Like or dislike of silver is subjective and dependent on how it is used and what the finished product, looks like. However, many items of silver are collected on the basis of the creator-the silversmith.
For centuries silversmiths have created works or art with silver. Complicated uses of silver to embellish the shaft or cleverly manipulated the metal to crisply blend the joining of the handle to the shaft. Silversmiths have to be applauded for their near magical skill.
Properties of Silver
Silver is a precious metal which is harder than gold, but still relatively soft to other precious metals. A metal that is a better electrical conductor than copper, but its high cost makes it less attractive for electrical wiring. Silver is a metal that dependant on purity, in addition it is strong, malleable and ductile. A precious metal that can endure extreme temperature ranges and has the advantage of being able to reflect light to a high degree. The list of silver properties are endless and worth your time to explore.
Grades of Silver
British silver arrives in a range of distinctive grades. Firstly, ’fine silver’ or 99.9%. This is a soft metal that tends to be used in the bullion bars for international commodities, trading and investment. Although not prone to tarnishing this grade is too fragile a grade of silver for the application within the manufacture of a walking stick.
The second grade is’ Britannia silver’. This grade of silver is much softer than sterling silver at 95.83%. wiith the hallmark of 958. Again, this a grade of silver that is generally too soft to be applied as a decorative metal applied to walking sticks.
The third Silver grade is 925 or sterling silver, This is the grade, commonly used to embellish walking canes . Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5 per cent copper or other metals. The existence of copper and other metals will induce the tarnish when exposed to the atmosphere but does have the advantage of increasing the strength of the metal.
Where tarnish is present on the metal, inevitably there becomes the need for the individual to get out the polish. However, too much or too regular polishing will wear away the surface of silver.
In addition, the grease, salts and friction of a hand on a walking stick handle on a regular basis, will induce wear to the metal. This explains why the detail on old silver walking stick handles or assay punches become worn and indistinguishable over time.