The Little Owl Gallery

Definitions

Fine Silver - 100% pure silver. Generally, pure silver is somewhat soft for most jewelry

Sterling Silver - By law at least 92.5% silver; the balance is usually copper, added to give the silver strength and hardness.

Coin Silver - a silver alloy, usually made with copper or zinc.  US coin silver (found in US coins prior to 1965) is usually 90% silver.  Foreign coin silver ranges from 50% silver to sterling.

Nickel Silver also known as German Silver - contains NO real silver.  It is an alloy of nickel, copper and zinc. 

Trade Silver - a catch-all term for the various pieces of jewelry (such as brooches, pendants, arm bands, earrings, and noserings) made for trade with the North American Native Peoples through the end of the fur trade era in the early 19th century.