The Most Notable Bronze Arts by Salvador Dali

When it comes to Salvador Dali artwork, chances are you are most familiar with his surreal pieces. Dali was extremely famous for his dreamlike landscapes, such as is seen in The Persistence of Memory, commonly called “the melting clocks,” or his Ship with Butterfly Sails. His paintings have the ability to transport viewers from an ordinary world to a far more intriguing one usually not seen outside of your subconscious in the dead of night. However, while we all love his paintings, not as many know about his bronze arts. Salvador Dali sculptures are just as magnificent in a whole different light as his work with a brush.

Bronze Arts

Salvador Dali’s Bronze Sculptures are Continuously Sought After

Like many of his paintings, Salvador Dali’s famous sculptures can carry a viewer away. While some of his pieces are more basic, such as his Man with a Butterfly, which depicts a nude man holding a butterfly on the end of what appears to be a stick, they have a much deeper meaning. This piece, for example, carries the deeper message of the man leaving this world to move to a different physical plane in which he can live freely and happily. Others, though, are surrealist arts through and through. For example, there are a wide range of different clocks that appear to be melting, much like we saw within the Persistence of Memory. In fact, there is a sculpture based off the painting with the same name. Other clocks include Persistence of Time and Nobility of Time. Dali went through various phases when working on his bronze sculptures, each with a different name, theme, style, and deeper meaning.

Salvador Dali artwork

Dali’s Art Collections

Dali has a great number of fantastic quality bronze sculptures and they can be divided into two main categories- museum size and monument size. Each collection has 29 pieces and 15 pieces respectively. These were, for the most part, created using the same lost wax method that has transcended through the years as this art style has progressed.

Persistence of Memory

• Museum Size

Museum size sculptures are some of his more famous works. These are exactly what they sound like. These pieces are medium sized pieces that travel to different museums along with different exhibits. They have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide and provide a large emotional impact. These pieces are primarily based on items that were prominent throughout Dali’s life, particularly in childhood, and became icons throughout his work. Some of his museum pieces that you may recognize include Adam and Eve, Danilian Dancer, and Dance of Time I, II, and III. Clocks are still prominent, as well as surreal views of people, animals, and landscapes.

• Monument Size

Dali’s monument sized collection also travels the world and has been moving around since 1989. These pieces have been showcased in Rome, Hong Kong, London, Sydney, Singapore, and countless other important or tourist heavy cities. Some of these share names and images with museum sized pieces, such as Dance of Time II and Persistence of Memory. Others, though, are exclusively large-scale outdoor statues, such as Woman Aflame and Saint George and the Dragon. These timeless pieces bring in tourists and business for the companies surrounding the pieces, but also reveal a transcendent emotional value as with any classic art piece.

Rare Sculptural Bronze Cube by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne

Philip and Kelvin LaVerne sculptures are highly unique pieces, not only compared to others, but within themselves. The pair worked together creating artistic furniture, such as coffee tables, cocktail tables, chairs, and more. Philip was born in 1907 and Kelvin in 1937. The father and son duo worked together for many years. Each and every one of their pieces combine functionality with beautiful décor. These pieces have lasted years and some of the best sculptures by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne can cost a prospective consumer tens of thousands of dollars.

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The Family Artists Were Revolutionary

Artworks by Philip and Kelvin LaVerne changed the way people saw furniture. What was simply a tool before suddenly became opportunity. However, they did not do so easily. The pair was far ahead of their time. Many of their works mirror designers in today’s era far more than they do works created within the same time frame those men were working. Philip and Kelvin LaVerne art was not as highly appreciated at the time of construction as it is today. The goals that they strived for (and ultimately achieved) and their means of production were far different than those which others used at that time. This made them revolutionary, but also made them different. That was frequently frowned upon.

Antique Silver Masterpiece

How Did They Create Their Masterpieces?

The basis of most of Philip and Kelvin LaVerne’s art was bronze casting. Though that practice itself was hundreds of years old, it was not as commonly used in furniture as it was in sculpture and statues. In furniture, though, it was tweaked just a tad. This gave the artists the ability to give each piece a distinct and different patina. They also utilized direct carving techniques. Taking a slab of bronze, the men would then slowly work with it over the course of six or more weeks. Using a special soil, they were able to control the oxidation process and get the exact color shades they sought.

The process was truly remarkable and new. It also led to new ideas, such as a simple bronze cube. Their designs were generally conservative. This meant that each piece could be used in nearly any setting, no matter how traditional or modern. Each piece had the engraved signature of both men and was truly an investment that would last for years to come.

