Metals and Marks

Fine Silver – Silver that is 99.9% pure. It takes a shine but quickly tarnishes as a result of contact with skin oils and airborne sulfur. It is stamped .999, Fine Silver, or rarely Fine.

Sterling – An alloy of silver and usually copper where at least 92.5% is silver. It will be marked .925 or sterling. .950 is sterling from Mexico, and is supposed to have a slightly higher silver content though it sometimes contains trace amounts of nickel and is more prone to tarnish, so we never use it. Sterling (the standard .925) is preferred in most instances over fine silver because it is more durable and resistant to tarnish.

Argentium – A fascinating new form of sterling. It is said to be so tarnish-resistant that it can take weeks, months or even years for to tarnish as much as standard sterling tarnishes in a day. When it does, it can be wiped with a soft cloth to clean it, and it is twice as hard as traditional sterling. However, this product is new, so it is difficult to get many types of stock in Argentium, and the cost is a bit higher than traditional sterling. However, we will work in it by special order, and we’re honored to be one of the few smiths able to do so. Argentium is stamped AS.

Electrum – An alloy of gold and silver, electrum occurs naturally in various compositions and has been prized for centuries the world over. Since the silver and gold are parted during refinement, few modern people have set their eyes on the warm glow of electrum. After years of careful study, we have created an electrum alloy that is tarnish resistant and extremely hard with that most precious of soft amber glows. This metal is the most ideal choice for wedding rings and House of Dubhros is the only smith to offer this precious metal to the general public. Electrum is sometimes stamped Electrum.

Modern Bronze – A bronze material containing zinc to inhibit oxidization. Modern Bronze is sometimes stamped Bronze.

Ancient Bronze – A true bronze with a beautiful luster like electrum but at a fraction of the cost. Though it will oxidize faster than modern bronze, it is usually not a problem. In fact, few things are as pleasing to the eye as the soft gold contrasting with the patina in bronze. Ancient Bronze is sometimes stamped Bronze.

White Bronze – A white metal resembling a cross between white gold and silver, but much less costly than either, a very modern invention. Modern Bronze is sometimes stamped Bronze or White Bronze.

Gold – Aww, come on folks, you all know what this is, but here is a refresher course. And remember, since most gold is cast it is only available by special order. We do not work in all grades. Quotes available upon request and prices subject to change depending on the precious metals market.

            24K – 24 Karat Gold otherwise known as Fine or .999 pure gold
            22K – 22 Karat an alloy of at least 91.6% gold, sometimes marked .916
            18K – 18 Karat an alloy of at least 75% gold, sometimes marked .750
            14K – 14 Karat an alloy of at least 58.3% gold,
            12K – 18 Karat an alloy where at least half is gold.
            10K – 10 Karat an alloy of at least 41.6% gold, lowest Karat mark

The following are some hallmarks we do not use but you may have come across:

Standard – All marks for Coin silver or silver that is 90% pure.

German Silver – German silver actually contains no silver at all and is closely related to pewter.

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