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 are meant to help you distinguish between pure silver and alloyed silver.

Since most jewelry is made of a 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 Metals 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.

If you’re ready to sell your precious metal jewelry, click here to get started with Garfield today!

Garfield Refining buys all used gold, gold-filled, platinum, and silver jewelry for the fair market value of precious metal content only. We don’t appraise jewelry on its artistry, brand, or vintage.