Antique Bronze Cube

The Sculptural Bronze Cube

In the Tennessee Museum of Art as a permanent collection item, there is a signed cube of bronze. This piece maintains the general integrity of the original slab of bronze, but carries some changes as well. Philip and Kelvin LaVerne used a torch to create various small cutouts across the surface of the piece. There are variations in color, texture, and edging. It has a very natural look, almost untouched by man, but not quite. The edges are not sharp and defined, but flow naturally as the slab may have come. This is a rare piece, as it is the only piece like it in their collection. Because it is a permanent item in Tennessee, it is not as well-known as some of the pair’s other works.

Regardless of whether it is a slab of bronze or an intricate cabinet that took many weeks or months to create, Philip and Kelvin LaVerne’s work is immortalized and lives in the hearts of those who appreciate it for many more years to come.
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New and Abstract Forms of Bronze Sculptures in the 20 th Century

For centuries, bronze has been (and continues to be) the most popular metal for casting artistic sculptures. It can be used in any shape or size, can be colored as the artist likes, and can be used for relief sculptures or sculptures in the round. Many artists have tried their hand at working with the metal, but the game changed in the 20 th century when new artists began creating new and more abstract statues. One of these artists was Henry Moore, a revolutionary who changed the face of bronze sculpting for years to come. In fact, Henry Moore’s first sculpture, West Wind (commissioned by the school he had been working for), is still a recognizable figure today.

Bronze Sculptures

Who Was Henry Moore?

Henry Moore sculptures highly influenced the development of bronze sculptures, but to understand what he created, you need to understand him as a person. Henry Moore was born and raised in Yorkshire to a non-artistic family as the 7 th of 8 children. In fact, his parents originally did not want him training to be a sculptor at all. Moore was a humanitarian who was a soldier, a physical therapy instructor, a teacher, and finally an artist. He saw all kinds of walks of life and experienced many art forms. Moore spent years working with bronze sculpting, but eventually moved on to more modern methods when creating sculptures, such as direct carving. Henry Moore’s bronze sculpture period, though, had many influences and proceeded to influence many others.

\bronze

What Impacted Moore?

Every artist gets their “spark” so to speak from somewhere. For Moore, he found a large part of his inspiration from the people around him. He had a deep sense of humanitarianism and found many of his ideas through visuals of mothers with children along with analogies he created, combining someone with the landscape around them. He also drew inspiration largely from non-western art he saw at the British Museum. He took inspiration from predominantly Latin American art as well as Egyptian and African. Many bronze workers at this time focused on very detail oriented and realistic creations. Moore introduced a new element.

Bird Basket

While working with Bird Basket, Helmet, and other antique bronze pieces, Moore spread the idea of semi-abstract art. Many of his pieces had a basic shape that one could see clearly and put a name to. However, they did not follow precisely what you would expect to see. They involved elements of internal and external forms. They also used different details than you would traditionally expect, or neglected them entirely.

His Legacy

Antiques

As his work progressed, many found faults because of just how nontraditional it was. After his death, his work became even less well-known, liked, or reputable. His bronze work is also often overshadowed by his other means of production. However, these new ideas and concepts that he introduced prevailed, inspiring others to continue with the forms where he left off. Those who worked closely with him, such as Anthony Caro and Phillip King, were highly influenced by his artistic mind and undoubtedly learned from his work.

Henry Moore Biography, Art, and Analysis of Works | The Art Insight

Henry Moore was born and raised in Yorkshire, but traveled far and wide, learning all that he could about art in all forms and the world around him. From an early age, he knew that he wanted to pursue art. However, his family was not very accepting of his work at this time, and he had to put off formal training and education for quite a few years. He explored many avenues in life before becoming a renowned artist, talented and revolutionary. While a Henry Moore sculpture may sound unfamiliar to you now, there was a time when his name would have presented near instant recognition. However, after his death, his reputation was significantly diminished.

Henry Moore

When Did Henry Moore Make His First Sculpture?

Throughout his childhood, art was not heavily supported by his family. In fact, he went through a wide variety of jobs before becoming exclusively an artist. If he was not able to pursue art young and had to work elsewhere later, it begs the question when his first true sculpture came into existence. Not only that, but after all that time waiting, what was Henry Moore’s first sculpture? Pushing toward his ultimate artistic goal, Moore worked as a teacher, a soldier, and a physical therapy instructor. He returned to teaching later in life. It was there that he received his first public commission. West Wind was the first of eight separate relief sculptures Moore completed between 1928 & 1929. The piece depicts a man in a semi-abstract form that is integrated into the wall of London Underground’s headquarters.

