What is nickel silver

Frequently asked questions

What is a carat or carat?
Why do silver jewelry and silver cutlery turn black? Can i prevent that?
What is nickel silver or alpaca?
Is it possible to distinguish between fair and unfair jewelry?
Where can I get guaranteed fair jewelry?

What is a carat or carat?
The term karat or carat is derived from the Greek term "keration", which is translated as "croissant". This is what the Greeks called the seeds of the carob tree in ancient times. In Latin there is the term "kerationia siliqua", which is also translated as carob tree. These seeds show a very constant weight and are therefore suitable as a uniform unit of weight. They used to be used as a unit of weight for gemstones.

Unfortunately, there are two terms carat that have different meanings and are easy to confuse. The carat (abbreviation ct) is traditionally used to measure the weight of precious stones. One gemstone carat weighs 0.2 grams (200 milligrams). There is also the carat number for precious metals. This does not mean a weight but the proportion of the precious metal in alloys, such as the various gold alloys. The precious metal carat is given in 24 parts. For example, 24 carat gold is fine gold, i.e. pure gold without other alloy metals. The smaller the carat number in gold, the greater the proportion of other metals in the alloy. 585 gold consists of only 58.5 percent gold. This is 14 carat gold.

Why do silver jewelry and silver cutlery turn black? Can i prevent that?
Silver is one of the precious metals and is relatively inert in itself. However, sulfur compounds from the air or food (eggs) can react with the silver. This leads to a gradual dark or black coloration of the silver. This so-called "tarnishing" of the silver can be removed relatively easily by rubbing it with a soft cloth.

The tarnishing of silver objects can be prevented by airtight storage or by treating the surface, known as "rhodium plating". During rhodium plating, the silver is coated with a thin protective layer of rhodium. In doing so, however, the typically soft shimmer of the precious metal is lost. If silver is used frequently, for example in the case of coins, cutlery or jewelry, it remains bright and shiny.

What is nickel silver or alpaca?
German silver is an alloy that is also called alpaca or alpaca (registered trademark). It consists of 45 to 67 percent copper, 10 to 26 percent nickel and 12 to 45 percent zinc. It owes its name to a species of lama with silver-gray wool from South America. As a rule, alpaca is silver-plated, with its own trade names such as: Alfénide, Neusilber, China-Silber (silver-plated brass), German solver, Tomback.

Nickel silver is harder than silver and is therefore used for everyday objects. Silver-plated nickel silver items such as silver-plated cutlery are also referred to as "hotel silver". Nickel silver alloys are important materials in industry, which uses them to manufacture cutlery, clocks, fine mechanical products, optical devices, bar paneling, surgical instruments, musical instruments, fittings, sets of weights and electronic parts.

Tip: Allergy sufferers should be careful with jewelry made of nickel silver. Because of the nickel content in nickel silver and alpaca jewelry, you should do without it.

Is it possible to distinguish between fair and unfair jewelry?
From the outside, you cannot see the conditions under which the precious metals were extracted from finished jewelry and who supplied the precious stones. A question to the jeweler can clarify this. Ask for certificates of origin of the stones and precious metals. Your inquiries can also trigger a rethink at the jeweler.

Where can I get guaranteed fair jewelry?
You will find jewelry from ecologically appropriate production, without blood on the precious stones, without cyanide and mercury on the precious metals and without child labor in the gepa range (here only in the world shops and gepa trading houses) and in the range of El Puente (www.el- puente.de). The address list of the world's leading jewelry stores is available at http://www.gepa3.de/. You can also find fair jewelry at goldsmiths and jewelers who are contractual partners of Fair Trade in Gems and Jewelry, as well as in direct sales at http://www.faire-edelsteine.de/. Jewelry is also offered by German World Hunger Aid shops (dw-shops) on site and on the Internet at http://www.dw-shop.de/.