Blog Sterling Silver vs. Fine Silver

Sterling Silver vs. Fine Silver

Every piece of jewelry has a unique composition of materials. To define the purity of various precious metal jewelry, like gold and silver, jewelry makers use specific grading systems. These grading systems are meant to help you distinguish between pure silver and alloyed silver before you go about selling any jewelry you might have.

Since most jewelry largely comprises of silver alloy, it’s essential to understand the markings you may find when buying or selling jewelry.

The Need-to-Knows of Silver Purity [1 & 2]

You’ve likely heard of or seen karat ratings (K) before. This designation is exclusive to gold, while the purity of silver is displayed using three-digit fineness marks. They are directly related to the percent silver content in a piece of jewelry.

  • 999 | Fine Silver/Pure Silver: 99.9% silver used to make bullion
  • 958 | Britannia Silver: 95.84% silver and 4.16% copper/other metals
  • 950 French 1st Standard: 95% silver and 5% copper/other metals
  • 947, 916, or 875 | Zolotnik Russian Silver: 94.79%, 91.66%, or 87.5% silver and 7.5%, 8.34%, or 12.5% copper/other metals
  • 925 | Sterling Silver: 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper/other metals (the most commonly used silver fineness for jewelry)
  • 900 | Coin Silver: 90% silver and 10% copper/other metals
  • 830 | Scandinavian Silver: 83% silver and 17% copper/other metals
  • 800 or 835 | German Silver: 83.5% or 80% silver and 16.5% or 20% copper/other metals

Talk to Your Precious Metal Experts

The smartest thing you can do to guesstimate your silver jewelry’s purity is to inspect its three-digit purity rating. However, there’s only one trusted way to know the purity and value of any precious metal.

Discover how much your silver is worth by sending it to Garfield Refining. We’ll melt and test your material in our lab and provide you with a breakdown report on top of your payment offer.

Consider selling your silver jewelry now.

Established in 1892, we have more than a century of experience in refining precious metals. We serve various industries, including dental offices, private individuals, jewelers, pawnbrokers, and more!

Call us today at 888-677-9254 to find out why Garfield is a premier precious metals refinery.