10 cool things you never knew about Sterling Silver!

Almost every piece of jewelry here at Nizhoni Traders LLC features fine Sterling Silver in one form or another. Have you ever been curious about how it's made, what makes it special and it's history? Well look no further, allows us to satisfy your curiosities!

 

  1. Sterling Silver is almost always stamped with a "hallmark." These will usually be the word Sterling, STG, SS, 925, or 92.5.
  2. The 925 or 92.5 stamp means that the piece is 92.5% pure sterling silver and 7.5% other metal alloys.
  3. Pure silver bears a rating of 99.9% silver. This silver is too soft and malleable for jewelry purposes, and will scratch and dent easily. So sterling silver typically contains a copper alloy that hardens and stabilizes it for everyday use.
  4. 80% of silver that is mined is used for industrial purposes, because it is the most conductive and reflective element. It is often used in electronics and in construction.
  5. Silver is mined all over the world, but it's production is usually a byproduct of copper, gold and zinc mines, as these elements are typically found together mixed with many other minerals. 
  6. Silver is typically mined underground or in open pits. Miners use explosives to blast the silver rich rock from its surroundings. After its blasted, it is in the form of ore--silver mixed with other impurities such as minerals and dirt. The ore is crushed into a fine powder, from there it goes through several steps that allow separation of impurities from the silver. Eventually the silver is heated, the last impurities are removed and it is formed into large bricks, which are then sent to refineries and sold to jewelry makers.Unrefined Silver Ore
  7. 700 million ounces of silver are mined every year.
  8. Documented silver deposits were found in Arizona as early as the 1500's, but were not properly mined until the 17 and 1800's. 
  9. In 1853, Southern Arizona was purchased from Mexico, and Americans began their work in the silver mines, most notably Jerome, Tombstone, and the Patagonia and Santa Rita Mountains.Mine in Tombstone, Arizona
  10. Unfortunately, due to the mines being on Native American lands, mining in the Santa Rita Mountains led to conflicts with the Apaches, known as the Apache Wars. One raid on the Santa Rita mine left all but one mine employee dead.

Still curious? Check out some of these awesome videos below!


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