Art Insight

His Work Changed Over Time

In July of 1929, Moore married Ms. Irina Radetsky. For a while, she posed for his art. His art focused more often than not on his humanitarian values and a repeated motif of mother and child along with his reclining figure making several appearances. He goes through several stylistic periods throughout his life. For example, he begins his carving period with his first reclined figure piece, carved out of brown Hornton stone. This piece is influenced by Aztec art, predominantly. As his art progresses, this figure makes several reappearances.

In fact, it makes another appearance shortly after the first reclining figure is released as his art evolves again. This next piece takes a far more surrealistic yet still constructivist approach and is a 4-piece configuration of stones (called Four-Piece Configuration) that creates the essence of a reclined figure.

Sculpture

This combination of surrealism and constructivism continues for several years, evident in his 1939 piece Bird Basket, which carries geometric elements of constructivism while retaining the biomorphic form of surrealism. It explores not only what he can do with the sculpture itself but what can be said about the negative space surrounding it as well.

Finally, in some of his later pieces, Moore explored both internal and external forms. Much like how the hard shell of a lobster claw hides the soft meat, his hard exteriors hid different textures or materials within. This was exemplified in his piece Helmet, in which he explored the differences between hard and soft in one cohesive piece.

While the decision of which of these masterpieces is Henry Moore’s best sculpture remains up for interpretation, no one can deny that he was among the best and most important artists of the 20 th century. He brought a perspective no one had considered prior and held extreme influence in the artists following him.

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Which 19 th Century French Animalier Sculptor is Regarded as the Best?

When it comes to Animalier sculptors, no one can quite compare to Isidore Bonheur. Born in 1827 to a family of artists with a wide variety of talents, it didn’t take long for Bonheur to find his passion ran along the same lines as his lineage. To this day, he is still regarded by many as the best Animalier sculptor to grace art’s magnificent history. Among his most well-known pieces, Isidore Bonheur’s bronze horse sculpture, Le Grand Jockey, is a great example of his mastery over his craft. The most famous casting shows a jockey patting his winning horse on the neck in exquisite detail, down to the veins in the horse’s legs and neck.

Sculptor

Isidore-Jules Bonheur Had a Range of Talents

Like the rest of his family, Bonheur inherited a skilled hand in many various art-forms. First and foremost, though, he held a particular mastery over bronze sculpture along with a certain passion for the trade. Along with the horse sculpture, the bull and bear sculpture by Isidore remains a favorite of fans of his work. It depicts a battle between a bull and a bear in which the art expertly demonstrates an incredible amount of tension while also maintaining a high level of detail and realism. However, though they are some of the most famous, they are far from the only Bonheur pieces you may have seen.

Picture of bull and bear piece

Isidore’s older sister, Rosa, frequently collaborated with him. They made pieces in pairs, complimenting both art styles and bringing the pieces together. This was generally true in regards to his domestic cattle, sheep, and/or equestrian pieces. He did not stop at these common animals, however, and frequently did pieces with more wild elements, such as lions, bears, and hunting groups on his own.

He Earned Lasting Recognition

While many artists, such as Vincent Van Gogh, received little to no recognition before their lives were over, Isidore received a great deal of respect during and after his life. To this day, his works are among those most highly praised at the French Animalier school. He is consistently ranked among the finest of his time and has left a lasting impression on the path that the Animalier style of art has taken. His talent was never taken for granted or denied by onlookers. In fact, a life-sized casting of his eight-point stag piece is currently on display in the Perigueux Museum. He also completed three monuments still standing today, including a piece he created for his late sister that he did not complete until his final two years. The other two are lions he crafted to guard the Palais de Justice.

Antiques

Throughout his life, Bonheur was commissioned outside of his home country of France as well, including palace pieces for King Edward VII of England and two large bulls to decorate the palace of the Sultan of Constantinople. His works are immortalized not only in person, but also in literature. Bonheur’s life has been explored, analyzed, and appreciated in more than a half dozen books between the years of 1914 and 1971 alone. The internationally renowned sculptor has gone down in history and most certainly will remain there for years to come.

