Silver in its purest form is too soft to hold a durable form. In fact, silver in its purest form is not suitable to use by itself in the manufacturing of jewelry and other items such as silver coins, etc. This is why it’s necessary to alloy (mix) pure silver with copper, nickel, zinc or other metals to make it harder and more durable. This combining/mixing of silver with other metals is known as “silver alloying” and the final compound, if it contains more than 50% silver, is called “silver alloy.”

E.g. sterling silver is a popular silver alloy which is used in silverware and jewelry. It consists of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper. It has a much lower melting point (893 °C) than pure silver or pure copper and is much harder than pure silver.

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