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What's French for Sterling Silver?


#1

What’s French for sterling silver fine silver I have a Tahitian student
here with me for the week and I’m not at all good at French. Can
anyone help with French phrases for the above?

Cheers
Brian

B r i a n A d a m
Auckland N E W Z E A L A N D
www.adam.co.nz/workshops/


#2

Sterling silver is “argent massif”: 100% pure silver

Fine silver doesn’t seem to have an exact translation: "argent fin"
has no practical meaning; may be legal hallmark for silver, i.e.
95% pure silver, but in this case, we just say “silver”.


#3

Sterling silver is “argent sterling” or “argent 925” Fine silver is
"argent fin"

I live in Montreal, Qu=E9bec, Canada. If you know where it is. :slight_smile: I
teach jewellery at college level. In French. So… If you have other
questions…

Denys Michaud


#4

Hello all!

A fellow orchidian gave ‘argent massif’ as french translation for
sterling silver. ‘Argent massif’ does stand for fine silver (100%
pure), but the exact french translation for sterling silver is
’argent sterling’. Being french, I know… There is no french
translation for sterling… Well maybe there is one in France, but
not here in Quebec, where we all use ‘argent sterling’.


#5

Sterling silver: l’argent sterling (source: Harrop’s English French
Dictionary and Le Dictionaire de Notre Temps). C’est un melange de
l’argent et de cuivre. Sorry but I can’t get the diacritics to work.

David


#6

Sterling silver is “argent sterling”. Sterling is a Middle Age word,
same in French and in English who mean “from East” (Ste + east). This
alloy was first in use in the Tiger and Euphrate rivers valley. It
was brouth in Europe with the caravans, and so on…

If you have other questions about french words, never forget that in
the north-east part of America lies a french speaking country, land
or freedom, an inheritage of our ancestors who, like the English ones
who came in America, establish themself in the St-Laurent river
valley to live a kind of Freedom not known in these times in the Old
Countries.

I teach, in french and in english, (we can also give courses in
Spanish language and in Italian) in a school for jewellery in
Montr=E9al, Qu=E9bec. Quite a good school… College level.


#7
Sterling is a Middle Age word, same in French and in English who
mean "from East" (Ste + east). This alloy was first in use in the
Tiger and Euphrate rivers valley. It was brouth in Europe with the
caravans, and so on... 

Interesting, but not the way I heard it. My understanding has been
that there were several silver alloy “standards” in merry olde
England. The one that became used most commonly, or most standard,
was from a place called Easterling. This was the .925 ag/.075 cu
alloy. Over time, as languages are known to do, the term became
shortened in common use, to 'sterling, or “Sterling.”

Ahhhh-ha! I finally found it! Quoted from Tim McCreight’s The
Complete Metalsmith
: “Sterling is the alloy most commonly used in
jewelry making and silversmithing. It was adopted as a standard alloy
in England in the 12th century when King Henry II imported refiners
from an area of Germany known as the Easterling. The product was made
of a consistent quality and came into usage as currency by 1300 when
it was known as Easterling silver.” I had to put the asterisks in,
as I can’t italicize in this email.

For what its worth,

Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#8

Funny things: In french, cork (named after Cork, Ireland) is named
li=E8ge (Liege, Belgium). Also, a turkey (named after the country) is
named dinde (from India) in french. In these times the imported
things or technologies were often named after geographical names.
Your explanation about sterling might be the one, but… what about
the name of this place, Easterling, named after the provenance of
the technology (instead of the religious Easter) :slight_smile:


#9
 Your explanation about sterling might be the one, but... what
about the name of this place, Easterling,  named after the
provenance of the technology 

Hi Denys, And what about “French Toast” and “French Fries” in
America? I’m almost certain there is nothing French about them, and
most persons Francais would probably deny any knowledge of them! :slight_smile:

I was thinking about this question after having sent my message. Why
was Easterling (in Germany) called that? Is that what they called the
region themselves, or is that how the English referred to it? There
might be a grain of truth to both explanations, or the answer might
lie somewhere between, or a combination of the two. Could the "East"
of Easterling really have meant the compass direction? Where did this
.925 standard evolve… was it created there, or brought there from
the east, as you have suggested?

We may never know for sure, but it sure is fun to play with the
question!

All the best,
Dave
Dave Sebaste
Sebaste Studio and
Carolina Artisans’ Gallery
Charlotte, NC (USA)
dave@sebaste.com


#10

from http://www.geocities.com/etymonline/index.html

sterling - 1299, “silver penny,” probably from M.E. sterre (see
star), from the stars that appeared in the design of certain Norman
coins, + dim. suffix -ling. Sense broadened by 1565 to “money having
the quality of the sterling,” and in 1601 to “English money in
general.” A pound sterling was originally “a pound weight of sterlings,
” equal to about 240 of them.