Bronze Sculptures by Erte That Are in Great Demand

Without a doubt, Erte ranks highly among the best sculpture artists of all time. He is known as the Father of Art Deco and his works are recognizable, hold deep value and meaning, and have transcended the years without fading from the hearts of their admirers. An Erte bronze sculpture can sell for thousands of dollars in today’s market and are incredibly popular with those who can afford such a luxury. Erte had several different periods within his work and worked with a variety of media. His bronze sculptures in particular, though, hold an incredible value in the hearts of thousands. Influenced by the theater (as well as film) and fashion, his pieces captured the world around him while also capturing the fluidity and motion that are the essence of life.

Bronze Sculptures

Erte Changed the Game in the 20 th Century

There is something to be said about the absolute uniqueness of an Erte sculpture and carvings associated with each unique piece. While an Erte sculpture may contain elements that carry tones of his predecessors, he took what he learned to make his pieces 100% his own. For many artists in this time, working with statues or sculptures meant creating something large and memorable. In fact, they were often categorized into two main groups based on size –
monumental and museum sized.

Bacchante

Erte wanted something different. Most of his bronze sculptures are under two feet tall. This enhanced their decorative purpose, making them far more versatile when it comes to where they could be used. Erte spurred on a whole new art movement not once, but twice! He started the Art Deco movement in his younger years, and after revisiting the concept as an elderly man, it was reborn. These pieces influenced more people than he could count during his life, and continue to inspire many to this day.

Erte’s Most Popular Bronze Pieces

Erte took influence from all over the world. They carried tones of the land from which the inspiration was taken, whether that was Paris, where he moved pursuing higher art, America, Ancient Greece, or Arabia. Each piece was unique and carried its own strengths. His work spans the globe, bringing people, cultures, and ideas together in one small, cohesive masterpiece. It is from here that much of his appeal stems.

Popular Bronze Pieces

American Heiress, for example, tells a story just by looking at the piece. This had heavy American influence, hence the name. It accurately depicts not only the stereotypical attire of such a prestigious upper-class woman of that time, but the body language and flow of the work displays her attitude as well. It shows a glimpse into history, making it highly popular in today’s world. This is also evident in other American-based pieces as well, such as Broadway’s in Fashion. This piece combines the likeness of a woman with the stage in an expertly crafted and cohesive work of art.

Erte took inspiration from other global areas as well, often from Asian or Greek culture. This included traditional kimono-clad women such as in his Asian Princess along with goddesses such as in his Aphrodite piece. He also captured the culture of Saudi Arabia in Arabian Nights. This focus on lore and mythology captures images that you cannot see elsewhere as he brought life to stories like the Golden Fleece from ancient Greece. He gave the story a face, a personality, and an emotional side that it did not have before.

American Heiress

He didn’t always stray so far from home, though. Many of his pieces depicted scenes from home in France. He never failed to capture the fluidity and fleetingness of life. One of his most popular French-based pieces, Bella de Nuit, brings life to a period in history, very similarly to American Heiress. These are just a sampling of the many masterpieces that Erte created over his long life that leave his legacy strong to this day.

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10 Tips for Making Money from Antiques | Alabama | New York | Houston

Are you looking for a way to start making money from antiques & collectibles? While some people see the buying and selling of antiques as a hobby, others have turned it into a lucrative side-job or even their main career. There are a lot of different ways you can get into dealing in antiques, but if you really want to turn this into your main source of income, you’ve got to go about it the right way. By following these ten tips, you can get your new antique dealing job off to a great start.

1. Do Your Homework

Make money from antique

Before you go out and purchase someone’s antique collection, you need to know what’s valuable and what’s not. You’ll find a lot of information in books on collectibles and online. Learn as much as you can about dealing in antiques and collectibles before you spend any money. That way, you’ll know what’s worth buying and what’s not.

2. Focus on One Area

why to focus on one area

 

The terms “antiques” and “collectibles” are very broad categories. It can be very difficult to learn everything there is about all the different types of antiques and collectibles out there. That’s why a lot of people focus on one area. For example, you could deal in antique furniture or Disney collectibles. By narrowing down your focus, you’ll be better able to know what’s valuable and be able to find specific buyers to sell your items to.

3. Only Buy from Dealers with a Good Reputation

Only Buy from Dealers with a Good Reputation

This is especially true for those who are considering buying an antique collection online and can’t personally inspect the items. Always buy from someone with a good reputation to avoid getting ripped off.

