Like gold, pure silver is too soft for jewellery. Silver is usually alloyed with copper, a harder metal, to be used for jewellery. Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver, commonly referred to as ‘925’.

Other metals like germanium, zinc and platinum may be used instead of copper to give different properties to the alloyed silver.

Fine silver is 99.9% silver. This grade of silver is used to make bullion bars for trading and investment. Fine silver is too soft for most practical uses.