Like gold, pure silver or fine silver is relatively soft and pliable. Because of this, fine jewelry can be easily damaged if created from pure silver.
Silver Purity & Composition
Due to its high level of inherent softness, pure silver is actually too malleable to be used alone in jewelry making-it is easily dented and scratched when exposed to daily wear and tear.
In its pure form silver is almost as soft as gold, and therefore is usually alloyed with copper for strength. Karatage is not marked because, legally, anything called "silver" or "sterling silver" is 92.5% pure.
Purity of silver is based on the other metals, which are available in the silver in the form of metal alloys. Unlike gold, but like platinum, silver purities are expressed as units of a 1,000 parts.
Coin Silver - can have 80% or 90% silver purity.
(see full article on Sterling Silver)
Cone - (see Bead Cap) ...
The commonest British standard of silver purity, dating back to the currency in use in England in the 14th century, comprising 92.5% pure silver and the balance of copper and other traces. Now widely accepted as an international standard.
See also: Stone, Alloy, Silver, Rough, Jewelry