The metals and alloysThe precious metals themselves are too soft to use them in pure state, so they are alloyed with other metals to make them hard enough for jewelry applications.
| Silver. Usually the alloy called Sterling silver is used,
an alloy of 92.5% silver, and the remaining 7,5% copper. The color is virtually not affected,
it has the same silvery color as pure silver, but is about twice as hard if worked.
Pure silver is a rather rare metal found free in nature and used since ancient times. Currently it is used for photography and electronics industry besides jewelry. It has a density of 10.5 times that of water and melts at 961°C.
| Gold. There are a few grades for gold content. Commonly silver and copper are
mixed to the gold. A carat is the weight content in 24ths of the weight. E.g. 14 carat
gold contains 14/24 =~ 58% of its weight is pure gold. Pure gold is 24 carat.
Pure gold is a very rare bright yellow metal found free in nature, mainly in South Africa and used since ancient times. Currently it is used for chip and electronics industry besides jewelry. Its value as money standard is getting less important. It has a density of 19.3 times that of water and melts at 1064°C.
Casting Argentium silverCasting Argentium silver, using enriched germanium silver alloy and sterling silver scrap, making the proper composition.
Here an overview of the official hallmark stamps of the Dutch Assay office for silver and gold jewels.
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