Q:

What is 950 silver?

A:

Jewelry marked as 950 silver means that the item is 95 percent pure silver. When stamped 950, it refers to its purity in parts per thousand. The remaining 5 percent is an alloy added to increase the hardness of the silver piece.

Silver is usually alloyed with copper for hardening purposes. Silver is a soft metal and requires the addition of an alloy. However, silver does have good properties, such as it is very malleable, ductile and has good electrical conductivity.

The markings on silver can be different. For example, sterling silver has the stamp of 925, which tells a person that the piece is 92.5 percent pure silver and 7.5 percent copper. Jewelry marked 950 silver has a higher purity than 925 silver.

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