Silver plated, what is it exactly? Always wondered what silver plated means?. Or you have a question like what is sterling silver.
We will have a small explanation of what it is and, of course, a bit of historical background.
The origin of Silver Plated or Plating
We are not going to have a complete history lesson here. But I think it is always valuable to know a bit of background of a subject.
Silver plating was invented in the U.K. around 1740 in a place called Sheffield. This explains the name, which is Sheffield Plate. Another name for this process is Fusion plate. This process remained quite simple compared to the newer constructed silver plated items. It consists basically out of one side, a thin layer of silver plate, and another side the base metal of copper.
Silver Plating the Process
The evolution started when the industrial revolution made electricity possible. As a result, a new process was born called electroplating.
Electroplating is the following process: For instance, a bracelet and a silver bar are covered in a liquid containing the metal ions. Then you apply an electric current to the bracelet. The (+) current goes to the metal, and the (-) goes to the bracelet. This process will result in a thin layer of silver.
In the beginning, one used only copper. Now the base material can be a whole variety of metals.
Gold plating follows, basically the same procedure. But we will go into depth in a separate article.
Difference between Sterling Silver and Silver Plated
Have you ever seen 925 before silver? Well we will now explain the meaning of this term 925 or .925 silver and the difference with silver plated.
The main difference is that sterling silver is 92.5% silver. Hence the .925 before the silver. The other 7.5% are other metals like copper. Consequently, it will tarnish over time, getting this well known dark look.
Pure or fine 99.9% silver jewellery is difficult to accomplish. It sounds funny, but the metal is too soft to use for jewellery when used in its purest form. The same goes for
Besides the well known .925 sterling silver, there is also .850 silver and .625 silver. However, they never carry sterling. We have made a nice little table with the most important silver grades available.
Hope that the difference between sterling silver and silver plated is crystal clear.
Does Silver plated jewellery tarnish? Does Gold Plated Jewellery tarnish?
How long the plating will last depends on a few factors. The most determining factor is the quality of the plating. And yes, you do have different quality levels of plating. At Yazzy’s we can ensure you that our silver-plated jewellery will last for a very long time. The same is valid for gold plated jewellery.
The carat of the plating also influences how long the plating will last. You might know that the higher the carat, the softer the gold. In the case of silver, the higher the content of silver, the softer it becomes.
Therefore the higher the carat of gold plating, the faster it will peel off or fade. So 24-carat gold plating will fade relatively quickly. Therefore it is not wise to choose gold plated jewellery with this kind of plating.
Most importantly, you have to take care of your jewellery and accessories. This means not taking a shower wearing them or swim with your jewellery.
Silver becomes black or tarnishes
As we might have all noticed once or twice, silver can become black. This is the oxidation of Silver. Due to moister and air it becomes blackish.
Is there a way to avoid this? Short answer is no. It is a natural process which will occur, unless you keep your items in a vacuum. But there is not much fun in that is there?
Therefor it is best to keep your faluable silver jewellery far away from moisture. The best way to do this is to store them in container. You can find more information how to store your items in a dedicated article about storing your jewellery.
Luckily here at Yazzy’s we are selling silver jewellery which will not tarnish quickly! These earrings, rings, bracelets and necklaces can be found in the silk collection. This is jewellery with a sterling silver coating which will prefend them from tarnishing quickly.
Silver Plated Hallmarks
A short explanation of hallmarks. Hallmark are those small letters and numbers you can sometimes see in the metal. Like on this image below. You often see them on silver but can also be found on silver plated, mainly flatware and household goods.
They do exist for silver plating as well.
The most common hallmark for silver plating is the “EP” mark, which stands for electroplated. This mark indicates that the item is made of a base metal (such as copper or brass) that has been coated or plated with a layer of silver through the electroplating process. The “EP” mark is often accompanied by additional symbols or letters that represent the manufacturer or the specific plating process used.
Other Silver Plating Hallmarks are:
- EPNS (for electro-plated nickel silver)
- EPBM” (for electro-plated Britannia metal)
And so on.
It’s worth noting that the presence of a silver plating hallmark does not indicate that the item is solid silver.
Where to get high-quality silver plated and gold plated jewellery
That is always difficult. However, we will give you an insider tip. You can get high-quality silver plated, and gold plated jewellery like earrings and rings at Yazzy’s. The same goes for children’s jewellery.
But also for hiqh quality silver jewellery you are at the right place
Silver Plated vs Sterling Silver
Differences between silver plated vs sterling silver in infographic.
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