Learn About the Metals - HPSilver, LLC / Unique Hand Made Jewelry
HPSilver has been working with mixed metals for over a decade. This adding to our very unique texture style, has helped us lead in the creation of unique hand made artistic jewelry. Because we work with such diverse materials we felt that it would be important to answer a few common questions and to help clarify a few things.
Pure silver, in its natural state .999 fine silver (Au), is too soft of an element for practical jewelry making, but it is where we start. We purchase our fine virgin silver, from the Peñoles Granalla, the leading silver producer in Mexico / the world. We purchase our virgin granular silver from them because of their quality and integrity.
We then add pure copper (Cu), to create our Sterling Silver. Again, we go for the best pure materials, quality is key. Copper scrap wire, or pipes could contain cadmium, lead, or other traces minerals and we don't want you wearing that.
Sterling silver is an alloy used for jewelry making, since as stated above pure silver is too soft. Traditionally it is usually alloyed with copper to enhance its durability. Typically, sterling silver consists of 92.5 percent silver and 7.5 percent copper. You should find a .925 or Sterling Silver mark on any jewelry that is Sterling. When purchasing silver jewelry, always look for these marks. In today's jewelry productions, many manufactures have changed the alloy mix. This mix could have copper, zinc, nickel, rhodium, or other minerals. The mix levels are the same though, 92.5% silver to 7.5% Other. Reasons for this change has been contributed to cost, and oxidation rates.
Now this being said, HPSilver has stuck to the more traditional method, and uses only high quality copper to mix with our pure silver when making our .925 Sterling Silver.
A copper alloy we make to use in place of Sterling for a more economical and durable replacement. This alloy consists of: Copper (Cu) 68%, Zinc (Zn) 21%, and Nickel (Ni) 10%.
Another copper alloy we make to add a more yellow / gold look, and has a bit more durable flexibility. This alloy is a more standard mix consisting of: Copper (Cu) 72.14%, and Zinc (Zn) 27.86%.
The process where pure silver, gold, or other metal is layered / coated over a base metal core such as copper or brass. This coating process is called electroplating.
A similar process to the plating however the pure metal is electroplated with at least 100 millionths of an inch of karat gold over a sterling silver core.
At HPSilver.com we guarantee that all of our designs and materials are of the highest quality and that our sterling jewelry is .925 sterling silver or above.
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