What is Italian Silver?

It is nearly common knowledge that Italian Silver is very valuable as each piece is handcrafted by skilled artisans since 1870 when Italy’s government introduced “hallmarking” to identify Italian Silver.   There are many types of Silver manufactured as a metal to produce home decor gifts like picture frames, serving & entertainment gifts as bowls and serving trays, and bar-ware.  Each piece is stamped with a government mark to identify approved Italian Silver. The stamping signifies the purity level of the silver. The highest level is 925. Other levels are identified with as a number over the numerator.   

Italian manufacturer Silverstar International Sterling Silver Picture Frames and Silver Plated Picture Frames are all made in Italy and display markings in accordance to Italian regulations.   Each picture frame is marked either 925 or xxs/1000.   Picture frames where sterling silver is bonded to a metal plate for stability are never marked 925 by Silverstar International.   Instead these picture frames are marked xxx/1000 and identifies the percent of silver of the product.   Industry calls this type of product 925 bi-laminated sterling silver. 

What is meant by the term 92.5% Sterling Silver?  An alloy of silver containing 92.5% silver and 7.55% copper or other material.  Any solid 92.5% sterling silver item is marked "Sterling" in accordance with Italian law.

What is Bilaminated Silver?   A sheet of sterling silver and an alloy (aluminum or other) fused together in the manufacturing process.  Each Bilaminated Silver item is marked with a silver content formula such as 300/1000 to show it's purity.

What is Weighted Sterling? A sheet of 925 sterling silver sandwiched around weighted material. Our Mazzetti Silver Gift Collection is manufactured with this weighted sterling silver manufacturing technique to reduce the silver item's cost to our customers. Weighted sterling silver gifts are marked "Argento", the Italian name for "Silver". * What is Sterling Silver Plated? One silver coating over a metal base. Bianchi Silver products are sterling silver plated with not one but 6 coats. That makes Bianchi very special and unique to the common silver plated that only have one thin coat. Our product will not turn black but will retain the beauty for many years to come.

What is Sterling Silver 925?   This is the percentage of silver purity.   The purity level of 925 is 92.5%.

Why Mix Copper with Pure Silver that would create sterling silver?   Pure silver tarnishes or oxides very quickly that leads an unattractive brown color.   When 7.5% copper (or other metal) is used to make sterling silver the process of oxidation slows down.   Pure silver is also a soft metal and can bend or break easily.    By adding another metal compound the silver gift will last longer.    The metal addition also makes silver more durable to make the product into rings, pendants and necklaces.
What is Electroplating?   This is a common method to apply a microscopically thin layer of protective metal onto the surface of the silver to prevent the silver gift from contacting the air.  The silver item is placed in a metallic acidic solution an electrical current is applied.     A chemical reaction occurs and metallic particles separating from the acid.   The metallic particle then attaches to the product being to metal of the silver item and this item is coated with rhodium.   Rhodium prevents tarnish but it can also reduce reflectivity.    Silver items are usually coated with rhodium, which does prevent tarnish, but tends to slightly reduce the reflectivity and item's silver luster.

Definitions

* What is meant by the term 92.5% Sterling Silver, pure sterling or solid sterling silver picture frames?   The definition for these terms is an alloy of silver containing 92.5% silver and 7.55% copper or other material.   Any solid 92.5% sterling silver item is marked "Sterling".   Silverstar International Elite Sterling and Signature product lines are solid sterling silver with 92.5% sterling silver purity.

* What is meant by Bi-laminated Sterling Silver, as in bi-laminated sterling silver picture frames?   Bi-laminated sterling silver definition is a sheet of sterling silver and an alloy (aluminum or other) fused together in the manufacturing process.  Whereas some U.S. manufacturers mark this product "Sterling", as a conservative Italian company Silverstar marks this type of product based upon the  weighted sterling silver content using an industry accepted formula.  Francesco Moretti sterling silver picture frames are made with Bilaminated Silver with a tarnish resistant surface.

* What is meant by Weighted Sterling?   The term means a sheet of 925 sterling silver sandwiched around weighted material.  Our Mazzetti Silver Gift Collection is manufactured with this weighted sterling silver manufacturing technique to reduce the silver item's cost to our customers.    Weighted sterling silver gifts are marked "Argento", the Italian name for "Silver".

* What is meant by Sterling Silver Plated, as in sterling silver plated picture frames or sterling silver plated mint julep cups?  One silver coating over a metal base.  Bianchi Silver products are sterling silver plated with not one but 6 coats.  That makes Bianchi very special and unique to the common silver plated that only have one thin coat.   Our product will not turn black but will retain the beauty for many years to come.