What's the big deal about "Italian" silver?

My stepson just bought an Italian silver necklace. My wive tells me that italian silver is much better than most.

My question is…

Isn’t Sterling a specific alloy. In other words, how could there be different qualities of specific elements.

Or does the quality refer to the workmanship of the articles?


I guess vB code doesn’t work in the subject line.

[note: I took care of that. -manhattan]

[Edited by manhattan on 01-27-2001 at 04:15 PM]

I want to know, too! Audiophile that a I am, there is a Japanese company (Audio Note) that bills its incredibly expensive tube amps as having their transformers hand wound with Italian silver. Huh? I think that Sterling means a certain % silver, akin to “karat” for gold. But what is this Italian silver business? I mean, silver is pretty cheap, right? About $4.80 per oz. spot.

It’s just a way of selling a product.

“Italian gold chain” is, these days, usually 14K gold. Just like the 14K gold chain made anywhere else.

Sterling silver is 92.5% silver. Doesn’t make a difference where it is made. Some manufacturers spend a little more care making their product. Just like in clothes or other things. But silver is silver. Countries don’t matter.

“Countries don’t matter.”

They sure do. They effect the value of the item tremendously. Same with Au. Where it originates is one of the most important valuation points.

BTW sterling US is not the same as mexican sterling, which has less silver I think.

handy said

We buy quite a bit of “Mexican” silver items over our counter in the course of a month. Many items that are marked silver aren’t. Most of the silver items which were purchase 30-60 years ago from a legitimate store are indeed sterling. If you get offered bangles on the beach these days for $1-2, don’t buy them. Even if they are marked.

“Even if they are marked”

Yeah, you can visit a jewelry supply store & get a stamp tha t says ‘sterling’ & one that says ‘14k’ & stamp all your silverplate or AUplate & impress the neighbors.