4. Buy What You Like

Buy What You Like

5. Go for the Rare Items

Go for the Rare Items

Collectors want to own things that very few others will have, so always look for rare items. While you’ll probably have to spend more to buy these, you’ll be able to sell them for a lot more.

6. Watch for Fakes

Watch for Fakes

You never know when someone is going to try to slip in a fake antique. There are a number of different ways these forgers can use to make items look older than they actually are. Learn about these techniques and how you can spot them. If you’re unsure of something’s authenticity, think twice before buying.

7. Understand the Restoration Process

Understand the Restoration Process

You also need to know how the items are restored and what signs of restoration look like. Those who want to know how to make money from antiques might be surprised that people pass off restored pieces as originals, but they do.

8. Get Insurance

Get Insurance

Be sure you insure your most valuable items or your collection as a whole. If you’re transporting these rare collectibles and they’re damaged, you’ll be glad you did.

9. Understand Auction Costs

Understand Auction Costs

If you’re buying items from an auction house, make sure you know what additional fees and costs are involved. Many auction houses charge a fee called a buyer’s premium in addition to the amount of your bid.

10. Look for Specialty Trade Shows

Look for Specialty Trade Shows

There are a number of trade shows out there that focus on one particular niche. For example, if you’re collecting rare comic books, make sure you attend a number of comic cons. You can find rare finds there to add to your collection, plus you may be able to become a vendor yourself.

What Do the 750, 585, and 417 Markings on Gold Jewelry Mean?

If you own any gold jewelry, you might notice that there’s a small number marked on it. Most people assume these numbers indicate the manufacturer or batch of jewelry, but they actually mean something completely different. Experienced gold buyers know exactly what these numbers mean, and they use this information when determining how much they will pay you for any jewelry you’re trying to sell them. Here’s a quick guide to these common gold markings.

A Measure of Gold Purity

These numbers indicate how pure the gold is. Pure gold is actually much too soft for jewelry and other items, plus it’s virtually impossible to get gold that has absolutely no impurities in it. That means gold traders and jewelers need some way of identifying just how pure the gold they’re purchasing is. The result of this need is the various markings you’ll find on gold estate jewelry and other items.

The formula used to determine these markings isn’t complicated, but it isn’t obvious to most customers. Gold is usually sold by the karat. Everyone knows that 24 karat or 24K gold is the highest form of gold you can get. It’s considered pure gold, though again, it’s not 100% pure. Instead, it’s .9999 fine.

Antique Gold Stamp

To determine how fine your gold is, all you need to do is take the caratage and divide it by 24, the maximum number of karats gold can have. For example, if you have gold that’s 10K, take that and divide it by 24. You’ll get 0.416 with a repeating 6. Round that up to .417, and you’ll find a number you often see stamped on gold.

Common Markings

Common Markings

So if the 417 gold markings on your jewelry indicate 10 carats, what do the other common markings indicate?

  • 8 karat gold – 333. It’s 33%, or about a third pure gold. Note that you won’t see this on jewelry made in the US, but if you have anything from Europe, you may notice this mark.
  • 9 karat gold – 375. Likewise, you won’t find any US jewelry marked with 375, but you’ll see it on British items.
  • 10 karat gold – 417 (sometimes marked as 416). All jewelry sold in the US must be at least 10 karats in order to be marketed as gold.
  • 12 karat gold – 500. You won’t see much 12K jewelry since it tends to be fairly dull in color.
  • 14 karat gold – 583 (sometimes marked as 585)
  • 18 karat gold – 750
  • 22 karat gold – 916 (sometimes marked as 917). Normally, 22K gold is too soft to use in much jewelry, but it’s often used for gold leaf or plating.
  • 24 karat gold – 999. Again, 24K gold is too soft for jewelry.

How to Use this Information

Antique Gold Buyers

If you’ve been wondering, “What is 750 gold?” now you know. So, what can you do with this information? It’s really only useful if you’re selling gold jewelry. When you approach a antique gold buyer, knowing how pure your jewelry is will give you an idea of what type of offer you receive. If you get a low offer for something you know is 14 karat gold, you’ll know to turn it down.

Tips and Tricks To Eliminate Smudge from Silver

Are you tired of seeing smudges all over your antique silver flatware? If so, you probably spend a lot of time with a polishing cloth trying to get those smudges out. But what if there was a better way? There are a number of different old tips and tricks that you can use to get those smudges out of your favourite silver pieces.

Here are a few of these different tricks.

