.

    If the unit is approved, the BIS gives it a unique identification number (UIN). The UIN is used to put the hallmark on the jewelry. The hallmark has the BIS logo, the fineness number (925 for silver), the year of hallmarking, and the UIN of the manufacturing unit.

    To check the purity of the jewelry, an X-ray machine is used. This machine checks the composition of the metal without damaging the jewelry. If the jewelry is pure silver, the hallmark is applied, and the jewelry is certified as good quality.

    In summary, the hallmarking process for silver jewelry in India is done by the BIS to make sure that only pure and good quality jewelry is sold in the market. This protects customers from buying fake or low-quality jewelry. Most of our Silver jewelry pieces are hallmarked and you can find the stamp at the bottom. Check our Hallmark collection here -

  3. Fine Silver : Fine silver is also known as pure silver and is made up of 99.9% pure silver. It is softer than sterling silver and is more prone to scratches and dents. However, it is preferred for intricate designs and filigree work due to its malleability and work-ability. It is also less likely to tarnish compared to other types of silver. Fine Silver is preferred while procuring coins, bars or for special occasions in India. The idea is to either re-sell it in the original pure form or use it for any future jewelry or article making.

  4. Oxidized Silver :  Oxidized silver is sterling silver that has been intentionally darkened to give it an antique look. This is achieved through a chemical process that involves exposing the silver to sulfur or oxygen. Oxidized silver is commonly used in traditional Indian jewelry designs, particularly for pieces with intricate detailing. Shop our Oxidized Silver collection here -

  5. German Silver : German silver is not actual silver but is an alloy made of copper, nickel, and zinc. It is commonly used in imitation jewelry because of its silver-like appearance. However, it is not as durable as sterling or fine silver and is more prone to tarnishing and corrosion. We don't sell German silver as it is often confusing and tarnishes quickly.

  6. Afghani silver : Afghan Silver refers to silver that has been produced in Afghanistan. Silver is an important metal in Afghanistan, and Afghan craftsmen have been producing silver jewelry, dishes, and other objects for centuries.

  7. Tribal silver : This refers to silver objects that have been made by indigenous peoples in various parts of the world, particularly in Asia and other parts of the world. Tribal silver often has a lower purity than sterling silver, with some objects being as low as 50% pure. Tribal silver objects are typically handmade and may be decorated with symbols or designs that are meaningful to the culture that produced them. Shop our Tribal collection here -

  8. Vintage silver : This refers to silver objects that are at least 20 years old but less than 100 years old. Vintage silver can include a wide range of objects, from jewelry to flatware to decorative items. The purity of vintage silver will depend on when and where it was produced, but it is often sterling silver or a similar high-purity alloy. This is a term which is mostly used in International markets.

  9. Antique silver: This refers to silver objects that are at least 100 years old. Antique silver is often highly valued for its historical significance and craftsmanship. The purity of antique silver will again depend on when and where it was produced, but it may be lower than modern sterling silver due to variations in manufacturing processes.

In conclusion, the type of silver used in Indian jewelry depends on the specific design and intended use of the piece. Sterling silver and hallmarked 92.5 silver are popular choices for their durability and hypoallergenic properties, while fine silver is preferred for investment purposes. Oxidized silver is used to create an antique look, and German silver is used for imitation jewelry. Afghani, Tribal, Vintage, and Antique Silver are popular among art collectors. It's important to get the purity tested if you want to be sure, and at Enumu, we make sure to test the purity of our pieces so that our customers can enjoy the best of art and purity.

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