Silver Glossary

March 1999

Precious Metals:Data & Statistics

Silver Glossary

A substance composed of two or more metals. Sterling is an alloy of silver and copper.

Base Metal
An alloy or metal to which a coating or plating is applied.

Bright Finish
Highly polished, mirror-like finish produced with jeweler's rouge on a polishing wheel.

Polishing metal with a flexible, rotating abrasive wheel.

Formed in a mold.

A cold modeling process of ornamenting metal by hand. The design is created by using a small hammer to tap small tools and punches into the metal.

Silver made by melting down coins in the early 19th century (900/1,000 parts silver, 100 parts copper).

Implements used on the table, usually called flatware.

Articles consisting of a base metal coated with silver by the process of electrolysis.

Creating raised designs on the surface of an object from the reverse side. No metal is removed in the technique that achieves this effect.

Cutting lines into metal to articulate a design. Metal is removed for this effect.

Surface decoration bitten in with nitric acid.

Fine Silver
More than 999/1,000 pure, it's too soft for fabrication and is used mainly in the form of anodes or sheets for plating.

Knives, forks, spoons and serving pieces.

The shaping of metal by heating and hammering.

Hollow serving vessels, including bowls, pitchers, tea pots, etc.

Oxide application that darkens details of metal where applied.

Soft luster caused by tiny scratches that come with use.

Base metal – usually nickel silver or brass – coated with pure silver by electroplating.

Impressing designs from dies into metal with heavy presses.

Sterling Silver
In the U.S., sterling signifies a quality standard defined as 92.5% pure silver.

Source: Silver Trust International, New York City; (212) 689-6601.

Copyright © 1999 by Bond Communications.


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