“White and Shiny"
Silver is one of the first metals processed and used by man. When polished, it shines exceptionally, even more than platinum. This is why the chemical symbol used for silver is “Ag”, from the Latin word “argentum” which means “white and shiny”. The Latin word comes from the Greek “argyros” which is derived from the adjective “argos” which in ancient Greek meant “shiny, glossy”.
The Greek word for silver is “asimi” and comes from the expression “asimos argyros” which means unmarked silver, silver with no label. The English word “silver” comes from a different stem and has its root in the Germanic word “silber”.
Silver belongs to the noble metals along with ruthenium, rhodium, iridium, palladium, osmium and gold.
As a precious metal, it is used in jewelry making as well as a means of saving and economic transactions. In stock trading, the unit used for silver is the ounce and its value is subject to change in the international stock markets, just like the other precious metals. It is used in making medals and trophies, while until the 1970s it was used in manufacturing silver coins.
Since it is the best electricity and heat conductor of all metals, it is used in many areas of technology as industrial and scientific applications material.
Silver as Jewelry
Silver can have different looks and textures in jewels such as glossy, matte, oxidized, sandblasted, satin or antique depending on the technique employed for the construction
Silver in its pure form is almost as soft as gold, which makes it impossible to make durable objects with it. Thus the silversmiths mix it with harder metals when manufacturing jewels. In order for a jewel to qualify as 'silver', the percentage of silver needs to be at least 92.5% (up to 95%), that is why genuine silver jewelry bear the related 925 stamp. One can find jewelry that contains a lower percentage of silver, but these are not genuine silver jewels and of course you will not find such in emmanuela.jewelry
Its brightness, its resistance in the accumulation of bacteria and its rareness, make silver the ideal metal for making jewels.
However, to rejoice in your jewelry and always impress when you wear them, you must take good care of them.
In our workshop we make our jewels using techniques that make them more durable so that you can enjoy them and wear them for long periods of time, without the need to clean or repair them often. Whenever the design and the manufacturing conditions of a jewel allow it, we plate all the silver parts with rhodium so as not to tarnish and to be more resistant to shocks and distortions. Rhodium, which belongs to the platinum group metals, is a very expensive noble metal, harder than silver and just as shiny but unlike silver it doesn’t tarnish.
We even plate the dark parts with black rhodium. Finally, many of our jewels are plated with 24K gold, which of course does not tarnish.
Tarnish in silver jewelry
Silver jewelry is not significantly affected by external factors but they tend to tarnish over time – when they are not plated with gold or rhodium – forming stains, which at an early stage can be removed easily by rubbing with a soft piece of cloth. At a later stage, when the jewels are too tarnished, you need to use one of the many liquid cleansers for silver items that are widely available in the market. Tarnish is the superficial oxidation caused by the contact of the silver with the sulfur of the atmosphere.
You should be very careful when using a liquid cleanser, as it is possible to discolor other elements of the jewelry like the pearls, the corals, the semi precious stones, etc. Carefully clean only the silver surface using a soft cotton cloth soaked with liquid cleanser. Rub with horizontal and vertical movements rather than circular.
Toothpaste? not a good idea...
The popular advice to polish silver with toothpaste is probably not very wise, since toothpastes contain corrosive ingredients that cause silver to tarnish even more. Therefore, we do not recommend this practice as a way to polish silver.
The "rules" of silver...
Like all jewelry, in order for your silver ones to remain as shiny and beautiful as new, you have to follow some rules:
- Never wear them when you are sweaty, when you swim, do gymnastics or heavy manual labour, as pool’s chloride, sweat’s salt and humidity in general are all enemies of silver. In addition silver can easily be scratched or distorted.
- Make sure to first apply any cosmetics you might use (perfume, make up, hairspray, creams etc.) and then wear your silver jewelry. Silver should not come in contact with the chemicals and acids contained in those products.
- It is good to clean them with a soft cotton cloth after every use. It is even better to wash them with lukewarm water and a little soap. Dry them well and store them separately from the rest of your jewelry. This way you remove and keep the corrosive agents that cling to them away.
- Store them in plastic bags, preferably in those that seal and isolate their content so that it doesn’t come into contact with the air.
- Store them separately from other jewelry or hard objects that might scratch the surface of the silver.
- Store them away from light.
Finally, there are special strips or fabrics in the market with anti corrosive action, which you can place with your jewelry for long term and more efficient protection.
Do you have more questions?
We will be glad to give you more information about the precious and semi precious materials used with our jewels as well as about the techniques we use. Please do not hesitate to contact us for your questions at email@example.com