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Is Sterling Silver a Precious Metal?


#1

sorry for the dumb question, but legally speaking, is sterling
silver a precious metal in itself? or is it only fine silver that is
a precious metal?

is copper a precious metal in itself, or is it a semi-precious
metal? (i am considering it a semi-precious metal…)

any links saying what’s so would be appreciaited.

thanks,
joanna


#2

Guessing from what I know of medeivil law (and so much common law is
based on that if only out of habit) then Sterling is precious and
copper is base.

Anything you have to karat stamp is precious I think is a good line
in the sand. I strongly doubt there would be a classification of
semi-precious metal.

Cheers,
Norah Kerr
www.besmithian.com


#3

Silver is considered an industrial metal as is copper.

mike w


#4
Silver is considered an industrial metal as is copper. 

So are gold, platinum, palladium, rhodium etc.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5

To my knowlege, there is no such thing, legally, as a precious metal.
Nor is there any such thing, legally, as a precious gem. It is social
convention, and yes, as you say, the fact that it must be stamped is
a line in the sand. Nor is there any such thing, legally, as an
industrial metal, to my knowlege. What there is, legally, is a list
of “Strategic Metals”, which are necessary for the national defense,
and are restricted in time of need. Platinum, rhodium, gold, silver,
copper are all strategic metals, as are molybdenum, titanium, cobalt,
cadmium…

I could just be ignorant about this, but as far as I know, there is
no legal definition of a precious metal per se. There was a big stink
years ago about how Tiffany’s wouldn’t call turquoise “precious”, and
that was impacting sales and stuff. Now, if Tiffany’s can be
considered a legal authority on the matter, maybe we should all find
another line of work. Influential, yes, legal, no.

http://www.donivanandmaggiora.com


#6

Mike,…beg your parden but I believe silver IS a precious metal.
Look at the history or silver and how it is controlled in our modern
society (hallmarking, alloying rules, etc) and it is clearly
precious. Copper is not precious however if the price continues to
climb as recently, it may well become precious.

Cheers from Don at The Charles Belle Studio in SOFL where simple elegance
IS fine jewelry (including stuff made of silver)!


#7
legally speaking, is sterling silver a precious metal in itself? or
is it only fine silver that is a precious metal? 

The FTC in the US considers Sterling Silver a precious metal and
regulates it as such.

James Binnion
@James_Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#8
Silver is considered an industrial metal as is copper. 

Silver may be used for industrial purposes, but it is most
definitely a precious metal.

Silver, gold and platinum (plus some of the other rare earth metals,
I believe) are all considered precious metals by the jewelry
industry. Copper, brass, bronze, nickel, zinc, etc., and the ferrous
metals are not. And the term “semi-precious metal” does not exist.
You’re free to invent it, of course, Joanna :-), but it might lead to
a lot of confusion. With people using everything from pewter to steel
to aluminum in jewelry, where would you draw the line?

No distinction is made between pure silver and sterling silver, just
as no distinction is made between pure (24k) gold and 14k gold, at
least not where the term “precious” is concerned. A silver alloy
with less than.925 parts silver would not be considered precious. In
other words, as Norah said, if the FTC goes to the trouble of
defining it for quality stamping purposes, then consider it precious.

Beth