Vinegar

Vinegar

Olive Oil

Most people know that they can clean their antique silver using vinegar. It’s one of the time-testing methods that works incredibly well. It will also remove any tarnishing from your silver, leaving it looking brand new and smudge-free.

Olive Oil

This technique is great for cleaning items such as antique sterling silver bowls that are going to be passed around a lot. The olive oil will clean all the smudges off, but it does more than that. First, put a bit of olive oil on a soft cleaning cloth. Now rub the cloth against your silver, going with the grain. Then wipe it off using a clean cloth. You’ll remove a good amount of the olive oil, but very trace amounts will remain. These amounts will actually create a protective barrier that prevents future smudges. You’ll need to reapply every now and then, of course.

Use Proper Storage Techniques

If you don’t want to spend time cleaning your silver when you take it out of the cabinet, make sure you’re storing it correctly. All of the silver should be completely dry before you place it in the cabinet. Make sure each item is wrapped in special anti-tarnish paper or in flannel. Then put each piece into an air-tight bag. You can also add some of those small packets of silica gel to the drawer or cabinet. They will help reduce the humidity in the area.

Use Proper Storage Techniques

For items such as antique silver trays, you may want to get anti-tarnish cloth to place in between them when stacking. This is especially necessary if you’re not wrapping the entire piece in anti-tarnish paper. Silver scratches easily, so you want to make sure your items are protected.

Other Cleaning Methods

There are a lot of other common household goods you can use to clean the smudges off of your antique silver tea set and other silver items. Many of these techniques will also help you remove tarnish, so you can take care of two tasks at once.

Other Cleaning Methods

  • Use warm water and a mild dish soap.
  • Use soda water and a damp cloth.
  • Polish the silver with baby oil. Like olive oil, it will help create a protective barrier that prevents future smudging.
  • Use lemon juice.
  • Polish your silver with sheepskin.
  • Use a furniture polish wipe to remove smudges and other spots.
  • Clean your items with glass cleaner.

Many of these tips will work on all of your silver, but if you’re at all concerned, try the solution on a small, unnoticeable part of one piece of silver first.

What precisely is sterling silver and how does it differ from real silver?

If you’ve seen something marked as sterling silver, you may assume that it’s no different from regular silver. However, that’s not the case. These two terms may sometimes be used interchangeably, but they’re not truly equivalent. There is a difference between sterling silver and standard silver, and if you’re buying a lot of different silver jewelry, you should know exactly what it is you’re purchasing.

Sterling Silver vs Real Silver

What is Pure or Fine Silver?

If you’re purchasing something that is advertised as pure silver, that means it has 99.9% silver in it. It’s as pure as you can get—there’s no such thing as 100% silver with no impurities. Fine silver is not used in jewelry because it’s simply too soft. The items would be too malleable by hand. That’s why the silver jewelry and other items you purchase will be made from a mixture of silver and another metal (or several metals).

What is Sterling Silver?

Sterling silver, on the other hand, is a silver alloy. It’s made when pure silver is mixed with copper. The result is an alloy that is not as soft as pure copper and is much more durable. Sterling silver is generally 92.5% pure. That means only 7.5% of the mixture is another metal. While copper is the most common, zinc and nickel are also often used in making sterling silver.

In many cases, items that are made out of sterling silver are actually coated with pure silver. This thin layer improves the look of the piece by making it shinier. However, these products should never be labeled as pure silver because they aren’t.

You should also look for the term “sterling silver plated” on products. These products are not made of sterling silver. Instead, they’re made out of other metals such as copper or nickel. They’ve just had an outer layer of sterling silver applied to them. Over time, this layer is going to start wearing off, leaving the item looking much less attractive.

What is Coin Silver?

If you’re researching sterling silver vs. pure silver, you may also see the term “coin silver” come up. This is another type of silver alloy. However, it’s less pure. Coin silver is generally no more than 90 percent pure silver, so it’s not used in jewelry that often.

How Do You Tell the Difference?

Reputable silver makers should always stamp their creations. On fine silver pieces, you’ll find a number that shows the amount of silver per hundred parts (or thousands, in some cases). The higher the number, the more silver is in the product. Pure silver should have a high number such as 999 (some items are marked as 99.9 or as .999, but these are all indicative of pure silver). On sterling silver, you should see 925 (or, again, 9.25 or .925). If the number is any lower than that, it shouldn’t be marked as sterling silver in the U.S.

Note that sterling silver sold in other countries may have a purity lower than 925. Not all countries have the same purity requirements that the U.S. has.